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  1. emptc12 commented on Stuart Carlson 1 day ago

    Companies in our area used to “threaten” municipalities that they’d take their headquarters to other towns or even out of state unless tax and other concessions were made. Then later, the threat was to go overseas. A few years down the road, having harvested such benefits, the companies would often move, anyway.
    It left a bad impression, to say the least. After a while, voters (not employed by the companies or dependent on their presence) rebelled, and the tactic often lost its intended effect, at least for smaller companies.
    Corporations get what they want, anyway, by small increments, by gradual changes in laws. The present inversion tactics are only the newest thing in the spotlight, I suppose. Many other legal contrivances skulk in the background, no doubt. And because so many of us have 401(k) investments we are to some extent complicit. If “everyone does it,” is anybody willing to be wrong?
    Would boycotts of companies such as Burger King help? I doubt it. In my opinion, consumers have been skillfully conditioned to wear down easily under “informational ad” blandishments. Witness the BP damage-control efforts of recent years. With the right techniques, big companies could tell us to go to Hell and many people would look forward to the trip.

  2. emptc12 commented on Ted Rall 1 day ago

    I remember a Candid Camera segment of years ago wherein Harry Truman walked around his hometown with his bodyguards. I think he stopped to ask the time of various people with whom Allen Funt was standing.
    Then Funt would elicit each person’s reaction. As I recall, one crusty old gent, obviously unimpressed, said something like, “Oh, that’s Harry S-for-nothing Truman.” Funt brought Truman back to meet the fellow after explaining what was going on.
    The guy was not embarrassed in any way, and Truman seemed amused. I shudder to imagine how a similar segment would go with Obama after he leaves office.

  3. emptc12 commented on Henry Payne 1 day ago

    I would think that as ground water is removed there would be local subsidence of surface, hardly felt or seen as other than sinkholes and larger cave collapses. The tectonic plates are huge and nothing short of extraterrestrial strikes would (possibly) budge them. They are driven mainly by the Earth’s internal forces.
    The present land area of the Earth has shifted around into several large land masses, and back apart, and will continue to do so beyond our ability to start or stop it. Australia, for instance, is moving a good hand-span northward each year.
    There was talk of lubricating the San Andreas fault with seawater to let it slip gradually instead all at once. And of course in the 1976 movie, Superman also got involved. (Where is he when we need him? Maybe in a future movie he will suck out our excess CO2 and spew it into the Sun.) From what I read, the effects of climate change, in terms of temperature and drought, would not be a cause of earthquakes.
    It is said that the basins of the Great Lakes were made from the weight of the glaciers and are gradually rising so that the water will eventually drain off in thousands of years. The Lakes are not presently comprised mainly of water left from the glaciers, by the way, but area drainage into those depressions. The inner part of Greenland, it is said, will also rise as its glacier melts. Those regions, not on major fault lines, will rise but slowly and not necessarily cause earthquakes.

  4. emptc12 commented on Jeff Stahler 1 day ago

    Not to make too much of it, but humans do it every chance they get — day and night, inside and outside. (Have you ever lived in a college dorm, or in an apartment with thin walls?) If they did it only at night, I think there would probably be a lot fewer people in the world. However, I am far from an expert on this subject.
    I recalled an article a while back in “National Geographic” about Bonobos (March, 2013). Chimps and Bonobos are our closest surviving non-human relatives, according to the article. If our mating habits can be compared to theirs, it might be useful to observe the subject objectively through them. Of course, I know this comparison is not completely valid in all points. Just saying, it might be close.
    There is also an article from October, 2011, with scientific findings about the Teenage Brain that discusses an adolescent’s need for extra sleep beyond what many get these days:
    I am not a trained scientist, just a science enthusiast, and my opinions are not necessarily the correct ones.

  5. emptc12 commented on Jeff Stahler 1 day ago

    There might be an evolutionary reason for this, but I’m not even going to guess at it (too much amateur guessing these days). Before artificial lighting, didn’t people get up at dawn and go to sleep at dark? These days, nighttime lighting allows us to stay up much longer than we probably should.
    Is this yet another modern human innovation that goes against human physical and social nature (as in diet, tribal socialization, etc.)? But, you know – many teenagers (a relatively modern concept in itself?) do stay up way too late.
    I’ve beaten this old dusty rug before, but I think that the bad habit of not getting enough sleep, and many others in our society, stem from our consumerism way of life. We serve the system; it seems to serve us but it doesn’t, in the long run.

  6. emptc12 commented on Lisa Benson 1 day ago

    Ideas for Cartoonists: Reads like something from Art Buchwald. Thanks.

  7. emptc12 commented on Jeff Danziger 2 days ago

    My father had a description for someone like Rick Perry: “He’s a drugstore cowboy — ‘I love me. Who do you love?’”

  8. emptc12 commented on Jen Sorensen 3 days ago

    … If I ruled the world.

  9. emptc12 commented on Stuart Carlson 4 days ago

    The beheadings are not done by guillotine or executioner’s axe, quickly and neatly as in the cinema. Hand knives are used to hack off the heads, slowly and brutally. Any meat butcher would be fired for such a technique. How is that in any way “humane”?

  10. emptc12 commented on Ted Rall 4 days ago

    Ha, Ha. You’re all wrong. The Big Smile has once again misled you. She is a Robot, the harbinger of the Robot Singularity! She is … arrgh… ack! … let go…. ..bzzzzt…