Places

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Places to go, things to see, people to do.

Places

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To grasp how dumb the ANWR fight is, I included some pictures.

In an desolate federal reserve the size of South Carolina, the state and locals wanted to drill on 3 square miles of deserted frozen wasteland tundra, in the middle of fucking nowhere (20 million acres of inaccessible nothingness). And the thought that other people might be doing something productive to get us off foreign oil, miles away from anywhere, was too much for the left to handle. They created a misleading ads showing majestic mountains or fertile rivers (that were 500 miles away), having nothing to do with the area we're talking about. They screamed about the caribou and polar bears, again, which had nothing to do with the area we were discussing. Obama promised "all of the above" energy, then obstructed this for 8 years. Once a non oil-obstructionist was elected (Trump), it was allowed months later -- which will result in less foreign energy dependence, cheaper gas, and more jobs. more...
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Austria: Germany Light. 1/3rd less Calories than regular Germany. more...
Belgium, the new murder capital of the world. OK, perhaps that's a bit hyperbolic -- but the point is that they're exterminating people for a variety of reasons -- some by choice, others because they are as Hitler the Nazi's called them, Unnütze Esser – (lit. "useless eaters" or "useless mouths")". As a libertarians, I happen to be for euthanasia. But that doesn't mean I think there shouldn't be any controls on it. And the mental ill or non-responsive (vegetative) can't give consent, so presuming it is not euthanasia it's extermination. more...
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The land of intolerance, hypocrisy and progressivism... but I repeat myself. more...
While there's no single cause for more/bigger/fires, there are many cumulative ones. Virtually all of them made California worse by adopting Green/Democrat/Left policies that had unintended consequences. The folks decided to do anything in the name of "environmentalism", while more reasonable people warned them that their policies would result in bigger wildfires. Now that reaped those consequences, instead of owning their mistakes, and learning, they want to blame: (a) Global Warming (b) Trump (for insensitively repeating what their own reports said) (c) make excuses like "we don't technically own all the land we manage/regulate" (d) spend 10x as much on electric car subsidies (or 100x as much on trains), as clearing dead trees. It's one thing to be foolish, it's another thing to do it with a megaphone. more...
Factoids about Canada more...
Culture Shock: Moving to Ohio from California. We relocated for a job opportunity: as a California native, this was going to be an interesting opportunity for personal growth. I love learning and information -- about people, technology, history, or just stuff. Usually what I know is the stuff that others don't care about, and don't necessarily want to hear about (at least for not as long as I'm willing to go on about it). But isn't that the fun of sharing and people? Getting to pin them in a corner, and talk their ears off while their eyes glaze over or they look desparately for escape? Ohio (or the midwest) may be old hat to many readers -- but to me, it is totally fresh information. And such a change from what I'm used to. This is a summary of some things that were "different" to a Californian. more...
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Cozumel, Mexico -- the best family vacation, ever. Vacation trips can be fun, but they can also be stressful; especially when traveling with friends and family. My recent vacation exemplifies a "typical" family vacation for me; and people wonder why I'm a home body? Seriously, I had a good time, but was wrecked after I got back. And this remains the best family vacation we ever took. more...
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I have nothing against Germany. In fact, I have a lot of family there, and it's one of the nicest countries I've visited: the trains run mostly on-time, they have a nicer quality of life, and better services than many countries in the world. But there are negatives too: a collectivist culture, bureaucratic, too many rules and too much intolerance. (Every rule/law/regulation is a way to tell someone else what they can/cannot do). And historically, they did a lot of bad things. I try not to rub that latter part in, because most alive today had nothing to do with that. But there's a reason that stuff happened there: and it is the collectivism that is the birthplace of Marx and Engels, and that socialist poison is infused in their water and culture, and exists (in its more moderate form), just waiting for the opportunity to spring out again. more...
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H. J. Whitley had already started over 100 towns across the western United States, he was on his honeymoon in 1886 at the top of the hill looking out over the valley. Along came a Chinese man in a wagon carrying wood. The man got out of the wagon and bowed. The Chinese man was asked what he was doing and replied, "I holly-wood," meaning 'hauling wood.' H. J. Whitley decided to name his new town Hollywood: "Holly" would represent England and "wood" would represent his Scottish heritage.

H. J. Whitley's company (Los Angeles Pacific Boulevard and Development Company), bought the 480 acres E.C. Hurd ranch, and created the map of his plans. But it was Daeida Wilcox, a prominent investor and friend of Whitley's, who recommended the same name to her husband, who had purchased 120 acres on February 1, 1887, and they used that name and filed it with the Los Angeles County Recorder's office on a deed and parcel map of the property.

Hollywood was incorporated as a municipality on November 14, 1903, and then (January 30, 1904) banished liquor in the city, except when it was being sold for medicinal purposes, and later movie theaters. Then in 1910, the city voted to merge with Los Angeles in order to secure an adequate water supply and to gain access to the L.A. sewer system. Finally 1923, a large sign, reading HOLLYWOODLAND, was built in the Hollywood Hills to advertise a housing development -- and in 1949 the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce took over repair and rebuilding the sign: including removing the last 4 letters, to now refer to the district, rather than the housing development.

After problems in New Jersey because of Edison suing filmmakers, many of them fled west to Los Angeles area and started setting up production near Los Angeles for better weather, variety of terrain, and to evade New Jersey patent infringement. Hollywood became known as Tinseltown and the "dream factory" because of the glittering image of the movie industry.

This is the perfect summary, it was named after a racial slur, sold as being for something else. It was named by one person but another person registered it. The first thing they did was make it a dry city and ban the industry that made it famous -- which only happened there so they could rip off someone else's intellectual property. The sign they're most famous for was done by someone else, and they stole credit. And only a few years after being founded they had to give up control because they couldn't manage their own water or sewage. The more things change, the more they stay the same. more...
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I have family in Iran, an Iranian Birth Certificate, and it's where much of my family comes from. This is a collection of stories about Iran. more...
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This covers many of the fallacies and bad arguments about the Iraq War. Disagreeing over the cost/benefits of a war is fine, ignoring truths because they get in the way of your agenda is not. more...
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I sometimes call myself a radical centrist. It's not because I like playing devil's advocate for the sake of being argumentative, it's that many people see the world in extremes: their way or the wrong way. Thus when people are arguing a cartoon version of the world (the U.S. or a President is always wrong/right), I just want to point out that it's a lot more nuanced than that -- and usually they respond with a reductio ad absurdum response, "if you're not completely against X, then I must be for it" (or vise versa). I wish the world that was that simple, but it isn't. North Korea is the perfect example of that. more...
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San Jose is where I lived for many years. It's the most most bigoted city, in the most bigoted state I lived in. Worse, they are the least self aware people on their own bigotry. This lists a few examples. more...
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Seattle: once called the Emerald City, they paid a consulting company $200,000 to come up their new slogan: "Metronatural". Then they painted it on the Space needle. That sums up the sad state that Seattle has become: the intersection of radical political correctness with radical environmentalism, mixed in a concophany of homelessness, high taxes, and the worst traffic in the nation. They might not be able to handle the hard stuff, like roads or homelessness, but at least they know how to drive out jobs and hurt people. more...
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Democrats leaked to the Democrat Press (WaPo), that Trump used the term "Shithole" to refer to a few countries (that are shitholes), while in the immigration debate. Then both hypocritically made a stink about a nothingburger for many many days of 24/7 coverage, while ignoring all the important points. There's deeper issues here, but the mocking of the term (or the defense of it), just divided us on partly lines because making stink over Trump's style (and what the Dem side did too), isn't going to persuade anyone who doesn't already hate Trump of anything. The thinkers will be outraged at what's went on behind the curtain of FakeNews and histrionics. more...
A list of thing about the UK. Some good, some bad. OK... mostly bad. more...
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Venezuela (Hugo Chavez) was everything that Hollywood, Michael Moore, Sean Penn and other limousine Socialists wanted: they came in, nationalized the oil, redistributed the wealth (created education and lots of programs)... and eventually the wealth ran out. And Venezuela went from being one of the economic capitals of growth and industry in South America, to a collapsed country with rampant poverty that produces little but crime and refugees.

So what did we learn? That's a joke, if Socialists could learn, they would have gone extinct thousands of years ago. What some of us learned is that Socialism can work for a short while, but central planning always underperforms a free market. They may collapse in 5 years, or may struggle for 50, but the idea that the central planners know more than everyone else, is flawed at it's nature. What happens is that they focus on the best producing industries, and run them more efficient by eliminating competition. But while that leanness looks good in the short term, it suffocates innovation, and it destroyed diversity of their economy (everything becomes about the few things the planners are focused on, and everything else starves out). Then when enough innovation happens in their key industry (and the didn't keep up), or a disruptive technology comes along, they all suffocate and have nothing else to fall back on. And the real illiterates will claim, "Real Socialism has never been tried", and invent a reason for why another failure doesn't count. more...
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Vermont keeps electing Bernie Sanders. If that doesn't tell you enough of their stupid ideology, they started a program to pay people $10,000 to come there, where they will be taxed nearly that in a year (not counting moving fees). So a 1-2 year break-even is great for Vermont, if there's any rubes gullible enough to fall for that. I know some people I'd pay $10,000 to move to Vermont as well. A few of them would be happy to call Sanders their senator. more...
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You can't talk about Vietnam without talking about:

  • What lead up to the Vietnam War
  • Why the Vietnam war was fought
  • Who won and lost the war.
This covers all of those topics. more...