member since 11/05/2006
I'm a guy from Palm Coast, Florida/United States
About me: Copy editor. Former contract programmer. Lived in 17 cities in last 12 years.
User Votes: 931 Helpful / 149 Funny / 269 Agree / 221 Disagree
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Activity for Robert57

2 hours ago

The cause of the problem is political mismanagement. The grid is operated by government-owned PowerGrid Corporation (PGC), but PGC is not allowed to control movement of power within the grid it operates. That is done by another government entity, the Power System Operation Corporation (PSOC).

Four northern states -- Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan -- routinely draw more power than has been allocated to them and lie about it. PSOC looks the other way and fines them. Fines are cheaper than building generators. This has been going on for ten years. Everyone knew the imbalance between supply and demand would crash the system; they just didn't know when.

Politicians will blame the crashes, there was a bigger one Tuesday, on some technical glitch to obscure the fact that the root cause is organizational. In the short term, PGC should control dispatch and use "smart grid" technology to throttle low priority demand such as agriculture when generation reserves are nearing zero. In the long term, northern states must build generators. In addition, government should stop subsidizing agriculture with very cheap electricity.


The American people are to blame, for allowing themselves to be distracted by know-nothing consumerism in many forms, including politics.

Marquis de Sade write in Juliette:

I have studied your civil laws, they are good, but poorly enforced, and as a result they sink into ever further decay. And the consequences thereof? A man prefers to live amidst their corruption rather than plead for their reform, because he fears, and with reason, that this reform will engender infinitely more abuses than it will do away with; things are left as they are. Nevertheless, everything goes askew and awry and as a career in government has no more attractions than one in the arts, nobody involves himself in public affairs; and for all this compensation is offered in the form of luxury, of frivolity, of entertainments. So it is that among you a taste for trivial things replaces a taste for great ones, that the time which ought to be devoted to the latter is frittered away on futilities, and that you will be subjugated sooner or later and again and again by any foe who bothers to make the effort.

Examples: ormance/madone_7_series/

3 days ago

Comparing earnings of large companies to employment of small ones is comparing apples to oranges.

Job growth usually comes from small businesses. They are laggards this time. In 2011, employment by large companies grew 5%, employment by small companies grew only 1%. If small companies had hired at the same pace as large ones, there would be four million additional jobs.

Government employment, mostly state and local, declined 800K since Obama took office. If it had increased at the same rate it did during Bush's first three years, there would be two million more jobs.

The article measures employment with the Civilian Employment Population Ratio, which includes all adults over 16. It is going down because Boomers are retiring faster than teens are turning 16.

Rather than politicized finger pointing, we should be looking at income inequality between individuals. It was low from 1941 until 1986, took a big jump up when Bush I was elected, and has been trending upward since. It is now back to 1920s levels. nt.jpg

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5 days ago

Trolls use provocative language to incite anger. They do it because they want attention, but can't think of anything intelligent to say.

The fastest way to get rid of a troll is to publish his real name and address. I did it to a notorious troll who had a ten year history. He shut up the next day.

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5 days ago

Low class people have three problem-solving techniques, none of which solves problems:

1. Anger
2. Blaming or guilt
3. Flight, running away, denial

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5 days ago

Emmanual and Boston mayor Mumbles Menino are stirring the coals of class conflict. We saw it twenty years ago, when Wal-Mart, as proxy for the lower class, was kept out of Chicago, Boston, New York City, and San Francisco. NYC mayor Bloomberg's proxies were smoking and fast food. Now we see right-wing religion used as a surrogate. As always, the goal is making middle class voters feel morally as well as economically superior to poor people. In order to play the class card, a politician must have a middle class constituency large enough that he doesn't need the low class vote. That limits it to mayors of prosperous big cities.

In short, it's a calculated political gimmick.

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6 days ago

My granddaughter is a waitress at a newly opened Joe's on the Daytona Pier. Last night she and the manager saw five kids being sucked out to sea by a rip current. When the manager started to call 9-1-1, the general manager told her she wasn't allowed to. She called anyway. The GM screamed she was on notice with corporate headquarters.

This shows corporate types have not learned anything from the 2008 financial crisis nor Sandusky. At the first sign of trouble, their instinct tells them to stonewall rather than act in the public interest. Paradoxically, they are hurting, not protecting, their reputations. They won't get it until more of them are exposed.

Joe's Crab Shack is owned by Ignite Restaurant Group out of Houston, formerly JCS Investments, owned by JH Whitney and Company, an investment capital company out of Connecticut. John Hay Whitney was one of the world's wealthiest men in the 1930s, associated with thoroughbred breeding, art museums, grand mansions, Fred Astare, the movie industry, affairs with numerous female stars, and ambassador to Great Britain under Eisenhower. He died in 1982. The company made bad investments in the 1980s, one being the hostile takeover of Prime Computer, which then went bust. Others were the NY Herald Tribune and Filene's Basement, both now out of business.

In short, Joe's is owned by an incompetent branch of The One Percent that sees Americans as sheep. They didn't want to call 9-1-1 because they are not community members, they are overseers.

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7 days ago

You are required to stop behind the white line that lines up with the sidewalk. If there is no white line in the road (perhaps due to resurfacing), you are required to imagine where it would be if it were painted in the road.

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7 days ago

Best cooked in a double boiler stirred lightly with a wooden spoon.

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8 days ago

The Sandusky case is important because it planted the idea everyone has a duty to report child abuse, regardless of what the law says or doesn't. Seinfeld's final episodes tried to plant the idea witnesses to street crime have a duty to report, with a fictional carjacking in 1998. It did not take hold because, in fact, there is no such duty in the US and countries whose legal system is based on common law. There is in many countries that use civil law. For more on the subject, look up misprision of felony (spelling is correct). Many people feel child abuse should be an exception. Eighteen states require everyone to report suspected child abuse. The others, including Pennsylvania, require it only of caregivers such as teachers and doctors. Shortly after Sandusky hit the news, Florida extended the requirement to everyone, and other states are considering doing the same.

The Sandusky case is also important because it is the first time a celebrity, Joe Paterno, was taken down by child sex abuse. Michael Jackson was accused, but never punished. America is enthralled by celebrities. If Paterno had not been punished, Jerry Sandusky would have been one more unremarkable busted pedophile.

Lest someone bring up Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis, it would be helpful to understand the difference between pedophilia and ephebophilia. Pedophilia means attraction to prepubescent children, generally age 0-12. Ephebophilia means attraction to postpubescent teens, age 13-17. Pedophilia is defined as a mental illness in DSM IV. Sentencing guidelines in all states call for longer sentences than for statutory rape, the legal term for ephebophilia. Pedophiles inflict serious psychological trauma on their victims. Elvis and other celebrities who like em young were normal heterosexuals who made unwise and illegal choices, but they weren't pedophiles.

Update: a CNN investigation revealed an email from athletic director Tim Curley to chief of campus police Gary Schultz showing they knew Sandusky was a pedophile before the case broke and were planning to report him to authorities. Joe Paterno talked them out of it. That's why he was fired. The email concludes, "The only downside for us is if the message isn't heard and acted upon and we then become vulnerable for not having reported it.” No kidding.

Update 2: Although Penn State did not break PA state law, it broke a little known federal law called the Clery Act, which requires campus police to publicly report all crime that occurs on campus. Not just crime against college students and not just crime reported to it, but all crime known to it. Chief of campus police Gary Schultz knew about Sandusky's crime and failed to report it. Now the US Dept of Education is considering dropping Penn State's eligibility for student loans.

When organizations are self-policing, the administrator has a conflict of interest between internal politics seeking to protect the organization's reputation versus public interest. Politics usually wins because it is breathing down his neck daily. The solution is serious penalties for failure to protect the public. Granted, the purpose of the Clery Act was protection of college students who might unknowingly enroll in a crime-ridden college. Sandusky was no threat to college students. But there is a principle at stake -- deterring administrators from concealing crime to avoid embarrassment. Punishing Penn State would send a message to all guardians of public interest, not just campus police. The message is ass covering can backfire.

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