This is the first of two installments about saved comments from January 2016. I was traveling during the first two weeks of the month, so I saved my comments on my laptop, then transferred them to my desktop. Good thing I did; apparently the video card on that has failed. On the one hand, it confirms my feelings of urgency about posting my saved comments here, as they were driven by anxieties of hardware failure. On the other, I was hoping the laptop would remain functional longer so that I could post the comments I saved on it. Sigh.
I'm going to keep my comment on "Link round-up for 3 January 2016" at Infidel 753 above the cut, as it has a wider appeal for my readers here on Dreamwidth than the comments behind the cut. That's because it's about all three trilogies of the Star Wars saga.The New Republic is right about the Star Wars saga being a multi-generational tale of a dysfunctional family. However, I wouldn't call it bad parenting, at least in the first two trilogies. I'd call it absentee parenting combined with bad foster parenting (except in the case of Leia; I think the Organas were actually good parents). Obi-Wan screwed up with Anakin and was supplanted by Palpatine, who was even worse. Lars tried, but he wasn't suited to deal with his nephew by marriage, who had the family curse of being destined for greatness.
It wasn't until the current movie that a combination of an unruly child with parenting not up to the task became apparent. Leia, Han, and Luke all tried with Kylo Ren, and all failed. Smoke (sp.?) took over the Palpatine role and ended up being the evil foster parent. Thank you, J.J. Abrams for making crystal clear what George Lucas only implied.
The good news is that the foster parents can redeem themselves. Obi-Wan, with Yoda's help, succeed with Luke where they failed with his father. Anakin himself finally did the right thing by his son, although it took Palpatine doing his best to kill Luke to do it. I wouldn't be surprised if Luke and Leia do the same for Kylo Ren and Rey by the final film of this trilogy. There is a formula to these films, after all.
( Comments from Kunstler's and Greers blogs plus the old Michigan Liberal about energy, the economy, and the election behind the cut. )
The songs that I've featured so far are:
From Nablopomo on BlogHer:So what is the NaBloPoMo theme of the month?When I first read the theme and description, I considered not participating, as I'm not big on poetry. I especially had a hard time squaring the theme with a blog about sustainability, science, and politics, although "poetry in nature" might work. Then I realized that there were some forms of poetry that I liked, limericks and song verses. Most limericks wouldn't be fit for a family blog, but I can always find a good song for my posts. So, I'm participating again this month.
In honour of National Poetry Month in April, we've made the theme POEM -- which can go in a multitude of directions. First and foremost, you can try your hand at writing some poetry. We'll be presenting a few fixed forms as well as prompts for free forms. Make a personal goal to write a haiku-a-day, write an entire post in rhymed couplets, or argue the merits of Pinterest... in sestina form.
We'll be writing about our reactions to poems -- which poems have come up at important moments in your life? Which poems do you return to again and again? Which poems have changed your mood, given you comfort, or made you want to be a poet yourself?
We'll spend the month looking at reflections of poetry in nature and social situations. And we'll be featuring YOUR poetry weekly. So get your poem on.
- "She Blinded Me with Science" by Thomas Dolby in Nablopomo for April: Poem
- "Heat Wave" by Martha and the Vandellas in March was a heat wave for Detroit and other cities
- "(Nothing but) Flowers" by The Talking Heads and performed by David Byrne and Thomas Dolby in Post 500: (Nothing but) Flowers at TED
- "Dirty Laundry" by Don Henley and performed by CNN anchor Robin Meade in Olbermann on Letterman with bonus Dirty Laundry
- "Let the Good Times Roll" by The Cars in Auto sales up and that's no April Fools
- "Ignoreland" by R.E.M. in Rachel Maddow: Michigan is now Ignoreland
- "Why" from the album "Mystery to Me" by Fleetwood Mac in The first year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News: Part 3 of several
Happy reading and happy listening!
It's been a full month since I last summarized my campaign posts over at Crazy Eddie's Motie News. While the month isn't over yet, it's close enough. In this installment, I cover both major parties' candidates.
Last night was the beginning of the primary/caucus season for 2012
More politicians visit NAIAS plus a cameo by Bill Ford, Jr.
When Mitt Romney came to town, KB Toys closed
The New York Times on Bain Capital and KB Toys
When Mitt Romney came to town, he exposed the GOP's disrespect for its own ideas
Tom Tomorrow thinks Romney is a robot, too
Newt Gingrich throws core GOP interest group under bus while campaigning as a populist
Detroit, Michigan, and the auto industry in the State of the Union
Gingrich shoots for the Moon while campaigning in Florida
Obama at University of Michigan
President Obama speaks at the University of Michigan
And that's it for January, so far.
Nablopomo for December: Gift
From Join Us for Daily Blogging with December's NaBloPoMo:
So what is the NaBloPoMo theme of the month?It turns out I started early with my gift-themed entries early over at Crazy Eddie's Motie News, as I posted several articles about Black Friday and Small Business Saturday during the last week of November.
But we're not just talking getting presents: we're looking at how we treat ourselves, what are our talents, and what do we like to give others. What is the best gift you ever got? The best gift you ever gave? How do you like to open gifts? Are you a peeker? And what about all of those non-tangible gifts that we can bestow on one another throughout the day?
Watch evolution in action on Black Friday
This is why yesterday was Buy Nothing Day for me
Small Business Saturday Linkspam
Happy reading and shopping, everyone!
Over at Crazy Eddies Motie News, I've posted a couple of entries about my experience both reading about food and eating new kinds of food during my two recent trips.
In Travel is broadening, even the reading, I describe two magazines for businesspeople noticing that eating local is becoming big business.
In Travel is broadening, especially the food, I discuss my particular experiences with eating an unconventional source of food for Americans while in Mexico and how I'm not alone. Not for the squeamish.
There will probably be more about my trips. If nothing else, I have to talk about the celebration of The Day of the Dead, which is like Halloween crossed with Mardi Gras, complete with drunken street parades in costume.
Also, stay tuned more more of my sniping at Objectivism. I have two more posts on that topic up since my last update.
It's been a while since I've shot spitwads at Objectivism here on DW and LJ. The last time I did so is here, although I have a history of doing so. However, I was very busy last week throwing rotten tomatoes at Ayn Rand, her books, and her philosophy over at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
Objectivism and Scientology: a sublime to the ridiculous comparison
Quotes about Objectivism from the snarky to the serious
Collapse is all there in the Objectivist manual
To be honest, I have an ulterior motive, as mentioned in The hornet swatting begins today. Unfortunately, the hornet managed to fly away. As long as he continues his flight, it's OK with me.
From Next Media Animation on YouTube:
More than 500 million people use Facebook every day. However, most were annoyed by recent changes that further cluttered the user interface.Never forget that Facebook is the Internet on capitalism, which means it has to make its money somehow.
The backlash has been fierce. But no matter how disgruntled, users find it hard to leave Facebook because all their friends are there.
At the recent F8 developers' conference, Mark Zuckerberg announced even more ambitious changes, including tighter integration with third party apps.
Another big change is the re-vamp of the profile into a timeline. It pulls all your media and updates into one place.
Zuck also urged developers to demand permission to publish everything from users as a condition for using apps. Where is it all going to lead?
As Barry Commoner wrote, there is no such thing as a free lunch. That means this blog is product, too.
Originally posted as Facebook: There is no such thing as a free lunch on Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
Yeah, this one. It got picked up by Lex Kuhne's Daily Intelligencer, a paper.li site that compiles tweets, as today's top Michigan story. Looks like he enjoys reading drunken texts about sex, too.
In other news, I've been busy over at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
Labor Day and hurricanes to blame as gas prices rise sharply in Michigan
Preview of Arts, Beats, and Eats
Surf on over.
Stock market tumble
Investors flee economic gloom, policy paralysis
Wall Street suffers worst selloff in two years
Gold eases below lifetime high; investors cover losses
Stocks are falling again on more fears of economic weakness in the U.S. and Europe's debt crisis.
More at The financial markets think it's a Satan Sandwich, too and WXYZ has local reaction to yesterday's and today's stock plunge on Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
A Chinese ratings firm yesterday made financial history and downgraded the US' credit rating from A+ to A. Meanwhile, hot money flowing into hedge funds and gold saw gold prices yesterday shoot to a historic high of US$1,670 per ounce.It looks like the Chinese think the deal was a Satan Sandwich, too, and that we should have chosen the prize behind Door #3 instead.
More at Next Media Animation on the Debt Ceiling Hostage Crisis on Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
WTNH on YouTube: On Thursday, Borders will ask a judge to begin liquidation of the company.Reuters has even more details.
Borders Group Inc, the second-largest U.S. bookstore chain, said it has canceled an upcoming bankruptcy auction and will close its doors for good.As someone who lived in Ann Arbor from 1989 to 1999 and hung out in Ann Arbor regularly until earlier this year, spending much of that time in the Ann Arbor flagship store, I find this very sad for me personally, as you can see by my previous two posts on the subject at my LiveJournal.
The company said in a statement Monday it was unable to find a buyer willing to keep it in operation and will sell itself to a group of liquidators led by Hilco Merchant Resources.
Borders' roughly 400 remaining stores will close, and nearly 11,000 jobs will be lost, according to the company.
"We are saddened by this development," Borders President Mike Edwards said in the statement. "We were all working hard toward a different outcome, but the headwinds we have been facing for quite some time ... have brought us to where we are now."
More at Crazy Eddie's Motie News: Borders Books 1971-2011.
Paul Krugman being reviewed in a sustainablity blog? Yes. Remember that the intersection between a thriving economy and a just society is a bearable social economy, and Krugman is all about that, while his rivals are not. Besides, he's probably the most visible mainstream economist who takes the environment seriously, and doesn't just write it off as a series of externalities. However, that's not why I'm writing about him tonight. Krugman is also an academic, and he's dismayed at how his intellectual opponents at the University of Chicago refuse to accept the reality of today's economic situation.
Reading Noah Smith reading John Cochrane solidified a thought I’ve been grasping at for a while: the extraordinary lengths to which the Chicago School is going to avoid a straightforward interpretation of the mess we’re in.As one academic to another, I pointed out both the deeper problem and the solution.
[A]t Chicago and elsewhere in the freshwater universe they’re playing Calvinball (and what a good coinage that was from Mike Konczal). All kinds of novel and implausible effects — effects that weren’t in any of the models they were using before the crisis — are invoked to explain why we’re in a sustained slump; strange to say, all of these newly invented models just happen to imply the need for tax cuts and a shrunken welfare state.
But I don’t think it’s just political bias: part of what’s happening, I’m sure, is intellectual embarrassment. These people come from a movement that declared, with great arrogance, that Keynesian economics was dead – then failed to produce a workable alternative, and now finds itself in what is very recognizably a Keynesian world. Recognizably, that is, to everyone but them, because admitting that Keynesian-type thinking is useful now would just be too humiliating.
The physicist Max Planck had this to say about progress in his field, "Science advances one funeral at a time." If economics works the same way, then the freshwater economists have exploited this process to make economics retreat, not advance. It will take decades of work by the saltwater economics departments churning out Ph.D.s to undo the damage.I've seen this dynamic in action before, so I know what Krugman has to do in addition to being a public intellectual--train more people who think like him to outcompete his rivals. If nothing else, doing so would piss off his academic rivals no end, as it would be a sign that they haven't won, and won't have succeeded for the rest of their lifetimes.
So, Dr. Krugman, how many grad students are you advising these days?
Above originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
I know I promised more on the Kroger in Royal Oak, but there's another current news item about the sustainability of Detroit from a Business as Usual perspective going on right now--Transformation Detroit. What is it? As this article on MLive puts it:
This is the story Detroit wants the world to hear. Jonathan Oosting of MLive.com is one of more than 50 journalists participating in Transformation Detroit, a three-day media briefing facilitated by the Detroit Regional News Hub that aims to highlight innovative revitalization efforts in the city.For a sampling of the stories Detroit wants the world to know, read the Detroit Regional News Hub's news blog, or you can watch these two videos from WXYZ on the event.
I'm glad the powers that be are interested in sustainability, but I much prefer Model D's perspective of "Optimism, but not Business as Usual."
Above post originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News here.
In the intro to part one of last week's sustainability news linkspam, I mentioned "a local sustainability issue that looks like just a zoning and development issue, but has turned into something else entirely" in passing. In the spirit of "a picture is worth 1000 words," I give you these videos from WXYZ-TV. Issues of sustainable local business and sustainable built environment pop up all through both videos, including a mention of Royal Oak's walkable neighborhoods and walkable downtown. Then, there's the accusations of corruption by a lobbyist for the convenience store competitors of the proposed Kroger. And you thought city council meetings were boring.
I have a lot more to write about this issue, including coverage from Royal Oak Patch that follows up on the meetings and the provides more detail and my personal opinion of this (it's a very local issue for me, as the site in question is within walking distance of where my wife and I live--she has an opinion, too), but I have to run an errand and go to work. Stay tuned!
Above originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News here.
Following are three examples of why I use that justification and my co-workers agree.
Indiana University: IU Public Policy Institute releases report on private, public value of higher education
June 23, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS -- With recent headlines asking "Is college worth it?" and reports of a burgeoning student loan crisis, there has been considerable public discussion about the costs and benefits of higher education.One of the mistakes people make about higher education is to consider it to be primarily an economic activity that improves the student's future earning power and decreases the student's risk of unemployment. I'm guilty of this myself, as I use Calculated Risk's graphs of unemployment over time for Americans of different education levels, such as this one.
Often, those discussions are limited to how much individuals pay for school and how much they earn upon graduation. But from a policy-making perspective, evaluating higher education requires broader measures of economic and social benefits.
This is the purpose of a research review released by the Indiana University Public Policy Institute as part of its Policy Choices for Indiana's Future project. The Policy Choices initiative is designed to provide objective recommendations on key issues for future Indiana legislative and gubernatorial candidates.
"From lower incarceration and obesity rates to higher levels of civic engagement and volunteerism, education is associated with a broad array of benefits to both individuals and society," according to the report. "While the costs incurred educating our society are enormous, and growing, we must be aware that the costs of failing to do so might be even greater."
I make the point that the students are engaging in an activity to increase their human capital, and they are. However, human capital doesn't just consist of the skills and knowledge they can apply to economic activity. It also includes one's ability to contribute to society. Just look at the list of social benefits--"lower incarceration and obesity rates to higher levels of civic engagement and volunteerism"--for examples.
( Two more articles about the detritmental health effects of overpopulation combined with urbanization and climate change behind the cut. )
See what you're missing if 1) you're not reading Crazy Eddie's Motie News and/or 2) I'm not crossposting articles to Dreamwidth and LiveJournal?
Speaking of which, I ran a poll on my LJ for which posts from the past week on Crazy Eddie's Motie News I should repost on my personal journals. Right now, it's a three-way tie among Transformation Detroit, when Business as Usual attempts sustainability, Gas prices drop for a second week in Metro Detroit, and Kroger in Royal Oak, the videos. I'll be posting them after midnight as "fan" posts. If you want me to post more, go over to the poll and vote. I'll comply.
I'm a fan of environmentally sound manufacturing.
The Oakland Press: GM drives to lessen Orion plant’s environmental impact
By JOSEPH SZCZESNY
Of The Oakland Press
Gas piped from an Oakland County landfill is helping General Motors hold down costs as it begins building small cars at the GM assembly plant in Orion Township, saving the company more than $1.1 million annually.I like everything about this article--local jobs for people building fuel-efficient cars, renewable energy, energy conservation, recycling, and using environmentally friendly paint. All of these are good for the environment, society, and the economy. Consider me a fan!
Energy savings have helped General Motors reduce the cost of building small cars in the United States at the company’s assembly plant in Orion Township.
Eric Stevens, GM vice president of global manufacturing engineering, said when production of the fuel-efficient 2012 Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano at Orion begin this fall, 40 percent of the energy to power the General Motors Orion Assembly Plant where the cars are built will come from a burning landfill adjacent to the plant on Brown Road.
Originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News as Motie News Brief: GM's Orion plant to go green.
On the other hand, I'm not much of a fan of high gas prices. Gas prices back above $4.00/gallon in metro Detroit
Sustainability news from Michigan's Research Universities for the week ending June 4, 2011
Sustainability news from midwestern Research Universities for the week ending June 4, 2011
Sustainability News for the week ending June 4, 2011: National commercial sources
Wow, three posts in one day--looks like I'm not so burned out any more. I guess taking a couple days off helped!
Also, I posted about Michigan politics.
Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner--oh the possibilities!
As you can see, that one pressed my ambition button. I'll re-write that one and post it here on Dreamwith and LJ, as well as on Michigan Liberal and Daily Kos.
Finally, I promoted my most recent post on Kunstler's blog.
That's enough for this morning. Time to go back to bed!
In my previous Buzz about Detroit from Model D Media post, I noted:
Nearly all of my most popular articles here seem to the ones in which I comment on a New York Times article about how Detroit and its suburbs are dealing with contraction. This one fits that mold, except that it's more optimistic.That seems to be the theme for nearly all the articles from Model D Media's Buzz page. Of course, one should expect that from a publication whose Twitter profile states:
We love Detroit. We write about Detroit. We photograph Detroit. We film Detroit. We want you to love Detroit, too....And whose attitude I characterized as "Optimism but not business as usual." They're certainly living up to both my billing and their own.
This week, I present three articles that protray Detroit, not as a disaster and not as a place being reborn from its ashes, but as a phoenix worth visiting. No, I'm not kidding. Detroit is now a place for the adventurous to visit and settle in.
( Excerpts of and commentary on travel and real estate articles from the New York Times, BBC, and Financial Times behind the cut. )
Above originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News as Detroit as a travel destination? The New York Times, BBC, and Financial Times think so.