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Posts Made By: James C Chandler Jr

September 7, 2009 01:32 AM Forum: Guns and Hunting Optics

Something New for California to Ban!

Posted By James C Chandler Jr

Chainsaw Bayonet!!

September 15, 2009 06:02 PM Forum: Politics

Those Crazy Kids and their College Pranks

Posted By James C Chandler Jr

What zany stunts will they think of next?


Web Washing may be a promising future growth industry. There is still too much embarrassing stuff out there that needs cleaning up.

For instance, some remaining messes circa 1 BO (Before Obama)--

September 16, 2009 12:25 PM Forum: Politics

Obama on the Tea Party (Fork 1)

Posted By James C Chandler Jr

(thread was getting too long so I took the liberty to fork it)

Paul Kammueller said:

Coercive -- Do you mean to tell me these tea partiers are fighting for their right to be uninsured? Serious? 8O

But there are coercive policies with regard to auto insurance too. Should we make that optional? Then try to collect the next time someone who 'opted out' suddenly rear-ends you. :S

You have coercive policies where one person's non-participation robs his fellow citizens. Because his non-participation coerces his neighbors to pay higher costs when he puts off healthcare until he finally makes a long-postponed, uninsured and extremely expensive visit to the ER. So I would put to you the existing system is more financially coercive. It's just disguised better.

In order to have universal coverage in a privately based system, to make it work you have the double-mandate: everyone has to get insurance, and no one can be denied insurance. That's just what makes sense.

Paul, except in Massachusetts, health insurance is not mandatory, and it should stay thataway. Charity is also not illegal, even in MA. So there's no reason some folks can't get a free ride, regardless if health insurance is mandatory.

Freedom is more important than security, and certainly more important than 'free' govt healthcare. Folks have lived productive lives and garnered as much happiness as they could manage without 'free' govt healthcare for only a couple of million years. All good things eventually come to an end (as do all bad things). Some things end better than others.

It is neither your business or my business whether someone above the poverty line decides to buy insurance. Folk below the poverty line get free insurance already if they bother to apply for it.

Since it is none of your biz whether someone else buys insurance, or whether that person suffers for his oversight, there is no need to defend a 'right to be uninsured'. However, here is ONE alternate strategy (of MANY alternate strategies):

A fellow of basically good health pays $5000 a year insurance from age 20 to age 60 with minimal doctor visits, then he drops dead from a stroke.

Alternately, the fellow puts $5000 a year into his mattress from age 20 to age 60 and drops dead from a stroke, leaving a much happier grieving widow with $200,000 to help her find some young handsome boyfriend .

Inexpensive high-deductible Catastrophic Major Medical + Medical savings acct-- The lucky guy ends up with a nice kitty to leave to the missus and kids. The unlucky guy has a wad of money saved up when he starts coughing up blood, so he has plenty of money in the bank to augment his high-deductible cheap insurance.

The fellow who neither saves or buys insurance-- Well, that's just too bad, grasshopper. Sorry bout that!

September 18, 2009 02:50 PM Forum: Politics

Loonies With Bombs

Posted By James C Chandler Jr

patrick bailey said:
Which lefties are running around today screaming revolution and making bombs?

Hi Patrick

Here are a few. Google provides a copious supply of young leftist mad bombers. Each mad bomber article is likely to provide links to a couple more of their young mad bomber friends&associates .
"EnCana Corp.'s natural gas pipeline in northeastern B.C. sprang a small leak after being targeted by a sixth bomb Saturday, the second case of what the RCMP describe as "domestic terrorism" in less than a week."
"Jeffrey "Free" Luers is an eco-anarchist[1] from Los Angeles, California, currently serving a ten year prison sentence for arson in the U.S. state of Oregon... In 2000 he set fire to three SUVs at Romania Chevrolet dealership in Eugene as a protest against excessive consumption and global warming, along with Craig "Critter" Marshall, who was sentenced to five and a half years in prison. Luers might have received a comparable sentence if he had not been convicted of an earlier attempted arson as well. Luers was initially sentenced to 22 years, 8 months in prison. Supporters argued that his sentence was excessive, because no one was injured and property damage was estimated at only $28,000. Opponents argue that this act constituted eco-terrorism, there could easily have been loss of life due to the unpredictable nature of arson, and Luers's complete lack of remorse, along with an apparent willingness to perpetuate further "violent" acts, make him a "risk to society."
"MALTBY, WASH. — Radical environmentalists torched three multimillion-dollar homes Monday that developers had touted as examples of "green" building, authorities said. The predawn blazes destroyed three furnished homes that ranged in size from 4,200 to 4,750 square feet. They were built at the end of a wooded cul-de-sac as part of a luxury home development featured in Seattle's Street of Dreams home tour"
"Rodney Coronado was sentenced in 1995 to 57 months in federal prison, for the 1992 arson of a Michigan State University research laboratory. In a November 30, 2002 speech, Coronado openly confessed to at least six other arsons, all of them part of a crime spree known as “Operation Bite Back.”"
"Daniel Gerard McGowan (born 1974) is an American environmental and social justice activist who was arrested and charged in federal court on multiple counts of arson and conspiracy, relating to the arson of Superior Lumber company in Glendale, Oregon on January 2, 2001 and Jefferson Poplar Farms in Clatskanie, Oregon on May 21, 2001 claimed by the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). McGowan was facing a minimum of life in prison if convicted when he accepted a non-cooperation plea agreement, pleading guilty on November 9, 2006. His arrest is part of what the US government has dubbed Operation Backfire."
"Briana Waters is an American convicted and sentenced to six years in prison for arson. Waters maintains her innocence. She was alleged to be part of a team of Earth Liberation Front activists that set off a firebomb May 21, 2001 causing $7 million in damages at the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture. Waters is alleged to have acted as lookout."
"Tre Arrow (born Michael Scarpitti in 1974) is a green and raw veganarchist[1][2] who gained prominence in the U.S. state of Oregon in the late 1990s and early 2000s after committing acts of arson. He unsuccessfully sought political asylum in Canada, and was extradited to Portland, Oregon, on February 29, 2008, to face 14 counts of arson and conspiracy.[3] These actions were claimed as acts of protest by the radical environmental group Earth Liberation Front (ELF). On June 3, 2008, Arrow pled guilty to 2 counts of arson and was jailed for 78 month"
"Jacob Sherman (snitch) gets three years for arson"

September 25, 2009 12:08 PM Forum: Politics

Lessons in Practical Demonstration

Posted By James C Chandler Jr

I hope the Tea Party folk are paying attention. Them leftist demonstrators in Pittsburgh are providing valuable free lessons on how to implement a halfway decent protest. Gotta have the requisites-- Noise, disturbance, trashed streets, property damage, broken glass and tear gas.

September 29, 2009 07:16 AM Forum: Politics

You Mislead!

Posted By James C Chandler Jr

Some excerpts below. The entire article is worth a look.

By our count, the president made more than 20 inaccurate claims in his speech to Congress. We have excluded several comments that are deeply misleading but not outright false

1. “Buying insurance on your own costs you three times as much as the coverage you get from your employer.” The Congressional Budget Office writes, “Premiums for policies purchased in the individual insurance market are, on average, much lower...

2. “There are now more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage.”An outright falsehood, whether you use the president’s noncitizen-free estimate or the standard, questionable estimate of 46 million uninsured residents...

3.“And every day, 14,000 Americans lose their coverage.” The paper that generated this estimate assumed that two months of severe job losses would continue forever. Applying that paper’s methodology to a broader period of rising unemployment (January 2008 through August 2009) produces a figure below 9,000...

4. “One man from Illinois lost his coverage in the middle of chemotherapy. . . . They delayed his treatment, and he died because of it.” He didn’t die because of it. The originator of this false claim, a writer for Slate named Timothy Noah, has admitted he got it wrong.

5. “Another woman from Texas was about to get a double mastectomy when her insurance company canceled her policy because she forgot to declare a case of acne.” Scott Harrington supplied more facts in the Wall Street Journal: “The woman’s testimony at the June 16 hearing confirms that her surgery was delayed several months. It also suggests that the dermatologist’s chart may have described her skin condition as precancerous, that the insurer also took issue with an apparent failure to disclose an earlier problem with an irregular heartbeat, and that she knowingly underreported her weight on the application.” The woman deserves sympathy, but Obama has stretched the truth here.

6. Rising costs are “why so many employers . . . are forcing their employees to pay more for insurance.” Perhaps no other issue generates as much of a consensus among health-care economists as this one: The “employer’s share” of employees’ health-care costs comes out of those employees’ wages, not out of profits...

7. Rising costs are “why American business that compete internationally . . . are at a huge disadvantage.” False. The rising cost of health benefits does not increase employers’ labor costs because, again, wages adjust downward to compensate. The Congressional Budget Office, under the leadership of Obama’s OMB director, Peter Orszag, confirmed that health-care costs do not hinder competitiveness...

8. “Those of us with health insurance are also paying a hidden and growing tax for those without it — about $1,000 per year that pays for somebody else’s emergency room and charitable care.” That number comes from a left-wing advocacy group. A Kaiser Family Foundation study debunked the group’s analysis, reaching an estimate closer to $200 per year for a family...

10. “[Reform] will slow the growth of health-care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government.” In July, CBO director Douglas Elmendorf said, “In the legislation that has been reported we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount...

11. “Nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have. Let me repeat this: Nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have.” Obama’s wording is lawyerly: While not denying that his plan would cause people to lose existing coverage with which they are satisfied, he leads us to believe that he is denying it. But even on its own terms, Obama’s claim is false...

12. Requiring insurers to cover preventive care “saves money.” Nope. According to a review in the New England Journal of Medicine, “Although some preventive measures do save money, the vast majority reviewed in the health economics literature do not.”

13. “The [bogus] claim . . . that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens . . . is a lie, plain and simple.” Sarah Palin claimed that Obama’s “death panels” would deny people medical care, not actively kill them. If Palin believes her claim, it is not “a lie, plain and simple.” Most important, the substance of Palin’s claim is, in fact, true. Obama himself proposed a new Independent Medicare Advisory Council with the authority to deny life-extending care to the elderly and disabled.

14. “There are also those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false. The reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.” For better or worse, the president’s plan would, in his words, insure illegal immigrants...

15. “Under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions.” Unless Obama refers to some draft legislation inside his head, this claim is false...

16. Critics of the public option would “be right if taxpayers were subsidizing this public insurance option. But they won’t be. I’ve insisted that like any private insurance company, the public insurance option would have to be self-sufficient and rely on the premiums it collects.” How quickly we forget the example of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Like those institutions, the public option would benefit from an implicit subsidy...

17. “And I will make sure that no government bureaucrat or insurance company bureaucrat gets between you and the care that you need.” Unless the president proposes to abolish insurance, or abolish all care management, there will always be tension between patients, doctors, and public/private insurers over what patients “need.”...

18. “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future.” “The plan will not add to our deficit.” None of the bills before Congress can credibly claim to keep the deficit from rising...

19. “Now, add it all up, and the plan I’m proposing will cost around $900 billion over ten years.” Even the supposedly parsimonious Baucus bill would cost closer to $2 trillion than $1 trillion once we “add it all up.”...

20. “The middle class will realize greater security, not higher taxes.” Obama would make health insurance compulsory for the middle class (and everyone else). If he thinks that isn’t a tax, he should listen to his economic adviser Larry Summers, or his nominee for assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at HHS, Sherry Glied. Both liken the “individual mandate” to a tax, as do other prominent health economists like Uwe Reinhardt (Princeton) and Jonathan Gruber (MIT). The CBO affirms that the penalties for non-compliance “would be equivalent to a tax or fine.”...

21. “I won’t stand by while the special interests use the same old tactics to keep things exactly the way they are.” Who are these special interests? In case Obama hadn’t noticed, everyone from the drug-makers to the unions to the insurance companies he demonizes are spending millions to build momentum for his version of reform — in no small part because Obama has promised to buy them off with middle-class tax dollars.

When President Obama makes a factual claim about health-care policy, he does not deserve the benefit of the doubt about its accuracy. We do not know whether he has been badly misinformed or is deliberately trying to mislead. Either way, he cannot be trusted to reform American health care.

September 29, 2009 10:36 PM Forum: Politics

Self Policing

Posted By James C Chandler Jr

Mike Strieber mentioned self-policing which is a great idea. If workable at all, self-policing would work better than a heavy-handed moderator.

Here are quotes of Mike's earlier post and some earlier ideas from Jim Moscheck and me.

Perhaps general agreement on self-policing is impossible. But such customs would be nice.

Mike Strieber said:
Fellas; it's time we do some self-policing here or we are going to lose this forum. While I agree it has perhaps degenerated to a point it’s not worth saving, there's still time to do a turn-around....I hope. I like this forum but I haven’t contributed nearly as much as I used to as I’ve grown weary of reading bickering and personal grudge matches. I have to say this might be the worst thread I’ve seen here in my several years participating in this forum and unfortunately it has become the norm. If it sounds like I’m whining, well I am. And for the five of you that will come on to say “you don’t have to read them” I say if this keeps going you won’t have any to read either.
My $0.02,

Jim Moscheck said:
BTW, the "marriage thread" was the most interesting topic here in a long time and I'm glad I stopped by today. More times than not all it takes is a quick glance of the political forum to see it's mostly just a bunch of like minded slappys patting each other on the back and preaching to the choir about what a jackass the CIC is or ganging up on one or two guys on the left. I wish there was more interest in debate of the issues and finding answers to the problems we face instead of just attacking the other guy.

James C Chandler Jr said:
There is something related to human nature-- Moths to a flame-- Red Flag + Bull-- Accident on the side of the road--

The dumbest threads often attract the most traffic from both sides. Mud fights also attract traffic. Not always, but often.

On another forum frequented by generally bright folk, there was a member who knew everything, with ideas so odd that they "were not even wrong". Young Earth with crystal spheres of water that caused the flood when they burst. Theological-commie economic theories so naive that it would embarrass any self-respecting commie. No reasoning, regardless of its elegance, could even budge the fellow.

Every dumb thread he would start, would draw in all members to argue/explain to the fellow, stretching into long tortuous threads. No one WOULD ADMIT to enjoying the threads. Everyone thought the fellow was using up all the oxygen with his posts. But in spite of this, every time the fellow would post an incredibly dumb allegation, smart folk with much better things to do just couldn't resist getting involved. All the while complaining about the lack of quality threads.

Simultaneously, if a thread was started on something decently interesting, it might die with a couple of replies, or none at all. Perhaps the 'reasonable topics' were not outrageous enough to motivate folks to reply?

September 30, 2009 09:19 AM Forum: Politics

San Joaquin Valley Drought Tech Solutions?

Posted By James C Chandler Jr

As the admin wants to spend billions on green/solar development, wonder if the San Juaquin valley would be a good target for stimulus?

Small-to-medium-scale electrical water-from-air devices are becoming commonplace, but would be too expensive for agricultural use, in both energy and hardware expense. These devices are special purpose air conditioners or dehumidifiers.

There has been work on 'mostly passive' solar-thermal water-from-air gadgets, where hardware would be the primary expense. Perhaps this would still be too expensive for agricultural use, but I wonder if anyone is working on that with federal funds?

If it gets rainy again next year, such money would be 'wasted' but OTOH droughts are often multi-year events. Even if San Juaquin's drought were to go away next year, inexpensive water-from-air would be a wonderful thing in our bag-of-tricks, because there is always drought SOMEWHERE. Remember the dust bowl? Or last years Atlanta drought?

Here are a couple of thermal-solar water-from-air projects--

Though government stimulus is not definitely proven a long-term or even short-term benefit-- Back in the Great Depression at least the money was REALLY invested, not pi$$ed away in hopes of pumping up the next bubble. We got some really durable big things that are still useful, such as Hoover Dam or the Tennessee River dam system.

One might think that heroic-sized water-from-air installations might make a better true investment compared to dumping billions down a rathole on White Roof Paint, Airports-to-Nowhere, Lawrence Welk Museums, or Skate Parks?

September 30, 2009 02:00 PM Forum: Investment Discussions

What will metals do if stocks fall?

Posted By James C Chandler Jr

Fall 2008 when stocks tanked, precious metals simultaneously tanked, offering rare bottom-feeder buying opportunities in metals for several months (if you could find a dealer with metal for sale). Perhaps some dealers actually did have stock, but perhaps the dealers just couldn't afford to sell it at such low prices?

Perhaps metals tanked because the same guys who got clobbered in stocks had to sell a lot of gold to stay afloat?

Am not hoping that stocks will again tank, but given 1929 experience and 1980's Japanese experience, that does not seem impossible.


So lets hope stocks continue to climb. However, IF THEY DON'T-- Any guesses whether precious metals will once again synchronously track the stock market and provide buying opportunities for foolish buy-and-hold bottom feeders? Or would metals hold or even rise this time around, on a stock dip?

October 5, 2009 05:06 PM Forum: SCI-FI

Pulp SF

Posted By James C Chandler Jr

Had not visited Project Gutenberg lately, and noticed that it has filled out some with mid-20th-century SF which is supposedly not currently copyrighted in the USA.

Last visit, quite awhile ago, I only recollect some H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, which are still there and well worth a free read if you never read them and you can tolerate convoluted prose.

Project Gutenberg has quite a few early-SF 'classics', or at least their mid-20th-century stories seem representative of what it was like back then.

Of particular interest may be the ten complete issues of "Astounding Stories of Super-Science" from 1930. This was the first year, seven years before John Campbell Jr became editor. The name was later changed to Analog and persists today. One of the few SF mags that still persist.

The early SF stories are an acquired taste. Most of the pulp SF before about 1939 could never be sold today. The prose is rough, characterization nil, stereotypical plots, with quaint science in most stories (not all). But in 1930 perhaps these plots were not so worn-out, and the concepts may have been 'cutting edge mind-blowing' at the time.

Another interesting factor is the embedded racism, sexism and gingoism in many stories, to have been published by educated people living in 'the center of the world, New York City'. That was just the culture of the time. For the folk of the time to notice 'normal' racism would have been like a fish noticing 'normal' water. Scholarly liberals were full of it too. So maybe that would be a problem enjoying the stories if one is rigidly politically correct. Racism is not a main theme in the stories. It is just an assumed background in many of the stories. The authors and editors likely considered themselves open-minded. At that time, perhaps it was true.

I find the stories charming in spite of such flaws. Some folks inspired by this literature went on to design the tech world we live in today. They were not dumb.

Today we may suffer from information overload, but back then it may have been information deprivation. Books and magazines were relatively expensive. Even circa 1960, as a kid I would visit the main libraries in Atlanta, St. Louis, New Orleans, to marvel that buildings so big contained so few books (relatively speaking). Many of the books were so old and worn they would try to fall apart in the hand, and had that funky old rotten paper smell. It was pretty easy to find references to ancient greece in the moldy stacks, but difficult to find references to atomic power. Fifteen years after the bomb!

In the 1930's it must have been 'worse'. In such an evironment, pulp stories of space travel with colorful lurid covers may have been mind-expanding. Not because the readers were dumb. Just because it was a relatively rare commodity compared to today. Even circa 1960 when I would visit Gramps' farm, they had the modern stuff like AM radio, small B&W TV with three fuzzy channels, a small shelf of well-worn books. Old EE Smith's Lensman Series was so much more interesting than cows and corn. Though in hindsight that may have been a priority inversion. Live and learn.