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
Monday, November 30. 2009
I just read about the circular firing squads at the IPCC, with calls for the firing of the CPU and even for the disbanding of the entire IPCC (why not the rest of the UN at the same time?). Plus other good details at Climate Depot and also in the Political Climate column of Icecap.
Addendum: This UN bozo is freaking unbelievable.
Addendum #2: The hypocrisy of all of these "green" celebs is amusing.
Addendum #3: The more I think about it, the more I think that Climategate might be the biggest expose of the year. And yet the MSM will barely mention it because it DOES NOT FIT THE SOCIALIST NARRATIVE. Unbelievable, for people who supposedly want viewers and to sell newspapers - but they did the same thing with the ACORN stories. Thus for real news we must rely on amateurs, semi-pros, and bloggers. This from Clive Crook via Blair:
From Saturday, one of the Met's large Tiffany windows in the American Wing. This is titled "Autumn."
Continue reading "NYC photos"
First, introducing the Hydroboat-plane-car-helicopter-lawnmower-skateboard:
Pretty nifty, eh? And some review I read mentioned "sand and snow", so I guess we can add "dune buggy" and "snowmobile" to the list.
Aerodynamically, what's amazing is how maneuverable it is with what little wing surface it has. But it certainly seems like it's under fairly tight control.
And one big plus point is that they don't cost very much, compared to jumping into the field of normal R/C planes and expensive control boxes. So when you pile the rascal up, it won't be a wallet-killer to replace it, and it also gives us the luxury to try a different brand if we're not happy with the first one. Try Stormlauncher, Graupner and HydroFlyer, and Toys 'R' Us has a pretty good selection of flying toys.
Now, if you want a more conventional plane, but one that can still pull off some simple, basic maneuvers, try this little honey:
That's a pretty cool moment when he stands it on its nose. Don't try it at home!
On the other hand, if the above planes are too mechanical-looking...
Whether you call it global warming or climate change or greenie hysteria or a religion or Lefty politics, the fact is that it's an industry, and one which has become increasing lucrative over recent years.
Goldman Sachs, never a company to pass up on chances to make lots of money, has done extensive planning to capitalize on carbon credit markets - as has Al Gore. But don't forget Big Academia: Surber
It's rare for me to see something worth reading by Friedman, but America vs. The Narrative is pretty good.
Heroes, from National Post:
Sheer brilliance. HHS would become gigantic insurance regulator.
Related, the explanation for the lack of competition in medical insurance:'
At a recent town hall meeting, President Obama said, "Now,
We're late to the party with this chart, but it sure is revealing, isn't it?
Also at the Met's show is Homer's Snap the Whip (1872). It is a small painting (and just one of several of his versions on the same theme):
That picture reminded me of a snap we took of Nathan Hales's Schoolhouse in East Haddam, CT a week ago. Hale taught there for a few months after graduating from Yale. He was bored with living in the sticks, and left to teach in the "city" in New London.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:12 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, November 29. 2009
Cheers on St. Andrew's Day to our Scots friends and readers!
Now we must move south of the border to take a good summary look at Climategate and its meaning, as far as we now know: Climate change: this is the worst scientific scandal of our generation: "Our hopelessly compromised scientific establishment cannot be allowed to get
Andrei, you've lost another submarine?....Most fascinating to me: they got rid of, or "lost," all of their raw data. That means the raw data from which the IPCC reports have been produced - after the data was played with. In science, "losing" data is a felony, and discredits everything you have ever done. Why?
Because it makes it impossible to either corroborate or refute the conclusions.
Bright red berries produced in the fall close along the stems of a deciduous shrub, most often in damp areas in the Eastern US, is Winterberry - Ilex verticillata.
Yes some ilex, ie hollies, are deciduous.
Many cultivars with larger and more abundant berries are now available of this native shrub. They are commonly used in weaths and Christmas plant arrangements. Still, the plant looks best in the woods and swamps.
Modern anti-Semitism has developed a seductive and deceptive newspeak etiquette to mask its linkages to discredited precursors and to disreputable objectives. To penetrate the smokescreens put up by modern anti-Semitism, it is necessary to blow away the semantic clouds it hides behind.
A fair-minded person, especially if not well-informed, may get tangled up in a web of confusing definitions when trying to identify some speech, someone or some organization as anti-Semitic.
It is easy to refer to actual Nazis, a settled matter. However, there is a carefully sown confusion today when deliberating distinctions about hard to sift through criticisms made of
This blurring of the lines owes itself to the detachment of most, Jew and non-Jew, from the actual scenes of anti-Semitic behaviors and from actually feeling oneself at risk. This detachment from harsh realities is eased by the moral relativism that pervades much of Western intellectual culture, where the existence of right and wrong is increasingly a mere notion to be dismissed in almost all cases. Common-sense morality is replaced with a casualness toward insult and attack when perpetrated by some group favored due to its purported grievances. Minor factoids are blown into generalizations, while more important information is ignored, in order to fabricate misleading and erroneous condemnations.
In effect, modern anti-Semitism is a construct built upon and a part of modern moral effeteness. Those with ulterior ambitions exploit Westerners’ moral relativism by creating an etiquette to deceive them and shield themselves from exposure. Perhaps most dangerously, modern anti-Semitism is a primary front and tool of today’s dedicated left, to weaken and isolate the
Those of firmer minds and character, although sympathetic to the left or antagonistic toward fascism, avoided or exited from the communist fronts of the 1930’s. So should those today with actual empathy for transcendent justice be careful not to be drawn into the gingerbread house built by current enemies of the West. It is unnecessary to allow ones ideals to be contaminated, manipulated or perverted, particularly when that serves the ends of those most dangerous to those ideals.
Here are the Rules of Etiquette for Modern Anti-Semitism:
1. Generalize: Treat Jews as a race engaged in racial behavior. Treat the behavior of all Jews as innate, common and similarly driven. The behaviors exhibited by any or attributed to any (whether the specific instance is true or not) can then be ascribed to all Jews. It ignores that Jews come from many differing bloodstock heritages, nations and cultures, exhibiting all the variations of most others in the world (except for a few isolated small tribes in jungles). The purpose of anti-Semitic etiquette is to clothe the critic in anti-racism while, indeed, being a racist in practice or trying to hide it.
2. Empathize: Claim universalist empathy for purported victims of Jews. Credit with credence all the claims of those deemed downtrodden (again regardless of facts). Those deemed downtrodden are, inevitably, hostile to the West and to modernity. Others, for example, like the Montagnards or Hmong who are persecuted worse, are virtually ignored, because they are contaminated by their history of alignment with the
3. Hyperbolize: Use rhetorical exaggerations to cloud actual meaning and facts. By repetition and osmosis, flaming misrepresentations transit into common discourse. One can, then, feel better about the rightness of claims and delegitimize the target. Take words, like “apartheid”, “fascism”, “racism”, “atrocity”, and such, entirely out of context and reality to manufacture a new reality in the minds of the gullible or ignorant. One needn’t even use the old libels and gross lies (e.g., “Christ-killer,” “Shylock,” “Kike,” “Devil race,” "Jews haven't been in Jerusalem for milleniums and are alien colonizers," "the Holocaust is a fiction") to accomplish the same characterizations of heartless, manipulative, invasive evils by Jews. It is too easily recognized for what it is.
4. Patriotize: Claim to have the national interests of the
5. Camouflage: Use some Jews to front for the anti-Semitism. Among any people, there are a few who will seek notoriety, position or payment to provide cover for others with more malignant ambitions. The miniscule but vocal “peace” movement within
6. Idolize: Treat all heads of states with respect. No matter how outrageous their statements or actions, or how hostile toward
7.Enoble: Claim that the focus is expanding justice. The fruits of the labor, education and courage of those who accomplish are seen as proper targets for redistribution or expropriation to feed the demands of those whose own failures to advance themselves is really at fault. Leveling in this way is presented as justice. Rather, it is another front of anti-capitalism/anti-Western civilization, focusing on gaps in possession of life’s comforts instead of focusing on who creates them and how they earned them, or focusing on how some lack due to their own choices. It eliminates the talents that create wealth for more, and holds down those whose efforts would lift themselves. It entrenches the despot, while suppressing popular challenges and aspirations for freedoms.
The modern anti-Semitism is as pernicious and widespread as the older varieties, the older varieties finding comfort within its fuzzier facades. Due to its purposely confusing “newspeak” of demonization and excuses, it is even more dangerous. It wraps up old canards in purposely cute circumlocutions, to deceive and forward its deadly goal, the death of the civilized West so that backwardness, tyranny and barbarities can continue or prevail in greater safety from exposure, comparison or challenge.
P.S.: Related, you might read "Trapped By The Axis Of Anti-Semitism: Left, Right And Islam"
What's up with the Xanthan Gum thing?
Anglican Bishop says "Happy Christmas" is an Obscenity
Strassel in WSJ: 'Cap and Trade Is Dead'
Funny but not funny: Climategate Predictions: The Aftermath
Via Tim Blair:
At Pajamas: IPCC expert reviewer Gray — whose 1,898 comments critical of the
Krauthammer: Scrap the health care bill and start over
Also from Krauthammer:
I think what's interesting about Obama is he is going to be at the U.N. [conference in Copenhagen] to announce the [new] policy about climate change on the basis of — nothing. He is going to be proposing what the House has passed — that he knows is not going to pass in the Senate.
Photo: Christmas trees along the median of Park Avenue, NYC. Not yet lit.
It's a water pipe organ/flute. See it played.
My snap of the tree in the Medieval section at the Met is blurred because the guard was not permitting photos, so I took it too fast.
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
3:9 How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you?
Saturday, November 28. 2009
Amazing examples of American art - for a few striking examples: Copley's Paul Revere, Eakins, George Bingham, plenty of Charles Willson Peale including the one showing his mastodon skeleton, and lots of great Winslow Homers including Gulf Stream:
My advice to anybody visiting the Met: Pick one thing to see. One permanent exhibit or one temporary show. Go straight to it and, after that, leave. Do not get distracted or drawn into other things or you will end up with the brain-numbing surfeit of images and information to which I refer by the term "museum brain." You can always come back.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:53 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
I had read his paper before, but it seems especially relevant now. h/t, Classical Values.
Friday, November 27. 2009
Fred Barnes: Why Obama Isn't Changing Washington. One quote:
Howard Dean opposes congress' health care bills
From John H at Powerline: It's Baaack!
So the battle over health care is not just about health care. It's about whether government will permanently gobble up more of the private-sector economy -- and slow it down in the process.
Protein: If you believe in American principles, you can’t be a teacher. At least, according the Minnesota Board of Teaching
And a few climate links:
Pajamas: Climategate: It’s the Totalitarianism, Stupid
Climategate e-mails sweep America, may scuttle Barack Obama's Cap and Trade laws
How widespread is the science fraud? Warmists Caught Fudging Data in New Zealand
Europe has felt the temptation, for sure. We Americans do not - or should not. We are supposed to be better and stronger than that. Prof. Paul Rahe via NRO
When your computer models don't fit the data, trash the data: Via Watts:
As a commenter here quoted:
Money managers do this sort of thing all the time for marketing purposes. To make their performance look good, they pick their start point and their end point based on what the chart looks like. Then they decide whether to include or exclude new money or new accounts from the data, depending on what looks best. Etc.
Tinkering with data is easy. Pols and activists do it every day to manipulate. See How to Lie with Charts and Graphs, one of my favorite data books - after the classic How to Lie with Statistics. Nether require advanced math to understand.
It's a shame journalists aren't required to read those two books.
This speech deserves to be distributed widely. Balanced, sane, rich with info and with no axe to grind. Kudos (if no Nobel),to Coyote:
Thursday, November 26. 2009
...we can all remind ourselves that the richness of this country was not born in the resources of the earth, though they be plentiful, but in the men that took its measure. For that reminder is everywhere—in the cities, towns, farms, roads, factories, homes, hospitals, schools that spread everywhere over that wilderness.
Your editor is going off duty until tomorrow. 20 people arriving in a while (all bringing pies or vegetable dishes) - and a few more just for dessert. Here's what we're doing:
One just begun on the grill:
One in the oven, stuffed:
The cranberry sauce:
Squash pies (with heavy cream, spices, and brandy). More Pilgrim-authentic than Pumpkin:
"Just like old Saxophone Joe
"Country Pie," from 1969's Nashville Skyline.
Here's live in 2000 in England:
I have a shoot today, then family dinner this evening in MA. A grouse and woodcock hunt on Friday in the lowlands, swamps and marshes. Image via Mr. Free Market:
Another good link for Thanksgiving: Malthusians wrong since the year 200. Fewer people would be better for my hunting, though. The good hunting habitat in the Northeast is being overrun with strip malls, developments of McMansions, and second and third homes.
Not American: Thought reform at the U of Minnesota
Via Lucianne, An Immigrant's Thanksgiving
Why attack Sarah? Maybe because the women love her
US lags world in nuke energy. So stupid of us.
Related, Somin on the social validation of knowledge.
Related: SISU on Soylent Green Revisited
The EU has a Ten Year Plan. How could that go wrong? Central planning worked just great for the Soviet Union. Euroland is heading swiftly back towards the Feudalism they seem to love.
New Haven will promote those firefighters.
New Zealand looks at the real data. No warming.
About Le Corbusier: The architect as totalitarian
A grandiose Pres needs to learn about the history of the US' involvement with Asia. No bows 'til now, though.
George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.
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