When in doubt, read Thorstein Veblen

The institution of a leisure class is found in its best development at the higher stages of the barbarian culture; as, for instance, in feudal Europe or feudal Japan. In such communities the distinction between classes is very rigorously observed; and the feature of most striking economic significance in these class differences is the distinction maintained between the employments proper to the several classes. The upper classes are by custom exempt or excluded from industrial occupations, and are reserved for certain employments to which a degree of honour attaches.

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So why not take a flying guess?

Romney Seeking Big Margin as Doubts Persist - NYTimes.com: "In the latest release of the 7 News/Suffolk University tracking poll, released as people began turning out to vote Tuesday morning, Mr. Romney leads with 37 percent. Ron Paul is backed by 18 percent and Jon Huntsman is backed by 16 percent -- essentially tied for second place."

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The NYT gives these figures precedence. My contrarian viewpoint is as follows.

Max for Romney 34 with a low of 29

Max for Paul 22

Max for Huntsman 20

Max for Gingrich 23

Max for Santorum 17

All these guys cannot hit my highs so I would say the surprises will be Gingrich and Huntsman and Romney as a fallen favorite. I would say he is lucky the vote is today. Tomorrow he might lose.

Parental supervision? How about a car-free society?

Parental supervision not required: the freedom of classic children's fiction | Books | guardian.co.uk: "From Arthur Ransome's sea-faring adventurers to Clever Polly's outwitting of the Stupid Wolf, the heroes of classic children's fiction enjoyed far less restricted lifestyles than kids do today. Is that why their stories still appeal?"

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Just the Ticket, Bill? Just a minute.

Just the Ticket - NYTimes.com:

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Bill Keller has a few things wrong in his piece on Hillary as the 2012 Veep candidate. First, he surmises that Biden might take over for Hillary at State clearing the way for Hillary in the VP slot. Maybe, but it is more sagacious to think that Biden might fill the next Supreme Court vacancy being one of the few Democrats (if any) who could slip through the GOP's Iron Curtain. I assume a vacancy due to retirement prior to the end of this year. The second mistake is minor. Keller says this Hillary idea has been kicking around the blogs (somewhat dismissively) for some time. I can only find one mention in Jezebel from early December, 2011. There is one other mention, from November, 2011. Here it is in all its glory:

ShortFormContent at Blogger: An Amazing 2012 Prediction Exclusive:

"There is a vacancy on the Supreme Court
President Obama does not think twice
He appoints Joe Biden the one Democrat the Senate will definitely confirm
You do not need to wait a second to infer the result
Hillary Clinton sails into the Vice Presidential slot
Do we need to go farther
This is the coup de grace all around
The Democrats win of course "

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At least we know where Newt's $$$ is coming from

Sheldon Adelson, a Billionaire, Gives Gingrich a Big Lift - NYTimes.com: "But on Friday, the cavalry arrived: a $5 million check from Mr. Adelson to Winning Our Future, a “super PAC” that supports Mr. Gingrich. By Monday morning, the group had reserved more than $3.4 million in advertising time in South Carolina, a huge sum in a state where the airwaves come cheap and the primary is 11 days away. The group is planning to air portions of a movie critical of Mr. Romney’s time at Bain Capital, the private equity firm he helped found."

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The world that created sprawl has changed radically

Sprawl was created for many reasons, some good, some not so good. But the world that created sprawl has changed radically. The design of sprawl assumes that we most value a separate residence at some distance from everything requiring cars to get anywhere. The bulk of our expenditures today aim at sustaining this system. Meanwhile the nuclear family has become just one of many living arrangements and many might prefer a less expensive way not requiring cars and the purchase of a house.. To enhance the quality of life and move toward ecological and economic sustainability we need to design and create car-free communities zoned to contain most elements of city living within walking distance. We need to place cars beyond where we live and move and have our being.

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Some systems we live with that were designed for the past? - Quora

(1) What are some systems we live with today that were designed for a world of the past? - Quora:

""modern plumbing" is a severely flawed system, particularly toilets. Potable water is becoming an increasingly valuable resource, and yet we have plumbing that in order to handle a few ounces of waste requires polluting many gallons of water."

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Many of the answers to this question are of interest.

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The Slow as Molasses Press