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George Rebane
Naturalized Citizen, Entrepreneur, Professional Engineer and Systems Scientist formally trained in Physics, Complex Dynamic Systems, and Computer Science.
Interests: music, history, friends, community, science/cosmology, future of man, avid reader, camping/canoeing, and family, philosophy, politics, investing, flying, shooting
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George Rebane [This is the addended transcript of my regular KVMR commentary broadcast on 19 September 2014.] Are we in information overload? It’s hard to think back to a time when Americans have been in such deep denial about so... Continue reading
Posted 2 hours ago at Rebane's Ruminations
DonB 1011pm - Thanks for the comment and clarification Don. I think the readers would be better served if you reposted this comment under 'Marijuana Ordinance Utility ...' where this discussion is very active, and in which comment stream Ms Patricia Smith just posted a long comment (link below) that takes you to task. This would provide some continuity in this exchange.
Toggle Commented yesterday on Sandbox – 15sep14 at Rebane's Ruminations
BradC 854am - Excellent illustration of the liberal mind. The author argues that today our poverty rate should be lower (therefore the War on Poverty has worked) if we only counted most government welfare handouts (transfer payments) as 'income' to the recipients. This would push their total incomes above the defined poverty threshold income, and Voila! they would no longer be counted in the poor column. And then everyone could go back to celebrating the genius of Leviathan. Instead, we don't do that - we keep counting the welfare check from the govt as a welfare check from the govt (along with in kind services), and we only consider the recipient's income as monies received in some form of non-transfer payments, like from a job. What a concept! The article most certainly is "another point of view on the war on poverty", and that it illustrates the fundamentals of progressive thinking, it also makes clear how in our polarized nation we should expect that never the twain shall meet. Bottom line, RussS' 647am stands.
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on Sandbox – 15sep14 at Rebane's Ruminations
BradC 909am - that's a good find. A dear friend on the east coast (who was born and raised in the Canal Zone) is looking forward to retiring there. He has been singing praises of Panama's manifest charms for years. Don't we all wish that the US would be a place that is attractive to the world's successfully retireds? PS. I draw your kind attention to the 17sep14 update to 'Shamed into a strategy'.
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Sandbox – 15sep14 at Rebane's Ruminations
Re GeorgeR 341pm - William Galston reviews some of the facts behind today's mangled labor markets and cites "Eight million Americans have simply dropped out of the economy since late 2007." I don't think that humanities graduates heading for government jobs will be the ones to generate the GDP growth rate required to keep up with the net newbies hitting the job markets, let alone a growth rate that in any way can be considered to put us back on the road to recovery. The obvious solutions for the growing throngs of unemployed is more welfare and diversions (in olden days they used to call it 'bread and circuses'). Some non-obvious solutions have been discussed in these pages over the last several years. But as economist Tyler Cowen persuasively argues 'The Average is Over'.
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Sandbox – 15sep14 at Rebane's Ruminations
MichaelK's 1148am makes the point that finally resolved the issue for me. Now the quest is to find the right kind of 'leash' for MJ. But the forces arrayed against legalizing recreational use are formidable - it is the one thing on which the cartels and law enforcement are in complete agreement. In the meantime we nebbishes should at least do our best to have a productive conversation about it.
Gregory 1226pm - The article told us that we have too many STEM graduates and not too many college graduates. Therefore, it did not recommend that we reduce our college throughput. If not graduating with STEM majors, then other non-STEM majors are left to the same number of students. For non-STEM majors I used the place holders "humanities, business, and other less demanding academic pursuits". Substitute your own, but mine was the proper deduction from the thrust of the article. Have no idea from where your accusation of "snark" comes. Is it gratuitous? With regard to 'having enough STEM workers', the question is a bit murky (at least to me), and the debate definitely is not over. The Dept of Commerce counts 7.6M workers holding STEM jobs in the nation, but only 3.3M have STEM degrees. Then there's the longstanding claim by the BLS that 3M+ US jobs go unfilled due to the lack of talent that can do basic math. One can dig up more links, but I think that these show at least that there is some basis to the shortage of STEM, if not by absolute number, then at least in the proper skill sets. The debate is still on. Finally, I believe that the feds have so mangled the job markets (upping the total cost of hiring a full time worker) that companies are going through all kinds of acrobatics trying to get cheaper workers, part-time workers, doing without new hires, substituting technology, offshoring, ... which suck the air out of the classical argument that if there really were a shortage of workers, then wages would go up. The funny thing is that wages for STEM workers with the exact skill sets required have gone up and markedly. And yes, there will also be big job growth in all the non-STEM fields that I abbreviated in my 712pm.
Toggle Commented 4 days ago on Sandbox – 15sep14 at Rebane's Ruminations
RussS 903am - It appears that both the true believers and skeptics have given up the substantive dialogue on the science of the matter, and from here on are just ignoring each other while trying to convince the undecided. And on a broader view, today we learn that in the five states that have overwhelming popular support to raise their minimum wage levels, Republicans running for Congress there are also supporting such state mandated wage increases. Both of these issues remind me of Francois de La Rochefoucauld, who said, "Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue." Finally, I invite your kind attention to the 16sep14 update of 'Cultural Solidarity'.
Toggle Commented 4 days ago on Sandbox – 15sep14 at Rebane's Ruminations
Walt 845pm - Excellent exhortation for all reformers. If I may paraphrase, with attribution of course - 'If you don't like the way things are done there, don't go there.'
Gregory 745pm - I think the ball's in your court to then reveal the proper message of the article. Specifically which of my four points is in error viz the article. Recall that I'm willing to be convinced that there is not a STEM worker shortage.
Toggle Commented 4 days ago on Sandbox – 15sep14 at Rebane's Ruminations
Gregory 641pm - Well then, it's settled. What I glean from the article is that - 1. There are half the number of STEM jobs created annually than America's STEM graduates; 2. Greedy STEM corporations can't get enough foreign STEM workers at significantly cheaper cost for any given skill level to substitute for American STEM workers; 3. All of our STEM labor problems would go away, according to the corporations, if Congress would only loosen the H1-B visa quotas so that all American STEM workers could be replaced once and for all by foreigners. 4. But whatever the situation is, our STEM worker surplus would go away if we could only convince all those young Americans to get back into the humanities, business, and other less demanding academic pursuits.
Toggle Commented 4 days ago on Sandbox – 15sep14 at Rebane's Ruminations
Did you know that there will be a Climate Change demonstration in NYC on 21 Sep? Departing for that demonstration from Emeryville, CA will be the "People's Climate Train". This socialist gathering from across the country spells out the fundamentals of the self-admitted "climate movement". The bottom line is that as long been maintained by the skeptics, climate change has nothing to do with science, and everything to do with America's fundamental transformation. Get a load of the train full of deep thinkers heading for NYC.
Toggle Commented 4 days ago on Sandbox – 15sep14 at Rebane's Ruminations
Walt 253pm - worked on that directed energy stuff myself, only it was against an incoming 'cloud'. The question I have is how long will take to commercialize a shoulder fired version against the little handheld multi-copters. I can see the introduction of a new sport.
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Sandbox – 15sep14 at Rebane's Ruminations
RLCrabb 329pm - Sad tidings indeed Bob, thanks for bringing us the news. JeffA is a friend and our prayers go out for him and his family.
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Sandbox – 15sep14 at Rebane's Ruminations
BradC 110am - How would all those overlapping "enclaves" work, since in that hierarchy an individual could/would be a member of many such enclaves. Recall that the common attribute of all these mono-cultural independence movements is the creation of a single jurisdiction that shares a culture and also the associated governance with its uniformly applying laws. The social system you outline needs a little work to flesh it out - most certainly it could not be attained under any existing constitution. PS. I failed to mention that this post now has its 15sep14 update.
Gregory 1052am - Agreed.
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Sandbox – 15sep14 at Rebane's Ruminations
JoeK 952am - Great comment and good contribution to the discussion. You arguments are on the mark until you get into the notion of "cultural isolation", and then you go off the rails. Mono-culturalism in any given jurisdiction of government leads neither to cultural isolation nor its stasis. And that truth is yet stronger in today's inter-connected world than ever before. Enlightened cultures have lived and continue to live in cohesive communities, but they don't do so with your "isolation" blinders on, nor are they restricted from enjoying broad and deep intercourse with other cultures in other jurisdictions. The only difference is that in mono-cultural societies it is the people of that culture who decide what the direction and rate of the cultural evolution will be, not the heavy hand of a multi-cultural government attempting to keep the peace through imposition of greater strictures (witness the erosion of freedoms in our country within the onslaught of socialism). Your view is understandable and your arguments are classical (as I point out in my piece) given your ideological perspective. In an enlightened mono-cultural society the reach of government can be limited and amiable as illustrated by the countries practicing it today. And yes, cultures are very diverse, some can be rapacious and stifling as you imply of classical Islam. But it is both simplistic and naïve to attribute the atrocities of Islam to all mono-cultural societies in the face of a deluge of existential counter-evidence. Nevertheless, you have successfully identified another tenet that strongly polarizes the collective and classical liberal wings of American thought. Thanks again for the comment.
[I salt this sandbox with a reminder to RR readers that Obama (with the enthusiastic aid of acolyte Schumer) is planning his next step to take the US down another notch – we are already 32 out of 34 developed... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Rebane's Ruminations
RichardW 246am - OK Mr Wynn, now that you've thoroughly trashed the messenger, it would be helpful for the rest of us if you moved on to the message - else you relegate yourself for membership in a group I'm sure you want to avoid. What exactly is the BS that DonB is trying to push?
Al 838pm - Thanks for the clarification. In many ways this blog is part of my legacy to my family. In addition to the autobiographical sketches in the 'My Story' section, my progeny will have a fairly detailed snapshot of what the old fart believed and thought about the issues and happenings of his day. Please recall RR's tagline, I really do believe this is the last great century of Man and try to argue that point here in the 'Singularity' section. You ask an excellent question about the narrow imposition of multi-culturality. So much progress has been made in mono cultures, cultures that could focus their energies on trade or technology while avoiding self-generated whirlwinds that so unsettle and deplete societies. Mono cultures (e.g. in yesteryear Europe and America) had no problems with cross cultural intercourse in trade and ideas, readily taking the best that worked for them from other lands. Things have quickly gone to hell as in the 20th century multiple cultures started contending instead of assimilating within the same jurisdictions of governance. As I mention in my piece, this MO is part of the toxic desiderata of modern collectivism. There is no reason why the EU cannot return to a collection of mono-cultural member states. Equally there is no reason why America cannot become a confederation of mono-cultural states. Such a social order would be much more stable in that social evolution would then proceed intra-culturally, and not from a pell mell contention of cultures each seeking their best place in the sun by denying it to the other. In the end multi-culturalism has always demanded that the minority cultures are sacrificed. Today we have become so multi-culturally dysfunctional as a nation-state that America can no longer adopt and teach a common set of national interests. And this to such an extent that our very survival is now threatened by the absence of working policies - domestic and foreign - policies which are necessarily stuck in the craw of a polarized Congress. Even though we still use the same words (lexicon), their culture-dependent meanings are so different that communication has become all but impossible. The comment streams of RR are a microcosmic witness to this.
AI 807pm - "humbling Godsmack", "revel in your family legacy works", "bind the collection", 'western culture must be removed" ??!! Boy do you have me at a disadvantage. Could you please say that again in another way. Many thanks.
Walt 628pm - Sending their money to England may just be the tip of iceberg for the Scots. The real point of their getting this independence movement finally to the ballot box level is self-determination - the feeling that a Scot has where he and people like him determine their own fate. Should independence pass, what happens afterward is anyone's guess. My guess is that they will adjust and prosper; the Scots are a tough and resilient people, besides being smart. I hope they decide to go through with it, and be an inspiration to all other such people who want to work and live within the confines of their very own culture. I saw what the Estonians did again when they regained independence in 1992 - the first item of business was to turn down the kind offer of foreign aid from the US because they didn't want to become beholden to or dependent on a foreign tit. It worked out in spades for them, and I believe the Scots will do just as well (or even better since they will be cheek by jowl with the remaining UK.
To further underline the thesis of this post on the strength of cultural solidarity, please direct your attention to the video in the 14sep14 update of 'The Silence of the Lambs'.
Re the silence of the NC Tea Party. As a member of that group I agree that the NCTP should have weighed in on the civil liberties aspects of 2349 and S. Their silence does not speak well of either their attentiveness to such local issues or their lack of position on the issue. This should be right up NCTP's alley since it does not involve partisan politics or candidates, but does involve principles and practice of local governance. I am no longer involved with the leadership of the NCTP, and don't personally know the people so involved. However, I did call a friend who was recently a NCTP leader and urged him to communicate to their current leadership their unfortunate absence from this discussion.
George Rebane As we await this week’s vote for Scotland’s independence, my thoughts again turn to culture and its role in shaping a people and structuring a society. Reviewing some of these notions with you at this time might even... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Rebane's Ruminations