There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.

Mark Twain

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Electrical Costs Ongoing

The cost of electricity has many parts. In the United States, deregulation has broken those costs into so many disingenuous parts so that the causes of excess cost are not easily discernable. However, two aspects are clear. First, hydropower has the lowest cost if it can be maintained through environmental law suits. Second, solar and wind energy are the most expensive forms of energy, always requiring one or more forms of state subsidy. A look at the variation of price across the United States compared to countries where renewables have been emphasized is useful because prices directly reflect costs.

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Fear Mongering

Yelling fire in a crowded theater is a crime, but only if it incites imminent lawless action. People rushing to the exits may be harmed, but no lawless action was encouraged. So what about yelling climate change during the impact of two large hurricanes? The same thinking applies. People will undoubtedly be harmed by the rush to poor public policy, but no lawless action was encouraged. But just as a snow storm is not evidence against global warming, two large hurricanes are not evidence for climate change, let alone man-made climate change. Anecdotal evidence is unscientific. In terms of recorded data, the current hurricanes are not even that unusual.

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Irma


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College Bound

Is college worth the cost purely in financial terms? Apparently that depends on many decisions, including the student’s preparedness and career choices. According to a recent study, the median college graduate will earn approximately $300,000 more over a lifetime than a high school graduate. But, of course, that depends on the choice of major, followed by employment. And it depends on graduating in four years, not five or six. And it depends on the reduction of college cost by student aid, frequently restricted to certain income strata. And even then, only 75% of all graduates do better in the long term. So college is a risk, as are all choices that increase income. Risk is the major generator of income differences. So how to make that choice?

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The Front Yard

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Before the Fall

Incredibly Detailed Map Of The World’s Religions Code for religious types below  Continue Reading

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Time And Space

How can anyone talk about healthcare in the current environment without carrying a lot of deplorable baggage? For instance, a lot of imagery involves the concept of single-payer healthcare versus the free market. But healthcare has not had a free market since the advent of Medicare in 1966; the federal government has manipulated and twisted the market in dozens of different ways. To see just a glimpse of that landscape, take a look at a summary of a health care plan that is supposed to minimize that manipulation. The number of workarounds to government interference boggles the mind. The direction for serious discussion should be to put the entire system in its proper context.

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Stone To Live By

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Cold Civil War

On June 16, 1858, over 150 years ago, Abraham Lincoln spoke on the division in our country over the issue of slavery. That speech established his credentials in the political debate of the time, even though he lost that particular election. In the speech, he quoted the biblical statements of Jesus, "A house divided against itself cannot stand”. And so the speech takes that name. In particular, in Matthew 12:25, Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” Notice the inclusion of the state.

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To Block Or Not To Block

Finally, after much unnecessary rumble, the schedule for classes at Housatonic Valley Regional High School has been decided by Principal Jose Martinez. He acted in concert with a parent committee who were adamant about improving the education for their children. The new schedule, a compromise, will be a six day rotation schedule over five weeks. The first two days will have four 75 minute blocks so that experience with personalized learning can get started. The next four days will have six 50 minute blocks with less variability for each subject leading to less confusion for the students. The parents were informed of the decision yesterday by Assistant Superintendent Pam Vogel; the teachers were informed by Martinez.

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