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
Wednesday, August 27. 2008
This is where Duck Creek empties into Wellfleet Harbor.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 19:00 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
I get 90% of my ideas for my website posts in the shower. And this is probably why.
My morning shower thought for today was this: Why were the top two Dem candidates people who have never accomplished anything substantial or difficult in their lives - other than to be in elections?
(Note to John McCain: An ad asking "Name one thing Obama has accomplished in his life.")
This is not coincidence. Many politicians are not very good at regular life, but these two stand out as having only been good at being, not at life accomplishment. Being female, being black, and being medium-smart and above-average crafty and calculating. They have never run anything, made anything, or done anything: It's all about being them. As Dino notes:
These folks are all about Jive Talkin':
Admittedly, I will always tend to vote for the more conservative candidate in any election, even if he or she is brain-damaged. That's because individual freedom and protection of our freedom is my main political agenda. That's my bias. I'm sure the Lefties approach things similarly.
However, my resume (and life experience) is deeper than Obama's or Hillary's, for sure. But that's not saying much.
A 2004 VDH piece I have been saving, to re-read: The Faith of our Fathers. One quote:
But not this year, funnily enough. Hmmm. Read his whole essay (link above).
The idea that political freedom can be preserved in the absence of economic freedom, and vice versa, is an illusion. Political freedom is the corollary of economic freedom.
I'm fairly good with nuance, but 99% of the time good vs. evil is rather clear. A banner from the Dem convention protesters - which might as well be from the Dem convention:
BTW, I am not saying that the war in Iraq was a good idea. I am open-minded about that, but it's history now. The proof is in the pudding. However, I have no doubt that it was about good vs. evil.
Since about 50% of Dem primary voters voted for other than Obama, the rampant Dem racism is proven. No wonder MLK Jr. was a Republican. Same as Abe Lincoln.
I think the point is that the clock really is ticking. If we don't "do something" soon, we'll probably see that we don't really need to do anything really dramatic, and then the window for radical social change will be closed. So I expect the volume to get much louder.
Tuesday, August 26. 2008
Sonny Boy Williamson
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:36 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Any room left under the bus? Toss Ayers under it, now. Related: Where did Obama's mo go? Also, you just can't win with the Clintons. Obama was smart to keep away from them: they make a mess wherever they go (see video). Related: Nervous Dems want Obama to look strong. Metrosexuals aren't supposed to look strong.
Related, I think this is crazy talk:
More on the race-pandering rent-seekers who need Obama to lose the election. But they already have a plan: If he wins, he'll be a token black guy; if he loses, it will prove the depth of American racism. (Note semi-colon use.)
The dangers of excellence, in the pomo world. So why did they let Phelps swim?
Dunce du jour: Nancy Pelosi thinks that natural gas doesn't come from wells and isn't a carbon fuel. Double-dunce: She doesn't understand her church's stand on abortion.
The current Dems are McGovern redux. Rick Moran. No new ideas in 50 years, really. Stuck on faith in government, instead of faith in people.
Ad he really does not want this story to get out. It's out.
Dems favor global welfare? What a brilliant new idea.
Via Tim Blair:
Photo via Theo, who is busy harvesting this week. He is a farmer.
A quote from this excellent piece about men, which was linked earlier by our NJ and thus doesn't count as a new post during Maggie's vacation break:
Photo: A real man. Atticus Finch.
What's a "weed," anyway?
As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights. Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.
James Madison, National Gazette, 1792
A quote from a wonderful review of some Pepys books, at Dublin Review of Books:
Read the whole thing. Here's his entry from Aug 22, 1665, when he hangs out with one of his girlfriends, Mrs. Bagwell (Mr. Bagwell made himself scarce when Pepys stopped by):
Monday, August 25. 2008
Why Obama would be bad for black Americans
An online beauty pageant for nuns
I agree with Insty. MADD should have a couple of beers and chill out a little. They have become cranks.
Where have all the real men gone? They are all around, if you just look.
Via Insty: Dems rally against teacher's unions. It's about time.
Darfur: depressing topic. Nobody knows what to do, and nobody wants to offend the Moslems.
Hey Al Gore: It's gonna be a very cold winter. But if you look at the poll on that article, most people want it to be warmer. Wussies.
From the editors of NRO. It begins:
Read the whole thing.
Liberty is the sovereignty of the individual.
The "Root Cause" Scam
My only disagreement with the article is that it seems to assume that the terrorism apologists are sincere in their positions and postures - which I feel is naive. Thus Norm's great analysis will have no impact on any of the hard Left, reflexively anti-Western readers of the Guardian (in which the piece appears).
After all, what is the "root cause" of the anti-Western reflex of the Left? Whatever it is, it isn't ignorance (except in the young). Intellectual integrity - and even integrity - mean nothing if you can convince yourself that your mission is to save the world via Lefto-Fascism - or just to try to promote yourself! You rise above such bourgeois hang-ups. Just like the Jihadists...hmmmm. Read the entire - link above. And read my piece on related subject on Maggies last week.
This is likely my last week as a regular at Maggie's, so I have been given a special vacation break dispensation to post ad lib. If I begin my new job after Labor Day thinking about this friendly Yankee site, I won't be doing what I need to be doing. And I need to get ready to move this weekend. My only issue is my guns. Guns to NYC? I will leave them with my buddy in Mass. I have no clue about NYC gun laws.
Obama's tax plans would give you a 64% tax rate in California, for the self-employed. Bob Brinker. Would you work hard for that? Not to mention Obama's cap gains tax plans.
Related: The "tender-minded". And speaking of tender...
I smoked a pork butt yesterday. Had some friends over for beers and pulled pork. Don't tell me that it isn't Yankee food. It is now.
Best ocean photos.
Gay parade, no vet parade. Are gays the new vets?
Who lied about Iraq?
Chronic plagiarist? Hey, that's old news. As somebody said, maybe he'll teach Barack to fish. I don't think Barry's Dad knew how to fish.
Since conventions no longer select candidates, what's their purpose now? To create a TV narrative. The narrative is always the same: "Things are terrible. We are wonderful."
"Hillary is like 'Are you kidding me?'" Dave Barry
How to destroy a state (or country) - Malanga on New Jersey's gradual suicide. One quote:
Clintonista whining. Sheesh.
We are all gonna drown! Greenland glacier does glacial things:
Normal? It's a crisis! Run and hide!
Photo on top: pulled pork. Mr. Brown is my favorite. Lower photo, my new neighborhood hang-out: Scratcher's. I will miss Rudy's, but Scratcher's has cute gals - without brown roots, and with all of their teeth, too. I am looking forward to a change. Hope and Change!
Sunrise in the Catskills, 1826
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:25 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, August 24. 2008
The power to tax involves the power to destroy.
Chief Justice John Marshall, 1819
A re-post: The Risks of Action vs. Inaction, Part 2 of 3: Appendicitis, False Positives, False Negatives, and Type l and ll Errors
Just as professional journals and newspapers are more interested in printing pieces that support hypotheses rather than papers with negative findings, so we all tend to spend more time discussing the risks of action rather than the risks of inaction.
That seems to be human nature, but it ain't rational and, fortunately, people vary across a spectrum of activity/passivity.
Passive people worry about the risks of action. Active people worry about the risks of inaction. I am more-or-less in the middle.
To discuss that half-intelligently, though, I first need to review the notion of Type 1 and Type 2 errors, now that we have taken a look at the null hypothesis a couple of days ago.
A Type 1 error, also known as False Positive, is the error of erroneously rejecting the null hypothesis. In other words, it supports a connection which does not really exist.
A Type 2 error, or False Negative, is the error of wrongly accepting the null hypothesis. In other words, it says nothing is there, when it is, in fact, there.
For example, a blood test which has a 10% False Positive rate will wrongly tell you that there is an abnormality 10% of the time. A blood test with a 10% False Negative rate will miss an abnormality 10% of the time.
For another example, convicting an innocent person is a Type 1 error; letting a guilty person go free is a Type 2.
Depending on the matter at hand, either sort of error could have worse consequences. A Type 1 error in a death penalty case is a grievous error. But sometimes you need Type 1 errors.
My favorite example of a good Type 1 error is in the emergency treatment of appendicitis. Since medical diagnosis contains both art and luck as well as science, some error rate is inevitable unless you have the diseased organ in hand. But since a False Negative diagnosis would have dire consequences (ruptured appendix), it is necessary to do some unnecessary appendectomies on patients who might have appendicitis, but do not turn out to. In the case of emergency appendectomies: one study indicates that the Type 1 error rate is around 10%, with 18% False negatives. I would have guessed that the False Positives would be higher, and you could argue that there is room for them to go higher. The point is that, with appendicitis, you want to minimize your False Negatives by having more False Positive diagnoses - by being deliberately biased against the Null Hypothesis that there is nothing there, but without cutting open everyone with a bad stomach ache.
Thus that is the opposite of what you want in a justice system, where the null hypothesis of innocence is presumed in order to minimize False Positives.