Barry Ritholtz examines why ideas that have clearly failed live on. A nugget:
What underlies all of this nonrecourse bad policy? It is much more than corporate lobbying and partisan politics. The worst of today’s political malfeasance is being driven by failed ideologies. Zombie ideas that refuse to die have become enshrined in our collective intellectual legacy. The people behind these have been insulated from the economic costs they impose.
Blame the billionaires.
They are ones who fund the think tanks. These think tanks in turn consider it their jobs to promote the ideology of their benefactors, regardless of its intrinsic value or demonstrable worth.
Follow the link. The whole thing is worth a read.
Jim Wright considers the freak-out about ebola. A snippet:
It’s the emotion that defines modern America, fear. Knee knocking, spine tingled, sphincter loosening, pants wetting fear.
When we don’t have something to be afraid of, we make something up.
Follow the link. You will be glad you did.
Giving new meaning to the term “wage slavery” . . . .
Be polite to the competition.
State police said Tyler Glenn Peters, of Kittanning, was wounded in the left upper thigh when another shooter’s rifle accidentally discharged while the shooters were putting away their rifles after the competition. The incident occurred around 9 p.m. at the gun club in Boggs, Armstrong County.
Forget background checks. We need IQ tests for gun buyers.
John McCarron is fed up with “paperless.”
For starters, vendors will keep urging us to “go paperless” so they can save on postage and pay themselves sooner rather than later. Consumers save on postage, too, while we rack up our precious airline miles and rewards. Sounds great. But until some young genius comes up with an app for easily switching card numbers, or for protecting those numbers in the first place, I’d go easy on auto-pay.
Even though I spend my days deep inside geekdom, I still write paper checks for routine household bills. Business’s inability to keep confidential information confidential has nothing to do with it.
I fear that, if I automated too many payments, I’d lose track of my bank balance, and I don’t like bouncing checks, paper or electronic.
Colorado is being overrun by hunters for elk season.
I wonder how many of these folks will fill their freezers with elk meat and how many want to bag an elk just to prove that they are Real Big Men.
. . . and a polite society does its laundry.
“He carries a firearm in his pants pocket and it fell out and went off,” Alicia said. “ … There are no signs of foul play or any signs of violence and we are classifying this as an accidental injury.”
Gunnuttery, n, from “gun”+”nut” (meaning someone with diminished mental capacity or ammosexual fetish) + the suffix “(t)ery” indicating “syndrome”: what happens when firearms meet stupid.
This man’s gunnuttery almost killed his wife. “Almost” is a better outcome than gunnuttery usually produces.
CSA and CEOs.
Randy Salzman wants to know “what gives?”
Few of the rest, including Virginia’s 22 P3s, are meeting their toll and income projections. Maryland’s “Intercounty Connector” quadrupled in cost to $4 billion and is now carrying less than half of projected vehicles.
But media continue to write as if private money is rescuing crumbling American highways.
Even Congress is questioning if taxpayers are throwing good money after bad – and much more of it than if we build the highways ourselves. Too many have forgotten what our grandmothers once told us: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
It becomes increasingly clear that outfits out for their own enrichment cannot be trusted with the public’s business.
George Smith discusses the scam of the “sharing economy.” A nugget:
The phrase sharing economy now begins to leave a bad taste. This is because it’s not sharing at all. You pay for a cheap service, provided by someone Silicon Valley technology can take advantage of and leverage in the desperation economy.
In a long and tightly-reasoned article at Asia Times, Ramzy Baroud explores how the propaganda machine for the Great and Glorious Patriotic War for a Lie in Iraq prepared the ground for ISIS. A snippet:
Between the establishment of the modern Iraqi state in 1921 and for over 80 years, “the default setting [in Iraq] was coexistence”. Haddad argues that “Post-2003 Iraq … identity politics have been the norm rather than an anomaly because they’re part of the system by design.”
That “design” was not put in place arbitrarily. The conventional wisdom was that the US army is better seen as a “liberator” than an invader, where the Shiites community was supposedly being liberated from an oppressive Sunni minority. By doing so, those in their name Iraq was “liberated” were armed and empowered to fight the “Sunni insurgency” throughout the country. The “Sunni” discourse, laden with such terminology as the “Sunni Triangle” and “Sunni insurgents” and such, was a defining component of the American media and government perception of the war. In fact, there was no insurgency per se, but an organic Iraqi resistance to the US-led invasion.
The design had in fact served its purposes, but not for long. Iraqis turned against one another, as US troops mostly watched the chaotic scene from behind the well-fortified Green Zone. When it turned out that the US public still found the price of occupation too costly to bear, the US redeployed out of Iraq, leaving behind a broken society.
Do read the rest.