Open Thread!

Income inequality is a hot topic among intellectuals. You've got Thomas Piketty's new book this month. You've got a new think tank this year, The Washington Center for Equitable Growthfounded to accelerate cutting-edge analysis into whether and how structural changes in the U.S. economy, particularly related to economic inequality, affect economic growth.


Open Thread (with a bit of trade deficit)

February's trade deficit widened to 42.3 billion, with about half due to trade with China.


Dean Baker, economic prognosticator extraordinaire at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, identifies the US trade deficit as the biggest obstacle to full employment. 


I call it: "Open Thread With Two Goats Wearing Sweaters"


Hey, goats, what is that, cashmere? Ha ha ha ha heh.

A New Era Begins

As of now, Jay C, M Scott, and Jordan are officially the new moderators. In theory, their term will extend to December 27, 2014.


This is a long time, and from experience I can say that the job can be thankless, which makes it longer. Please then have a heart and give the guys as little work as possible.


It is also a good time for a round of thanks to our former moderators. They did a great job, and for longer than they expected too.


Virtual Reality and Conspiracy Theory Open Thread.

mmghosh's picture

Was Facebook was created by the CIA?  If so, why did they buy Oculus?  More than 60,000 Oculus Developer kits have been sold.  


Sony is readying its version.  No doubt factories in China are retooling to make 6 billion headsets.


This Open Thread is way better than all those other ones

Really, it's no contest. The other threads never had a chance.

Oh Penguin don't be a silly bird Open Thread.

mmghosh's picture

So Penguin chooses, voluntarily, to recall and pulp Dr Doniger's Alternative History.  

"The book is in a bad taste right from the beginning," Mr Batra told a BBC Hindi colleague on Wednesday. "If you see the front page [cover], the picture there is also objectionable since it portrays a deity in a vulgar pose. The book is slanderous and even facts have been distorted."

Giraffe Execution Open Thread

I saw this story about Marius the Giraffe over at TPM, and while it's easy to understand that the zoo felt the animal needed to be put down, and it's also easy to understand that animal rights groups were upset over the poor creature's fate, this is not at all easy to understand:  

Well Thank God That Weekend Came to an End Open Thread

The death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, the public clowning of Peyton Manning and the Broncos (I was rooting for the Seahawks but I came to see a game not a humiliation), now lacing up for a third (or fourth?) winter storm of the year. There are far more terrible things in life, but I would have preferred to see a few dozen more movies with Mr. Hoffman in them, all things considered. 

Speedy Recovery Prayer Circle and Open Thread

Wherein we all hold hands and try to miracle Hank into feeling a little bit less like yesterday's meatloaf. While arguing about stuff.

Digital Sunrise Open Thread

 The way to see the sun in Tiananmen Square is now on an LED Screen:


... I'm in sunny San Diego and giving thanks for the EPA. Open Thread!

Open Thread, with comedy!

The best comedy albums and specials of 2013, according to the AV club:


1. Louis C.K., Oh My God

2. Kumail Nanjiani, Beta Male

3. Maria Bamford, Ask Me About My New God!

4. Amy Schumer, Mostly Sex Stuff

5. Aziz Ansari, Buried Alive

5. (tie) Kurt Braunohler, How Do I Land?

6. Pete Holmes, Nice Try, The Devil

Important Reminder

HankP's picture

With the Christmas season almost upon us, I'd like to remind everyone to use the Amazon link on the right hand column to order your Christmas gifts - at least the big, expensive ones.


Also, for your amusement:





I am the webmaster for


Open Thread, Open Existence

Have fun dropping whatever in comments below.


A recent piece in the Guardian from a guy I work with on how terrible the elderly fare in Asian countries.


I sense quite a bit of cognitive dissonance in South Korea, which supposedly culturally values its elders, but which leaves many to suffer in poverty and is obsessed over youth. 


From the article:


Where Do I Even Begin?

HankP's picture



Crazy, awful year.

5 deaths, 3 of family members and 2 of friends (update, 2 more friends I just heard about this week). Dealing with an elderly relative who appears to be losing his mind. Renovated the house in 6 months and then sold it in a day (but still dealing with the fallout from a completely incompetent escrow company). Moved to an apartment downtown. Business is booming, new clients every month.


Living downtown is great. The pluses and minuses:

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