Stuff to Read

Obama Administration

There’s one good thing about Kathleen Parker’s insipid column — some of the comments are great. I liked this one in particular:

One nit: True, the economic pie is not precisely a zero-sum game as the pie does grow. BUT when one segment of society is cutting ever larger pieces for itself faster than the economy as a whole grows–as we’ve seen now for many years–the amount of pie left for everyone else very definitely does decrease.

The Disneyfication of Tibet” by Pearl Sydenstricker is one of the best articles I’ve read on the continued Chinese occupation of Tibet. There’s little in here that I haven’t been hearing for awhile, and I believe it to be accurate. One thing I hadn’t heard was that the Chinese are selling tickets to the “sky burials.” Sick.

Basically, China is turning Tibet into a tourism theme park, and the monasteries are the equivalent of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride. And China is being every bit the exploitative imperial power in Tibet that Europeans were in China a century ago. This is not just about religion. Tibetans are now second-class citizens in their own country.

Bill DeBlasio was inaugurated today. I’m not going to link to the really stupid New York Times article about him, but instead will link to dread pirate mistermix commenting on the article.

See also Don’t you know the crime rate’s going up up up up up?

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  1. uncledad  •  Jan 1, 2014 @10:01 pm

    “And China is being every bit the exploitative imperial power in Tibet that Europeans were in China a century ago. This is not just about religion. Tibetans are now second-class citizens in their own country”

    We’ve seen this movie before, and it usually does not end well.

    O.T. sort of, I see Bebe is going to wait until Sec. Kerry’s visit is complete to announce the stealing of more land, I hope Kerry doesn’t read the newspapers!

  2. Swami  •  Jan 1, 2014 @11:14 pm
  3. Craig  •  Jan 2, 2014 @3:56 am

    In many ways, the fossil industries in the United States are no longer growing the pie like they did 40 years ago. The real costs have dramatically risen, from subsides to imports, from higher production costs to global warming.

    But there’s also an economic energy issue that doesn’t get enough attention: energy returned on energy invested (EROEI). The fact has been obvious for some time that oil production, in particular, has had an average EROEI over the last thirty years that has been falling. Some places, like the Tar Sands in Alberta, have a EROEI of only 3 units of energy returned to 1 unit of energy invested. There were places in the oil business in the early days where the EROEI was somewhere around 100 to 1. The more the EROEI increases, the more wealth is being generated. And the more it falls, the less wealth is really generates. This is why ethanol largely failed. Many ethanol projects had an EROEI of something like 1.5 to 1. That’s useless, particularly since carbon is being burned twice: natural gas to make the ethanol and when the ethanol is burned in a car engine.

    The point is that fossil fuels are no longer generating the wealth that they once did. The pie is no longer growing for most people.

    Ironically, the EROEI for alternative energy like solar and wind is climbing. That’s good news for average people, but the so-called freedom-loving, self-made crowd is screaming for the government to protect them from competition. This is going to get interesting.

  4. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 2, 2014 @8:51 am

    NY’s new Mayor gave a great and short rousing speech about Progressive values. And I loved it when he said he wanted to make NYC “one” city – NOT, “two” cities.

    Oh, how I wish WPIX had a video of ex-Mayor Bloomberg at that moment, who made my beloved NYC into a playground for the rich, at the exclusion of everyone else.

    Some guy named, Clinton I think, also spoke, introducing the new Mayor.
    Him talk real purty, too!

  5. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 2, 2014 @8:59 am

    Oh, and I read that article about Tibet yesterday.
    The word “awful” doesn’t do justice to what’s going on there.
    The word “criminal” comes to mind.

  6. moonbat  •  Jan 2, 2014 @1:58 pm

    Kathleen Parker is Effie Trinket.

  7. Annaeus  •  Jan 2, 2014 @2:54 pm

    I had to add my own two bits re: Madame Parker’s absurd article:

    “The Founding Fathers … created a country from scratch with little more than mettle and intellectual vigor.”

    –And slaves. Don’t forget the slaves.

    These people live in some bizarre hermetically sealed world of their own.

  8. erinyes  •  Jan 2, 2014 @5:08 pm

    Right, Craig. I thought tracking was going to be a long term solution, but the carbon footprint is still a factor, along with world wide peak oil. It’s still a major economic threat.
    Great comment, annaeus.

    I can’t believe anyone would sell tickets to a sky burial; gruesome and disrespectful.

  9. erinyes  •  Jan 2, 2014 @5:15 pm

    Uncle dad; it’s just a farce. All parties know the score. Follow the money, and everybody knows who is running the show. Clap little seals, clap! Here’s your herring !

  10. erinyes  •  Jan 2, 2014 @5:23 pm

    “America’s strength and well being comes from her goodness” not to mention her nuclear biological, and chemical arsenal.
    Mme. Parker is living in a fantasy world.

  11. Stephen Stralka  •  Jan 2, 2014 @5:35 pm

    Annaeus–slaves and also some gigantic loans from France, and considerable assistance from the French army and navy.

    One common theme here is historical amnesia. Parker appears to have studied her history at Glenn Beck U, and the NY Times article starts with this:

    Liberals across the country are looking to Bill de Blasio, who was sworn in as mayor early Wednesday, to morph New York City’s municipal machinery into a closely watched laboratory for populist theories of government that have never before been enacted on such a large scale.

    So economic populism is a brand new concept? And beyond that they act like Bill de Blasio is this entirely new and alien phenomenon in our politics, when in fact he’s part of an American tradition. A New York tradition too. This isn’t Daniel Ortega talking:

    No man should receive a dollar unless that dollar has been fairly earned. Every dollar received should represent a dollar’s worth of service rendered — not gambling in stocks, but service rendered. The really big fortune, the swollen fortune, by the mere fact of its size acquires qualities which differentiate it in kind as well as in degree from what is possessed by men of relatively small means. Therefore, I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes, and in another tax which is far more easily collected and far more effective — a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion, and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate.

  12. Swami  •  Jan 2, 2014 @8:58 pm

    I can’t believe anyone would sell tickets to a sky burial; gruesome and disrespectful.

    I can’t believe anyone would buy tickets to a sky burial. I’m surprised that Ticketmaster® hasn’t cashed in on that action yet.

  13. erinyes  •  Jan 3, 2014 @7:30 am

    Good point, swami.

  14. Craig  •  Jan 3, 2014 @9:47 pm

    erinyes-I have the same problem when I write about Fracking. If I don’t use capital F, then the software turns Fracking into tracking.

    You’re right, Fracking looked promising, particularly in remote areas like North Dakota, until people noticed how fast the wells deplete and how much water is needed. Those two things cannot be ignored. Although the EROEI for Fracking is better than that for the tar sands, it’s not that much better and it’s not the future.

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