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.
If nothing else, watching the Democrats sacrifice so much on behalf of
this monstrosity is fascinating, appalling—and dramatic. Common sense
suggests that they shouldn’t do it. The basic laws of political physics
say they can’t do it. And yet on they march.
...we do now have hundreds of emails that give every appearance of testifying to concerted and coordinated efforts by leading climatologists to fit the data to their conclusions while attempting to silence and discredit their critics. In the department of inconvenient truths, this one surely deserves a closer look by the media, the U.S. Congress and other investigative bodies.
Our ongoing series on Woodstock, CT by guest poster Capt. Tom Francis -
At Town Meeting in 1690, the citizens voted to teach and instruct their children to "read and cipher". At that time, the first "public instruction" was held at a local farmer's barn. Sometime around 1736/1739, the Quasset School was built and began formal classes ending in 1946 when the first Elementary School was built, thus the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating school in the US.
The school was moved from it's original location in 1956 and became a National Historic Landmark. In 1963 the Lt. Ambassador of England representing Woodstock, England presented Quasset School with a portrait of King George the Second and a replica of the Union Jack that would have flown for the 27 years that the school was under British rule. Two oak trees from the grounds of Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, England, birthplace of Winston Churchill, were planted near the building (partially seen in the photo).
The Quasset School is still in operation today as part of the Third Grade local history immersion program. The three Third Grade teachers take turns for one week taking the kids back to another time and place. The kids get to dress up and role play leaning arithmetic by rote, spelling by playing Hangman and - this is really amusing - manners which actually were an important part of the education of 18th and 19th century education. They learn about gender roles as the girls learn hand crafts like sewing, knitting and cross stitch and the boys, under supervision, get to bring in wood, "light" the stove, sweep and clean the blackboard.
When the government proposes a major program, one expects a meaningful national consensus behind it. I neither see nor sense any national consensus behind a government takeover of medical care. Quite the opposite, and the polls agree with my impression.
Watch this video at Gateway to see what I mean. I think there is far more dissension on this issue than I ever heard about going into Afghanistan or Iraq.
Not very many people want what they are trying to "give" us. One of the things they want to "give" me is to make my family's medical insurance - my carefully considered free choice - illegal.
My message to my government: Quit giving me stuff. I am an adult. Leave me the heck alone.
He's not in the showers in jail picking up the soap, so why do this so constantly? Is it a twitch? A twitch of submission, like a beta dog? I think it is pathetic - and it reflects on me as a free and proud American. Please tell me it's only because the Asian leaders are short of stature height-deprived, and not ass-kissing.
I cannot imagine Abe Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt bowing to a dictator premier of China, a Sheik of Arabie, or an Emperor of Japan.
The only people to whom the O does not bow is to people like me, the honest, hard-working, tax-paying, slightly overweight citizens of the USA. As Bob Grant says, "It's sick out there, and getting sicker."
Putting one of the BD pups and friends on the plane today to Barcelona or Madrid - I forget which - heading to the wedding of a friend since nursery school and a little vacation. I advised them to live on tapas, and, even if it is a boring food, to try paella in Spain once, just to be able to have done it.
Paella in Spain for Thanksgiving? The American yoots of today have it good. We often forget that Squanto had been to Spain - and to England too, before the Pilgrims met the fine dude who doubtless spoke his English with a refined Brit accent.
And we picked up the BD baby at the airport Friday night after the first few eventful months at college (including a grueling hospitalization with Swine Flu pneumonia - she has been otherwise in perfect health and is finally all better now).
After the airport, right to the baby's favorite little Thai place for a late supper. Very hot mango curry. Then home, at which point the likable and polite boyfriend shortly appears, and out they go.
The yoots of today have it good.
Saturday, she slept until 11, then did the big drive down to NYC - If You Can Drive It in NY, You Can Drive it Anywhere - to meet her big sister to see Men of Iron (basically Troilus and Cressida - I saw it the previous weekend with the $10 tix). Then home for supper (steak and string beans with lemon juice and olive oil), then out again with pals. She was out all day Sunday after throwing in a few loads of wash for us to deal with. I have no idea where, but that's fine with me.
The really good news is that she is obeying the "who pays the piper calls the tune" Bird Dog College Rules(which I once posted here): You gotta take the list of courses I require, since colleges these days do not require much real education despite the big $. Thus she is taking the year-long Great Books course (modeled after my Columbia required course), so I can now happily discuss Genesis, Augustine, Hesiod, Boethius, Aquinas, Homer, etc with her. It's about time. Good fun. Can't wait to discuss Calvin and Adam Smith and Locke with her. And later, Chem and Biochem - but especially Geology 1. (I believe if you don't know basic geology, you don't know what the heck you are looking at when you go outdoors just like if you don't take Econ 1 and 2 you don't know how the world works - unless or until you have a real job or two in the real world, of course.)
She said at supper Friday "Everybody I know at school is studious as hell."
She also said "My friends and I can't decide whether we like Augustine or not."
Said I, with the wisdom of age, "What does 'like' have to do with it?"
I've been slow to realize this: the O is turning out to be a dud. I did not vote for him, but I had some hope that he would try to govern as a pragmatist-moderate - against all evidence, of course. Even the thrill is gone for Chris Matthews.
"Carter tried weakness and the world got tougher and tougher because the predators, the aggressors, the anti-Americans, the dictators, when they sense weakness, they all start pushing ahead," Newt Gingrich, the former Republican speaker in the House of Representatives, recently said. And then he added: "This does look a lot like Jimmy Carter."
President Obama took office wanting to distinguish himself from President Bush. That was foolish and arrogant. Now, as Der Spiegel concludes, he is trying desperately to distinguish himself from Jimmy Carter.
Just 38% of voters now favor the health care plan proposed by President Obama
and congressional Democrats. That’s the lowest level of support measured for the
plan in nearly two dozen tracking polls conducted since June.
Changing admissions requirements from favoring extended family members to favoring high-skill immigrants could give Republicans cover from charges that they are anti-immigrant. They could argue that, in a time of high and extended unemployment, it makes sense to switch from admitting job seekers to admitting job creators.
The 1965 and 1986 laws resulted in a large illegal immigrant population because they promised things that proved beyond the capacity of government to deliver. Now that a combination of public indignation and high-tech ingenuity have increased government's enforcement capacity, and while the inflow of immigrants is slowing and an outflow of illegals may be accelerating, we may have reached a point when we can put in place immigration laws with enforceable limits and that encourage an influx of the kind of immigrants we need most. Can Congress act?
By 1940, essentially all American Chestnuts, a dominant climax tree (and a major mast-producing tree - once the major food of Turkey, Deer and lots of other critters) of American forests, were killed by the blight. Their wood has a remarkable durability and their somewhat rusty-colored carcasses can still be seen in our woodlands.
That is a bunch of Christmas Fern behind the fallen log.
ARGH. Just went back to check on synthetic production. Apparently - I have no memory of this at all - we're not doing observed rain days! It's all synthetic from 1990 onwards. So I'm going to need conditionals in the update program to handle that. And separate gridding before 1989. And what TF happens to station counts?
OH FUCK THIS. It's Sunday evening, I've worked all weekend, and just when I thought it was done I'm hitting yet another problem that's based on the hopeless state of our databases. There is no uniform data integrity, it's just a catalogue of issues that continues to grow as they're found.
Quite possibly. We have been calling "fraud" on this site since forever. The raw data has been carefully hidden for years (see conceal the decline). It's heart-warming to see a Viscount rant. One quote:
As a revealing 15,000-line document from the computer division at the Climate Research Unit shows, the programs and data are a hopeless, tangled mess. In effect, the global temperature trends have simply been made up. Unfortunately, the British researchers have been acting closely in league with their U.S. counterparts who compile the other terrestrial temperature dataset — the GISS/NCDC dataset. That dataset too contains numerous biases intended artificially to inflate the natural warming of the 20th century.
Finally, these huckstering snake-oil salesmen and “global warming” profiteers — for that is what they are — have written to each other encouraging the destruction of data that had been lawfully requested under the Freedom of Information Act in the UK by scientists who wanted to check whether their global temperature record had been properly compiled. And that procurement of data destruction, as they are about to find out to their cost, is a criminal offense. They are not merely bad scientists — they are crooks. And crooks who have perpetrated their crimes at the expense of British and U.S. taxpayers.
Gringo made an important point in the comments the other day that deserves to be both repeated and elaborated upon.
Here's the quote:
"Check the net for your stolen ID"
While this purports to be a site that will inform you if your ID has been stolen, it could also be a site constructed with the goal of stealing your ID.
Exactly. I'd even go so far as to change his "also" to "often or "usually". This is becoming a huge problem on the 'Net and is one of the driving forces behind both personal identity theft and 'botnet' attacks.
Most malevolent programs running around these days aren't "viruses" — meaning some program that does something nasty like suddenly delete your C Drive — because viruses don't ultimately do the instigator any good. Outside of the satisfaction of being mean, of course. The worst programs are the 'keyloggers', which send a record of your keystrokes to the bad guy. All he has to do is look for 19 numbers in a row (your credit card number plus the 3-digit number off the back that you just entered in some online order form) and bingo. Now all he has to do is try a few expiration dates and your bank account is toast.
Second-worst is the 'botnet' program that lies dormant in your computer until the bad guys launch an attack on some corporation, usually in the form of blackmail. They'll tell the company to either cough up the dough or the 20,000 computers on their botnet (of which you're one) will 'ping' their web site 10 times a second from now until Doomsday, thereby overloading the server and keeping legitimate customers from getting to the site. Obviously, for an online company, this is serious business.
And you, yourself, will never even know you were part of the attack.
That's why everyone from God on down recommends installing a quality anti-virus/spyware program, and don't forget a good firewall program. You cannot rely on the stock Windows programs, such as Windows Firewall and Windows Defender. I have a post on the subject here.
Back to Gringo's warning, it isn't just web sites and email where the damage is being done. There's an area of the Internet called 'Usenet' which has a large section of programs, pirated and otherwise. I got curious and did a study on this a few months ago and I'd estimate that three-fourths of the anti-virus/spyware programs available for downloading have some spyware buried deep in the install files. That is, it'll actually install the anti-virus program, but it'll have been tweaked so it overlooks the keylogger. While you're thinking your computer is finally safe, your bank account is being drained.
The same is true with P2P (peer-to-peer) file-sharing sites (eDonkey, BitTorrent, etc), and sophisticated chat lines, like the IRC, that allow for file transfers. Some chat buddy says, "Hey, I just downloaded the latest Norton Anti-Virus from Usenet! I installed it and it's working perfectly! Want a copy?" You reply "Sure!", and now both of you are unknowing partners in a gang of Internet blackmailers. Or simultaneously having your bank accounts drained.
So be safe, be cautious, use common sense, don't trust renegade downloads, and please spend the money on quality protection. Some program suggestions are in the above link.
General security rules-of-thumb:
1. Never open a file-attachment in an email unless you're 101% sure of the sender. Remember, one of the ploys of the clever virus or spyware is using the names in a person's address book to send itself on.
2. Never click on a link in (what appears to be) a commercial email, like from a bank or loan agency, much less input anything personal like a password. The reason phishing emails look so real is because they are real. Everything you see is probably coming directly from the bank's actual site. It's when you click on something that the trouble begins.
3. Never click 'OK' in any box that pops up while you're on a web site unless it's something you've initiated, like installing a program. Plus, you know the little click-box in the upper-right corner that closes the intrusive box? Well, if you wanted the person to click the 'OK' button to install your keylogger or netbot file, wouldn't you make the little 'close box' do the same thing? And, for that matter, the 'Cancel' button? When I see one of those things pop up, I open Task Manager and shut it down that way.
4. Always right-click on a download from a possibly suspicious source and have your anti-virus/spyware program scan the file directly. It'll give the file a quick scan when it's downloaded, but often only a deep scan will detect the really nasty stuff.
This doesn't apply to songs, pics and videos, but it definitely applies to compressed files such as Zip and Rar, and you should never, ever, download an EXE file unless you're positive of the source.
The real danger today is spyware, and it's on your shoulders to use a quality program to fend it off. Not only could an easy argument be made that it's the most important money you can spend on your computer, but it could even be argued that it's the only money that you actually need to spend on your computer. One can get by with a lot of great freebie programs in the computer world, but not in this area.
Any specific questions, as always, just ask in the comments.