The Watering Hole: October 22 – Mad Scientist?

Nikola Tesla Reading a Book

Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison were in a lifetime feud over the the relative advantages of AC versus DC power distribution systems. In the long run it seems that Tesla won. That was even after Edison electrocuted an elephant in order to demonstrate the dangers of AC systems.

Today the Republican Party is trying to demonstrate its advantages over the Democratic Party by destroying the United States economy. This is our Open Thread. Your turn to vent!

125 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: October 22 – Mad Scientist?

  1. I was watching the US Farm Report this morning. Before I got cable, I used to watch regularly on Saturday mornings since there was little else on. Today I needed something to fill in the time until Up With Chris started. This show has changed a lot over the years, becoming a report on macro issues in global markets more instead of a localized report on how crops are doing.

    An op-ed by a guy named John Phipps made me sit up and listen closely, and I thought it was interesting from a political standpoint.

    “This week, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission voted to limit speculative positions in the markets they oversee. While only affecting the very largest traders, less than a hundred in the Ag markets, the rules are controversial. We have been trading under some form of regulated limits for over fifty years, but the explosion in outside interest in commodities has raised the possibility of market crashes at the hands of a few participants.Whether you agree with these limits or not, and they will probably be challenged in court, two things do seem obvious. The first is a failure of all of our financial markets to self-regulate. This reassuring belief may have been valid in smaller, slower markets with more players, but as we found out with securitized mortgages, self-regulation doesn’t work when the first mistake is enough to crash the whole system.

    Now our computerized global markets don’t allow participants the opportunity to avoid bad actors, either. The bigger problem is while it is easy to point out market failures, it is virtually impossible to demonstrate successful regulation, since it prevents bad things from happening. Just like farmers grumbling about safety shields on machinery, we don’t notice how many fewer farmers lose fingers. I suspect this rule will not be popular, but will not unduly hamper our markets either. In fact during the next serious July drought or bond market meltdown, it may just keep them open.”

    It would seem that here is a person who sees the logic and value in limiting speculation in commodities markets by outside investors, as well as regulation in general. I thought that was worth mentioning in a political environment of ‘all regulation is bad’.

    • Glad to see at least one market is making a real effort to be what it is supposed to be. All too often today professional investors act more like professional gamblers. Take the stake money someone else supplies and see how quickly they can turn big profits. Doesn’t matter how, doesn’t matter where. And if they fail, they go look for a fresh stake and try again. The actual definition of investing never even comes close to the table.

  2. Happy Birthday, xzbe.

    TtT – Since I missed music night, I’m playing catch up this morning. The Apples and Bananas song is what I use to sing to my grandchildren when they were babies and first starting to eat solid food. Thanks for the memory.

  3. The whole Tesla/Edison battle is proof to me that the idea that competition is the way to move forward and the black/white polarization it definitely feeds is a deterrent to actual civilized society. They both had good ideas and if the two sides had cooperated we could have had AC power generation and transmission with rectification in the home so we used DC in our homes. Industry would have had both readily available to be used where needed.

    This whole competition, we’re-better-than-you, winner takes all attitude is no way to run a civilization.

  4. Happy birthday Critter zxbe and Critter frugal! Maybe you can drop by Critter OutstandingInMyField’s and get some free chops and/or ribs the next time you are in DC.

  5. Jerky’s done. Burp.

    Thanks, everyone, for all the H. B-day wishes! Now everyone here save for zxbe has a b-day before I do! Best wishes in advance, in case I should happen to miss the occasions on the moment!

    • From that link:

      But critics seized on recent concerns about too much fluoride having side effects on young children and tea party-style fears of forced government medicating. Some speakers Tuesday compared it to Soviet and Nazi practices and warned of cancer, reduced IQ and deteriorating bones.

      “Fluoride is a toxic substance,” said tea party activist Tony Caso of Palm Harbor. “This is all part of an agenda that’s being pushed forth by the so-called globalists in our government and the world government to keep the people stupid so they don’t realize what’s going on.”

      He added: “This is the U.S. of A, not the Soviet Socialist Republic.”

      The conspiracy appears to be working as planned.

      • ‘There is nothing wrong with your mind. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your mind. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the shock and awe which reaches from the inner mind to… the used tea bag.’

      • β€œI can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion, and the international Communist conspiracy, to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids.” ~General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) in Dr. Strangelove (c. 1964)

        β€œ[Ripper said] So let’s get going, there is no other choice. God willing, we will prevail in peace and freedom from fear, and in true health through the purity and essence of our ….. natural ….. fluids.” ~General Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott) in Dr. Strangelove (c. 1964)

    • “What’s old is new again.”

      I recall the ‘debates’ about fluoridating the water (they did).
      Then the debate many decades later about taking it out of the water (which they did)

      Fluoridated water has been proven to be a positive in significantly lowering the case of caries (cavities).
      Our water has been ‘de-fluoridated’ to the detriment of the poor who can’t afford the substitute tablets to assist in cavity prevention.

      • I just recalled: in the discussions on fluoridating the water, our neighbor, “Old lady Fowler” or as my Mom called her “Little Red Hen” (it seemed she dyed her hair with Mercurochrome or some such agent) kept writing letters to the editor insisting fluoride would destroy the liver which she felt was the ‘love organ’ of the body.

  6. I have been leary of Kindlizing myself but in the first half hour of dinking around with the silly thing I discovered a new RAH book and a new Callahans. I take these as good signs.

  7. Happy 29th Birthday to you both!

    Quote of the Day:

    “Historically, a story about people inside impressive buildings ignoring or even taunting people standing outside shouting at them turns out to be a story with an unhappy ending,” – Lemony Snicket, a member of the Occupy Writers movement.

    • It’s great to see all our politicians, regardless of party, celebrate the end of this long war and the return of our troops to their families.

      Oh, wait. What?

      Despite their inability to agree on the economy or much else, Republican presidential candidates spoke with one voice in reaction to President Obama’s announcement of a full U.S. withdrawal from Iraq this year.

      They were against it.

      h/t Washington Monthly

      I can’t say I’m surprised at the knee-jerk response from these jerks.

      • If Obama had decided to send in a million more troops and spend a bazillion more dollars, the GOPiggies would — after calling their stockbroker — declare that to be all wrong and too late anyway.

      • So they were in favor of keeping our troops in Iraq, with no agreement of prosecutorial immunity? Thus, the troops would be subject to Sharia Law?

  8. Occupy San Jose
    Cops took everything again. We need a table and chairs and pens and paper. Food and coffee and water are also very needed. Please help. #Needsoftheoccupiers

    “Rats” seems to be the ‘vermin o’ the day’ for officials to shutdown Occupy camps. Oakland officials are also using it to try and stop democracy!

    Occupy San Jose
    Rats? What rats? City Manager Figone hasn’t even been outside or even in THIS country to see what we are doing. #Lies #Shame

    Occupy San Jose
    The media has been exaggerating and reporting the lies from the City Manager and Police. We have kept City Hall clean and sanitary. Haven’t seen one rat. When we want to use the restroom, we use generous local businesses. Don’t believe what you read.

  9. The palm fronds shadow no longer dances on my shades.
    The tree cutters have hacked and hewed until there are just two little rows of fronds.
    Gone is the resting spot for the phoebes, sparrows and any other wanderers looking for shade a/o bugs.

    Sad it truly is. Seems the management wants the ‘clean cut look’ – it is rather ugly.
    Still – at least last spring we stopped them from chopping during nesting season – so now they are back. A sad day. Not only losing my shade from the sun – losing my avian buddies!

      • They do that to the palm trees here.
        It’s called a hurricane cut.
        Dove are poor nest builders and they winter here and rear their young.
        The cabage palm is one of the natural nesting sights for migratory dove because of the way fronds collect when they die to form a natural nesting area within the tree for the pair of dove to nest.

  10. Wow! Double birthday day. Happy Birthday, FRUGAL & ZXBE! I’ll try and double my beer intact in your honor – I love a celebratory challenge.

    • Not too different from our country: watching lynchings. Some made ‘a day of it’ by picnicking – jeering the victim then cheering.

      We are no different – except today we ‘cleanly’ execute innocent people (state sanctioned murder – ex. Troy Davis).

      • My comment is on behaviour —- not to be misinterpreted as a commentary on Quadaffi being an innocent victim —- far from it.
        He’d have been tried and no other conclusion but guilty would have been the outcome!

  11. Hello. Happy birthdays past, present and future.

    It sounds like Crazy Shelly has posed us with a question. Is she so clueless that she didn’t know her New Hampshire staff quit or was she just lying until the Fabulous Marcus and whoever her favorite preacher is make up a good cover story. It should be entertaining because we all know she won’t even approach the truth and take responsibility.

  12. Wow, looks like Bof A is positioning itself to cause another global meltdown. (re the article linked above)

    So, first they transfer all their junk derivitives to their deposit-flush subsidiary, then they declare their deposit-flush subsidiary insolvent, due to $74 trillion in junk derivitives. The derivitive holders get to pull the cash deposits out first, then depositors must rely on FDIC insurance to recoup the money they deposited with B of A.

    And guess who has to pony up $74 trillion to keep the FDIC solvent? Bottom line – that ain’t gonna happen. Folks with their money in B of A are gonna get wiped out. FDIC will only be able to pay pennies on the dollar, if that much.

    This move by B of A should pretty much doom the economy just as campaign season gets in full swing. Hell, they may even pull it off just in time to destroy Christmas. Anything to blame it all on Obama.

  13. Looking around the news it comes as no surprise that GOoPers are pretty much unanimous in condemning the withdrawal of troops from Iraq. They seem to be split between claims that it’s really Bush’s doing and that it’s a “campaign stunt”. Despite the fact that the two should be mutually exclusive; some are making both claims simultaneously. The sad fact is that I don’t find that surprising either. The sheer cognitive dissonance displayed by Reichwhiners is beyond all bounds of reason.

    • ah, hell – they just have to switch allegiances to cheering on the never-ending war in Afghanistan.
      Repubs are such damn immature children – the lot of them make me quite ill.

      • But they are against our continued presence in Afghanistan,call it “Obama’s war”, and if he announced a sudden pull out today they would say that he surrendered. Their intellectual dishonesty, and overall dishonesty, are as boundless as their cognitive dissonance. It’s like the non-animated cartoon that’s been around for a few days regarding the OWS movement.

        Before OWS the GOoPers were saying “Where are the jobs”. After? They say “why don’t these people just get jobs”. And not a one of them is smart and honest enough to see the problem with their “logic”.

        • When I was a kid we had a toy zoo in the town I grew up in. It amounted to a half a city block with chain link fence around it with a handful of deer and llamas in it, a half decent cage with a couple of mangy black bears, a line of smaller cages that were a half step above the roadside attractions in Florida with a few local animals in them and a monkey island.

          The monkey island sticks in my mind. About 16 rhesus monkeys, scrambling over rocks and stumps, screeching whenever anyone paid attention to them. Either that or flinging poo or indulging in monkey gratification for the public. I’ve been to a few zoos since then and Monkey Island really hasn’t changed.

          A lot like Republicans. One can always count on them to provide the same entertainment.

          • The monkeys on that island had good reason to act out. I find the GOoPers to be more like a room full of toddlers. When one gets pissy they all end up whining and crying for no good reason. And if one breaks out in a full-fledged tantrum? You just won’t regain control without separating them. The whole damned bunch have been in a full-fledged tantrum from the moment they realized that a black guy was going to the White House.

  14. Can we petition the Supreme Court to change the name of FOX to “Fear Incorporated”. Now they are saying that “Iran won” because we are leaving Iraq. And still no mention that the withdrawal date was negotiated by the Bush Administration. I suppose it wouldn’t be convenient if the FOX worshipers started wondering if that uncomfortable fact would mean that Bush/Cheney “surrendered” Iraq before Obama was even elected. (NOTE: I don’t think that many FOX worshipers would be smart enough to arrive at that logical conclusion but it’s apparent that Roger and friends aren’t going to take that chance.)

    • According to the Right, democracy these days can only come from being invaded by a massive military power which then ‘supervises’ elections and then spends about a decade demonstrating how the American idea of democracy works. Said demonstration involves military occupation, coercion of local government to agree with American policy and agreeing to exempt said occupation forces should be immune to any local democratic laws.

      That is how America came to be, right?

      • Of course. And the British didn’t fight the rebels because of the vast natural wealth of the New World. They were just pissing themselves about the natives regaining strength and sending fleets of ships to take their shit.

  15. This just in from the Bachmann HQ. “”While it is true that none of the senior people we hired in NH are answering our calls this is not a serious problem. There are many more crazy fundies in IA and SC that we really need to focus on,”

  16. I’ve been vindicated!!!

    I actually managed to sneak a comment past the censors of the Star Tribune where I called Crazy Shelly “Crazy” and took a jab at said censors. I’m positively giddy. Perhaps the fundy moderators are in Iowa for the nth “values voters” summit and left the relatively cool interns to mind the store?

  17. Okay, the cesspool party is up.

    Critters, you know where to find the password.

    Zoosters, check your email for the password. If it’s not in your email, then leave a comment here, and I’ll see if the chimps will let you in.

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