Weekend Open Thread

“Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.”

–John F. Kennedy

59 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808 says:

    Well worth reading – Jeff Jarvis

    I can and will keep going, but later. Technology and related trends, including globalization, lead to efficiency in companies and sectors. Transparent markets lead to lower prices. Digital abundance leads to both.

  2. DavidThi808 says:

    Probably too simple and inexpensive for the Army to officially do this – Afghanistan War: Hobbyists’ Toy Truck Saves 6 Soldiers’ Lives

    Last week, it paid off. Chris Fessenden said he had loaned the [toy] truck to a group of fellow soldiers, who used it to check the road ahead of them on a patrol. It got tangled in a trip wire connected to what Fessenden guesses could have been 500 lbs. of explosives. The bomb went off. The six soldiers controlling the truck from their Humvee were unhurt.

  3. Mark G. says:

    J.F.K. didn’t leave much room for God in his quote.

    • Ralphie says:

      Were you alive for his campaign?

    • BlueCat says:

      You have said many supremely stupid things but this is perhaps the stupidest. Sounds like you agree with Governor Perry that  the way to solve, say, economic problems is by praying on it.

      Funny story… Perry also suggested prayer back in the spring to address the terrible Texas drought.  It’s much worse now.  Hear he’s praying on whether or not he ought to run for president. Why not just read entrails or tea leaves? Who needs information, science or technology when you have delusions that the voice in your head that tells you what you want to hear is God’s.

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        Mark’s not wanting, or hoping for, things to get better.  He wants us to fell wrath, God’s and his.

        He’s this guy:


        (sorry, won’t imbed)

      • VanDammer says:

        yeah rickie is cozying up to the scripture spewing zealots this weekend while his minions are straw polling the masses and glad handing the money lenders.  

        Rick isn’t solely relying on a voice from above to tell him to run.  He’s got his ego-feeding revival meeting, his Rolodex and all the brainwashed amens from the pews making him confuse just who is G*d.

    • dwyer says:

      “…Here on Earth, God’s work must truly be our own.”

      JFK Inaugural 1961

      He was a decent man.  I remember seeing the  Inaugural on black and white TV in UMC in Boulder. I felt glad.

      I feel so sorry for people like you. You have missed so much.

      • dwyer says:

        True story.  My freshman year at CU, Atlas Shrugged was all the rage.  We were all John Galts.  Then, next year, the sanction against distributing “Lady Chatterly’s Lover” in the United States was lifted.  Wow.  Bye, bye Aynie.

        I have been a liberal every since.

        • Irish Patti says:

          I guess he isn’t quite bright enough to grasp that the golden rule and Libertarianism cannot coexist.  

        • Voyageur says:

          It’s not that Rand didn’t write good sex scenes, but all her novels featured women who liked to be raped by their annointed ubermensch.  Weird stuff, Rand’s love life.  See Barbara Brandon’s “The Passion of Ayn Rand” to discover just how weird it was.

          • Irish Patti says:

            and look at what that did to our economy.  

          • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

            I’m not a prude about my literature, but reading Rand sex scenes always makes me want to take a shower–and a quick, scrubby kind of shower, not a relaxing one. It’s something about how outrageously pathetic the women are. Gorean, almost. Or proto-Twilight, which gives me the same yucky feeling.

            (Although, I will give the Goreans credit for one thing–without them we would not have The Houseplants of Gor.)

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        That whole soliloguy about Robin Hood in Atlas Shrugged?  Even the first time that I read that book, before I knew Rand was an athiest, I thought it was tansparently obvious that Robin Hood was just her pc golem for Jesus — the times she wrote in, her editor, and her likely gutlessness all conspired to keep her from putting the obvious into print.

    • Sir Robin says:

      and got their picture on the cover of the Rolling Stones.

      This song should be your mantra for awhile:

      • Voyageur says:

        I guess I’m still a moderate.  I only object to my tax dollars being used to kill people who don’t need killing and my tax dollars being used to save people who don’t need saving.  The Taliban and Wall Street would see to qualify on both points.

        • BlueCat says:

          and it’s miles away from the way it’s usually used by pols and talking heads to mean either not totally crazy conservative Rs or pretty darned conservative Ds. Suspect it makes you a lefty compared to both of the above.  

  4. DaftPunk says:


    Can’t embed, but hillarious as usual, and the source of some of the most misogynistic words to ever trip off the tongue of another woman.

    • Middle of the Road says:

      Free birth control will wipe out the American race and instantly turn daughters into wanton harlots with insatiable sexual appetites.

      • DaftPunk says:

        Because spray-tan-lady is saying that using birth control makes one act irresponsibly. Of course, the exact opposite is true, as using birth control demonstrates that one is taking responsibility for the potential consequences of their actions.

        The other disturbing thing is that the liberal guest allows the “fair and balanced” Fox interviewer to say the government is paying for the free pills, but it’s actually the insurance companies doing so by government mandate.

  5. Diogenesdemar says:

    when I, myself, might start missing Nixon . . .

    The Madman Theory


    . . . a lot of us swooned over Obama partly because he seemed so prudent, straightforward and even-keeled. But now, with Republicans spectacularly applying the Madman Theory for the first time in domestic politics, Obama’s nonconfrontational reasonableness isn’t looking like such a virtue.

    . . .

    The idea of Nixon – Nixon? – as a de facto liberal provokes cognitive dissonance, especially among people over 50. Facts notwithstanding, they refuse to buy it, as if they’ve been fooled by a parlor trick. But the only trick involved is judging Nixon circa 1970 by the ideological standards of 2011.


    • harrydoby says:

      Wow, Dio — that column is a real shocker, particularly on the “left-wing socialist” (in 2011 GOP parlance) policies that Nixon was able to implement.

      The final paragraph should give pause to Independents and moderate Republicans (and be forwarded repeatedly by Democrats to everyone they know):

      [The author’s] late mother, who voted for every Republican presidential candidate from Wendell Willkie through George H.W. Bush, became a Democrat in her 70s. “These black hats,” she said of the G.O.P. right, “have gotten as nutty as fruitcakes. Nothing they say shocks me anymore.” She voted five times for Nixon, whose Madman Theory was a tactical posturing to make the Communists think he was an unhinged, reckless fanatic itching to wreak havoc. But a national Republican Party dominated by actually unhinged, reckless fanatics itching to wreak havoc in America? I think that would’ve shocked her. I think it probably would’ve even shocked Nixon.

      • Voyageur says:

        It made me remember why I could never work up a good hate against Nixon, like I did with LBJ.  LBJ got me into the army in a useless war (technically, I enlisted, but face it, I was draft bait.)   But Nixon’s drawdown of forces kept me from being sent to Vietnam.  As Catch-22 puts it, the enemy is anyone who is trying to kill you.  And the way Moynihan sold Nixon on the theory of tory reform, I have expected the Communist Manifesto to turn up in the state of the union speech.    

        • BlueCat says:

          Draw down was too late to benefit my guy, also enlisted draft bait, so he has always felt free to hate Nixon’s guts but not as much as McNamara’s. I don’t think he ever hated anyone as much as he hates McNamara.  

          • harrydoby says:

            Two of my brothers were lucky — when they got their notice to report to the draft board, they toodled over to the nearest Air Force recruitment office and got state-side deployments (although the oldest was sent to Homestead AFB in south Florida during the Cuban Missle Crisis as a crew chief on a C-130).

            Another brother and I got high numbers in the draft lottery, so we got to stay in college.

            My villain of the Viet Nam War was Gen. Westmoreland, for making body counts the measure of success, and deceiving the Pentagon and yes, even LBJ, on the prospects for victory.

            • BlueCat says:

              And chickens and such were included in body counts.  It was pure bull from start to finish.

              • Voyageur says:

                There is no way to quantify national will or the lack thereof.   I never quite forgave him for admitting that he knew the war could not be won while still sending my comrades off to the killing grounds.  Moral cowardice of the highest order.   Still, in my more reflective moods, I wonder if I would have done any differently had I been in his place.  The stay in the system and work for change argument is very seductive and in the end, you are left with no real moral core.  Knowing when to resign on principle is probably the ultimate test of character.

                • Diogenesdemar says:

                  is the same lesson as was Korea, as is for Iraq and Afghanistan, as is ad toomanyofum . . .

                  As long as you continue waging and prosecuting a futile war, even after you know you have no chance of “winning,” you will leave the inevitable “loss” to be pinned on some future sap.  This is a dangerous truth for someone (a President, a SOD, a theater General) who is more about ego and personal legacy than the actual good of the country.  

  6. DavidThi808 says:

    I picked this up because the author was on The Daily Show and I thought it might be interesting. Couldn’t put it down – best book I’ve read in the last 6 months or so.

    The link between education and the income level of a city:

    A 10 percent increase in the percentage of an area’s adult population with a BA in 1980 predicts 6 percent more income growth between 1980 and 2000. As the share of the population with college degrees increases by 10 percent, per capita gross metropolitan product rises by 22 percent.

    The connection between urban skills and urban productivity has grown steadily stronger throughout the developed world since the 1970s. In those days, less-skilled places that were filled with highly paid, unionized factory workers often earned more than more-skilled areas. In 1970, per capita incomes were higher in industrial areas like Cleveland and Detroit than in better-educated metropolitan areas like Boston and Minneapolis. Over the past thirty years, however, the less-skilled manufacturing cities have faltered while the more-skilled idea-producing cities have thrived. In 1980, men with four years of college earned about 33 percent more than high school graduates, but by the mid-1990s, that earnings gap had increased to nearly 70 percent. Over the past thirty years, American society has become more unequal, partly because the marketplace increasingly rewards people with more skills.

    The correlation between historical preservation and pricing the lower and middle class out of a city:

    In highly attractive cities, the worst aspects of this opposition to change are that it ensures that building heights will be low, new homes will be few, prices will be high, and the city will be off-limits to all but rich people.

    Why people in the sun belt have a different view of middle class income from those in the NorthEast and West coast.

    All told, the Houston residents are solidly in the middle class, with plenty of money for eating first-rate Tex-Mex at Pappasito’s and shopping at the Galleria. They have decent options for schools, and relatively fast, comfortable commutes. The family in Staten Island or Queens is straining to make ends meet, constantly reminded that life is a struggle.

    Read the book – the above barely scratches the surface of what it walks you through.

  7. DavidThi808 says:

    Mark Cuban

    Every technology company I have is getting hit by patent lawsuits that are the biggest bunch of bullshit ever.  Every week it seems like a new one comes up. Between having to pay our lawyers a lot of money  to review each, to increasing insurance rates and settlement costs because we can’t afford to pay to fight the nonsense, it’s an enormous expense. So much so that money that would have gone to new hires to improve and sell the product has to be saved to pay to deal with this bullshit.

    What makes the most sense is go back to how it used to be – software can’t be patented. Same for business processes like “one click” – patents are issued time after time for work that many come up with independently.

    • BlueCat says:

      It’s way too easy to get a patent on some little tweak that really isn’t independently original enough to warrant one so its getting harder and harder to avoid violating silly patents.

      Still think we need good old fashioned massive infrastructure projects. Some of us do have to leave our screens to, you know, use roads and bridges and enter buildings. We also need to get water delivered to  wherever we are parked in front of a screen, sewage taken away and we’d like to not be surfing the net and have a faulty gas line cause the little room or cubicle we’re in to explode.

  8. Libertad says:


    Interestingly he refutes the WH lies  

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