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Posts by Timm

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  • Was Neville Chamberlain really a weak and terrible leader?

    09/30/2013 12:24:37 PM PDT · 47 of 60
    Timm to donmeaker
    Churchill didn’t think Neville Chamberlain was the problem. He thought that the unreadiness foisted on Britain by Stanley Baldwin was the problem.

    Chamberlain certainly made mistakes, but the Munich agreement was in fact a peace treaty that made peace, at the cost of Czech defenses. Hitler went beyond the agreement and took over the rest of Czechoslovakia (except for bits handed to Poland and Hungary), but that wasn’t Chamberlain’s fault.

    Let me begin by saying that I agree with a number of other posters that these "news" stories about Neville Chamberlain and Munich are transparent attempts to defend the Obama Administration's recent mishandling of the Syria crisis.

    That said, I too am going to offer something of a contrarian view for FR about the Munich Agreement itself. The agreement was a bad choice for Britain, but it was a bad choice among other bad options.

    By 1938, both Britain and France had neglected defense preparations for about a decade, a de facto bilateral policy that left someone like Chamberlain in a very poor position to act in 1938. This policy and its effects were was simply facts at the time of Munich, and this policy was the fundamental mistake. Not only were both Britain and France underprepared for war against a continental power, but the doubt each country therefore had about the other's willingness to maintain a wartime alliance between the two was quite reasonable.

    Remember that Britain was not faced with destruction in 1938. Nor was the German absorption of Czechoslavakia itself a strategic threat to Britain. Britain reckoned, accurately, that should war be necessary it could be prosecuted later than the spring of 1938 from a position that was no worse than at that time.

    It should be noted, too, that the strategic worries Britain had in 1938 about a major war all came to pass, as things actually happened, and the British ability to avoid these outcomes by declaring war in 1938 is doubtful. The Japanese would eventually have tried to take advantage of British weakness in the far East had Britain begun a major European war in 1938, just as actually happened, and there is no reason to think that these counterfactual Japanese adventures would have been any less disastrous for Britain than the actual ones. Germany would not have abandoned its broader war plans, and it would not have accepted any settlement denying it strategic dominance in Europe without being defeated in war. Britain only suspected as much about German intentions in 1938, true. Britain did realize, though, that the ability of Britain and France to inflict defeat on Germany in 1938 was not notably greater than they could expect it to be in the near future, such as in 1939, when war actually began.

    The real significance of Munich was to make vivid the one fact that Britain and France were struggling to avoid facing. Should it be necessary to go to war to curb German aggression the two countries were neither willing nor able to do so.

    This deficiency persisted right up to the start of the war in 1939. By the time Britain began preparing for war in earnest, it was too late to make good a decade of neglect. Hence the disasters that ensued.

    In this respect, Britain was hardly unique. France, the United States, and the Soviet Union all systematically underestimated the German and Japanese threats, all of them neglected their defense preparations despite ample warnings of strategic danger, and all of them suffered numerous catastrophes as a result. The Munich Agreement was just the last dramatic demonstration of the danger the (eventual) Allied powers had allowed themselves to drift into before war actually began. By itself, it did little to alter the strategic situation for any of the belligerent powers.

    The popular discussion of Munich tends to emphasize a narrative of personal weakness on Chamberlain's part. That is unfortunate, as the more important lesson derives from Britain's strategic weakness that left Chamberlain without good options.

  • Dashcam Shows Trooper Running Over Couple On Motorcycle

    09/13/2013 9:03:27 PM PDT · 30 of 31
    Timm to cuban leaf
    If I’m driving or riding slow, I watch my mirrors almost more than what is in front of me. Sure, if someone hits me it’s their fault, but I ride a motorcycle.from cuban leaf

    Thanks for the reply. This is a good point about the mirrors. Still, this particular accident was a worst case as far as overtaking traffic from behind goes.

    Even if this rider had been attending to the mirrors constantly, he would have had very little time to get off of the road after recognizing that the overtaking car was not slowing and was not going to change lanes. Some drivers don't change lanes until the last minute, and some don't slow until they're uncomfortably close, after all.

    It's hard to protect yourself, on a bike or in a car, from someone who is speeding down the highway and not paying any attention to where he is going. This trooper would have driven right into the back of a car carrier had one happened to be there in front of him.

    It's an uncomfortable accident to view, to be sure.

  • Dashcam Shows Trooper Running Over Couple On Motorcycle

    09/12/2013 11:22:34 AM PDT · 11 of 31
    Timm to cuban leaf
    (From Cuban Leaf:) I gotta admit that this video does bring up the point that one of the greatest contributors to accidents regarding people going the same direction is goss differences in speed. Going extra slow is not always the safe option. (End of Cuban Leaf's comments)

    Wow, no, I'd say the salient feature of this accident was the simple and unmitigated lack of attention from the trooper doing the driving. Rolling up and smashing another vehicle from behind at full road speed, with no braking or evasive action, can only be the result of dangerous negligence on the part of the driver.

    Riding a lower speed at night on a motorcycle is prudent, particularly with a passenger and particularly in Ohio. There are many deer on the roads this time of year and many smaller animals like raccoons that pose a hazard to a rider.

    Simply getting on the road does leave yourself vulnerable to a driver who is paying no attention to what he is doing and thereby threatening others. That's all that happened here.

  • Honk-Your-Horn [Bullying] before running over someone...

    02/23/2013 12:35:52 PM PST · 11 of 35
    Timm to topher

    I am as adamant an advocate for drivers of motor vehicles recognizing the rights of way of bicyclists as any person. I often use a bicycle for practical trips, including rides of several miles on busy roads, and I have done so for years.

    So, I sympathize with your frustration, to be sure. Still, it’s worth saying, for anyone reading the thread, that the proper way for a bicyclist to go straight through an intersection in which right turns are legal for traffic is not on the far right side. It’s safer, and more proper, to move out into the middle or the left of the right lane so that drivers coming up behind you either will wait for you to enter the intersection before they turn right or will occupy the space to your right and make a right turn without crossing your path. You should signal before changing your lane position, of course, and you should do it when safe. So, you sometimes have to plan a bit before an intersection in traffic.

    Bike lanes are supposed to be painted to acknowledge this practice. Bike lanes are supposed to start breaking up for an intersection so as not keep a cyclist riding on a path that will set him up for a right hook from car drivers turning right from the rider’s left. In most places the bike lanes are properly painted, but they might not be in your area.

    It’s also true, too, that some drivers will just try to move past a cyclist and then turn right in front of him anyway. That kind of driving it outright dangerous, and it makes me angry, too. One has to be alert for that even if one is doing the right thing on a bicycle.

    For those who raise the following point, I agree that bicycles should obey the traffic laws, too, on shared streets with ordinary motor traffic. Drivers find it easier to predict a rider’s behavior if one does, and drivers tend to respect the bicyclist more, too.

  • Angry Neighbors Battle It Out With Signs

    06/17/2006 11:44:14 PM PDT · 73 of 75
    Timm to PzLdr
    Just to throw a little gas on the fire [no pun intended], why is it that cat owners think it's perfectly reasonable for their cats to wander onto other people's property, use flower beds for toilets [if not basement window wells], kill whatever wildlife they can get, drive my dogs nuts, and that saying, "they're indoor - outdoor cats" covers it?

    Cat owners are a phenomenon unto themselves. Otherwise decent people divorce themselves from ordinary moral sense when it comes to those animals. The whole world is their litter box. Their neighbors' well tended gardens are fouled by these animals? Not their problem. Any wild creature of any kind-- endangered, threatened, found on private property or public land-- is just a toy for their tabby. And anyone who complains about any of this is the one with something wrong with him.

  • Global warming could burn insurers - Activists call on industry to act

    06/16/2006 11:09:19 PM PDT · 23 of 27
    Timm to Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
    Regardless of what one's view on the subject is, you must admit that it is remarkably coincidental that the rise in global temperatures is occurring in a correlative fashion with the increase in CO2 concentration. And, that CO2 concentration rises correlative to the increase burning of fossil fuels.

    The relation between CO2 emissions from human activity and measured global warming isn't all that correlative, actually.

    The Northern Hemisphere was colder in the 18th and early 19th centuries than today. This period was the tail end of what is called the "Little Ice Age". Starting in the mid-nineteenth century, recorded temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere began rising to those we are familiar with today.

    Between ~1850 and 1940, most of the warming observed in modern times occurred. Yet, only a small fraction of the total CO2 emissions from human activity since 1850-- about 20%-- occurred during that time.

    Between 1940 and today, a minority of the warming that has occurred between ~1850 and today occurred. Yet, that was the period in which the overwhelming majority of CO2 emissions occurred. Furthermore, the period between 1940 and ~1975 saw significant cooling throughout the world. (Many climatologists thought we were on the verge of a new ice age in the mid-seventies, some of you will remember.) Between 1975 and today, there was more warming.

    In other words, there is no close correlation between CO2 emissions and measured warming. At the very least, a measured response to the data would suggest that whatever anthropogenic warming has occurred since the mid-nineteenth century has occurred against a background of warming caused by factors other than human activity.

  • A Traitor is about to be honored

    05/28/2006 9:58:46 AM PDT · 31 of 35
    Timm to garylmoore

    Please what? Look, I don't like Fonda any more than you do. I'm with you in letting people know why. That letter is full of urban legends, however.

  • A Traitor is about to be honored

    05/27/2006 11:05:32 PM PDT · 8 of 35
    Timm to garylmoore

    There is plenty for which one might criticize Jane Fonda-- *Jane Fonda* for pete's sake-- without having to resort to a long discredited chain letter.

  • Next for air travelers: Standing room only? (Airbus Proposal)

    04/24/2006 10:36:56 PM PDT · 32 of 44
    Timm to Naptowne
    How can people stand when a plane takes off or lands?

    If a person can ride a roller coaster in a harnesses in a standing position, he can certainly ride a *commercial airliner* in a standing position, in any phase of flight.

    Airlines like to make a bit of drama of takeoffs and landings to (1) frighten the passengers into unquestioning obedience to all rules, however silly, and (2) because of stewardess unions, who like to promote the notion that stewardesses are trained "safety professionals" just a small step below pilots. If the stewardess didn't have some urgent task before landing, like telling you to move your seatback forward 1.5 inches, it would be undeniable that she was a waitress.

    As far as the desirability of standing places goes, I'd stand on a t<1 hour flight to save, say, $100, without question. On longer flights? Make me an offer.

  • Climate Change Is Real, Beatable, Evangelicals Say

    02/08/2006 9:54:22 PM PST · 25 of 87
    Timm to Westlander

    Since when does the A.P. care what petition a bunch of pastors sign? I guess there must have just been too much urgent news on the *other* days religious leaders were signing petitions against same-sex marriage, abortion, profanity on television, etc.

  • Let's Give Iran Some Of Its Own Medicine (Mark Steyn)

    01/16/2006 6:26:17 PM PST · 21 of 112
    Timm to blam

    Can we possibly be preparing to live with a nuclear-armed Iran? I fear we are on the cusp of a new, grim time...

  • Family Learns Miners Tried to Escape

    01/10/2006 8:57:37 PM PST · 6 of 13
    Timm to Flavius
    Yeah. Unlike the case of a submarine, the mine isn't going anywhere. Unlike the ocean, there are tunnels filled with air through which wireless relays could be placed. Wireless communication would be possible all throughout the mine, you would think. You can't be sure a system like that would survive an explosion like the one that occurred. But there is a good chance it would have, and do you need more than that to install the system?

    Even if a wireless system didn't survive the explosion, there would still be the possibility of lowering transmitters down into the part of the mine accessible to rescuers. Rescuers might then be able to communicate wireless through whatever debris field there was to those trapped.

    The thought that a system like that would have enabled those guys to walk out... wow.

  • AP Spins Rush Limbaugh Story

    12/18/2005 6:38:10 PM PST · 16 of 29
    Timm to wagglebee
    I'm with Limbaugh that there seems to be no crime here. What crime there *might* be in the worst case is hardly sufficient to warrant this endless legal fighting between the prosecutor's and Limbaugh's attorneys.

    That said, several hydrocodone per day is a *lot* of pain medicine.

  • CNN Poll - Who is "stupider"?

    12/08/2005 1:37:04 PM PST · 6 of 57
    Timm to Red Badger
    hehe... I'm with stupid... I mean, with Red Badger...

    What he said!

  • Incursions into paradise: Drug operations tied to cartels plague national parks (Illegals)

    12/03/2005 10:11:48 AM PST · 13 of 24
    Timm to Travis McGee
    Another bit of adventure in the backcountry. Great.

    Speaking of the backcountry, does anyone have any good backcountry/backpacking forums to recommend? Thanks!

  • Stalking the Day Laborers

    12/02/2005 8:31:29 PM PST · 19 of 46
    Timm to EternalVigilance
    What a hit piece! Amazing.

    "Vigilantism"?? The "odor of race baiting"?? These are citizens photographing individuals everyone agrees are criminals, committing what everyone agrees are crimes. But the party to blame for all of this, according to _Time_? The citizens, of course!

  • UW professors: Discovering life on other planets unlikely (Barf!)

    11/16/2005 12:46:31 PM PST · 78 of 101
    Timm to megatherium
    Of course, the dinosaurs' progress was abruptly halted 65 million years ago. Yet their surviving lineage (class Aves) today has demonstrated tool-using behavior, and certain species demonstrate a remarkable language ability, learning hundreds of words and even showing evidence of understanding the meaning of some words.

    This is a good point. I've thought for a while that birds are the closest thing we have to parallel, non-mammalian evolution of intelligence. This thought has occurred to me many times, as I live with a parrot.

    Birds aren't mammals, of course, yet some of them-- like parrots-- have developed characteristics similar to ours: they are highly social, they have close family bonds and also organize into larger than family groups, they have sophisticated means of vocal communication, they are long-lived, they travel significant distances at various times of the year for food, and they have grasping limbs (their feet) with which they might manipulate their environment. These are the factors, we're told, that spurred the development of human intelligence. When you consider these factors, it's no suprise that parrots are very bright. My bird is cleverer than any dog I've known, for example.

    The brains of intelligent birds are organized very differently than mammalian brains, too. They are more efficient per unit of weight and size than our designs-- hence the reason birds like parrots and crows can outthink similar sized mammals.

    However, even more important than intelligence to a bird is the ability to fly. It's thought that the largest a non-gliding, flying bird could get is about thirty-five pounds. That's the weight of a swan. Birds with non-aquatic lifestyles-- hanging out in trees, building nests off of the ground, or eating foods that are widely dispersed and only available in smaller quantities at a time-- are probably even more limited in their largest practical sizes.

    So, it might be that the most intelligent birds-- like parrots or crows-- are about as smart as birds can get given their lifestyles. At least, you would suspect that if it were an advantage for any birds of those kinds to be more intelligent, counting costs of that increase like larger body size, they would have developed more intelligence by now.

    So, the case of birds might suggest that the favorable conditions for the development of technical intelligence are unusual, even among relatively bright, social animals.

  • The Shape of Things to Come

    11/14/2005 12:00:56 AM PST · 9 of 11
    Timm to B-Chan
    Almost no one can afford the health care he needs throughout his life according to this author. But if we raise taxes, and pay for health care that way, everyone will be able to buy everything he needs.

    Wow, who knew socialized purchasing power was so powerful?! Why hasn't anyone thought of this before??

  • Pirates attack luxury liner off Somalia (attack repelled)

    11/05/2005 10:52:21 PM PST · 62 of 69
    Very interesting information.

    I can't help but read (3) as all but advising ships to ignore distress calls altogether off of the Somali coast. It would be very dangerous, to be sure, to respond to any calls from natives. Even western speakers on radio might be hostages.

  • Pirates attack luxury liner off Somalia (attack repelled)

    11/05/2005 6:05:44 PM PST · 36 of 69
    Timm to FairOpinion
    I read a book a couple of years ago on international piracy, _Dangerous Waters_. The book focused largely on the South China Seah, and the Molacca Strait. There is a very serious problem with shipping security in those waters, not only because the waters are heavily traveled but because the shipping is itself very close to poor and lawless land.

    Somalia is poor and lawless, to be sure, but this ship was one hundred miles from shore. So, this attack wasn't a matter of a few barefoot fishermen motoring out in a rubber raft hoping to score some loot from a boat's safe. No impoverished Somali motors out in a small open boat a hundred miles from the African coast, with AK's and RPG launchers, on the chance that some fat ship might pass by. This was an attack well-planned in advance, against a target the pirates knew would be passing by this spot.

    Given the planning of this assault, I'm not at all sure the motive was simply "theft", as a cruise line official put it on a television news report. It is possible that an extremely brutal and protracted version of the terrorist attacks that have shocked the world over the past several years was narrowly avoided today.

  • Farmington (NM) attorney arrested; blood-alcohol level 0.02

    11/04/2005 6:11:31 PM PST · 28 of 32
    Timm to longtermmemmory
    ALL the roadside exercises, (there are not legally tests) are only 60% accurate. Would anyone get on an airplane that was only 60% functional?

    If you had a source, that would be even more appreciated. I would guess that various studies would show varying accuracy for these roadside tests, too.

    Nevertheless, I am sure you are right that these tests are not reliable. An airplane is one comparison. Perhaps a more telling one would be to ask whether you would consent to expensive medical procedures-- as expensive as a DWI conviction, say-- on the basis of gymnastics tests eyeballed not by a doctor by a community-college educated technician, a technician with the equivalent of a weekend seminar's education on interpreting the tests. Sound reasonable to you? Does it sound any better when we are discussing criminal conviction?

  • Baggage Claim

    10/31/2005 8:28:01 AM PST · 11 of 13
    Timm to MainFrame65
    We had (and once deployed) 155 mm (6-inch) nuclear artillery shells.

    I was going to post this, as well. The BG article doesn't mention this weapon. Yet, it is much smaller than the smallest miniaturized bomb the article attributes to American manufacture.

    It was widely known-- or so I thought-- that NATO troops in Europe had American nuclear artillery shells during the Cold War.

    There is at least one film of the nuclear artillery shell being tested. I've seen it in the documentary _The Atomic Bomb Movie_.

    So, I don't trust this BG article. Despite what it claims, the Soviets may well have had a man-portable nuclear device.

  • Increasingly, Football's Playbooks Call for Prayer

    10/29/2005 7:21:11 PM PDT · 7 of 10
    Timm to rhema
    That prayer is "increasingly" visible in public life can only be true if one looks in the shorter term. If one looks further back, prayer has receded considerably from public life.

    If you ever have a chance to look back in detail at the records of the Apollo missions, for example, you'll be struck by the extent of the public prayer throughout those flights. Astronauts sometimes read Bible passages aloud to worldwide audiences. It's hard to see NASA being so unselfconsciously religious in its mission itineraries today.

    For better or worse, then, these college programs seem better understood as hangers-on from a past, common practice, rather than a recent innovation.

  • Free-Form Radio or Die

    10/27/2005 8:19:40 PM PDT · 13 of 20
    Timm to AbeKrieger
    Yeah, just like the promise of cable TV. Soon you'll be beset with as many commercials as present-day broadcast radio. Minor channels and non-viable programming will disappear. Your costs will rise. And we will all remember free broadcast radio as it was. You'll see.

    No sign of it yet. If-- if-- that happens, I'll just drop satellite radio. In the meantime, it's great.

  • Free-Form Radio or Die

    10/27/2005 8:15:24 PM PDT · 12 of 20
    Timm to SamAdams76
    When I tried XM, I kept asking myself a single question: why did I ever wait to do this?

    I can't believe I put up with FM as long as I did. The mind-numbing commercials, the bland playlists, the obnoxious syndicated "personalities"-- it was a form of torture.

    Driving is so much more pleasant now.

    I've had XM for about eighteen months. I got XM only because at the time the portable receiver was cheaper, and, from what I was reading, a bit better. At the time, there wasn't much to choose between XM and Sirius as far as programming went.

    I'm not a big Stern fan, so Sirius couldn't move me for that reason. I'm also not a big baseball fan, so XM won't keep a grip on me for *that* reason. What I would like to hear is a History Channel, though. Assuming the other programming was the same, I'd switch for that.

    XM does have a free internet feed for subscribers. That is like getting another receiver for free.

  • Size of Bankruptcy Bubble Surprises Banks

    10/25/2005 7:17:14 AM PDT · 60 of 101
    Timm to doc30
    The credit card companies are targeting people like you now. They are planning on introducing fees if you pay off your card each month.

    I've heard this, too, but thus far no charges have been introduced by my CC banks.

    I understand that some of the larger issuers have as many as 1/3 of their customers who carry no balance. I've often wondered how long it would be until the banks tried to stick it to these people. I've wondered more than idly, too, as these people include me. For years, I have used a credit card for just about everything I buy each month, but I never carry a balance.

    It would be *extremely* inconvenient not to use a credit card all the time. I like the incentive programs, the easy record-keeping, and most of all the security. It's not just the small liability if your number gets pinched. It's much harder for merchants to screw you if you use a decent c.c.. Most banks will just give merchants the finger if they are unreasonable with returns or refunds. I've had some sizeable disputes that would have been large aggravations with a debit card, but were no trouble with a credit card. Some banks will even take the customer's side in matters like staying past a check-out time at a hotel, "late fees" for various services, and the like.

    All of that is worth something, but I can't see paying fees to a bank just for the privilege of spending my own money. However tough they talk, though, it should still be possible to bargain among banks.

  • Privatizing Defense: Britain Leads the Way

    09/16/2005 2:33:30 PM PDT · 6 of 11
    Timm to Penda
    The army is something that must be kept under national control. Private armies are usually associated with the 3rd world. They are usually called mercenary units.

    Right, but if the use of "mercenary" is to be more than some insinuation of who knows what, you need to say just what is wrong with private forces, whatever they're called.

    From a narrow, fighting-ability-per-dollar measure, I would expect private forces to do better than those subject to national control, for all of the reasons that private enterprise usually proves more efficient than public administration. (And outfits like Executive Outcomes in Africa help demonstrate just what competent private organizations could do in this area.) The reason for a centrally controlled, national military is not greater efficiency and professionalism, but rather to avoid the unnerving prospect of several centers of political power. If there were several private entities within a society each controlling a large, modern armed force, one would expect civil division, if not civil war.

  • Cruise line sheltering evacuees raises customers' rebooking rates

    09/16/2005 9:17:34 AM PDT · 4 of 7
    Timm to WestTexasWend

    After the Superdome, I'm surpised any company was willing to make its ships available for refugees. If Carnival are being paid a hefty amount, it wouldn't necessarily be unreasonable given the risk to their ships.

  • For national security, think hybrid cars, not howitzers(Get Off Oil,I'm a Righty)

    09/05/2005 8:36:45 PM PDT · 9 of 63
    Timm to Seaside
    Conservation-- whether with a Prius or something else-- is not likely to curb demand for oil. If automobile fuel consumption declines, it's likely that cheaper air fares, reduced delivery costs, and other effects that would result from reduced fuel prices will encourage the same level of consumption.

    Even if that weren't true domestically, and it is, internationally it will certainly be true. Nations that cannot now afford higher levels of oil use will be able to as demand from the U.S. drops. So, money is going to flow to the oil producers anyway, whatever conservation measures are employed here.

    That's not to say that conservation measures of some kind aren't worth it-- they might be. But it's unrealistic to expect that hostile Arab countries will be deprived of any money as a result. It's unrealistic, too, to expect the Middle East to drop off of our strategic radar even if we all drove Priuses (Prii?). Conservation, insofar as it's worth doing at all, might be worth doing just to ensure we can't have our fuel supplies shut off in the short term.

    A switch to alternative energy supplies-- a switch that would be economical even for poorer countries to adopt-- is the only thing that's going to undercut the Middle Eastern countries. Something like that isn't visible on the near term horizon.

  • Freeper Scooter Patrol?

    08/31/2005 6:52:09 PM PDT · 37 of 104
    Timm to GRRRRR

    I think scooters don't compare well to larger motorcycles, myself. A motorcycle with a 650cc engine can be had for the money you're considering. The larger engine gives you much more flexibility in traffic. You can take it on the freeway, as well. Parking is no more difficult than with a scooter. And, myself, I think a motorcycle is way cooler...

  • NYT: Iraq Veterans Question 'Over There' - 'I don't think it addresses real issues of a soldier'

    08/24/2005 6:35:31 AM PDT · 9 of 18
    Timm to OESY
    Save yourself reading the whole article. Here's a one-sentence summary. The Times doesn't like the series because it doesn't go after Bush.

    In fact, one might even get the appalling idea that brave American servicemen and women are doing some good in Iraq. Of course, that possibility is too infuriating for the Times to sit idle. Hence the "expose" of the plot details of a cable t.v. show.

  • Breeding insanity

    08/22/2005 2:13:36 PM PDT · 40 of 53
    Timm to Graybeard58
    People on this forum crack me up; they're so in love with the idea of the liberal professor with no common sense they'll play out the script even where there's no evidence it's appropriate.

    To those of you who think it's a devastating objection to this plan that it gets cold during winter in North America, here's a news flash: these scientists know that. I know you love the thought that white-coated eggheads don't have the horse sense of you on your John Deer, but in this case you're just going to have to live with some disappointment. Whatever this news story is saying, obviously there must be plans for cold weather protection on some sort of wild animal park-- as opposed to lions or elephants roaming like wolves. I'd be very interested to see the details of this sort of proposal, from some source other than a newspaper.

    Look, I think this plan represents a rare glimmer of common sense from conservationists. The usual routine when it comes to large African mammals is to regret the civil wars/famines/dirt farming/high reproduction that "inevitably" will destroy the habitat of the elephant/gorilla/cheetah/rhinoceros. Then we're offered the usual unworkable "protection" plans that require utopian cooperation between government, guerillas (the human kind), and desperately poor people, occurring in unlikely places like the Congo or Zimbabwe. Of course, part of the idea is to induce the fatalistic despair that too many environmentalists come to love, but that shouldn't prevent the rest of us from thinking about practical conservation solutions.

    I've always thought it would be much easier to get gorillas and chimpanzees to live in North America somewhere (though admittedly I thought a Florida Key would be a better choice for a tropical forest primate than the plains of Nebraska) than it would be to solve the political problems of the Congo. Similarly for cheetahs and rural South Africa and Zimbabwe. And isn't it easier to keep elephants or rhinoceros thriving somewhere in the lower 48 than it is to stop hundres of thousands of desperately poor people from poaching a couple years' wages in the woods at night?

    Something like this is exactly what should be considered by those who take the conservation of various species seriously.

  • Kissing Sibs (SCOTUS & incest)

    08/04/2005 12:33:16 PM PDT · 4 of 63
    Timm to neverdem

    They sent adults to prison for this? This is an example of vicious prosecutors and judges who need power taken away from them.

  • Greenhouse hypocrisy (on-target op-ed from Samuelson)

    06/29/2005 9:58:30 AM PDT · 8 of 11
    Timm to Phantom Lord
    Remember, the US Senate voted against Kyoto 95-0.

    Strictly speaking, the Senate never voted on the Kyoto treaty itself. The 95-0 vote was in favor of a statement to the President not to submit the treaty for ratification. At least some of those voting in favor of the statement would have voted for the treaty had it been put in front of the Senate.

    It was obvious to everyone that the treaty had no hope of passing, though. Rather than see the treaty the President had negotiated so publicly uncerimoniously dumped in the Senate, the Senate preferred not to be asked to vote on it.

    From the left's point of view, this non-vote made sense. It was the best they could do. Even with the treaty not ratified the President is expected to treat its terms favorably, at least until the treaty is rejected. So, one can understand their votes among the 95.

    What's puzzling is why any on the right voted not to vote on the treaty. It would have been much better to put the nails in the coffin immediately, and with many Democrats on record, to shut the Democrats up about this issue.

  • Greenhouse hypocrisy (on-target op-ed from Samuelson)

    06/29/2005 9:51:54 AM PDT · 7 of 11
    Timm to cogitator
    It's a good article, but even Samuelson endorses the irrational goal of curbing emissions. The only practical option for responding to global warming is to adapt to any climate changes that occur. There is no realistic prospect of curbing emissions sufficiently to make any difference in that change.

    The above remarks assume that human contributions to so-called greenhouse gasses in fact contribute significantly to global warming. I'm not convinced that's true. The above remarks also assume that any climate change that occurs will have deleterious effects overall. No one has any good idea about that, I'm confident.

    Even with these two assumptions, though, curbing emissions through voluntary adopting poverty-- the green approach-- or through technology-- Samuelson's approach-- is not an option.

  • Cat Shocked After Climbing Utility Pole

    06/21/2005 1:36:00 AM PDT · 21 of 30
    Timm to DuckFan4ever
    Yet another bit of harm that comes from cat owners viewing all the world as their litter box.

    "huh, I wonder if that's my cat that was electrocuted/run over/torn up/caught killing rare wildlife?"

  • German police can't catch record-breaking speeder

    06/14/2005 2:31:54 AM PDT · 7 of 45
    Timm to kingattax
    155 mph is their national record? That seems slow by American standards-- of speeding records, that is.

    Motorcycles are just plain fast. A few riders I have met claim to regularly run from the cops, and succeed. I believe them.

  • Joking Pilots in Commuter Jet Crash Wanted to 'have a Little Fun' by Climbing to 41,000 Feet

    06/13/2005 7:20:34 PM PDT · 188 of 231
    Timm to TheOtherOne
    I don't get the snarky, hostile comments from so many other posters. The pilots flew the plane within its certified limits. I see no evidence they were reckless. I'm not sure what happened to cause double engine failure, one in cruise.

    The emphasis on the joking and all is just a journalist's thing, as far as I can tell. I see no connection between ordinary chatter with the ground and the crash.

    I'll be interested to read the final report here. But those of you who think the pilots are "idiots" or "bozos" from the little information actually presented in this article are just producing an excess of warmed air.

  • The "Other" L-word Has Become A Dirty One ("LIBERAL")

    03/05/2005 10:20:45 AM PST · 24 of 54
    Timm to srm913
    Articles like these are hilarious. Poor liberals. Their ideas are so compelling, so popular... if only they didn't always get beaten up by lying conservatives who "push" the "idea" of a liberal slant in the media. I mean, gosh, with such a compelling agenda as the liberal one, if they only found a way to counter those devastating attacks on media outlets they'd run the table.

    The author's Canadian, so she gets some slack for cluelessness-- poor girl, she can't help it.

    What cracks me up is this poor-me routine liberals pull. I've never heard such nasty invective from a political party than I did from Democrats this last time around-- Bush started a war to benefit his friends from Texas, to profit Haliburton, to scare people into voting for him. That's what was said by elected Democrats, never mind Moore. Now, though, liberals pretend they did nothing but offer high-minded "complexities" and were met with insults from an angry mob of children.

  • Greatest non-country driving songs

    02/28/2005 12:24:27 PM PST · 23 of 145
    Timm to trillabodilla
    "Runnin' down a dream", Tom Petty

    Took my answer!

  • U.S. must not intrude on Canadian airspace: Martin

    02/25/2005 10:03:08 AM PST · 45 of 98
    Timm to QQQQQ

    Sure, the North Koreans or the Chinese might send a nuclear missile over Canada, but the real outrage would be an American anti-missile missile crossing the Canuck border without permission.

  • Lender takes all in repo cases

    02/17/2005 6:06:27 AM PST · 12 of 49
    Timm to A. Pole

    Yeah, the guy's a shark. But we need laws to reduce his interest rates why?? There's an easy way to avoid the bite. Don't borrow from the guy. Or if you do, don't borrow more than you pay back. Quickly. That's too demanding a set of requirements for grown men and women?

  • Super Bowl Dream Trip Was No Trophy Winner

    02/13/2005 5:51:34 AM PST · 6 of 20
    Timm to MississippiMasterpiece
    I'm not much of a sports fan; I'll go to a baseball game rarely if invited by friends, or something, but by and large pro sports priced themselves *way* out of what I think reasonable a long time ago.

    And when you can just watch games on television for free, in the comfort and privacy of your own home, with as many delicious foods as you can keep on hand, I'm suprised my attitude is not more common, even among people who like sports more than I do. It's hard for me to understand how it makes sense to pay over $100 for a day at a football game, in a crowded stadium far from the action.

    Anyway, this kind of Superbowl vacation doesn't appeal to me, but I guess you've just got to watch out for these tour packages if such things do appeal to you.

  • What if Bush has been right about Iraq all along? (Misunderestimation of the Democra-nator Alert)

    02/01/2005 5:28:40 AM PST · 41 of 161
    Timm to Rutles4Ever

    God, what an idiot. Gee, after seeing them ON TELEVISION it occurs to this guy that Iraqi elections might actually be something worthwhile. And he figures this "change in opinion" is important enough to share with the whole world in a Chi Sun Times column.

  • Clear skies for Area 51 hacker

    02/01/2005 12:16:06 AM PST · 17 of 37
    Timm to Pro-Bush
    I didn't quite understand the sense in which Clark "accepted responsibility" for the missing sensor. I guess he stole it, but came to a plea bargain with the government for some charge less than theft of government property (a condition of which was payment for the sensor)?

    The uncovering, mapping, and reburial of the sensors all sounds like an amateur astronomer. A few guys in my club would have done something like that. An intense curiosity, and a desire to understand what's really going on behind government technical projects, is a prevalent characteristic of astronomers. Stealing the thing is something else, though.

    You know, I don't know that the deadly force warnings on the edge of what's called "Area 51" are serious. At least, I doubt they are serious, even today, on the edge of the installation.

    I read a biography of Timothy McVeigh, and the author was describing various things McVeigh did before deciding to commit mass murder. One thing McVeigh did was drive well past one of the entrances to the "Area 51", and the deadly force warning sign, and sit there and wait for a security guard to show up. It didn't seem as if McVeigh was trying to provoke a violent encounter; he just wanted to see what would happen, apparently.

    A private security guard did show up (the perimeter of that area was patrolled by private security). McVeigh just stood there, leaning on his truck, and the security guard watched for a while from his vehicle, and then left. Again, this was well within the "deadly force" posted warning.

    Now, this was in the mid-nineties, and things might be different now. And, even then, it's likely that one would encounter real military police as one approached closer to the developed area of the base. But I'd guess it's not that likely you'd be shot just inside that perimeter. It's a long way, nowadays, from the perimeter of marked land to the developed base-- for a time, one could go to a hilltop some miles away, and observe the base below, but in recent years the government has declared even that land off limits, and some more miles back. So, the perimeter is really a long way away from the base. I doubt you'd be shot out at the very edge.

  • L.A.'s the Bait; NFL Still Hasn't Switched

    01/31/2005 9:59:05 AM PST · 23 of 50
    Timm to MassRepublicanFlyersFan
    Given that L.A. was such a poor environment for NFL teams that it lost both of its teams in the 1990's, the threat to take a team and move it there may not be so potent after all.

    Even if that is not quite true, it is strange to hear a Representative from Louisiana whining that NFL teams don't really want a team in L.A., as it is all the better to extract concessions from other cities. As if that guy wouldn't use any bargaining chip he had to his advantage if *he* owned an NFL team.

    More importantly, if he, or other officials, are unhappy about the money that NFL teams are sucking away from cities and counties, THEN TELL THE TEAMS NO. It's a game, for chrissakes. And before we hear about the bogus "economic benefits" that a professional sports team supposedly brings to the surrounding community, remember that the money that is taken coercively from taxpayers and given to the rich owners of NFL teams is just diverted from alternative uses, uses mostly in the same community. And we know these other uses would have satisfied the needs of people better than an NFL team, too-- that's why a tax is necessary to get the money in the first place, after all. People would have bought other things instead of football tickets with that money.

  • Countdown to global catastrophe

    01/24/2005 12:35:44 AM PST · 50 of 94
    Timm to FairOpinion

    Enviro-scare rule: catastrophe has to be less than ten years away, so that it will spur people to action. But it has to be more than five years away, so that when it doesn't happen no one will remember.

  • Bush Doctrine Is Expected to Get Chilly Reception

    01/23/2005 12:27:19 AM PST · 39 of 51
    Timm to Pikamax
    Wow. It's fascinating that Bush is now getting better press in the conservative British papers than in the "Post".

    Maybe it's not so surprising. Since they failed in dragging Kerry over the finish line, the _Post_ and the _Times_ are making the inevitable, but pitiful, attempts to get Bush to moderate his policies.

    Well, if their "govern from the center" campaign failed to get Bush to govern amenably to Democrats after the election nightmare of 2000, they've got no prayer trying to get Bush to wimp out now. That Europeans are leaking their whining to the Washington Post is hardly going to make anyone quake in the White House.

  • There's only one way to protect ourselves – and here's the proof

    01/23/2005 12:12:54 AM PST · 15 of 24
    Timm to 1066AD
    Wow. I don't recall such an unapologetic pro-gun in a British paper, even the Telegraph or the Times.

    Apart from the merits of the case in this article, there's another factor to be noted: Bush's victory has emboldended conservatives across the Atlantic. Yes, I know, Bush and the Republicans themselves are not very close to the Tories at present, what with the ruckus over the debate on Iraq. Nevertheless, conservatives, in government and in newspapers, are obviously thinking that the time is right to hammer Labor on self-defense, and they must take heart from the fact that being pro-gun is a winning strategy in the United States' federal elections.

    I wonder if there's any hope in Britain to have any of the gun legislation repealed? I presume not with Blair's government in power, but I'm not expert enough in British politics to say with certainty.

  • Still Victims After All These Years

    01/18/2005 5:50:19 PM PST · 18 of 20
    Timm to neverdem
    A lot of feminist propaganda ruined my early twenties-- I thought women were the way that authors like Young and Maureen Dowd write about. Unfairly treated, burdened by impossible expectations, just looking for a man to appreciate them who they are... Oh, boy. If there is any trap for a young man, it's taking articles like these too seriously. (Though the author of the Slate piece mentioned in the Reason article is sensible, I think.)

    The truth is that most young women have little developed idea of what they think feminism is, or how they want egalitarian ideals incorporated into their lives. The result is too often an unattractive package: someone who expects the old privileges of her gender, like having dates paid for, and having their life goals subsidized by a man, but who also thinks it's beneath her to be too nice to a man, or to make any compromises in her life or career for the sake of supporting her boyfriend or husband. And this woman figures you, the man, are a neanderthal if you don't understand and support this point of view. It's hard to make the attitude that man is her servant less naked.

    But it's so common! Many of the couples in my acquaintance consist of a man succeeding in some career, working his tail off, and the woman doing a lot less work, in a lot fewer hours, professionally. She's finishing a degree, but can't quite seem to get it done, or she works only part time, or whatever. But she still demands that he come home, to the house he's largely paying for, in what free time he's got, and do half the dishes, the laundry, etc. Because all that is "separate" from their professional lives. And the guy does it!!

    At least these women are married. When women get older, they usually want to get married, but they don't really want to be anyone's wife. I've met so many women who are smart, attractive, in their late twenties and early thirties, who say they want a husband, but who don't have the first idea about how to attract one. No exaggeration: some of these women would tell me about how they slept with married men in their twenties, strung along a boyfriend or two they didn't really like, brushed off advances from unexciting guys. Then these same women would starting getting resentful toward *me* if I didn't want at least to talk about marrying them within a month of meeting them. Now that they want to get married, you see. Yikes!!!

    The fact is that most women have the same old idea that their grandmothers have: to marry up. But their life plan seems to be something like this. Take no men seriously in their early twenties, and seek as many adventures, and as much attention from men as possible (Girls Gone Wild phase). Then work on a professional career, all while dating men but keeping them at arm's length (the Ali McBeal phase). Then, when they decide that they do want to get married, a light goes off in the universe and a handsome, rich guy who adores the ground they walk on, and who just laughs at the Girls Gone Wild videos they made and all of the "wildness" of their early years, will drop into their lives, like bread from heaven, and provide a happy ending. Needless to say this plan leads to some disappointment, and some angry women come thirty-something.

    I'm getting tired thinking about it! I've met a lot of women who seem suspicious, hard bitten, and not very patient or charming in their quest to land a ring *now*. A sane man's response: this is how she is *now*, when I'm not even married to her? Get me outta here!

    Anyway, I know it might upset a lot of people, and perhaps even a lot of Freepers. But I think the largest part of the dating problems now among the 35 and under crowd is because of women, not men. Really. Their expectations are just way too high, they give so little in a relationship, and they scare a lot of men off. Women should do more thinking. If they don't want to be wives, then they shouldn't push men to marry them. If they want to be married, they need to think more seriously about why men want to marry women, instead of why they're not getting what they feel entitled to out of the world.

    Phew. Feel better! Rant over. Articles like these, and the Dowd article referred to, just bug me.