Jots with dots 4/16

Serendipity:  I made this observation in this space a couple short weeks ago.  http://www.vox.com/2015/4/15/8421257/gun-legislation-race-ethnicity  It’s a stupid question

Government is just the things we do together and if you don’t like it you should just go live in Somalia chortle chortle…:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/04/15/minnesotas-great-umlaut-war-is-over-also-minnesota-was-having-an-umlaut-war/  Preceded by:  http://www.startribune.com/local/299457931.html  Mark Dayton comes off well.  The absurdity is the DOT at various points begging off because their hands were tied…  I read the Moberg books, they are an important parable if you are an American Swede.

But it’s a noble lie:  http://nypost.com/2015/04/16/hillary-fudges-the-truth-about-her-immigrant-grandparents/  On immigrant grandparents: I had none.  Two immigrant g-grandparents (Sweden, England)  Buncha g-g-grandparents (Germany, Norway) g-g-g-grandparents (Ireland, Norway)

I agree with his premise.  http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/04/the-myth-of-police-reform/390057/  Bi-party reform, where the police are one of the parties, is a myth.  Legislatures have to abridge their power and expand their culpability.

Coulda talked a bit about taxes yesterday.  I made peace with taxes…wisdom acquired with adulthood there…. withhold, pay your taxes….. but it’s not like I want to pay more.  More importantly, I don’t think it’s a good idea people like me, ie, the ‘middle class’ pay more.  Some people do.  Annually on 4/15 you get this obsequious garbage  http://www.newrepublic.com/article/121534/tax-day-2016-government-needs-higher-taxes-more-revenue  Which I like to call, ‘the Democrat party’s radical inner dialogue, in which they conspire to take away the money that everyday Americans spend on flat screen TVs, a winter trip to Mexico, or second car… cuz those bourgeois habits are decadent and global warming and privilege…’  Also, you get articles like this also, which I also don’t agree with. http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2015/04/15/top_tax_rates_why_it_s_absolutely_crazy_that_we_don_t_ask_millionaires_to.html  These guys keep wanting to go back to the Eisenhower top bracket marginal rate of 92%.  Some of these guys are obtuse.  Author Weissmann has a couple lines in there:

As any mildly snarky liberal will remind you, the country seemed to do just fine in the Eisenhower era, when marginal income tax rates  topped out at a confiscatory 92 percent. It also fared pretty well after Bill Clinton raised rates to close the deficit in the early 1990s. If you’re looking for a slightly more formal source, when the Congressional Research Service looked at the issue in 2012, it found that there was no statistically significant correlation at all between top marginal tax rates and real GDP growth.1

A conservative will counter here that the astronomical tax rates of mid-century America were basically a fiction, or, as commentators put it at the time, “a colossal illusion” riddled with loopholes. This is somewhat true.

So he’s not obtuse, but you actually make that last sentence accurate by taking out the word ‘somewhat’.  It’s entirely true, not merely ‘somewhat’, and obviates 93% the premise.  No one ever crossed the threshold to pay 93% on income, doing so would have meant getting paid 7% on the dollar for your efforts.  I also accepted, in my wisdom, that the rich should pay more, cuz there are things to pay for, and they have the money.   Fairness I think is too squishy a concept to be a determinant.  Other thing is… I know liberals can’t acknowledge the efficacy of trickle down, but to the extent they know it’s valid, I think they still misunderstand it.   Ya know, it’s probably arguable what the velocity of money is that rich guy spends on mansions and yacht… or investment….  IE, that it don’t trickle that fast, or trickle that far.  But I don’t think thats the point of trickle down.  The point is, those large balances remain in larger economic ecosystem to contribute to its dynamism, available to be allocated via banking, rather than sucked up by the government where it generally buys less value.

Jots with dots 4/15

It’s not actually some sort of ‘privilege’ at work:  I dunno how you argue around the intuitive explanation that the cost of land acquisition in ‘impoverished’ areas is going to be lower, thereby making the financials of a low income housing project more viable:  http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2015/04/civil-rights-complaint-seeks-stop-cities-concentrating-low-income-housing-hi

I tend to agree:  http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/04/crisis-of-the-detergent-pod.php

Government is just the things we do together and if you don’t like it you should just go live in Somalia chortle chortle…:  http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/04/14/denver_tsa_groping_dia_agents_fired.html  Obviously, what the TSA needs is for John Oliver to laugh-splain why we should all be thankful for the TSA.

Cool  http://bringmethenews.com/2015/04/13/after-visiting-all-the-other-states-obama-plans-trip-to-south-dakota/  Figure he’d go to the Black Hills, so this is not an obvious pick, northwest SD is kinda nowheresville.  My Norwegian ancestors picked that spot to come to in the late 1870’s

Pres. Barack Obama ostensibly raised a lot of grassroots money, with this being very important in his victories.  http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/04/hillary-feel-the-love.php  Ya know, the motivation of the grass roots to donate is something of a function of a contested primary.  Is the grassroots base really going to donate to Hillary?  I have my doubts.  Insofar as it’s a problem…. It might not be, maybe the grassroots are dwarfed by soft, dark money.

I get it actually  http://theweek.com/speedreads/549567/official-no-likes-hillary-clintons-campaign-logo  The melding of the red and blue….  Isn’t that left to right arrow interesting, a bit counterintuitive for the same reason that the Democrats are blue and the Republicans red in this country, ie, that political codes enforced by American liberals prevent us from having a serious discussion about to what degree American liberals embrace Marxism….  In any event, it’s a clumsy looking logo.

Not inevitable….http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-04-14/hillary-clinton-isn-t-inevitable  1, 3, 4, 6, as I’ve expressed.  I’d add a tenth to this list, that there’s some disharmony in Bill continuing to date other women and while a campaign is run.  And I expect some reputable journalist will not be able to restrain themselves from making that observation, at some point.

Jots with dots 4/14

North Charleston:  http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/04/13/michael_slager_won_t_face_death_penalty_for_michael_scott_shooting.html No death penalty, and it’s not as if that’s not sensible.  There’s other things to note in this article.  Recall, the shooting happened on a Saturday, the police release a boiler plate statement near immediately, then the video surfaced beginning of last week, then Slager was charged by Tuesday.  While the video prompts the charges, it’s not obvious the video contradicts a police report full of lies, because it’s not clear there was yet a police report.  Slager had just started his administrative leave with the expectation he would be interviewed mid-week.  If this is correct, I think this does speak to the phenomena of police public affairs offices releasing canned statements that have no real relationship to reality.

Good thing he’s loquacious, cuz he’s not a handsome devil:  http://www.salon.com/2015/04/13/bill_mahers_atheism_is_just_bigotry/  I don’t actually think he’s a bigot, that’s probably the wrong word.

Chait stains:  http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/04/why-hillary-clinton-is-probably-going-to-win.html  The wise thing, I think, is to have some wariness of assumptions that would presume a happy path.  That’s universal wisdom stuff.  And what he does here is presume a happy path for HRC, which is oblivious to a reality of ‘what can go wrong, will go wrong’.  He’s projecting his fantasy version of the race.  Silver’s deconstruction is better. http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/clinton-begins-the-2016-campaign-and-its-a-toss-up/

I can vaguely see him there at the finish line http://theweek.com/articles/549476/why-marco-rubio-may-gops-most-promising-presidential-candidate  Probably at least as plausible as Rand.

The Reagan tax cuts:  http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-04-14/the-reagan-tax-debate-is-a-distraction  I recall: my father was laid off as a DNR condemnation assessor in 1981, and I think he was making like $22,500.  I dunno, that’s probably like $50k in todays money, because $40k is the new $20k right.  That’s inflation for ye.   Anyway, 1982 was palpably stressful in the house…there were various absurdities going on in the name job placement.  The Marine Corps was calling him back at age 38, asking him if he wanted to re-enlist….some agency was asking if he wanted to be a police office in Dade County, Florida….But my dad opened his own white collar professional services shop, and I think by 1985 had a year were he had to book $140k on his W2.  Lotta money back then, but we weren’t living that way.  If I recall right he had to then make a $40k tax payment to the feds, and had to refi the house to do it.

What’s the chance….73 year old reserve officer

And another…. http://www.vox.com/2015/4/12/8395457/eric-harris-police-shooting  Maybe the conclusion is going to be obvious to everyone, but it’s kinda penny wise pound foolish to have a 73 year old reserve officer working your sting.

The Wannemacher gun show is in Tulsa, they do it twice a year, April and November.  Humongous show, a national draw for advanced consumers in this milieu, nothing like it.  I went to the Nov 2012 show.  Spent the weekend, and at one point was at Drysdale’s, a western wear shop.  They had a lot of rhinestone jewelry, and the other thing was, Carhartt jackets of all things are apparently popular with street kids, at least in Tulsa.  Apparently Tulsa’s young people trying to walk out without paying for these jackets had gotten to be kind of a thing.

This store’s loss prevention regime was overt and visible, though I guess really it would have been on par to here as far as it goes, with the magnety / scanny chute things you walk through at the door.  But there was also a guy there, ready to grab anyone who was to make a run for it with unpaid items.  And this guy was very old….  My traveling companion / show mate was the guy who got to talking to him…  I don’t recall his age at the time exactly… except 71, 72, 73….those are all in the ball park.  I think he said he was 71.

With us… middle aged white guys… he was pretty jocular.  Told us the this, the that, that he had done regular law enforcement, that he had a snubby in his fanny pack….  He was in good health and fairly imposing…. a true 6’ 2 or 6’ 3…. but pretty darn gangly at that age and I didn’t have any illusion that a small teenager wouldn’t be a handful for him.

Same guy?  Some likelihood it is the guy I encountered, I’d say.

Update:  nevermind, that’s not the guy  http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/04/12/was-tulsa-shooter-a-pay-to-play-cop.html

Jots with dots 4/13

A review of HBOnow – As I say, wanted to watch Game of Thrones, but my phone/cable/internet bill is $85/mo currently (which is mostly internet)  and didn’t want to step up to about $200 to get a cable tier with HBO.  So HBOnow is out, but it’s only on Apple IOS as a function of an exclusive marketing agreement that will last for a few months.   Great, but we only have the phones… don’t have a pad or AppleTV and don’t have a desire right now for either.  No biggie.  Got the HDMI to 5 pin lightning adapter to put the phone stream on a TV.  It worked like… a charm.  And I’m kinda surprised at the whole thing.  GoT is a pretty valuable property, and cable in general is the kind of thing that people like well enough to contemplate kinda crazy schemes.  HBOnow is $14.99 right, but they give you the first month free… I haven’t even incurred a charge yet…they are really trying to get new people hooked rather than soak their vulnerable GoT addicts.

Having gone this way, we won’t be getting cable, and I will be without baseball for this summer.   And I’m actually to be without radio too, as I always have been in this house, which is not really far from the downtowns and their radio towers.  But we are behind a seemingly gentle bluff with the vertical difference preventing us from getting a FM or AM signals  Streaming merely the radio signal would be a solution, but, for some business reason that I can’t fathom the Twins / MLB will not put a live audio feed of the game on the Go 96 stream.  I mean really people, what’s the difference?

I coulda got like 5 hits in this game.  At the age I’m at now.  http://bringmethenews.com/2015/04/12/you-read-that-right-msu-mankato-bemidji-state-score-combined-61-runs/  Thing that happened, obviously, is the game got crazy and both teams ended up with guys on the mound who are not actually pitchers.

I’ll go contrarian on Slager for a moment.  http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2015/04/the-otherworldly-rejection-of-michael-slager/390165/  Fair to say the video reveals a felonious homicide, because he shot him in the back as he fled.  That’s open and shut.  To what degree might actually be of question.  It’s within the realm of possibility that Scott the suspect provoked the fight, and arguable that Slager acted on a heat of the moment impulse that might not equate to 30 yrs / life / or the death penalty.  Something smaller, manslaughter, like 6-7 years in the slam.  Or 3.  And the Taser drop might be explained away as a non-event, depending on what he filed in his original police report.  That’s why we have trials.  But if he’s to benefit from a generous interpretation of events, it will be hard to get it in this environment…  http://reason.com/blog/2015/04/09/walter-scott-dashcam-video-released  Is this a tipping point?  It might be.  I think what ought to be understood by implication… just as we know dark matter and relativity by implication…. is that police are being trained to end confrontations with their sidearms somewhat irrespective of necessity, that they have great leeway to tart up police reports with whatever malfeasance not going explored by county and municipal prosecutors.  Yeah, the ubiquitous presence of cell phone camera and the imperative to turn them on around police is going to change how police act.

Yeah, I can sense that….  http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/history/2015/04/appomattox_how_did_ulysses_s_grant_become_an_embarrassment_of_history_and.2.html  I’m not a historian, but I always got A’s in history, for one reason or another I have always soaked it up and committed it to deep memory.  It’s true, in the popular history I was taught the Grant Presidency was described as irredeemably flawed.  T-Coates is also re-arguing this recently. I like Grant for being a late bloomer.

Eye on Scandinavia: I was listening to MPR on 4/10, which noted it was the 75th anniversary of the German invasion of Norway.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_occupation_of_Norway  That must have sucked.  I’m of the mind the Swedes were a bit supine during the war, in which they pledged ambivalence and didn’t get occupied.  The Norwegians must have been spirited and unruly, sorta like I see them in my mind’s eye, as the Germans seemed to think it was necessary to keep 400,000 men up there for 5 years.  That’s a lot of guys.

Jots with dots 4/9

How is Michael Slager’s gofundme campaign going?  I wondered this yesterday.  http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/04/08/3644461/gofundme-rejects-campaign-support-south-carolina-officer-charged-murder/

Scott’s family remarked how Slager looked on video like how was going about the unremarkable business of bringing down a deer.  That’s not a bad juxtaposition.  Slave catcher is another.

On the subject of the police, I can be perhaps oddly presumptive for a middle aged white guy who’s never been arrested.  And this is presumption is specious for a number of reasons; it’s at odds with a wisdom that says most people are normal, at odds with a notion people aren’t irredeemable, at odds with a notion people aren’t defined by their worst moments… this all includes cops, right?  I tell ya though, it’s fairly seldom there’s anecdotes introduced to contradict a notion that people who gravitate to this work don’t consistently have serious character deficiencies.  This guy…

Presumably, he’s never shot anyone in the line of duty before.  If you’re moved to wonder how he can be so ready to plant evidence and tart up a police report that justifies an unjustifiable shooting having never been through that, I think the answer is, you prep for that by committing a couple thousand more mundane abuses of process and authority against the public in your preceding time on the job.  When the time comes for your big day, you’re ready.

I don’t know that I ever was one of these profiling denialists, but it might be fair to say that I went from ambivalence to acceptance of profiling as real and corrosive some time back.  http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/04/north_charleston_shooting_how_investigatory_traffic_stops_unfairly_affect.html  Consistent with my other libertine thinking, I do think these investigatory stops justified by insincere technical pretenses are BA-LONEY.  Stop doing that.  Ya know, yeah, we’re all law and order in the USA for sure, but I don’t think the public ever gave any kind of acquiescence that might allow the taillight stops etc.  Such that there’s obvious profiling, stop allowing stops for those [bogus] justifications.  I’m trying to recall when’s the last time I got pulled over as a middle class white dude that drives a conventional car.  I think it was 2010 or so, for speeding on I-94.  I don’t think he ticketed me.

I take it seriously that Rand may not win the nomination, but such that some of the righty scolds and lefty dismissers downplay his chances….he has authentic ways of appealing to most pieces of the R coalition.  http://theweek.com/articles/548458/rand-pauls-incoherence-best-asset  This seemed to have burnished his esteem in several quarters yesterday… http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-04-09/rand-paul-s-i-paid-for-this-microphone-moment

Peak oil:  http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/04/09/gatwick_airport_oil_100_billion_barrels.html  I got news for ye.  We’re going to find it’s all over the place, and we’ll find ways to get at the stuff that seems hard to reach.

Not a handsome devil: Mary Lucia’s stalker  http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/28762700/stalker-forces-the-currents-mary-lucia-to-take-leave-of-absence  Ya wonder if there’s not an overreaction here.  And granted, maybe there’s not.  He was told to stop, he didn’t, and that’s unsettling.  The fella there is obviously mentally ill though… and probably really lonely… which is kinda reinforced by virtue of a feedback loop in which his lack of interpersonal and physical appeal causes more loneliness and social isolation.  It’s just to say, people dismiss the guy as a ‘creep’ while the explanation is a bit more nuanced.  Shouldn’t this be justification to redistribute interpersonal contact here btw, that the physically challenged and unattractive are getting left out?  It’s not fair, truly.  And if there’s not a redistributive social welfare answer here, ya figure the market does have an answer… legalized prostitution.

The Twins way:  http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/04/09/ricky-nolasco-is-undergoing-an-mri-exam-on-his-elbow/  Twins GM Terry Ryan signed Nolasco two years ago, 4yrs/48m.  You look at this today, there is some possibility they may not get 15 wins out of Nolasco for the entirety of these 4 seasons.  Ryan is supposed to be one of these wise old heads.  He did sign Phil Hughes also I guess….

Jots with dots 4/8

Here we go again.  http://blogs.mprnews.org/newscut/2015/04/what-if-someone-hadnt-filmed-officers-shooting/

And it’s going to be ‘here we go again’ until the nature of the adjudication for these things changes enough to make police modify their behavior.   I’ve argued this quite a few times in the last year: yeah, it’s the racism, but moreso it’s the lying without consequence  http://www.newrepublic.com/article/121486/walter-scott-killing-video-sheds-light-police-lying

So, what if it wasn’t filmed?  In that event, the county prosecutor there probably would have assumed the truthfulness of the officer’s police report.  With the officer saying there was a scuffle in which he feared for his safety, the prosecutor would have called it a justifiable shooting and not brought a bill for murder.

I think this is a good question, at least in this case http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2015/04/andersen_windows_scores_3_million_in_corporate_welfare_from_the_state_of_minnesota.php  My parents moved us from St. Paul to the St. Croix valley in 1979, and all the sudden we were around all these prosperous 3M families and prosperous Andersen families.  The Andersen families benefited from yearly profit sharing checks, and there were a lot of new toys bought at that time.  You matriculate to adulthood and come to understand what’s what…those 3M jobs were better, those Andersen factory workers really weren’t getting all that much though I think you still encounter recent-ish retirees with great pensions.  Re subsidies:  I guess we’re assuming Minnesota labor is at least mildly anti-competitive in its price if you want to build durable goods.  How long is labor price going to be a factor there?  We must be getting to the point where windows come off a highly automated line.    Andersen is both extraordinarily anti-union and hard to get fired for cause from btw what with a benevolent taskmaster ethic that seems to remain.

Social Security: http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-04-07/the-left-gets-it-wrong-about-social-security.  Seems to me a 3rd option is borrow / print a lot of money and then diminish that debt with inflation over a generation.  I dunno, but this stopped troubling me.  When am I going to retire, 2040?  I bet there will still be SS then, despite what people predict of a troubled future.

Freaky tech: Re multiple key authentications, I guess.  I have a Fedex shipper account, and I’m merely enrolling in some delivery management options.  In authenticating me, they ask for confirmation among multiple choices, where I live, where my father lives, and …. how tall I am.  My father has moved in the last year… I don’t know how it is they offer me a selection that is accurate, but they do, I don’t know how  the familial relationship is provided to Fedex as data… or whoever… you figure this little piece of software might be a sub-contracted plugin on the websight.  It’s a very odd thing though…