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  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for October 29th, 2014

    2014-10-30 03:52:22View | Delete

    A bit more about the CPPCC and how to get kicked out of it. . .

    It’s not the Philadelphia Cricket Club at all.

    The comments at the end are interesting.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for October 29th, 2014

    2014-10-30 03:15:34View | Delete

    Beijing’s cat’s paw getting busier in HK now.

  • 81+ comments here? Oh, get real. An anonymous source the The Atlantic? Especially one telling us what we already know?

    Instead it would carry more weight conveyed by yet another “accidental” hot mic, with something new, and we could be titillated by knowing who done it.

    OTOH maybe the ration of hot mics has been all used up. At some point it would become too obvious, at least for this term.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Math Skills Lacking Among the Uninsured

    2014-10-29 16:22:45View | Delete

    It’s not just the lowest income folks treading water making decisions regarding ACA plans.

    Practically anyone buying anything from anybody is at a disadvantage versus a seller that way. Financing an auto or a mortgage is a minefield for any buyer who doesn’t do that daily for a living, and is unaccustomed, hence vulnerable.

    Recalling the controversy awhile back about the phone reps taking calls to sign up for ObamaCare. . .

    We’re they tasked to merely describe the various plans to a caller, or were they to suggest, recommend, etc.? These folks are not financial advisors, though, and may be no more literate In what they are doing than the caller looking for coverage which best fits their needs. Has this dilemma been resolved?

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for October 27th, 2014

    2014-10-28 07:34:04View | Delete

    It’s said to have been discovered . . . in 1976? But there had been a poorly defined condition known for decades before, and now thought to be the same culprit. There was a team sent over there for a look see in 1989, so it had been known awhile before that.

    Proactive diddling with gene splicing in viruses came much later I think — wasn’t that about dissecting and identifying the 1918 flu virus remnants, which was touted as a “first” in the craft? It was not so many years ago.

    I think someone creating Ebola in a test tube would have had to have been long ago — awfully unlikely.

    Maybe burgeoning humans haplessly overtook the virus’ home turf? That could be a case of catching up, accidentally, and allowing it to spread. Still doesn’t answer when, where, and how it began on day one.

    The media hasn’t pondered enough about any of this.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for October 27th, 2014

    2014-10-28 06:59:30View | Delete

    “. . . next iPhone release. . .”

    This habit is mostly an American phenomenon and nothing new.

    The urgency of manipulating “need” is force fed by corporations and was already well established by the time of tail fins on sedans. The lemmings follow, the economy gets dependent on them. Money gets spent that way instead of, say, on single payer or education.

    The toxic pattern repeats.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Weekend Roundup for October 25-26th, 2014

    2014-10-27 15:31:28View | Delete

    More like Groundhog Day. A postmortem is then due, conscientious, and positive going forward if we pay attention.

    I think the lessons hold for only a generation or so. Then the past is forgotten and the same miscalculation becomes likely to reoccur. I remember, from 1989, surprised flashbacks to the mid ’60s.

    Few of us are good at levitation by itself, the merits notwithstanding.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Weekend Roundup for October 25-26th, 2014

    2014-10-27 05:20:14View | Delete

    Regarding developments in HK. . . Creeping Balkanization on the streets, not unlike Tianmen

    A reader comment from the link further below. . .

    ” Mike Zhang

    “. . .It’s not a surprise. I was one of millions of Chinese college students who marched on streets in 1989. What I learned was, if a movement is prolonged, its qualities will start to deteriorate. The leaders may fight with each other for power and influence, some participants start to consider comprise but some others may become even more hard-line, and some of them may become violent. The selfish and chaotic sides of human beings start to show up, and the movement becomes messy.

    “Any movement should have an exit strategy. The leaders should know when it’s time to make the call. . . ”

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Weekend Roundup for October 25-26th, 2014

    2014-10-26 18:08:53View | Delete

    Regarding “Caracas would be so perfect without the people”. . . .

    Venezuela would be better off keeping all the people, but without ever having found oil, or refining it at home.

    The oil has something to do with everything that’s gone wrong there.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for October 24th, 2014

    2014-10-24 19:37:27View | Delete

    Regarding NJ and NY, 21 day quarantine. . .

    I don’t get it.

    For a few bucks more someone anxious to navigate around the quarantine can fly into Boston, Philadelphia, etc. clear customs, head to the Avis desk, and proceed. Whether or not they should is another matter, but I can’t imagine this NY procedure will accomplish much.

    On the NY inbounds from overseas it could be that the aircrews have to hand out questionnaires in flight, then report results ahead, well in advance of landing at JFK or Newark. If that’s the case I’d bet some passengers aren’t too conscientious about which squares get checked off.

  • & #18

    One would have to get into the heads of the Chinese PTB today to sort this out for today. Maybe a lot has changed there.

    If not, I think they’ll stay well in control of whatever strategy or tactic goes forward to maintain the status quo. That is, they’re not likely to do something really stupid without being cocksure of what the outcome would be. That’s how Tiananmen sorted out, to our surprise and disappointment.

    eCahn you may be correct. Time will tell. But at some point Wall St risk-averseness sets in and the cockroaches scurry for cover. Bids are held short. Watching ensues.

    My own guess is that the HK protesters, God bless ‘em, are not likely to prevail. It’s just that there’s not a concise enough demand there to stick for the future, but then at 67 maybe I’m too old now. Ballot acces, OK, but too little follows about what’s next. So, nothing happens.

    The Tianmen events seemed a sure winner at first, then lingered so long inexplicably, and expired with too many casualties.

  • Yes, no doubt Wall St would like this put to bed ASAP.

  • Leung’s bluntness or frankness shows he has no doubts about how this will go down. And Leung wants Beijing plus the HK 1% to be comfy he is 100% reliable for the PTB at all times.

    Here in the US our pols never come out and directly say, “Sorry, in the end you will have to vote against your own self interest, or not at all.” People here usually get screwed in a more nuanced way, no?

  • & #40

    It’s a long list. It could be the very length, even by itself, is intended as a general intimidation.

    It seems to me quite a few entries must be relative pissants even when they carry a potential capital punishment. That is, in practice, unless there’s a serious threat incurred to the regime, are some of these overlooked most of the time? Most of the populace must have said something blasphemous when painfully stubbing a toe after all.

    My hunch is that the police over there are tasked to rebuke and scold, and often, when offenses aren’t serious enough to arrest and press the capital charges. They enforce social norms by being ever present. A lot of this may also be aimed at keeping misconduct under wraps, out of sight, rather than nonexistent. Be careful, don’t get caught, don’t embarrass the rest of society. . .

    If all this list is improper by our own standards then where are the Saudi protesters, who ought to be upending it all? Why aren’t they doing as we say?

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post Ukraine Army Fired Cluster Bombs On Civilians

    2014-10-21 09:46:56View | Delete

    I recall these from ’70s Southeast Asia. I don’t think they were fired on rockets back then though. In Southeast Asia they were carried on aircraft in a clamshell container several feet long. The whole thing would be dropped that way and split open at a preplanned altitude above the ground.

    The small bomblets were slightly larger than a golf ball and most common. I think it was a hundred or two would fit inside the fiberglass clamshell carrier. When dropped they would land in a donut shape array perhaps a couple hundred feet in diameter.

    The largest bomblets were about softball size or larger and could be used to crater runways, hence, rarely used.

    Sometimes small ones were assigned random fuse timers, so a few at a time would go off sporadically over many minutes. Those would keep anti aircraft gunners hiding under cover awhile.

    Sure, these should be banned along with a lot of other weapons still in the inventory. They won’t be if they “work” unfortunately. Think also land mines, phosphorous, . . .take your pick. Dunno if those are still stored (hidden) somewhere nowadays, just in case. At least the blueprints would be on the shelf.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for October 20th, 2014

    2014-10-20 19:22:41View | Delete

    Here’s an interesting piece about a single DNA marker among some 3 billion. It is discovered to significantly reduce the likelihood of breast cancer in some Latin American women. It seems to have been inherited from Asian forebearers long ago.

  • I have to disagree, maybe.

    But I might yield if beheading, in the ME context, is proven less humane than the more civilized 18th century guillotine. I’m not certain that’s the case. Either results from a disgusting human habit.

    The guillotine was selected by French revolutionaries as the most “humane” way, in those days, of ridding society of the worst monarchist offenders. That supposes I recall correctly from college history some 50 Years ago. I recall being rather distracted by the horrid notion back then, and I have never recovered.

    One would think the recent beheadings are probably somewhat slower than guillotine, hence, less humane. It could be, though, that the mere anticipation of the certain end was/is the worst part regardless.

    Maybe it could be argued that the sharp knife in the ME was the most humane method there in its day, and so it persists.

    I don’t have patience with any sort of capital punishment, and am bothered by any version. The most modern versions, our own, seek to anesthetize the bystander, and so must be the most evil of all. Maybe we owe ISIS a pass.

  • I think this post is inflammatory and nothing more?

    That is, what could possibly be wrong with beheading as opposed to, say, lethal injection, firing squad, electrocution, hanging, etc.?

    I can’t imagine what the problem is here.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Weekend Roundup for October 18-19, 2014

    2014-10-20 06:16:32View | Delete

    Like water flowing downhill, inherited wealth will seek an untaxed way to its desired ends. That may be by legal loopholes out in the open, which are methods pried out of a complicit legislature. Or it may be by simply avoiding detection underground. I think a lot of the trafficking must be in the latter — is that temptation increasing or not? Suppose trusts become illegal as tax avoidance tools, what will happen then?

    The paradox is that, surveillance state notwithstanding, the gov’t has limited resources to keep track of all the really valuable stuff which hopeful, antisocial evaders own. Phasing out cash currency may be one part of the solution. But then there is barter. Jewels, gold, etc., become even more valuable simply based on their ability to support stealthy, concealed transfer, whether illegal or not.

    Taxing the hell out of whatever can be seen has to be part of the solution, however incomplete that may be. I have real estate in mind, though. A state and federal property tax levies there? On titled vehicles, too? Disallow trust ownership there entirely.

    But then, isn’t that just more of the surveillance state which has become more unpopular than ever?

  • maa8722 commented on the diary post Sunday Food: Chicken and Spinach Soup by Ruth Calvo.

    2014-10-19 14:17:06View | Delete

    This looks good! One suggestion might be to make your own chicken broth / stock. When chicken goes on sale at the supermarket it’s useful that way, and your home made broth or stock makes the best soup, gravy, etc. First, buy the lowest price per pound! You buy broth/stock chicken mostly for the skin [...]

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