The Back Porch
Come sit in the shade for a while. You never know what this old dog might hack up.
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- April 2012
If confronted by a mob,
   Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:04 am

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The culture of Poor

Permanent Linkby wisconsin_cur on Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:26 am

A question was posed to me recently, "At what income level to you think that someone is 'making it' and at what point are they poor?"

This is a issue upon which I have some strong emotions stemming mostly from my biography. My parents were married at 18 and their path to their present level of success began with a newborn and one High School diploma between them. There was no seed money from their parents to get them started but there was an attitude and ethic worth more than the Hilton-family trust fund. For me anyway the nature of their beginings are neither a source for pride or shame. It is just what was. I do, however, take pride in the way they faced that beginning.

Between them they had an ability to get things done and make the best of what they had. In the late seventies and early eighties, when the unemployment level of my home county hovered around 20%, They worked hard, saved what they could, bought a house, went back to school and politely declined government programs...

[ Continued ]

3 Comments Viewed 60624 times

How close to peak?

Permanent Linkby wisconsin_cur on Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:25 am


I want to take a step back from the details from the switch to nuclear because it seems to me that there is a more fundamental difference of opinion which undergirds each of our outlooks. You are concerned about what I think can fairly be called "undue alarmism." In contrast, I am more concerned with what I see as "undue ease" in the presence of a real threat. Both alarmism and undue ease are often emotional reactions to situations and, depending upon the individual and event, will be rooted in fact to one degree or another. I would like to make my case on why I think we are closer to peak and the need to begin mitigation efforts are, at least, more immediate or way past due.

Before I do that, however, I would just like to quote Matt Simmons on the issue of when we KNOW that decline is a fact,

"peaking is one of these fuzzy events that you only know clearly when you see it through a rear view mirror, and by then an alternate resolution...

[ Continued ]

1 Comment Viewed 54655 times

An open letter to my friend

Permanent Linkby wisconsin_cur on Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:19 am

I will call him "Gaston." We have been discussiong energy issues and politics via facebook and that venue has some limitations so I would like to respond to him here. It would be unfair for me to post his comments out of context but we are discussing how transitioning to electic power (nuclear specifically) could help us become less dependent upon fossil fuels. He has graciously given me his plan. Below is my response.


I can not claim to be from Missouri but I have always had a good time when visiting and have adopted a “Show Me” attitude to our political parties. I do not trust either of them.

As far as who is willing to actually do what, we need to look at what state governments are doing. I have been following developments of offshore wind in Maine (Dem government and help from a very Republican private citizen Matt Simmons).

Maine Win...

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Last edited by wisconsin_cur on Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

8 Comments Viewed 85071 times

Enron writ large?

Permanent Linkby wisconsin_cur on Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:45 am

Enron was the financial scandal that kicked off the decade: a giant energy trading company that appeared to be doing brilliantly—until we finally noticed that it wasn’t. It’s largely been forgotten given the wreckage that followed, and that’s too bad: we may be repeating those mistakes, on a far larger scale.

Nomi Prins dissects the opaque origins of the record profits that have been recorded by the big banks recently, delving in to the accounting of Citibank, Bank of America and Wells Fargo. My favorite quote comes in relation to Wells Fargo and sent me into a giggling fit:

Separately, Wells states in its filing that its management accounting process is “dynamic” and, not “necessarily comparable with similar information for other financial services companies.” This statement should give lawmakers pause...

[ Continued ]
Last edited by wisconsin_cur on Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

1 Comment Viewed 52056 times

If AGW is a hoax,

Permanent Linkby wisconsin_cur on Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:41 pm

we will all, after a fashion, be worse off.

It has long been my contention that homo sapien will respond to a return to the steel grip of scarcity by turning on one another: nation against nation, tribe against tribe, a father against his son, daughters against their mothers. This may be unavoidable but we each have an individual interest in seeing this manifestation of scarcity postponed as long as possible.

While there are thing that an individual or family can do to insulate themselves from the social cannibalism to come, no one is truly safe. The greater the distance between the breakdown in civility and the new equilibrium which will emerge the greater our exposure to risk. We will be thrust into a game of Russian Roulette. We are fools if we think we want to play any longer than forced to.

If anthropological global warming turns out to be a fatally flawed premise we can expect the forces of anti-intellectualism to strengthen their hand and it will...

[ Continued ]

4 Comments Viewed 61316 times

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