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, March 9. 2012
Above: "almost completely leased before they're complete - if you can manage to get one expect to pay 2000 a month for a small one bedroom and 3400 for a three-bedroom" - Photo of Williston, ND, from this slide show: You've Never Seen Anything Like This North Dakota Oil Boomtown (h/t Carpe)
Peyton Manning’s NFL - Manning’s style of play revolutionized football.
Never Yet Melted informed us of a nifty site, Foxhunting Life
About 70 golden eagles are killed every year by turbines at California's Altamont Pass, reports the LA Times.
They are costly, taxpayer-subsidized bird-shredders. Shut 'em down. Even the Dutch gave up on wind. Wind power is for sailboats.
How A "Man Cave" Can Strengthen Your Relationship
Your Children May Never Eat School Lunches Again
School Parents – Not “Experts” – Take on Blue Education
He's not a natural pol - he's a CEO type. And what's with the blue jeans? Sheesh. Obama knew he needed suits to be a radical.
Kimball: Is Mitt "a company man at a moment when the problem is the company."
Politics is not for gentlemen
Obama Is More Vulnerable Than Republicans Think: Ramesh Ponnuru
Scandal at The Washington Post: Fraud, Lobbying & Insider Trading
This does not sound like America
"Faith"? Why? Government is the last thing I would have faith in.
Polar bears to die from harmless trace gas and hail of hot lead, but mostly hail of hot lead
California's Not Dreamin': This Is the Nightmare of an Obama Second Term
Michelle Obama Hosts $100K Per Couple Soiree
Should Police Monitor Muslim Student Groups?
Tracked: Mar 09, 07:19
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Peyton Manning’s NFL:It's fun to read articles about Peyton Manning as the be all and end all of professional football. Because in every single one the comparison is always Tom Brady.
The simple truth is that Peyton Manning is a great quarterback. But so is Tom Brady. Manning has the stats, Brady has the wins. Since 2001, Brady (and the Patriots) have won seven to the Colts five (the last two don't count as Manning didn't play). Head to head, Brady has more playoff wins, more Superbowl appearances and more Superbowl wins. Manning, undeniably, has the stats, but when push comes to shove, he hasn't won much of anything other than one Superbowl.
The argument about Peyton Manning "changing" the NFL is a good one. And his field generalship is pure genius - it's like having a head coach on the field. He has an incredibly quick mind, wide field of vision and an extremely fast release. However, Brady isn't exactly shabby at it himself and since he first substituted for Bledsoe in 2001, pretty much called his own game guided by the able hand of Charlie Weiss and Josh McDaniels, offensive coordinators for most of Brady's career. Brady is smart, takes the advice of his coaches and coordinators and plays with a will to win.
Peyton, not so much. Which brings me to the following.
When push comes to shove though, Peyton may have changed the way quarterbacks play the game, big stats and MVP's, Brady has the wins - and that's what counts.
Though his brother, Eli, seems to own Tom Brady.
Interestingly, while I agree that most people look at wins as the be all to end all, I tend to look holistically at the nature of the sport. Were Fouts, Tarkenton, or Marino not premiere QBs simply because they didn't have 'the wins'?
Are Jim Plunkett, Trent Dilfer, or Brad Johnson great (or even 'good') because they have 'big wins'? Many people argue the case that "winning the Super Bowl is the determinant".
Wins are arbitrary things in some cases. I'd argue that Eli's two Super Bowl wins are odd outliers if you look at the course of the two seasons in which he managed to accumulate them. In fact, some people have listed his two Super Bowl teams as being among the 10 worst to ever make the Super Bowl (this year, losing to Washington twice, to Seattle or Philly - despite full strength or comparable in each game, disputing the 'injuries' argument).
Peyton was amazing and altered the game forever. Brady is very different from Peyton because Peyton MADE the Colts, whereas Brady is the beneficiary of an amazing system overseen by Belichick (want proof - look at Cassel's numbers the year Brady was out, and then compare it to how he performed before and since). Brady is a great QB, no questions asked, but he is a great QB primarily because of who he plays for.
Peyton has played for three coaches and been successful under all of them.
By the way, if I was Peyton, I'd retire. Nothing left to prove, and if anyone has ever had a back or neck problem you know the issues he's going to face trying to prove he's 'still got it'.
He has a much bigger hill to climb than Favre did with either the Jets or the Vikings (in his first season). He's got the skill set, absolutely. He could be very successful.
More likely, he'll take a hit and face some more severe damage. Why take the risk?
Because he's a competitor? That's the best argument, but at some point all competitors have to realize health issues take precedence.
Is it all about the money? Manning got paid a gazillion bucks for sitting on the sidelines for the entire last season. If he REALLY wanted to stay with the Colts, couldn't he have just agreed to waive or postpone for a few months the $28M bonus payment he was due from the Colts until his medical fitness to play this coming season was settled? Isn't it really as simple as that?
Just as Steve Young sat on the bench learning his craft as the successor to replace Joe Montana, Aaron Rodgers in line to replace Brett Favre, etc., Andrew Luck, the Colts likely first draft pick, would have been "lucky" to sit on the bench behind Manning for a season or two watching and learning from the Master. However, because the Colts are in a total rebuilding mode, Manning and his agent may have decided it was time for him to bail out of Indianapolis if he is to have a realistic chance at winning another championship before he retires. The other alternative---which is not so flattering for Manning's reputation as a straight-up guy---is that he really knows he is not fit to play again this coming season and was looking for one last big payday (from the megabucks bonus payment he was owed) before saying aloha to pro football....except that the Colts chose not to play along but to release him.
Yeah, I'm sure the cash played a role.
I think Manning wouldn't have been happy playing mentor. He wants to play. He wouldn't have done the workouts if that wasn't his goal.
On the denounced professor, yet another center for open discourse revealed.
Instapundit has a higher ed post that states humanities majors earn less money and are more likely to end up in jobs that don't require higher education. I'm confused. I've read many a post on sites like Minding the Campus written by humanities professors and department heads that argue the humanities are for becoming educated not gaining job skills. So why all the surprise at them being over-educated and yet under-employed.
By the way, what does this under-employed mean? You are either employed or you are unemployed. If you are under-employed it would mean you are being worked hard enough. Or you have to much time to devote to unproductive activities at work, like, well, a humanities professor and all their protests. And why is being under-employed a bad thing when you yearn for the life of the mind? Even "at work", you can think of stuff unrelated to work, so it's win-win. Hey, maybe they could think of something that will make them move valuable to those who pay people to help them create something that others will buy?
"Underemployed" is a term given to a variety of workers who have jobs. I was "underemployed" for a year when I was a contract worker at a very low salary. Until the company hired me full time, they had the right to fire me, and I was not given full benefits.
Once I was taken on full time, my salary became standard within the company's guidelines, meaning I got a raise, full benefits, and the company couldn't let me go without cause.
Was I working? Yep. Was I glad I was working? Yep. Was I fully employed? Yep. But was I underemployed - did I have the risk of losing my job quickly and easily for a variety of reasons beyond my control? Absolutely.
My experience is that university student groups always welcomed new people coming to the meetings. More people will hear our message -- Great!
We also had charters that required us to allow all students of the university to participate in our events, in exchange for free use of university facilities to hold those events.
I'm more concerned about government monitoring of student groups being a waste of money than I am about it being a violation of rights. If a student group is not (at least within the college) a public forum, then it has no business using institutional facilities and resources.
Many years ago I took my seat on an airliner and a minute or so later a well dressed man of about my own age, mid thirties, place his bag in the overhead bin and took his seat next to me with “The book" in his hand. Noticing the title I decided to remain quiet, I am normally very friendly and am the first one to strike up a conversation.
After two hours of silent flying we landed and my fellow traveler who had spent the whole time engrossed with Dale's bon mots even to the point of highlighting certain passages, rose and as we departed I said to him, " I can't believe how powerful that book is, you have influenced me profoundly and you can count on me as a friend for life."
The look on his face was priceless. I turned, walked away, wondering how large and useless his self help library was.
A lot of folks don't realize, and it's not necessarily a deep dark secret, that Dale Carnegie was a socialist and a pacifist. Not that it is a bad thing in and of itself, but a lot of his "teachings" were socialist and conformist (go along to get along) in nature.
I was forced to take a Dale Carnegie Course once as part of my short career as a middle manager. I hated every second of it because I come from the old school of management.
Oh well. :>)
I've never taken a Carnegie course, though I've had them referenced in other courses I took.
I don't look at Carnegie's personal life as somehow directional regarding whether his advice works or not. It does.
I appreciate your humorous jab, but perhaps this fellow was introverted and just learning to 'get out'. I was that way when I was younger.
I read Dale Carnegie in college, before some interviews. It's all common sense, but not being the gregarious type, it was 'new information' to me. It's been transformative, too. I've become a very good speaker as a result of some of the information in that book.
In fact, I have a speaking engagement in April, so I took another speaking course just last week (offered internally by my company) and Carnegie's name came up just once - though it was very useful.
It seems Carnegie was giving a speech, and tripped on his way to the lectern. He dropped all his index cards, and scrambled to pick them up. He then gave a speech on humility. As he left the lectern, he handed his index cards to the next speaker who couldn't believe his good luck in getting Carnegie's notes. When he looked at the cards, they were all blank.
I can appreciate anyone who tries to break out of their shell, regardless if they use Carnegie or some other lesser known guru. Being introverted is difficult and debilitating, and unless you find yourself in a job (or work toward a goal of a job) which suits you, then you need to find ways to break out. Common sense, though his advice is, is not so common, particularly when you've been afraid to move outside your own circles.
Frank Schell: Advice for Mitt Romney: Form Is Substance, President Bush with a bullhorn at the rubble of the World Trade Center is a lasting image.
Poor example, as bin Laden was never brought to justice during Bush's two terms. If anything, it exemplifies how form can be contrary to substance, where the stated aims become unglued from what is necessary to achieve those aims.
Bird Dog: Professor Denounced for Defending Rush. This does not sound like America.
Rush engages in a two-day diatribe against a student, calling her a slut and prostitute and demanding sex tapes because she advocates covering contraception as part of the standard package of health insurance (something many policies already do). People from across the spectrum criticize Rush's ill-chosen rhetoric. The professor defends Rush's comments saying the student deserves to be be "ridiculed, mocked and jeered". The university president, while defending the professor's right to speak, "totally disagrees," saying "I also have the right to express my views. I am outraged that any professor would demean a student in this fashion. To openly ridicule, mock, or jeer a student in this way is about the most offensive thing a professor can do." Rush can now make fun of pointy-headed university presidents.
Sounds exactly like American free speech.
The Daily Bayonet: Polar bears to die from harmless trace gas and hail of hot lead, but mostly hail of hot lead
There's a point called the extinction threshold where a population is too low in number or density to recover. Multiple causes can push a species towards extinction, where either one alone may not have been enough.
Agreed regarding Rush. Except for one small, nit to pick.
Rush has been hung out to dry by everybody. Why? Because he called a woman a 'slut'. OK. He was wrong (and ultimately apologized).
But here's the rub:
Liberals use the term "slut" to desensitize people and raise awareness for issues they consider important (like the "Slut Walk")
Other commentators have called women of the Right "cunt" or "twat" and nobody on the Left is outraged. In fact, they chuckle and point fingers.
Rush is used as "indicative" of the Right, somehow he is the man we all fashion ourselves after. I'm no fan, I like some of what he says, find other stuff outlandish. I know people who like Rush, but view him as the Left views Bill Maher - a source of humor, pointing out absurdities of the Left and taking things to extremes.
I agree it's fine to criticize Rush, and that's part of freedom of speech. But the outrage regarding him? That's what's out of line.
"I am outraged that any professor would demean a student in this fashion. "
Except that she was not a student in the professor's class or even in his school, hence she was due no deference at all, a distinction even the most liberal university president should be able grasp. So what if she's a 30 year old "student" elsewhere. That's irrelevant....and incredibly dumb for anyone even to suggest it matters. Of course, some people are always looking for a pretense to be "offended" by other people.
It's obvious to all but the most obtuse that the goal of president Seligman's remarks was to stifle speech he disagreed with, not to protect a faculty member's right to free speech. This incident was soon followed by a group of students disrupting professor Landsburg's class. Let me guess: they took their clue from president Seligman that the professor had no right to disagree with their point of view. Did anyone at the University of Rochester speak up in defense of Professor Landsburg and his right not to be harassed during his class? President Seligman? Seligman? Z? Anyone?
"Professor Denounced for Defending Rush
This does not sound like America"
Does to me, because I read it here and elsewhere. It isn't America as I'd like to see it, for sure.
"Scandal at The Washington Post: Fraud, Lobbying & Insider Trading " The WaPo known for its "high ethical standards"? ROTFLMAO!!
And as Michelle Malkin describes, the Left does not use Dale Carnegie techniques.
Chris Versace: Official unemployment rate doesn't tell the whole story... For my money, I’ll be watching the labor participation rate, which has been the key driver behind the falling unemployment rate as more people exit the workforce or decide to take a break from searching for work.
February jobs report indicates 227,000 new jobs, upreporting of the previous two months by 61,000, and the participation rate increased, as people reentered the jobs market.
What you missed - since you only paid attention to the 'headline', was what's beneath the numbers. The increase in the participation rate is the ONLY good thing in this report. It's a very good turn of events, and that much should be praised. But let's consider other factors:
1. Unemployment is a LAGGING indicator. It shows that the 'growth' we have had over the last few quarters had some impact. It's not an indicator of future growth, particularly if you consider some of the other points, such as:
2. 45,000 TEMP jobs. Yeah, underemployment is a bitch. I've been there. You're happy you're working, but you're not making what you know you're worth and you're barely paying the bills, not putting anything to the side for when the temp job ends. It's scary, and you cut back spending to the bone.
3. 91,000 birth/death adjustment. This is a statistical adjustment which happens every month as the statisticians attempt to discern how many companies were created or closed. The assumption is many new companies opened their doors - a good sign, but only a statistical assumption. Clarity comes later. Many of the birth/death jobs over the last few years have actually been washed out in later revisions of the unemployment report, when numbers were adjusted down. Perhaps we'll get lucky and these won't. Perhaps. But if gas goes to $4.50 and interest rates tick up (which they can, without the Fed), wait and see what effect that has.
In the end, this was a 'good' report, but by no means a "WOW, did you SEE these NUMBERS? We're going in the RIGHT DIRECTION." Because, it's only one report in which the most meaningful number (participation) moved in the right direction. If it keeps moving in that direction for 6 months, I'll eat my words and say it was meaningful. Until then, it's all just a seasonal thing due to mild weather.
"Good" report, my tuchus. To keep up with the growth of the population, the US economy has to create 1.5 million new jobs each year. Plus, the 6 million jobs that've been lost since the beginning of 2007 need to be added on top of those required to keep up with population growth. Heck, a while back even former Enron adviser P. Krugman figured out the jobs numbers are bad,
Nothing has changed for the better since he wrote that piece. People who selectively cite mildly-positive employment figures in order to cheer on the President's re-election campaign are indulging in wishful thinking. Before the end of the year, they will all be hoisted upon their own petards as 1) Greece defaults, 2) Spain approaches default, 3) Portugal swirls the economic toilet, and 4) war breaks out in the Middle East. Those of you who are invested in the stock market should flee to cash before it is too late. You've been warned.
Bulldog: Other commentators have called women of the Right "cunt" or "twat" and nobody on the Left is outraged.
When Ed Schultz ad libbed the word "slut" once (not a two-day tirade in graphic detail) against Laura Ingraham, who has her own media outlets to respond (not a private student testifying on a single issue), he was immediately suspended and issued an abject apology saying, "I used vile and inappropriate language when talking about talk show host Laura Ingraham. I am deeply sorry ... I want to apologize to Laura Ingraham. I want to apologize to my family, my wife. I have embarrassed my family. I have embarrassed this company. And I have been in this business since 1978, and I have made a lot of mistakes. This is the lowest of low for me."
I see. So they can do it multiple times, over many outlets, and as long as one of them apologizes, all is well?
Or is it that it's OK to say it about a public figure, not a private citizen who made herself a public figure?
I'm confused. What's the point you're making, that this somehow 'evens' things? Because you know full well it doesn't.
Bulldog: I'm confused. What's the point you're making, that this somehow 'evens' things? Because you know full well it doesn't.
Let's read what you wrote again.
Bulldog: Other commentators have called women of the Right "cunt" or "twat" and nobody on the Left is outraged.
So, in the Ed Schultz situation, people were outrated, he was immediately suspended, then Schultz made an apology directly to Ingraham, his family and viewers. Compare to Limbaugh, who ranted for two days, but only apologized for his choice of words.
Let's analyze what you wrote.
You pull one single commentator out of the woodwork, one who is answerable to a large corporation with a public image, and decide to use him as the 'equalizer', of some nature.
Schultz is a tool. So, his experience somehow makes the outrage regarding Limbaugh fair. Sure. OK. I see where you're going - the whole 'morally relative' thing.
Meanwhile, Maher, Olbermann, and a host of others do the same thing without a single raised eyebrow or question regarding the nature of their comments - and they've used worse language than merely 'slut'.
Schultz is an opinion 'leader' (ha, with his ratings, closer to follower). Limbaugh is primarily humorist (according to my father, who actually likes and listens, he finds it more humorous than meaningful) and even his approach to Fluke was meant to add an outrageous humor to the event. The fact it backfired is meaningless, or meaningful, depending on whether you like him or not.
Schultz is no humorist, just a jackass.
I'm still confused by why Schultz is meaningful. Almost every right-wing commentator who uses a word or language the Left dislikes is dragged out and flayed. So I guess Schultz is the poster boy for even-handedness, in your world?
As I said, I'm confused. I wasn't aware you only need one guy to say "I'm sorry", when a host of others do the same thing without so much as a peep from the Left (because, after all, it's only Palin, or some other Right Wing female loser, and after all, they're all silly sub-human religious nuts, right?). This is what counts as meaningful to you?
Let's review what I wrote? Review it again. Did I say EVERY OTHER commentator on the Left goes without notice? No, I said "Other". Meaning many others. Not just one. But one is good for you. That's moral relativism, I suppose.
Bird Dog: Even the Dutch gave up on wind. Wind power is for sailboats.
Well, the Netherlands is cutting back on subsidies due to budget problems, but they are hardly giving up on wind power.
the windmill drained der Zuider Zee
for century topping centuree
only quit for a bit
when in a snit
charged, Zach-like, Don Quixotee
--call rewrite! line 5! stat!
'charged Don "der Zachster" Quixotee'
I say keep the wind mills at Altamont Pass. They are the only thing between us and Bodega Bay!