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, January 6. 2012
Orthorexia - When eating healthy turns obsessive
Like babies, dogs pick up on human intent
Migration of whooping cranes halted in Alabama because of FAA regulation
Doubtful, but it's never a bad idea anyway
Sign of Discontent: NYT’s Largest Union Sends Letter to Sulzberger With Over 500 Signatures
Nine of the Top Ten Religious Persecutors Are Islamic in Advocacy Group’s Annual Rankings
Wind farm requires diesel engines
Like the Greeks, Romans don't pay their taxes
The desire for government policies to address the "obesity crisis"
Will Republicans Hand the Left a VAT Victory? - Mitt Romney won't rule out the possibility of imposing a tax that's the fast track to a European welfare state.
Mitt Romney Is Stuck Because He's Not A Pro-Growth Republican
He isn't? Kudlow claims he is.
Wilkinson: Why I am not a bleeding-heart Libertarian
Half of World’s Richest 1% Live in America – Obama Wants to Change That
It always takes David years to see the blindingly obvious. He should write his op-eds, then past-date them a few years. He is a naif, and a pussy-man too - but that's why he has his job.
Rhode Island Miracle Explained - How a liberal state reformed its pensions.
Tracked: Jan 06, 08:07
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Migration of whooping cranes
You gotta be kidding me. This is what the FAA is reduced to - red tape over migrating birds? I can just bee the pencil necked FAA bureaucrat thinking: "Fix the ATC system or upgrade our radar/communications grid - nah. I think I'll bust some non-profit wildlife pilots instead - much more fun."
Figures. The enviros just can't bring themselves to admit that "green" energy isn't ready for prime time just yet. Yes, the technology is there, but the support engineering is lacking in skill and technique. It's a system in dire need of breakthrough engineering and that's going to take a while.
address the "obesity crisis"
I love the last part of Frum's commentary:
...like the generation-long campaign against highway fatalities, which required the redesign of cars, the redesign of highways, and changes in personal behavior like seat-belt use and drunk driving.
There haven't been any changes in drunk driving or seat belt use for that matter. While drunk driving deaths are down (but not significantly), accidents are up and almost 1/3 of all drivers at any given time on US roads are legally drunk (.08% BAC) which is the highest number since they started keeping records in the last '40s. With respect to seat belts, actual usage rates are based on accident reporting and ticket issuance. While there are more drivers using seat belts, the actual percentage of seat belt non-use is exactly what it was in the late '70s.
I like being heavier than the average person. I earned the right and while I could stand to lose 30 or so (which I'm working on) I'm healthier now than I was in my 30's when I weighed the appropriate weight for my height and age.
Will Republicans Hand the Left a VAT Victory?
I am totally convinced that there isn't any such thing as a "republican" anymore. The brand (I hate that word but it fits unfortunately) is more demorepublicrat than truly Republican. There just aren't any Goldwater Republicans anymore - they are all closet statists. They tell you they aren't, but they are.
Mitt Romney is stuck because he isn't a conservative (despite how New Englanders may perceive him). Electing him is an admission that the whole Tea Party thing is dead.
Romney is like Al Gore, essentially an empty vessel. Elect a Tea Party Congress and he'll go along just like he followed the Dem legislature in Mass.
For the Barrister:
Would you please compare/contrast these two fields of law: employment law v. labor law. What are the fields of study, what are the political implications, who/what are the clients.
If there is any chance that hot sex prevents breast cancer, I don't think we can take the risk by not implementing it. Why can't the Left work to impose rules for that on the peons?
I am skeptical of the study that shows cuddling after lowers the risk of prostate cancer.
"orthorexic tendencies may be more common in dietitians and nutrition students."
and they happily try to spread it to their customers/victims...
I thought the interviewee's diet sounded pretty tasty, if a bit monotonous. But I'd say the real danger of orthorexia is not to the digestive system or even one's mental health but to one's companions, bored to within an inch of their lives by the usual orthorectic's belief that everyone wants to discuss her diet in maniacal detail. It's second only to conversation about surgeries for unbearable tedium drawn out to unconscionable lengths.
Wilkinson's piece is excellent, but misses some of the finer points of Libertarianism.
Libertarians are, more than any other 'Party', "The Big Tent". That is to say, we don't really have a party. We all kind've lump ourselves into a group and have varying degrees of alignment - which Wilkinson discusses with comments on how "mutable" beliefs are.
Still, I've attended many Libertarian events. There are many people there I can say I share my views with. Even my very good friend who is working the phones for Ron Paul (a step I won't take because I don't like to get involved in politics) has different views than I do, but we recognize that we have so much in common, even our differences are minor.
The problem with Libertarianism, as I see it, is the very size of the "Big Tent". We allow all kinds of nuts in. Some of them aren't really all that nutty with their core beliefs, it's how they tinge things where it gets nutty. At a recent event, I had one fellow blathering on about organic foods and vaccines, how they are related to rising autism rates, and how Libertarians can fix it. Now, I have autistic nephews, so I'm pretty well versed on the topic, and rather than spark an argument over a fine detail that I knew he was poorly informed on, I just nodded and stayed quiet. Overall, his core beliefs match mine, so why do I care if he doesn't want to vaccinate his kids and has doubled his monthly grocery bill with organic foods while he follows a very odd personal belief path?
I also met several pornographers and porn starts at another event in California. Again, this isn't a business I think really serves the image of Libertarianism well, but these were very intelligent people who made a very different life choice than most people would make.
I met conspiracy theorists, I've heard UFO stories, and I've met the race-baiters. They're all there. But the one thing that each of them has, at the end of the day, is the belief in letting individuals be themselves and keep government out of their lives. The other stuff is window dressing.
At no time, ever, did I hear discussions about removing government in total. The question has never been one of moving toward anarchy. The discussion has always revolved around the different levels of government size and efficiency and how to keep it 'honest' - or as honest as one can expect.
The idea that Ron Paul aligned himself and profited from race-baiters, and is suddenly disavowing them is absurd. Certainly, it's as absurd as me saying Romney is a Mormon and therefore believes in, and profited from belonging to, a religion which is not in the mainstream and has a history built on outright lies and misinformation. Certainly both Paul and Romney have these things within their personal framework, and they are issues to some people. But they are not issues which concern me because both politicians have moved past any point where those issues are meaningful, and both have explained their personal beliefs sufficiently for me to say that neither one has a problem in these realms, as far as I'm concerned.
I'm far more concerned with how both of them will plan to utilize their beliefs once they get into office. Based on their track records, I'm comfortable with my position regarding Paul versus Romney - which is to say I prefer one over the other, but am not opposed to either.
Libertarianism is a difficult prospect for many people to understand and accept. At its root, you have to accept a base proposition - everything you do is your decision, and you have to suffer the consequences and manage the expectations. But at no time should you be forced to worry about how the government is going to intervene and make your life more difficult.
Wilkinson doesn't have to be a "Bleeding Heart" Libertarian. I'm not even sure what that means, to be honest. At its base, being a Libertarian means you accept the individual as the root of all discussions of social, economic, and political rights and responsibilities. Beyond that, your own personal beliefs and experiences start to play a role and you're still a Libertarian - just to varying degrees.
A good article on the VAT and being a libertarian:
I think I'm coming down on the side of a VAT being fair and efficient. You always have to fight the politicians to keep them from raising taxes, but at least the fairest tax system starts from a reasonable place. I'd rather fight from the top of the hill rather than down in the trenches.
Cranes--No good deed goes unpunished.
RI--WSJ has story behind paywall.
Nisha Moodley, the orthorexic, calls herself a "health coach." She sounds to me more like a "sickness coach." Clients should beware her deceptive advertising.
Breaking my first New Year's resolution by giving up reading/watching the MSM for two weeks (it heightens my blood pressure and turns me into Jeremiah Johnson), but I had to verify their stupidity before commenting:
The NYT staff is getting what they deserve. They long ago gave up any pretense of being objective and, when you take a side that loses, you suffer. And that goes for the staffers who serve the socialist purposes of the paper by posing as reporters of established facts. Remember, The Times' Herbert Matthews elevated Castro into "the savior of Cuba" status, a huge step in propaganda that influenced the direction of U.S. foreign policy and destroyed the life of millions of Cubans. Yellow journalism has always been part of our country's media, but that publication has only become a tool for those willing to take shortterm rewards vs. building a Fourth Estate worthy of public trust or, at least, consideration.
And the uninformed MSM "readers-via-teleprompter" we hear today are only highly-paid robots costing too much for the product delivered. Talk about the 1%. What are some of those media players paid?
Bulldog: Perhaps the Libertarian label scares people. Perhaps emphasizing Democratic-Republican would more suggest that our Constitution denies "mob-rule"; i.e. the majority wins. (As in The O's "I won and, therefore, I rule.") It supports the right of the individual down to trial by jury where every juror must agree. Individual rights. Three branches of government. Delineated responsibilities. No creative politics without spending many hours of deliberation.
Most citizens don't know the difference between "democracy" and "democratic republic" as it is no longer taught in -- remember them -- history and civics classes. Most voting blocs suffer from the rewriting of those topics to better suit the purposes of those who leach off of others.
Consider the number of workers/voters/citizens who make their own way free of government intervention vs. those who benefit from being directly or indirectly employed by Federal/state/local governments. Look to the number of not-for-profits, researchers/institutions, policy-makers. They are not producing anything to sell to others; they're wallowing around finding a slice of the pie off the dollars they get politicians to allocate to their cause. How much gets to the needy person targeted? The amount of air space added between the dollar allocated to the person in need and the dollar received by the person in need?
It started in the T. Roosevelt/Wilson progressive era, but now compare 1960 to today. Our War on Poverty, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security disability, unemployment Fannie/Freddie housing programs, student loans and agricultural support programs, etc. have done N-O-T-H-I-N-G to improve the stability of our citizens.
Not that you can trust the figures of those employed in government vs. private enterprises. We now have HUGE numbers of private companies dependent on government to stay in business. Ike's warning about the industrial/military complex? A spit in the bucket compared to the complex facing us now.
If we don't spend the time to change this direction, we are to blame. And we are burying the our children, grandchildren and the generations beyond.
My first suggestion to the politicians that have spent their entire careers going from private school/education to law school to politics is: get a real job. Put up with the government regulations on hiring, firing, pay scales, OSHA, etc. etc. etc. before putting your two cents into the pool. Maybe you'll learn that K.I.S.S. is best for all. Have any of you read the new laws, rules, regulations in place this year? Or do you depend on your 20-something interns/staffers with oh-so-many-years of insight (sarc) to advise you? Gimme a break.