18 thoughts on “Friday Open Forum!

  1. Political party ethics. Why are the Dems so fond of politicians who need to be handled by a team of handlers? Joe Biden, John Fetterman and Diane Feinstein. Why are we always being told to just ignore the limited capacity of the alleged leader as well as the team of young operatives behind the curtain or pushing the wheelchair? There’s something nefarious about how they operate. They really don’t trust individuals. Their “leaders” are essentially marionettes. I suppose this has been in the offing for quite a while with polls and focus groups and trial balloons being the currency of political consultants and their clients, but it strikes me as symptomatic of something deeper and more sinister.

    • Methinks it is self-explanatory. Biden isn’t running the show. Obama3.0 is. This all about raw power and the unfettered (UnFettermaned?) exercise thereof. Fetterman can’t function – through no fault of his own but the cynics in his party. Feinstein? Same.


    • It does seem sinister. If you want to rule in perpetuity, but want to keep the populace placated with the trappings of “democracy,” then you pull strings from the shadows. As Manchin and Sinema have demonstrated, if the congresscritter is not so beholden to the Deep State, they might not properly toe the line. Better to have people who can barely think. Tell them to vote yea or nay as appropriate, and never worry that they might buck the trend. But then you need to get such wet noodles elected. Therefore, pour as much money into the campaign of an appropriate wet noodle as possible. Pull no punches in getting him elected. Hide the truth, obfuscate everything, censor opponents, because all that matters is getting that wet noodle in. Once he’s in, he’s a proper vote for what you want, and even better, he’s now incumbent, and incumbents are hard to unseat.

      I believe, having seen the various parties that were involved in “saving” the 2020 election, that we are being at least partially ruled by an unelected oligarchy. They do not hold all the cards, they don’t have complete control, but they are working towards that, Constitution be damned. They know what is best, though usually that’s best for them, not what’s best for the nation, and they will strive to destroy anyone who gets in their way.

      • Sinema does come to mind. The ferocity with which she is “called out” and harangued by the true believers is striking. She’s a woman and supposedly bisexual and nominally a Democrat. You’d think that would buy her something. Joe Manchin’s treatment is less surprising. After all, he’s a heterosexual guy and from a state that’s little more than a pile of anthracite.

  2. In Jack’s post “Wait! Is THIS Peak Stupid In The Age Of The Great Stupid?”, he stated “Can The Great Stupid get more stupid than this?”. I think the Great Stupid takes this as a challenge and it knows no bounds. This is abundantly clear in the area of “Climate Change” Here are a few examples:

    In Canada, travelers can purchase Carbon Footprint Offsets to offset the carbon footprint your travel vacation travel caused.


    In New York State, in order to improve air quality for school-age New Yorkers, the State Budget requires that all new school bus purchases be zero-emissions by 2027 and all school buses on the road be zero-emissions by 2035. The State Budget will provide $500 million through the Environmental Bond Act to support school districts in purchases of zero-emission buses and related charging infrastructure including charging stations.

    My school district estimates the cost of a 60+ passenger electric bus to be approximately $475,000. The district’s current buses of similar size cost approximately $194,000. They currently have 66 buses. Because the of range limitations of electric busses, they need 77 to replace them, or 16.66% more busses.

    NYS has 45,600 School Busses. If we assume my district is typical then 45,600×1.167= 53215 electric busses are needed to replace 45,600 diesel busses; to replace all busses 1 for 1, it would cost school districts to replace 1 for 1. Purchase price of $45,600 = $21.7 Billion and Purchase price of $53,215 = $$25.3 Billion
    This does not include the cost of electric service upgrades nor the purchase and installation of charging stations. Charging stations alone will cost between $91.2 Million to $3.2 Billion. That $500 million in the Environmental Bond Act is surely going to help.

    In 2019, total greenhouse gas emissions for NYS from all sources was 142 MMT or 3% of Total USA emissions of 4,745 Million Metric Tons (MMT). Meanwhile, in China and India, both countries continue to add coal-fired power plants. From 2016 to 2022, US and Canada added Zero coal-fired capacity. The rest of the world added 430,980 (MW) with China’s and India’s contributions totaling 320,631(MW) new capacity.

    So New Yorkers and Canadians spend tens of billions of dollars so they can feel good about themselves while doing virtually nothing for “Climate Change”. If this isn’t an unethical example of an unethical waste of money for virtue signaling, I don’t know what is.

      • Carbon footprint offsets are one of my favorite absurdities. How does paying money to someone make the carbon you cause to be emitted disappear from the environment? Does the cash capture the carbon? I loved the way the boys at Goldman Sachs used Al Gore as their paid front man in their effort to set up carbon credit exchanges that would be run by, wait for it, GS for a percentage of the handle. They are shameless and relentless. As are Al and John Kerry.

    • The Manhattan Contrarian is all over the inanity of New York City’s and New York State’s climate insanity. Wait until everyone has heat pumps installed at great expense and then there’s no electricity to run them.

  3. Trolls? There are trolls here now?

    Are we talking big trolls, like Bilbo Baggins encountered in The Hobbit, or … ? 🙂

    • No. Bilbo was a Hobbit, not a troll. Different halflings. Trolls live under bridges and eat billygoats. Hobbits live in nice little homes in the Shire, smoke pipes, have many meals, don’t eat billygoars, and are adverse to adventures.


      • Yes, but he ran into three trolls (named Tom, Bill and Bert) early on in the journey, who were going to kill his dwarven companions, but were tricked by Gandalf into staying above ground too long and turned to stone by the rising sun.

        • Yep.

          Question: if wizards in Middle Earth can wield magic, why couldn’t they figure out how to harness electricity? Gandalf had pretty awesome control over his staff. If he could fight a dragon with magic, then he should have been able to figure out how internal combustion engines work – if not that at least steam powered engines. Bilbo loved him some tea. Couldn’t they figure out that heated water under pressure could drive things? And paddles in streams could rotate to generate electricity? I mean . . . .


          • This is what happens when you are working in a “soft magic” scenario like Middle-Earth, where the rules of magic aren’t well-defined. Gandalf never battled a dragon. He battled a Balrog, which is more like a demon, but that is something he could do because he was himself more than mortal. The ME wizards (there were only five) were actually angel-level beings called Maiar, who just wore the guise of aged men. The Rings of Power series goes a little more into it by having one of the wizards, we don’t know who yet (everything is pointing to him being Gandalf, but he could be Saruman or one of the Blue Wizards) appear from a falling star.

  4. At Marshall’s the other day we saw a guy with a loaded cart (really loaded) walk out the door without having the courtesy to stop by at the cashier to pay. My daughter told us she saw a similar incident elsewhere recently. Nobody seemed to care; there was no shouting, no chase, and certainly no arrest. These are anecdotal accounts but nevertheless, are eyewitness accounts; these were not news stories. There are plenty of news stories about such instances.

    The ethics question is then: is there a point at which unethical actions or behaviors become, if not ethical, at least beyond the scope of conventional ethics?

    I suspect that our host is an ethics absolutist, and that’s understandable. I would comment that jaywalking is (at least in some jurisdictions) illegal and is ignored. Nearly everyone exceeds the speed limits nearly everywhere. It seems to me that calling jaywalking and speeding “unethical” behavior is a bit of… well that horse is pretty high.

    We can stipulate that we should all have respect for the law, but when courts routinely (OK, “often” at least) issue sentences of 150 years or, worse yet, consecutive life sentences, Mr. Bumble sounds pretty accurate.

    So, is it possible that we get to a point at which shoplifting, scratch that, theft becomes no more “unethical” than jaywalking or 30mph in a 25?

      • There’s a significant difference between a transgression and unethical behavior. Speeding, jaywalking, not paying enough in taxes, etc., are, generally speaking, only unethical because a legislature says they are. Obviously, there are extreme exceptions that become negligence–going 90 mph through residential streets right after the local elementary school gets out, for example.

        However, actions that hurt other people, regardless of how far removed the victims are (the Marshall’s shoplifter didn’t harm anyone at the store itself) or things that affect a lot of people in relatively minor ways (your example works for this one too, as each shareholder wouldn’t even notice harm to their investment) are still unethical. The act itself is harmful. We may get to a point where society has gotten so good at rationalizing unethical behavior that a majority of people cease to recognize it, but that doesn’t change the underlying behavior.

    • If I were to see that happen I would take my cart to the CSR and tell them if they are unwilling to protect their property I was not willing to subsidize that behavior and leave my full cart and walk out.

      Stores will not do anything to stop thievery if they can get the paying customers to offset their losses through higher prices.

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