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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Friday, June 27, 2014

27 June - My Feedly! II

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History of the English Language 5 unread articles  //  actions

The history of African-American Vernacular English is not unlike that of other dialects of US English -- migration (although forced, and ending in enslavement), partial assimilation with English, and (in the end) a significant contribution to our national linguistic strength and variety. And yet, more so than any other dialect, it's been haunted by a distorting shadow in popular culture, from the
Crossing the Pond
The history of American English usage marks the most recent, and in some ways the most dramatic set of changes in English since the days of Chaucer and Shakespeare.  And yet, in this change, there was no single author, no single literary or political influence to credit, or blame; like the United States itself it was a patchwork affair, arrived at by degrees and with contributions from both immigr
Duelling Grammarians
One might think that English grammar, even more than its lexicon, would be something that would have long been intrinsically understood, and little in need of explication or improvement. And yet, the services of a dictionary having proven valuable, that of a printed grammar seemed a logical step -- after all, Latin Grammars were vital school textbooks, and the idea that English should be more like
Johnson's Dictionary
In one particularly memorable episode of Blackadder," Ink and Incapability," when the Prince Regent (played by Hugh Laurie) asks Dr. Johnson (played by Robbie Coltrane) what his new Dictionary is good for, the learned Doctor declares that "It is a book that tells you what English words mean." I know what English words mean," replies the prince, "I speak English! You m
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Inexplicata-The Journal of Hispanic Ufology 7 unread articles  //  actions

Venezuela: UFOs Shed No Light on Mysteries
Source: El Tiempo (Venezuela)Date: 06.22.2014UFOs Shed No Light on MysteriesBy Ragdeli Peraza Mobilio***Research on unidentified flying objects is known to have commenced in the middle of World War 2. There is currently no irrefutable evidence for them ****** A direct relationship is incorrectly made between UFOs and aliens ***She doesn't remember the date exactly, but believes the strange event t
The Paso Lovera CE-3: A High Strangeness Event
The Paso Lovera CE-3: A High Strangeness EventBy Pablo Omastott – Investigadores de Campo OVNI UnidosWithin the framework of encounters with unknown entities recorded within the Province of Corrientes, some of which have been investigated by Ufology as close encounters of the third kind, we find some which are of interest to the researcher without being directly related to the UFO phenomenon. This
UPDATE: Humanoid Presence in Necochea, Argentina
UPDATE: Humanoid Presence in Necochea, ArgentinaContributing editor Guillermo Giménez has sent us an update on the investigations surrounding the presence of an alleged humanoid in the beaches of Necochea: "We have located four (4) witnesses who have spoken of the strange presence of a humanoid-type being in Necochea on Tuesday, May 20, at approximately 22:15 hours. It appeared to float, had
Mexico: Unknown Object Captured on Camera
This just in from Ana Luisa Cid: "Video from May 3, 2014 (Cocoyoc, Morelos, Mexico) taken by Héctor Ramirez Villanueva. The witness states tha t a special sensation caused him to turn and look exactly at the sighting location. He has recorded UFOs on many occasions."UPDATE: Analyst Leopoldo Zambrano Enriquez notes that this object is in fact "an airplane with its wings obscured, the
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injury rates Afghanistan U.S. military - Goog... 5 unread articles  //  actions

Two military officers killed in Rawalpindi suicide attack – The ...
RAWALPINDI: A suicide bomber crashed into a double-cabin vehicle of security forces near Rawalpindi on Wednesday, killing two military officers and three civilians, Express News reported. ... The bodies and the injured were taken to Fateh Jang Tehsil Headquarter Hospital. ... In capital and Rawalpindi, now there are fewer natives then the people who have come from tribal areas and Afghanistan. ...
Army Hero MSG Mark Allen and Army Deserter Bowe Bergdahl | The ...
We realized that he had vowed to help the Afghan people (meaning Taliban), and teach them tactics he had learned through his training. As for what he may have taught them, we are not sure, but we can say that American ...
Don't mention the war | Michael Roberts Blog
As President Obama announced the final phased withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, I was reading The Second World War, a Marxist history by Chris Bambery It is a very succinct account of the war, showing ... If you look at the graph US military spending 1950-2017 we see an important increase in spending since 1997 and during the actual crisis, you can even see a wave-like pattern in mil
Two Americans injured in Afghan attack - The Punch
Two gunmen were killed in that incident but no one else was injured and the consulate building was not damaged. The latest attack comes a day after President Barack Obama announced that he plans for 9,800 American troops, along with some allied forces, to remain in the country in 2015 if the Afghan government signs a security agreement. The number would ... Operators want Emefiele to check inflati
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Lexicon Daily 1 unread article  //  actions

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Manifesto Joe's Texas Blues 2 unread articles  //  actions

Put War Criminal Dick Cheney In Jail
I couldn't put this any more eloquently than it's given here:http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2014/06/dick-cheney-should-be-rotting-hague-not-writing-editorialsMy sentiments exactly. -- MJ
Can There Still Be Doubt That Il Doofus' Iraq Invasion Was A Grotesque Mistake?
By Manifesto JoeDay by day I am reminded of April 1975, when the South Vietnamese "government" was being toppled. President Gerald Ford actually wanted to send U.S. troops back to Vietnam as it became clearer that the South would be unable to survive. Congress, overwhelmingly Democratic after the 1974 midterm elections, said no. Hell no.This time, a half-Republican Congress seems ambival
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Middle Class Political Economist 4 unread articles  //  actions

Think Obamacare isn't working? Think again
Republicans seem obsessed with the idea that Obamacare is a failure; that it is a "train wreck" exacerbating unemployment. But is that really so?First of all, the claim that the Affordable Care Act is a job killer flies in the face of reality, as Dan Diamond at Forbes reports:  Since the law was signed in March 2010, the economy has added 7.7 million jobs, 982,300 of which are in the hea
Apple, Starbucks, Others Under EU Tax Investigation
No sooner do I comment on the difference between tax planning and tax avoidance than Richard Murphy points out that several multinational corporations are having their tax deals looked at for potential violations of the European Union's state aid rules. As The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal report, there are three cases currently under investigation by the European Commission, but more inves
The difference between tax planning and tax avoidance: one simple test
Over at Tax Research UK, Richard Murphy offers a simple test to distinguish between tax planning and tax avoidance. As he told a journalist, "That is easy. It's getting legal opinion."With tax planning, Murphy says, you decrease your tax risk. "There are obvious examples: paying money into a pension, for example, does not create tax risk, and nor does putting money into an ISA [a UK
Another Day, Another Bad Incentive Deal
No sooner had I finished my mini-series on evaluating proposed location subsidies then @varnergreg sends me this story about a new copper tubing manufacturing facility opening in one of the nation's poorest counties, Wilcox County, Alabama. This is clearly the sort of place where I think we should consider using investment incentives, but the sheer size of the subsidy relative to the investment (k
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Middle East Today 3 unread articles  //  actions

Crisis in Iraq
The Iraqi society is in a very chaotic situation politically, socially, and economically. This havoc is the result of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Furthermore, the type of democracy, which emerged with the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011, led to the rise of sectarianism under the leadership of Prime Minister Al-Maliki, who is a tool in the hands of Iranian politicians.        
The Third Egyptian Republic
The Third Egyptian RepublicGeneral A. Al-Saisi won the Egyptian presidential election on May 26, 2014. According to the Egyptian higher election committee, 47 percent of Egyptian cast their votes.Mr. A. Al-Saisi received 93 percent of the votes or 24,365,176 votes. Mr. A. Sabahi received 2.9 percent of the votes or 895,149 votes. The rejected votes totaled 4.10 percent or 1,577,840 votes. Nearly
The Third Egyptian Republic
The Third Egyptian RepublicGeneral A. Al-Saisi won the Egyptian presidential election on May 26, 2014. According to the Egyptian higher election committee, 47 percent of Egyptian cast their votes.Mr. A. Al-Saisi received 93 percent of the votes or 24,365,176 votes. Mr. A. Sabahi received 2.9 percent of the votes or 895,149 votes. The rejected votes totaled 4.10 percent or 1,577,840 votes. Nearly
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News From Atlantis. 2 unread articles  //  actions

Know Your Enemies - They have names and faces and can be confronted
The whole of Europe is under attack; not just the European homeland, but overseas Europe too.  We are faced with such a concerted attack that it can become demoralising.  However, what we need to remember is that our enemies are just people; people with names, faces, places of work; people who can - and must - be confronted.We often think of our enemies as the heads of financial and political inst
EU Elections? A smokescreen for genocide
We are now a week into the new Parliament of the European Union.  All the pathetic politicians with their fake smiles, photo opportunities and pretences of giving a damn for the electorate, have returned to their lives of self-absorption and smugness, leaving the people to continue trying to cope with the policies of those who serve finance politics and their own self-interests, no matter what the
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Not Quite Unhinged 2 unread articles  //  actions

Ontario Election 2014, Post Thoughts - Part 2
(Part 1 here) The Ontario election was a referendum on fiscal conservatism. Or so quite a few opinion pieces amongst various media outlets tell us. (I know these two are from the Natioal Post, they're the only ones I could find that were minimally hyperbolic.) I think that is too simplistic a view of what happened. As I argued in Part 1, many voters wanted a minority government. When people
Ontario Election 2014, Post Thoughts - Part 1
With the latest round of voter malaise given voice by the recent Ontario election, Alheli Picazo took aim at the 'Decline your Vote' meme that started to gain popularity. While I agree with the spirit of the argument, I find that I cannot accept the logic of it. She had two main points, "declining your ballot succeeds in 'sending a message' about as well as abstaining achieves a 'total
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Our Manmade Disasters 2 unread articles  //  actions

Multiple Use Mid-River highway - more economical & beneficial than the proposed riverside project.
by BK Lim & FASEI ( Jan 2013, revised 18 June 2014 with special emphasis on the Chao Phraya Mid-River project)Duped into Oil Addiction when cheaper & cleaner alternatives are availableThe world had been duped into over-dependence (read addiction as in drug addiction admitted by Pres. GW Bush) on expensive “fossil oil” by the Oil Cabal Mafia (OCM). The truth is, more than 90% of the so-cal
Multiple Use Mid-River highway - more economical & beneficial than the proposed riverside project.
by BK Lim & FASEI ( Jan 2013, revised 18 June 2014 with special emphasis on the Chao Phraya Mid-River project)Duped into Oil Addiction when cheaper & cleaner alternatives are availableThe world had been duped into over-dependence (read addiction as in drug addiction admitted by Pres. GW Bush) on expensive “fossil oil” by the Oil Cabal Mafia (OCM). The truth is, more than 90% of the so-cal
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Paying attention 6 unread articles  //  actions

Honduras, and the U.S. border crisis no one is talking about
The Honduran kids are starting to pile up in detention centres along the U.S. border. Since Oct. 1, about 52,000 “unaccompanied minors” have been caught by by U.S border patrols in the southwest. Hondurans, Guatemalans and Salvadorians mostly.That’s extraordinary. About 200 kids caught every day, after a dangerous, frightening journey of at least 2,400 kilometres. Likely 60,000 kids this year.When
Time for BCTF, government to prepare for fall legislated settlement (and save summer school)
I’m sure Vince Ready is busy. But I expect he also decided against getting involved in the teachers’ strike/lockout because there is no real chance of a mediated settlement now.In a past life I was involved in labour negotiations. In one difficult set of talks, a mediator was appointed to help us reach a deal. He arrived, met with management and union, and booked out less than an hour later. The p
Clark's pension costs taxpayers $76k a year, but disability rate increase not 'affordable'
Premier Christy Clark scores top marks for hypocrisy in explaining why British Columbians on disability benefits, and their children, should live in poverty.Clark said this week that she knows the benefits, frozen since 2007, are too low. But British Columbia is just too poor to provide any increase. That will have to wait for some unknown future when it is “affordable,” she said.But Clark believe
Expect a teachers' strike in September
The chances of reaching a new teachers’ contract this month range from slim to none. There can always be breakthroughs when both parties sit down and bargain seriously, especially with the help of a mediator.But that usually requires some preconditions. The number of outstanding issues needs to be reduced, and the distance between employer and union positions narrowed. The negotiators need to have
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Phronesisaical 8 unread articles  //  actions

Bits and Pieces - June 26, 2014
“We have completed an exhaustive study of common products that are marketed as ‘chemical-free’ and have prepared a detailed analysis of those products that are appropriately labeled as such." (Nature)A rather remarkable paper on Russia's foreign policy.Steven Perlstein: An open letter to Medtronic on what it means to be an American company.What scientists spend their time doing.Who's allied w
Bits and Pieces - June 19, 2014
When and why civil resistance works against authoritarian regimes. I would have liked to have seen something about the nonviolent movements in the Baltics in the 1980s, but this is interesting.What the Baltic States are doing to counter Russian propaganda. Paldiski, where the American troops are staying, was a site for training Soviet nuclear submariners. It had two reactors, which the Russians to
Take The White Pill
I swallowed a capsule this morning and am currently a walking source of gamma radiation. I must stay away from people for three days, from children, pregnant women, and small animals for five. I laid in a supply of groceries and figure I’ll have a few quiet days. Last spring, when I had my annual physical (thank you, Obamacare!), my doctor ordered routine blood tests. He called me when he got the
Have We Reached Peak Yet?
I think it was John Cole at Balloon Juice who originated the concept of "peak wingnut." As I understand it, the rightwingers will crescendo their crazy until it can no longer be sustained. Then the fever will break, and we can go back to a semblance of politics in place of conspiracy theories and frothing at the mouth.The problem has been that each time an apparent peak is reached, the r
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red 7 unread articles  //  actions

I Am A Peanut Farmer
A fun thing, when you’re trying to grow things, but you don’t go all Monsanto, is seeing what might decide to grow, that pretty much has nothing to do with you. Here, I have to, daily, feed the squirrels and the jays. The favorite food of each, both, is peanuts. So, every day, I slather the brick rail, with said nuts. Many things, here, I would like to grow, but they die on the vine; never come up
Then There Are No Mountains
Once upon a time, the Japanese serenely, if painfully, slit their bellies . . . if they happened to drop a dish, or gaze cross-eyed at someone Above them. While the Chinese were untroubled, as they further refined, building upon experience of some 5000 years, the most extreme and painful of tortures, while meanwhile routinely confining the feet of their women into monstrously deformed gnarled clum
No Ways Tired
from & for sugar    
Time To Change The Batter
(Found this tonight, while looking for something else. A little, pretty much ignored, ditty, writ in 2006; on the slow choking gasping death of the Fourth Amendment. Long before the flight of Snowden. The abuses Mr. Ed has, rightfully, righteously, brought to our attention, they have their roots in sheer rot, writ by the nation’s high courts, decades before. See, to believe me, below.) A search wa
Mississippi Burping
Squeeze The Bear
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Roger Pielke Jr.'s Blog 6 unread articles  //  actions

Increasing Carbon Intensity of Global Energy Consumption
I have been continuing to look at the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2014, which was released earlier this week. It is a wonderful resource, kudos to BP.The graph above shows the carbon intensity of global energy consumption from 1965 to 2013. Specifically, it shows the amount of carbon emissions (in tons) for every "ton of oil equivalent" consumed in the global economy. Thus, the
Treading Water
The graph above shows data from the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2014, which was released today. It shows the proportion of global energy consumption that comes from carbon-free sources.The proportion of carbon-free energy consumption is a far more important metric of progress with respect to the challenge of stabilizing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere than looking at carbon dioxi
Chinese Government Settles Pielke vs. Krugman
Last week I had a letter in the Financial Times in which I explained the simple but powerful logic of the Kaya Identity for understanding efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions (for some nice discussions see here, here and here). The letter was motivated by a proposal floated by a Chinese academic that China should "cap" its emissions in the near term. I used the logic of the Kaya Id
The US Hurricane Drought in USA Today
I have an op-ed in USA Today tomorrow on the ongoing US "hurricane drought." Here is how it starts:In 1933, Richard Gray, a U.S. government weather forecaster, noted that Florida had been hit by at least 37 hurricanes over the 45 years ending in 1930. During this period, the longest stretch with no tropical storms was only two years.When the 2014 hurricane season officially began on June
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Screw You Guys, I'm Going Home 5 unread articles  //  actions

Are 9 Sexual Harassment Cases And A Naked Dancing Video Cause For Firing? Maybe Not
When AOL Jobs asked me to write a column commenting about Dov Charney's firing from American Apparel, my first reaction was to roll my eyes. Of course it was "for cause," I thought. The founder of the iconic clothing company has been hit with nine sexual harassment charges (that we know of). And then there's the #NSFW naked dancing video showing him dancing with full flappage in front of
What Every Teen (And Parent) Needs To Know About Sexual Harassment At Work
Thinking about a summer job or internship? I bet you didn't know that, if you are an intern, there is no federal law against sexual harassment of interns. Some states have recently passed laws to fix this horrible omission. If you live in New York, Oregon or DC, you're protected. Other places, not so much.Big problem, right? That makes stepping out into the work world doubly scary. Your high schoo
Florida Legalizes Medical "Marijuana" But You Can Still Be Fired For It
Florida's Governor signed a bill legalizing a form of medical "marijuana" called Charlotte's Web this week. The law will go into effect next year. I'm underwhelmed. While it's a bit of a victory for patients covered under this new law (cancer or a physical medical condition that chronically produces symptoms of seizures or severe and persistent muscle spasms), as is typical with Florida
The Criminalization Of Employment Law
A new indictment in a trade secret case, where a former employee opened his own business, made me think about something that's been bothering me for awhile, namely, the criminalization of employment law. I did a piece about this a couple years ago called Your Ex-Boss Wants You In Jail. It's gotten worse. Not only are we sending employees to jail for what used to be civil offenses, but the criminal
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Southern Man 6 unread articles  //  actions

The blog began as therapy. Now with all the changes in Southern Man's life (some not by his choice) it's become more work than anything else and no one reads it anyway. The blog will no longer be updated, at least not on any kind of regular basis. Thanks for visiting!
Spanish Inquisition Day 15
Breakfast - off to the airport - fly home.
Spanish Inquisition Day 14
Long bus ride from Seville to Madrid - long walk to clear my head and pick up a few caches - not much more to say right now.
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Syria Comment 6 unread articles  //  actions

Muhajireen Battalions in Syria (Part 3)
By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi I have previously documented muhajireen battalions here and here. Below are two more groupings. Saraya ash-Sham Logo of Saraya ash-Sham, whose main emblem resembles the flag of Iraqi insurgent group Jamaat Ansar al-Islam (pro-Caliphate and with deployment in Syria). The motto reads: “We shed tears and spill blood.” Translating to “brigades/squadrons of ash-Sham” and ope
“Bilal” – by Stephen Boeshaar
Stephen Boeshaar worked throughout the Arab World for many years and is fluent in Syrian Arabic. After serving with the Peace Corps in Morocco in the 1960s, he ran English language instruction programs in Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, and Syria, and worked with Fulbright in Egypt developing university curriculum. Later, Steve directed the American Language Center in Damascus for 20 years, until the Syrian
Joshua Landis & Robert Ford discuss Syria at Wilson Center event
Joshua Landis, Robert Ford (former US Ambassador to Syria), and Hadi Al Bahra (Syrian opposition) each gave unique perspectives on Syria policy in a recent event with the Wilson Center, moderated by Aaron David Miller. Dr. Landis outlined three possible policy options for Syria (in the absence of putting troops on the ground of a foreign interventionist force), none of which offer much optimism fo
The Future of ISIS and the Sectarian Response: ISIS has Picked a Fight it Cannot Win
The Future of ISIS in Iraq and the Sectarian Response – by Joshua Landis   ISIS purportedly conducting a mass execution of captured Shiite Iraqi army soldiers A Washington policy analyst asked me what chances I gave to the possibility that Prime Minister Maliki will try to divide Sunnis and isolate ISIS by teaming up with moderate Sunnis. He raised the possibility of Maliki creating a government
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Telling the History of the Twenty-First Centu... 6 unread articles  //  actions

The Case For Australia Declaring Itself A Sovereign Neutral Nation
Australia is a Westernised nation that exists within the Asian sphere of influence. Despite our geographic position, however, Australia has steadfastly clung to its Western roots, first with Britain and latterly with the US. But with changing times in a changing world it may be time to rethink our traditional and outdated alliances and consider our position relative to our neighbours.There has bee
Will The Crisis In Iraq Provide Cover For An Israeli Assault On Gaza?
The kidnapping of three Israeli settler youths in the West Bank has been used by Israel as an excuse to round up Hamas leaders in the West Bank with a view to possibly deporting them to the Gaza Strip. One wonders if, while the world’s attention is drawn to the crisis in Iraq, whether or not the Israelis might also be planning an all-out incursion into the Gaza Strip.Without actually mentioning th
Tony Blair Attempts To Avoid Blame For Iraq Crisis
Former British Prime Minister and war criminal Tony Blair has written an essay attempting to deflect blame for the current crisis in both Iraq and Syria on the actions he and his fellow war criminals, former US president George W. Bush and former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, committed themselves to when they lied their way to war against Iraq in March 2003. In his essay Blair says: “We h
So Who Started The Middle East Quagmire?
Let’s get straight to the point; if George W. Bush, Tony Blair, John Howard and their other Western supporters had not lied their way to a war against Iraq, the Middle East would not be in the mess it finds itself in today in Syria and Iraq. In short, the people of the Middle East can blame the West for much of the turmoil that dominates their lives now so is it any wonder that the youth of the re
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The Conflicted Doomer 3 unread articles  //  actions

Who’s on First?
June 21, 2014   Okay, let me see if I can get this straight. The Saudis (our Sunni friends) trained ISIS (their Sunni terrorists) to fight in Syria (their Shia enemies) and we supported them because they were the “good” terrorists (therefore, friends of our friends) until they went rampaging through Iraq and threatened the (Shia) government (therefore, the Saudi’s enemy, and, if not our friend, a
Crazy Terrorist Rabbits
June 14, 2014   It’s a lovely day here in southwest Missouri, sunny and seventy-one degrees as I write the blog post although the wind gusts are rather strong, as the creaks and groans of my old house will attest. Up until yesterday, we’d had only two days without rain in the previous couple of weeks. So, it was with great gusto I weed-whacked the grass around the perimeters of the garden, began
Down the Memory Hole
June 7, 2014   About 14 million American and allied soldiers (including all military services) died in WW II. Of those, about a half million were Americans. Surprisingly, (to me, at least) three to four million were Chinese and over eight million were from the old Soviet Union, especially Russia. I certainly don’t want to take away from the courage and commitment of the men whose storming of the
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The Earth and Man: Setting the Stage 1 unread article  //  actions

Modelling a Negative, Or the Easy Proliferation of Hypotheses in Science Today
Jo Nova has a series of posts on the apparent discovery of a "notch filter" mechanism in the Earth's climate system, that doesn't do anything positive, but only negates, quite improbably, an "expected" dependence of the global mean surface temperature on the total solar irradiation (TSI). I submitted the following: It is just too pat (i.e., characterized by a highly improbable

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