We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Friday, August 13. 2010
Energy crisis and peak wood
Obama: Slaves on the Government Plantation. All persons of skin tone must return to their barracks immediately.
Weather liars. Flat, outright lies, and fully-deliberate.
I heard last night that an estimated 1 in 8 babies born in America last year were born to illegals.
How Pres. Hoover damaged the economy: raised spending and raised taxes
Home Ownership: American Dream or American Headache? It's natural for people to want to own stuff. Not always sensible, though.
Related: Feds rethink policies that encourage home ownership. I want to see federal policy to encourage boat ownership. Boatie Mac, or something. No money down.
Stimulus Pushers -The latest bailout for public unions and spendthrift states. The irresponsible and the unions get the dough.
Q&O: Is the US bankrupt? Well, we are just pwned by China.
Harry Reid is sane? Harry Reid ad: Sharron Angle 'dangerous,' 'crazy'. She seems just like an ordinary citizen to me.
Juan Williams: White Votes Are Irrelevant
The threat of the 'fake fishermen': How BP may be paying out millions in oil spill compensation to fraudsters. Hey, I go fishing every chance I get.
Some thoughts about how liberals are made
American Conservatives have "new ideas"? No, they don't. They have 1776 ideas. Liberals have 1912 ideas.
Sports feminists want space on the sports pages. h/t, Insty. Are they talking about newspapers? They should quit bitching and just create some good women's sports websites, and make some money. Or not.
Fla. AG McCollum Pushes New Immigration Law Tougher Than Arizona's. We are looking at the unfolding of a rebellion.
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HELP! Sorry to interfere on this site--but I am hoping someone here can provide insight as to the Medicare plan. Please give your thoughts on whether to enter Medicare at the "entry age" level, or at the "attained age level". My insurance agent really wants me to take attained age, but I am terrified that there is a gimmick in there someplace! If I start at the higher rate (entry) then they cannot kick me up suddenly when I get older. But, given the way things are going in this country I can see 10 years down the road when old people (over 70) will be given a choice of hospice (easy out dying) and paying everything for a higher level of care. Thoughts please
Re: BoatMAC/YachtMAE - that has been suggested by several national boat/yacht groups to "save" the boat manufacturing industry. The only problem is boats are not "investments" and depreciate fairly rapidly - even the "good" ones.
I heard a good one yesterday on CNBC - a contributor mentioned that it was about time that the government, instead of trying to save the housing industry by rewarding bad behavior (bad/behind mortgage owners), that good behavior be rewarded by giving out checks to home owners who have stayed current with their mortgages - like $1,000 for every year the mortgage stayed current.
I lilke that idea. And the boat idea. :>)
Hold on a sec, Tom. Are you saying boat manufacturers need this plan to stay afloat? To keep on an even keel? Are you saying the only way to right the ship of state is to batten the hatches, weather the storm and not sink to the depths of despair? To stay above the economic waterline during the high tide of recession? Is that what you're saying?
Er....sure - why not? :>)
In truth, this recession may be a good thing for the boating industry as a whole. Now that Genmar has spit the bit and many of the lines that they made kaput, Brunswick has decreased their stable of boat lines, the better class of boats is being given half a chance of survival with a more reasonable sales and market share.
The more interesting feature of this recession is that the smaller indpendant boat manufacturers, like Bass Cat for example, are surviving just fine. There are some great deals on the used market for larger vessels (in the 35' to 45' range) and that market is slowly being absorbed.
Extra added benefit: The "aspire to own" class of boat, like Boston Whaler, Ranger, Mainship sales are now back to normal and not being over produced. That's a good thing because you need to have a product class that your "wish" to own and to compare to.
Gratuitous side comment: I still say, the '70 Boston Whaler Outrage center console was the best designed, most versatile, best looking and best performing small center console ever made. Along with Master Marine 28'er. :>)
Re weather and false data and global warming: many temp-reporting sites have had downward trends, especially in the last ten or fifteen years. The atmospheric temps from satellites and the oceanic temp records I've read about have never trended up or down in a statistically meaningful way.
AP has the expected story this morning that the East Coast heat and Russian drought/fire situation represent global warming (they even used that phrase). Of course we've had droughts and wildfires throughout human history and the East Coast has had hot, humid summers throughout known history. Meantime, Billings has missed the 100 mark for this year, second year in a row, and today -- middle of August -- we may not reach 70. We're two inches up on rain, too.
Averages are made of highs and lows over cases or time. Weather varies wildly everywhere except maybe San Francisco, which has the most stable weather patterns of any large city I know about.
What I find highly amusing is that the old meme was that "deniers are confusing weather with climate" meaning that short term events are not long term averages.
In a complete reversal, the alarmist's new meme is that "weather is now climate".
It is very funny to watch these clowns twist in the wind.
Nothing new about "weather is climate" meme when it's a warm event. I've been watching it for 20 years now.
The AGW meme is this: "anything warm or cold, however brief or prolonged, proves our point. A hot day is global warming, but a cool year is just weather." The AGW crowd has been getting away with the equivalent of "Global warming will cause the sun to rise in the East. And some days it will rise earlier than others. Higher latitudes will be most affected." Well, duh.
I wouldn't mind so much that Juan Williams is behaving ignorantly, except that he is also displaying his inherent laziness. According to those annoying things, statistics, the population of the United States is between 12% and 13% black. Caucasians still account for approximately 50% of the population, although the amount is diminishing as unchecked illegal immigration continues. Based on these figures, I would point out that black votes are certainly more irrelevant than white votes, although if unchecked immigration continues, that may not remain true.
The thing I find depressing is, that in its search for "balanced reporting" Fox News is encouraging Juan Williams, when they ought to be listening to folks like Thomas Sowell, a man of real substance and thoughtfulness. And accurate research.
You know an interesting factoid that I recently found out? (I attended a seminar on portrait photography and the lecturer went off on a rant as a side bar to skin tone.)
The classical definition of Caucasian describes a general physical type and includes the native populations of Europe, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, West Asia, Central Asia, and South Asia regardless of skin tone or color.
How about that.
Tom, my friend ... Your factoid on skin color is not surprising, since at this point races of our world are all pretty well mixed. Think about the American Indians, and what the anthropologists of my youth described as Amerinds. According to the science of that time [the Dark Ages back in the 1940s] these folks originally migrated into this hemisphere from Asia, and were Asian in race. Blacks, the name that American Negroes chose to use for themselves in the 1950s and 1960s, were definitely mixed with whites at that point in time. To prove that to yourself, all you need to do is look at Negroes from the remote parts of Africa, who look as black as midnight compared to our American blacks. Crossing our southern border into Central and South America offers a cornucopia of different racial mixtures -- Indian, Spanish, Negro, white [the "triangle trade" was alive and thriving below our borders as well as above them].
Today, those liberal organizations like our colleges who want to be modern and show their diversity sophistication, are basing their admissions policies on "racial balance." But then our increasing numbers of Asian incomers are skewing their statistics once more. The Asians are just too darn smart. If colleges try to base their admissions on "college Board" exam scores only, the Asian youngsters would take almost all the available places. What to do...what to do? Schools are just having to skew their standards against the Asians as they have been doing against the Caucasians.
Oh, what a tangled web we weave... when first we try to show how politically correct we are...
Colleges and other facilities/programs should not give a rat's earlobe about skin color or ethnic diversity as such. They should make themselves attractive and accepting and let prospective students make the choices.
As far as outreach goes, colleges and other programs should be reaching out for disadvantaged people who have overcome barriers. A student from a school with 90% lunch subsidies, for example, is almost certainly poor and the school may be a demilitarized zone. If she scores 1250 on her SATs, she's exceeding any reasonable expectation given the barriers in front of her. Let's pad her admission score based on barriers she has overcome, not skin color or gender.
And if we do, it turns out we'll be bringing in more kids who are from minority families, because minority families are predominant in the communities with more challenges.
Yeah - you gotta wonder huh?
Apropos of nothing: There is a really funny scene in Mel Brooks' "Blazing Saddles" where the Indians meet up with Cleavon Little and are speaking Hebrew. Some thought our "First Americans" (new PC nomenclature for American Indians) were the Lost Tribe of Israel. Heh.
On a personal note I've never seen race as an issue for some reason - maybe because I'm inclined to view people for who they are rather than what they are. I honestly don't understand how you can dislike somebody on the basis of color or facial features.
Speaking strictly as a friendly observer of America up here in the land of Mounties and good beer, I would have thought that the election of an African-American president had finally put paid to substantive issues about race in your politics. I mean, if an African American can occupy the highest possible public office in the US, what legal impediments to advancement based on race remain?
I'm not naive here; people are people and notions and nostrums about race will linger on. But the election of President Obama rightfully diminishes the race card in much the same way that JFK's election was the beginning of the end for institutionalized anti-Catholicism in the US.
I think we should see the election of President Obama as an important symbolic and historical moment in its own right: the culmination of the advance of African Americans from shackles to full citizenship. But now it's a fait accompli.
True political equality and maturity demands that Obama be recognized not as a black president but rather as a president who just happens to be black. As such, he will have to take his lumps like anyone else.
It reminds me of one of Mort Walker's old Beetle Bailey cartoons. Mort had just introduced the character of Lt Flap, a black officer. Beetle and another private are mopping floors and kibbitzing outside Lt Flap's office. The other private says to Beetle, "Are you going to cooperate with this new officer, Lt Flap? He seems like a nice guy." Beetle replies, "I don't cooperate with Sarge and I don't cooperate with Lt Fuzz. Why should I cooperate with the new guy?" Lt Flap, who has heard all this, laconically quips, "Ordinarily, I'd applaud his lack of discrimination."
Some of us feel that Barack Obama has made himself a "black president" rather than a president who is black. His cabinet picks and other advisors are heavily freighted toward people of color; his Attorney General is ignoring an attempt to intimidate voters who were white; he assumed that a police officer who was white was "stupid" in dealing with a suspect who was black.
The legal impediments based on race are supposedly gone; people who are called white or Asian are finding some of the impediments have been repainted and used against them.
My real problems with our current president, though, are based on his substantive policies. Oddly enough, he did not rise from shackles to the presidency, nor did his family. He is not the descendant of African-American generations; he is half or more white and his father was a legal visitor, not an immigrant and not an American. In itself, that shouldn't count for much -- but the first American president who is black is not a son of American slavery.