Tuesday Open Thread

“Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; an argument an exchange of ignorance.”

–Robert Quillen

35 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Duke Cox says:

    One of the more profound quotes you have posted in a while, Pols…likey…
    but it seems to be missing an “is”…

  2. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    There was an interactive question on the NY Times page titled something like "after Pluto, what should NASA explore next?"  I'll suggest an attempt to find the brain of one of my favorite religious righties, Ted Cruz. 

  3. MichaelBowman says:

    A great piece this morning in USNWR: "What Have We Been Smoking?"

    In the trailer for the 1930's film "Reefer Madness," the voiceover warns of "debauchery, violence, murder, suicide, and the ultimate end of the marijuana addict – hopeless insanity." Hopeless insanity is about right as a description for those who seduce us into arresting, prosecuting and imprisoning people over pot. To have metastasized our prison system and militarized drug interdiction in supplier countries – making drugs attractive and giving drug producers the boon of a lucrative black market – is insane. This isn't merely bad governance, bad health policy and bad economics. It is madness, and it must be stopped. It is time to repeal prohibition throughout the United States.

  4. itlduso says:

    Next week, my wife is retiring from the federal government after 35 years of service.  As part of the retirement process, we have been presented with several choices, including the option to retain her $155,000 life insurance policy.  We wanted to do so, but upon my investigation we learned that the coverage that was currently about $600/year would suddenly increase to $4,200 per year in retirement.  A quick check via Geico revealed that she could receive the same life insurance coverage via a private insurer for the same $600/year, or slightly higher if she didn't get a medical exam.  In other words, if we chose to continue the coverage via the federal government, it would cost an additional $72,000 in after-tax dollars over 20 years versus obtaining private coverage.

    My concern is that we determined this only after extensive research on my own, possibly helped by my CPA status.  In other words, there was no information provided to us, much less highlighted, that continuing the insurance coverage would be so incredibly costly.  I suspect that thousands of federal retirees have been suckered into this scam, costing them many millions of lost retirement dollars.

    I also heard from a friend that Colorado's PERA is similar, which means that thousands of CO retirees are also being screwed.

    Does anyone have experience with this situation?

  5. ajb says:

    Here's a good (quick) read: Coal is getting killed in the bond market.

    Bonds are where coal companies turn to raise money for such things as new mines and environmental cleanups. But investors are increasingly reluctant to lend to them. Coal bond prices tumbled 17 percent in the second quarter, according to an analysis by Bloomberg Intelligence. It's the fourth consecutive quarter of price declines and the worst performance of any industry group by a long shot.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-13/the-latest-sign-that-coal-is-getting-killed

  6. itlduso says:

    This site has been so helpful to me today.  Here's another thought:

    I formed a 501(c)(3) called "Save the Cloud Forests Foundation".  I was interested in trying to raise funds for a cloud forest research station in Ecuador at a place called Bellavista Cloud Forest Preserve.  The money would be used to construct a research building, equip it with microscopes and computers, and fund scholarships for student visits from local schools and higher education institutions.

    I was thinking of using an environmental crowdfunding site to fund this project.  Does anyone have experience/thoughts of this idea?

  7. Ah, sigh. The unfortunate source of my utility power – and all-around anti-environmental jerks – Tri-State are the 4th dirtiest power generation company per unit of power in the country according to a new report on dirty power.

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