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Not Worth the Paper

…tickets bought by SunRail passengers pay only a tiny fraction of the commuter train’s bills, but less known is that ticket revenue doesn’t even cover the cost of selling tickets.

SunRail’s finances would be slightly stronger if riding was free.

If communal transit was really about getting people around, more routes would be free. In USA, passenger rail is always about something else first.


Melania Speaks

How do you plagiarize a cliche?

Quoted from: Cobb

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Our Unsustainable Model

Everything is based on growth, real or imagined. Our institutions and culture are based on growth. We deliberately debase the value of labor through currency manipulation, for example, in order to encourage productivity and economic activity. The explosion of debt is so the welfare state can keep growing. Those massive credit markets everyone now fears is to keep the economy growing.

More workers needing to do less labor leads to an abundance that nobody can afford. Economic futurists should be looking at new models for a post-scarcity world.


A Different Kind of Progress

What plagues the modern Right is that they have no reason to exist other than as the Left’s nagging old lady. Some new fad sweeps the fever swamps of the Left and conservatives are right there to lecture everyone about the foolishness of it.

Conservatism exists to resist change. The New Right may not be conservative. It may be dynamic, embracing any progress that fits within what once were conservative principles. The New Right leads. The New Right anticipates, embraces, and synthesizes. It is future-oriented more than backward-looking. It is about possibilities instead of risks.

Transportation is Communication

During the revolution, Bolshevik representatives of the People's Commissariats commandeered trains to take propaganda to the villages. Many people had never seen a film before, and they paid for their tickets with eggs. These agit-trains carried a printing press to allow customised posters to be produced and thrown out of the windows.

I Can Still Park in My Garage

The way we Americans accumulate stuff is ridiculous. It expands to fill and then overflow the space - and then you can't find it even if you wanted to. That's why God, in his infinite goodness and wisdom, created dumpsters. Also, He created rent-a-tool places. Great. Why buy something if you can rent it for a day or two?

I’m a hostage of my possessions. But if you need a tool more than once, or have house projects that drag on (don’t they all?), the cost equation on tool rental shifts toward buying.

I suppose that could be taken as a benefit of global trade and big-box retail. It is less expensive to add to one’s clutter of imported tools.


Forfeiting Football

So far this season, NFL football has about off-field misconduct instead of on-field performance. Where we used to speculate on Xs and Os, now the chatter is about how team PR can response to waves of social media outcry.

In a Vox Popoli thread about the Vikings’ decision to reverse their decision and re-suspend Adrian Peterson for doing a bad job at trying to be a good dad, commenter Cash vents:

I just remind myself that being a football fan is about what America used to be. It's about watching the game with your dad and cheering for your team no matter how bad they are and hating your rival. It's about a house in order where the man can be a man while still being with his family. He can raise his son while mom is in the kitchen making snacks and smiling about how much they are like each other. It's about knowing exactly what you are going to do after church on Sunday and that all the other men and their sons are going to be doing the exact same thing; watching the game.

Where we were once unified in a common American cultural ritual, the sport now divided us into angry factions. We replaced ritual combat on the gridiron with social justice logrolling. Those not displaying the proper outrage at the proper time, and for the proper reasons, are shunned. Hysteria careens from headline to headline, in an effort to remake the world.

I want my country back.


Culture is King

[O]n the one hand there are well-developed cultures, which could have good government or good anarchy, while on the other hand there are poorly-developed cultures, which could have only bad government or bad anarchy.

Quoted from: Arnold Kling

Via: Chicago Boyz

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Spare the Rod, Save the Child

I know many ex-Catholics who were similarly terrorized into obedience as children, and who wanted no part of the faith as adults as a result.

But that is NOT the message Jesus preached, nor is it the message of loving churches.

One teacher told me that no matter how bad I had ever been, I could always take my punishment, try to make amends, and the next day was my chance to be good.

I probably count as an ex-Catholic. I lost the Church when I was 14, and haven’t found my way back. Attending a Catholic high school was no help.

The terror and rebellion of childhood seems to animate much of the conversation on religion. Some hatreds last a lifetime. But if we look at what Sunday School was supposed to be teaching, that hate is always one-sided.

Replacing Leviathan

This is the first in a 3-part series to outline the importance of programs funded by the OAA –such as Meals On Wheels –to the dignity of seniors across America. Please read, share and tell Congress to take action and not play political games with seniors’ health and well-being.

This FedGov law funds local Meals on Wheels programs. By the political structure I wish we lived under, it would have never been under Federal jurisdiction. But we can’t act on the world as we wish it was.


Middle-Class Advocates

I’ve been learning party politics with the Republican Party in Minnesota. I spend almost as much time needling them for their shortcomings—as I see them, of course—as I spend on party work and cheerleading.

In one of those wonderful moments where the internet confirms you are not totally alone, I just came across a comment at Vox Popoli that could have come right off my fingertips:

The Democrats have become the party of the Truly Rich and the Welfare Class. They have totally abandoned the middle class, which the Republicans could sweep up if they weren't so addicted to being the Business Party.

At every convention I attend, I like to Tweet something like: “The first candidate to mention seniors, veterans and workers gets my support.” Few manage it.


Two Kinds of Liberty

In the comments, Vox writes that libertarianism is, “the political ideology based on the principle of maximizing human liberty.”

Which inspired commenter cailcorishev to write:


Bigger Than the Beatles

The Beatles didn't cure cancer or anything, but they didn't cause any either, so let's not go nuts one way or the other. They were good and effective songwriters and interesting and compelling singers, especially in harmony. I don't freight celebrities with superpowers. The Beatles' celebrity eventually so overpowered their talents that even they started ignoring the music they were making. John Lennon seemed to think he really was going to cure cancer using nothing but his attitude, and got lead poisoning for his trouble. People should stick to their knitting.


Peter Pan Politics

In the end, wearing snarky t-shirts is the mark of someone who doesn't want to be responsible, but just make powerful noise.

Quoted from: Cobb

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Class Warfare

When did “earning your keep” lose its dignity?

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A Negative Railroad for Chicken

A new company has emerged in the Middle East that smuggles fast food from an Egyptian Kentucky Fried Chicken to Gaza residents through a tunnel.

People in the conflicted region can now satisfy cravings for food from the Louisville-based fast food headquarters by ordering through a company that charges the American equivalent of $30 for smugglers to bring the greasy goods from Al-Arish in Egypt to the doorsteps of hungry customers.

They tell me the grilled chicken isn’t greasy.


I Hope God is Laughing

The State of Minnesota has passed legislation to legalize same-sex marriage. Still just between two partners, and between people who are not already related.

There is a massive emotional outpouring of joy. The law is not a surprise, so there is really only perfunctory statements of grief from opponents of SSM and opponents of any kind of government involvement in marriage.

A few comments on Facebook have coalesced into a recognition.

For all the happiness and love I see from and for homosexuals today, they are still a shadow. A same-sex couple will never get to experience the joy produced by the birth of a child conceived in a loving union between bodies and souls.

No earthly power can overrule God’s design.


Risk Management

You can't tell the truth to strangers.

Quoted from: Sippican Cottage

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The Worth of Work

Sippican Cottage muses on the difference between working and making:

Unlike most of the world, I am not allowed to have the Process be the Product. At the end of the day there has to be something tangibly different with the world or we don't eat. Sometimes we don't eat anyway. Most of the world we inhabit now is all Process and no Product. What is Twitter, or Tumblr, or Facebook, or a million other things you could name that consist solely of: This is how I go, when I go like this.

The federal government thinks the process is the entire product. The public school system can produce only public school teachers. The EPA is now supposed to protect the air from humans. The Department of Energy doesn't make any, and would prefer you didn't as well --or else. Cities like Detroit are trying to exist with no population now. Search your mind. You'll have to search hard to find exceptions, not examples.

As I have complained more than once, talking about jobs and creating jobs misses the point. What matters is creating value. Not just something you value, or that has an abstract value, but something that has tradable value. Something you can exchange for food and shelter.

The speedometer doesn't make the car go faster. Showing up to a job is no guarantee that the effort is genuinely adding to the global wealth. Process is a cost, an expense. It may be necessary, but keeping busy isn’t a sustainable strategy. The process must lead to a product. Otherwise, after all the effort, somebody ends up more hungry than if we didn’t go through the process at all.


Doping in Minneapolis

Posted by a Facebook pally:

Regarding Lance Armstrong: If I wanted to listen to the opinions of smug assholes who ride bikes and do way too many drugs, I'd move to Northeast Minneapolis.


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