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.
Geneticists have long known that the ancestors of modern humans numbered as few as 10,000 at some time in the last 100,000 years. The critically low number suggested that some catastrophe, like disease or climate change induced by a volcano, had brought humans close to the brink of extinction.
If the new estimate is correct, however, human population size has been small and fairly constant throughout most of the last million years, ruling out the need to look for a catastrophe.
Assuming an average census size on the order of 50,000, it seems as if our species stumbled onto a rather "risky" strategy of avoiding extinction. From what I recall conservation biologists start to worry about random stochastic events (e.g., a virulent disease) driving a species to extinction once its census size reaches 1,000. I suppose the fact that we were spread out over multiple continents would have mitigated the risk, but still.... It also brings me back to my post from yesterday, it seems that for most of human history we are a miserable species on the margins of extinction. For the past 10,000 years we were a miserable species. And now a substantial proportion of us are no long miserable (it seems life is actually much improved from pre-modern Malthusianism outside of Africa and South Asia). If only Leibniz could have seen it!
What we are seeing play out on a very large stage, it seems, is a man of extraordinary self-regard having to deal with punishing political set-backs, with the fact that his high hopes have come crashing down around him. The nation has turned against his agenda. They are turning against his party. And they are tiring of him as well. This is something he cannot seem to process. So the president marches ahead, pretending up is down and east is west, embracing an agenda the country has rejected and that is doing terrible damage to his own party.
This is about a Brit neurosis. How naive can they be? Will they fall for any con? Do they refuse to accept the fact that there are tricksy, dishonest people out in the world? Via Betsy:
Then at the weekend another howler was exposed. The IPCC 2007 report claimed that global warming was leading to an increase in extreme weather, such as hurricanes and floods. Like its claims about the glaciers, this was also based on an unpublished report which had not been subject to scientific scrutiny -- indeed several experts warned the IPCC not to rely on it.
The author, who didn't actually finish his work until a year after the IPCC had used his research, has now repudiated what he sees has its misuse of his work.
His conclusion: "There is insufficient evidence to claim a statistical link between global warming and catastrophe loss."
Yet it was because of this -- now unproved -- link that the British government signed up to a $100 billion transfer from rich to poor countries to help them cope with a supposed increase in floods and hurricanes.
The MSM meme is that the middle class wants more care and attention from the O. More goodies, more empathy, etc.
That is BS. What the middle class wants is less taxes, fewer government jobs, less government - and to be left alone to do what they can do best with less government getting in the way of our lives and stifling the economy.
MICHAEL LEDEEN: The Real State Of The Union: Fear. “This fear is extremely broad-based. It is not limited to social class nor to domestic or foreign policies. Banks are not lending, companies are not hiring, because they are afraid of what Obama will do next. Both are afraid of onerous taxes, including new health care burdens, and the banks fear new regulations and the consequences of the recently declared war on evil bankers by the president. Seniors are afraid they will be deprived of medical treatment. Juniors are afraid they are going to be forced to buy health insurance they don’t think they need. Across the board, Americans are afraid they’re not going to find work, and won’t be able to afford a house. And, as the Massachusetts vote showed, Americans are worried about threats from abroad, worried about Iran, afraid of terrorist attacks, and afraid the Obama Administration doesn’t take all this seriously enough.”
In the media’s view, everything must be over-determined by circumstance — or the mistakes of the Bush administration — so that acts of terror become like acts of God, both in their causes and in the limited and ad hoc way they demand to be dealt with. Insofar as questions of war and peace arise, it is only by way of demonstrating that war must be thought of as a struggle to understand the other side — the unspoken assumption being that there is always a way to get the enemy to stop fighting by understanding and sympathizing with him and without having to defeat him in battle — as the old, unmentionable honor culture would once have insisted. Got that?
PC makes some hatreds privileged and deserving of "understanding," and others not so.
I notice that our Editor is getting into wild animal recipes again. We must not forget this one (definitely use the bear grease if you have any left over.)
French Fried Skunk 2 Skunks, skinned and cleaned 1 tb Salt Water to cover 2 c Bear fat or lard 2 Egg yolks, beaten 3 c Milk or cream 1 1/2 c Flour 1/2 ts Salt 2 tb Baking powder
Clean and wash the skunks, making sure that the scent glands are removed. Cut up into small serving pieces. Put a soup kettle on the stove and add the meat. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and boil until the meat is tender, about 40 minues. Remove all the scum that rises to the surface. Make a batter by mixing together the egg yolks, milk, flour, salt and baking powder. Mix real good until the batter is about like cake batter. Heat the bear fat or lard in a deep fryer to about 360 degrees. Dip the pieces of skunk in the batter and then fry them in the deep fryer until golden brown. Drain well and serve.
"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."
Samuel Adams (Image is Copley's 1772 portrait of the firebrand rabble-rouser and tea-partyer)
Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, deflected questions about health care. “We’re not on health care now,” he said. “We’ve talked a lot about it in the past.” He added, “There is no rush,” and noted that Congress still had most of this year to work on the health bills passed in 2009 by the Senate and the House.
The new New Left consists of public employees and their handlers, says Malanga.
There are two Americas: the tax-eaters and the taxpayers. And, he says, there are no red or blue states: only blue metropolitan areas. One quote:
What makes these cities so Blue is a multifaceted liberal coalition that ranges from old-style industrial unionists and culturally liberal intellectuals, journalists, and entertainers to tort lawyers, feminists, and even politically correct financiers. But within this coalition, one group stands out as increasingly powerful and not quite in step with the old politics of the Left: those who benefit from an expanding government, including public-sector employees, workers at organizations that survive off government money, and those who receive government benefits. In cities, especially, this group has seized power from the taxpayers, as the vast expansion of the public sector that has taken place since the beginning of the War on Poverty has finally reached a tipping point. In New York City, this coalition has helped roll back some of the reforms of the Giuliani years. In California cities and towns...
If my children take out student loans for college and decide to work in the private sector, President Obama makes them (as Mark Steyn says) “schlubs.”A schlub is a blockhead, in the Yiddish vernacular.
President Obama wants to nationalize the $1-trillion college loan market, companion to his other nationalization pursuits as in healthcare.Now, he plans to go further.At taxpayer expense, he wants to cap the percentage of income that former students pay on their loans and increase forgiveness of student loans by lower-paid former students after 20-years instead of 25-years.But, if the former student works in the public sector for 10-years, the balance of the loan would be waived.
1. Very nice for former students who take virtually useless majors.
2. Even nicer for those who take government jobs, where average wages and benefits are now higher than in the private sector.
3. And, even nicer for Democrats’ union allies who are Democrats’ main financial supporters.
4. Also very nice for the heavily liberal college faculties and administrators who can continue to charge high tuitions and delay inevitable modernized instruction and conferencing without the posh, big fixed cost campuses.
5. Not so nice for taxpayers, as with this latest proposal, politicians find ways to pay off their constituencies whenever they get ahold of another money stream or power. The takeover of the student loan market, says the Congressional Budget Office, might save up to $47-billion over 10-years, especially the CBO says if defaults don't increase. The latest proposed, in effect, give-away "defaults" via lowered repayments and waivers of repayment, not yet scored by the CBO, will eat up much of or more than that to buy off Democrat backers and buy votes. Take a look at this mapof which states have the highest average student debt.Overlay which states are “blue” and you can see which states’ residents stand to get the most bailouts from their student loans.
According to the labor bureau, 7.2 percent of private-sector workers were union members last year, down from 7.6 percent the previous year. That, labor historians said, was the lowest percentage of private-sector workers in unions since 1900.
Among government workers, union membership grew to 37.4 percent last year, from 36.8 percent in 2008.
And, government employment is the only major sector with job growth. “Notwithstanding the recession, government employment grew last year, inching up 16,000, to 22,516,000, according to the bureau.”
Rather than reflect on the growth of their union allies in government jobs, where most states and localities are cutting back basic services in order to pay their salaries and benefits, Obama’s Labor Secretary instead sees the answer in expanding the ease for unions to expand in the private sector via “card checks” that obviate the secret ballot and further increase their members in the public sector.
Meanwhile, those former students who take private sector jobs, who actually generate the taxes to support government workers, are second-class citizens, schlubs or blockheads, for not feeding at the federal teat and supplying the milk for those who do.
Quail, around here, are Bob Whites. (Hunters in the South call them "birds," hence the origin of the term bird dog.) Habitat loss and development is the main reason that these Eastern US birds are approaching endangered status in parts of their range. You can read about them here.
I have heard them calling their name out on Nantucket, Long Island and on Cape Cod, but nowhere inland in New England.
Fortunately, they are readily pen-raised and thus easily available at supermarkets - and for preserve shooters who typically, even in the South, release thousands of pen-raised birds for the pleasure of the sports.
...the hijacking of the environmental movement by climate change campaigners is the worse thing that ever happened to it. All decent people want to see a clean environment, cuddly bunnies bouncing in verdant pastures breathing pure air and drinking safe water. How we safeguard, clean up, maintain and utilise the environment has been overshadowed by strident political statements, the sooner they are dismissed the better it is for real environmentalists.
Yes, the movement was indeed co-opted by politics - by Lefties who never took a serious basic science course, and world-government types. Maybe now we can get back to good old conservation.