Climate change deniers are not skeptics.:

Skepticism is all about critical examination, evidence-based scientific inquiry, and the use of reason in examining controversial claims. Those who flatly deny the results of climate science do not partake in any of the above. They base their conclusions on a priori convictions. Theirs is an ideological conviction—the opposite of skepticism.

The key words being flatly deny. Its fine to be critical of climate science where there are gaps or issues with the models. That’s skepticism. But to conflate weather and climate. Or argue that it isn’t happening because something-something, that’s denial.

Republicans Believe in the Power of the Free Market—Except in Cuba, Apparently:

There is no precedent for setting full democratic reform as a precondition to economic relations. Since 2011, Raul Castro has implemented 250 economic reforms modeled after the system in Communist China. In the 1970s, the U.S. normalized trade relations with China, Romania, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary after they took similar steps to implement preliminary economic reform. Even after economic normalization, the U.S. continued to pressure these countries to improve their human rights practices. As Obama said, “We know from hard-learned experience that it is better to encourage and support reform than to impose policies that will render a country a failed state.”

It seems foolish to think you can push for political or economic reforms in isolation. The two must go hand in hand if you want either reform to yield positive results.

Human experimentation was a core feature of the CIA’s torture program:

Human experimentation was a core feature of the CIA’s torture program. The experimental nature of the interrogation and detention techniques is clearly evident in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s executive summary of its investigative report, despite redactions (insisted upon by the CIA) to obfuscate the locations of these laboratories of cruel science and the identities of perpetrators.

Wow.

Jeb Bush Wants a Tougher Cuban Embargo:

the benefactors of President Obama’s ill-advised move will be the heinous Castro brothers who have oppressed the Cuban people for decades.

Or maybe the embargo was more beneficial to the Castro brothers. The fact that they held on to power for a half century while all the other communist nations, except for North Korea, either reformed or fell should tell us something.

After 38 years of glory, the long run of Dr. Dobb’s has come to an end:

Like many of you, I grew up reading Dr. Dobb’s. For me, as I suspect it was for many of you, Dr. Dobb’s Journal was the lifeline to a thorough understanding of programming. I recall that when the magazine appeared in my mailbox, all other activity for the day came to a sudden stop and the remaining hours were spent blissfully poring over article after article, soaking in the information. I learned C from Allen Holub’s C Chest column, operating systems from the 18-part series on 386BSD, video programming from Michael Abrash’s Black Book, and data compression from Mark Nelson. And so on — each month brought new, enabling insights and explanations of often arcane topics.

I was a regular reader for most of the 90s and beyond. The era of blogs is what killed both BYTE and Dr. Dobbs.

Is Russia 2015 Venezuela 1983?:

Venezuela then, like Russia now, was a petro-economy which had consistently run external surpluses. But it was nonetheless a vulnerable debtor, because all those external surpluses and more had in effect been recycled into overseas assets of the corrupt elite.

Rand Paul’s “anti-torture” sham: Why his ignoring CIA scandal says so much - Salon.com:

Put simply, if Sen. Paul’s commitment to his small government vision extended beyond the GOP’s usual hatred of taxes, throwing himself into the CIA torture scandal by vocally and repeatedly demanding the summary’s release would be the perfect way to prove it. If Paul’s libertarian rhetoric is just a branding exercise to separate him from the rest of the 2016 presidential pack, however, then going after the “patriots” who tortured “evildoers” for George W. Bush is not in his best interest.

I predict that the 2016 GOP pack will come out strongly for the use of torture. I expect Rand Paul to take a lukewarm stance against

Why Poor People Stay Poor:

I once lost a whole truck over a few hundred bucks. It had been towed, and when I called the company they told me they’d need a few hundred dollars for the fee. I didn’t have a few hundred dollars. So I told them when I got paid next and that I’d call back then. It was a huge pain in the ass for those days. It was the rainy season, and I wound up walking to work, adding another six miles or so a day to my imaginary pedometer. It was my own fault that I’d been towed, really, and I spent more than a couple hours ruing myself. I finally made it to payday, and when I went to get the truck, they told me that I now owed over a thousand dollars, nearly triple my paycheck. They charged a couple hundred dollars a day in storage fees. I explained that I didn’t have that kind of money, couldn’t even get it. They told me that I had some few months to get it together, including the storage for however long it took me to get it back, or that they’d simply sell it. They would, of course, give me any money above and beyond their fees if they recovered that much. I was working two jobs at the time. Both were part time. Neither paid a hundred bucks a day, much less two. I wound up losing my jobs. So did my husband. We couldn’t get from point A to point B quickly enough, and we showed up to work, late, either soaked to the skin or sweating like pigs one too many times. And with no work, we wound up losing our apartment. It’s amazing what things that are absolute crises for me are simple annoyances for people with money. Anything can make you lose your apartment, because any unexpected problem that pops up, like they do, can set off that Rube Goldberg device.

Three quarters of whites don’t have any non-white friends - The Washington Post:

Going back to Chris Rock’s point, the average black person’s friend network is eight percent white, but the average white person’s network is only one percent black. To put it another way: Blacks have ten times as many black friends as white friends. But white Americans have an astonishing 91 times as many white friends as black friends.

Chris Rock on Obama and Bush:

the liberals that are against him (Obama) feel let down because he’s not Bush. And the thing about George Bush is that the kid revolutionized the presidency. How? He was the first president who only served the people who voted for him. He literally operated like a cable network. You know what I mean? … He’s the first cable-television president, and the thing liberals don’t like about Obama is that he’s a network guy. He’s kind of Les Moonves. He’s trying to get everybody. And I think he’s figured out, and maybe a little late, that there’s some people he’s never going to get.

This is amazing. I think Chris Rock totally nailed it.

The Business Tycoons of Airbnb:

Getting ahead on Airbnb is much more simple: just sign multiple leases in desirable locations. Of course, that requires upfront investment and financial savvy. But once it’s up and running, an Airbnb rental network can become seriously lucrative. One operation of 272 listings booked $6.8 million in revenue from 2010 through June of this year, according to the attorney general. The economic forces at play are similar to what the French economist Thomas Piketty discusses in his recent blockbuster book, ‘’Capital in the Twenty-First Century,’’ only in miniature. In a slow-growth economy, Piketty argues, wealth delivers better returns than labor, so those with wealth to invest in things (like, for example, rent-earning apartments) will tend to get wealthier; those without probably won’t. Listing a spare room on Airbnb might keep you current on your always-climbing Manhattan rent, but real entrepreneurship (as always) requires real dough.

AirBnB is literally a platform for wealthy people to engage in rent seeking.

The Benghazi Report Truthers: Even The GOP Cant Get To The Bottom Of It:

When in late November the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee released a report finding that there was no direct wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, it seemed like the case might finally be closed. After all, this was a panel controlled by a Republicans.

But that’s not quite what happened.

Some of the loudest torch-and-pitchfork wielding Benghazi investigation enthusiasts weren’t satisfied.

Expect more Benghazi on FOX. They are going to waste untold time and money until they find something. It’s whitewater all over again.

And this is a shame. There are dozens of actual things they could be investigating.