Sunday, October 10, 2021

New Cardinal in October!


We used to have frosts by now, and I recall snow on October 4th in 1992. 
But this year we have had a number of baby birds being fed
by their parents in our yard.  Surely a sign of global warming.


  1. I now agree with the idea that we must resort to geoengineering in the near future (e.g. injecting sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere, which falls to ground in a couple of years or so), to give us time to transition to renewable energy and remove accumulated carbon dioxide from the air--which in the best scenario will probably take decades. But I agree that will give people and countries an excuse to avoid the necessary long-term improvements. But geoengineering will require a UN treaty, which is not a sure thing.

  2. Mars scientists now know where to look for life [Click] I had not realized that what looks like the remains of a delta from orbit could be an alluvial fan, which would be less consistent with life. Great photos.

  3. California will require large retailers to provide gender neutral toy sections [Click] Nice little discussion of the issues--and also the origin of the particular law itself.

  4. Replies
    1. Like almost all other federal programs, the unemployment program was set up to accommodate industries that need to lay off workers temporarily while they retool or to sustain seasonal fluctuations. What happened with the CARES Act, which aimed to provide money support to firms to encourage them paying workers who had been sent home because of the pandemic, is that the forgiveable loand program was a flop. Of $500 Billion allocated, the banks only managed to distribute $42 Billion in nine months.
      So, it was decided that the traditional work force that administers unemployment would be used to get money to people more directly. The object, of course, was to make sure people paid their utility, food and transportation and gorcery bills, so the essential services would not go belly up.
      What seems to have happened is that employers who opted not to participate in the forgivable loan program and instead forced people to jump through bureaucratic hoops have earned themselves a lot of bad will and people are thinking twice about working for them again.
      Do not forget that the U.S. has had a growing underground economy for over two decades. It's at least up to $2.5 Trillion a year. That is economic activity about which the governmental agencies do not have direct data. The riony is that the reason we have a somewhat accurate sense of its dimensions is that, although taxes are not paid in for every transaction. people do honestly report their income when they file returns. Congress even figures that it "loses" $500 Billion a year that it could allocate to favored industries if the underground were not keeping them in the dark.
      The underground economy is part of what fuels the resentment of the electorate on Capitol Hill.

  5. Black Children Were Jailed For A Crime That Doesn’t Exist. Almost Nothing Happened To The Adults In Charge. [Click] “Tennessee: As southern as biscuits and gravy.” I once was served biscuits and gravy in a hotel restaurant; damned poor biscuits and damned poor gravy.

    1. The problem is that children have no civil rights. Nobody has personal or human rights in the legal system. But children are legally the property of their parents. So, if anyone has a complaint, it is the parents.
      However, another component of out materialistic legal system is that damages have to be physical and measurable. Taking children into custody (like rounding up wayward cattle) is not considered a loss to the parents. (You eill recall that for a very long time rape was not considered a serious crime, if the victim could not demonstrate permanent physical harm).
      Abuse is basically a misdemeanor. Although when it is adminsitered with wooden paddles to children, it is considered "discipline."
      I do not know what the situation is now, but when I was a school volunteer in the '80s, it was explained to me that black children were routinely paddled because their parents were supportive of physical discipline. Parents had the option of opting out. But nobody considered the effect on children of knowing that their parents agreed to them being beaten by stangers.
      Finally, almost nobody knwos what goes on in juvenile court because the proceedings are "confidential" (all participants are sworn to secrecy to "protect" the children). So, of course, adult abusers are not exposed to social approbrium. The most eggregiously negligent might be fired, but a personnel action is also governed by confidentiality. I was a volunteer in the juvenile justice system for a decade and watched its volunteers be transitioned into a full-fledged bureaucracy in support of the social worker community. whose work load was systemaically increased.

  6. Andrew Rawnsley: Like all cults, Borisology is detached from reality and destined to end badly [Click] “In thrall to one capricious character with few deep beliefs, the Tories are abandoning once-cherished convictions and trashing traditional allies”

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  8. Yesterday I may well have avoided injury thanks to my conditioning in fencing (sabre) fifty years ago. I was descending a ladder carrying a box of persimmons on one arm when (not paying enough attention) I stepped off the ladder before I was on the bottom step, losing my balance and incidentally turning. It felt exactly like the beginning of a fleche (a type of rapid attack that starts with throwing oneself off balance forward), which I continued. I didn’t quite manage to regain my balance, but I ran over and past potentially dangerous concrete items and fell flat out on the lawn, not significantly the worse for wear. Had I more recently studied sabre I would not have known how to do that—the “authorities” have emasculated the sport by forbidding the use of various important moves which I suppose would have been impossible for now archaic electrical scoring machines to deal with because the wire reels can’t respond fast enough. And of course we must use electrical scoring machines, non? Can’t use human judges, obviously--despite the fact they worked for centuries.

    —-A. Fossil

  9. Replies
    1. The US tested that back in about 1855-1865, coincident with the implosion of the Whig Party. Perhaps such a coincidence is not incidental. Consider the UK, Germany, and France for examples: the sum of the votes for their traditional major parties has been in decline for a long time and is now less than 50%.


  10. McAuliffe Slams Congress Over Infrastructure Bill [Click] As memory serves me, running against a do-nothing Congress has generally been used in Presidential contests, but with the nationalization of all news it might not be a bad idea in a gubernatorial campaign.

  11. Replies
    1. No idea what BYD refers to. Seems to be an electric vehicle made in China.
      But, fact is that the U.S.federal govenrment has always promoted monopolies and commercial interests. Just think, while the importation of slaves was declared illegal in 1803, slavery persisted through much of the century, involuntary servitude is legal as a punishment for crime and children are owned by their parents.

    2. Yes, BYD ["Build Your Dream"] is a large vehicle manufacturer in China, which will change over to making all electric vehicles next year, as memory serves me. They are currently manufacturing electric buses in Southern California, using all union labor. Their latest vehicles should give Tesla a run for its money, not to mention the major traditional auto manufacturers. They are vertically integrated (like Ford under Henry Ford), among other things manufacturing their own microprocessors, so have no holdups there. Nice looking cars (largely designed by European designers and engineers), low prices compared to the majors, and already producing cars with reasonable ranges (like 625 miles). Their batteries, unlike Tesla's, are not reported to catch fire and/or explode while charging in owners' garages, which is a bit of a sales point. Not sure if their driver assistance electronics kill people or not, but I haven't heard of it.

    3. Oh, and BYD is currently recruiting sales staff in the US.

    4. Interesting! Especially the 695mi part. But I do not want to purchase a car that benefits China. I hope they raise the bar

  12. We have had almost five decades of pretending that Capitol Hill is subservient to the executive and/or corporations and that they have no responsibility for anything. Exposing the myth and making Congress face up to its responsibilities is going to take time.
    Besides, the infrastructure carve-out covers just the projects that the construction industries have favored all along--you know the annual rebuilding of the interstates that were poorly designed in the first place. Germany can build roads that last 40 years, but outs have to be rebuilt after every frost.
    What the "build back better" plan does is send dollars directly to communities instead of relying on the banks to distribute loans and promote bond issues. The banks have proved bad stewards when it comes to trickle down. Fact is that the circulation of the currency has decreased for over thirty years until it stopped moving in 2020. The Fed retired the graph that was tracking it.
    Think of the problem as being similar to denying the population the use of the alphabet to communicate. Yes, they could still talk in person or use smoke signals, but the efficiency of communications would be severely constrained. Rationing the currency, augmented by hoarding, has the same effect.