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.
Barack Obama will be remembered not so much for being the nation’s first African-American president, or even the man who ordered the killing of Osama bin Laden, or even for his Obamacare, but as the president who grew government the largest, ran up the largest deficits during any presidential tenure, and laid out most candidly and confidently the argument of why the United States is an intrinsically unfair society and how that must be remedied by government.
Governments are bad at compassion, in part because it is a candle to power-seeking moths. The heavy lifting of compassion belongs in the private sector, where it is divorced from the impulse to impose continually greater levels of control.
Mrs. BD thought that some of our readers, especially those remote from NYC, might like a sample of the retrospective, Savage Beauty, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which ends next week. She particularly singled out ex-New Yorker Marianne.
The show is a big deal. It has been sold out since the opening, and yesterday you had to wait in line 2-3 hrs to get in (unless a member of the Met, as we are, in which case you go right past the lines. It was crowded.).
I liked the show. We usually use those good headphone things, but, for some reason, we did not this time.
This Scotsman, who recently committed suicide, was quite an artist. All the husbands and boyfriends there seemed interested to look, as was I (up to a point). It would have been more fun with live models wearing the things.
They put on a remarkably dramatic presentation of McQueen's stuff with what I presume is edgy-artsy-fashionista music and spooky lighting. My photos are not very good because pics were not technically allowed so I had to be discreet. (I do it for you, our readers.)
And yes, I was rewarded with a good lunch afterwards.
"Rep. Barney Frank of Fannie Mae-Freddie Mac fame told Neil Cavuto this morning that if Moody’s downgrades the US debt, “We just don’t pay much attention to them… Don’t sell.” He then went on to blame the ratings agencies for ignoring the mortgage crisis… that he helped create. Unreal."
14:13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns.
14:14 When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick.
14:15 When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves."
14:16 Jesus said to them, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat."
14:17 They replied, "We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish."
14:18 And he said, "Bring them here to me."
14:19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
14:20 And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full.
14:21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Have you heard Trombone Shorty? I enjoyed hearing him and his band live, last summer. Had a quick chat with him, too, after the set. He is a sweetheart, and very humble despite being such a prodigy and, now, a star.
I know folks who will drive 40 minutes to the Red Rooster Drive-In on Route 22 in Brewster, NY, when they get a jones for their burgers, fries, and onion rings - all made to order, the old-fashioned way. Slow food. Good hot dogs too. Worth a trip from Great Falls, or Phoenix.
Is it over-rated? Maybe. I love it, though.
The place is unchanged since the 50s. There is really no seating, but lots of picnic benches outside. Or eat in the pick-up and drip juice and ketchup on your shirt in the manly American-style.
I am weary. After nearly 30 years in private practice, I am not sure which straw broke the camel’s back, but it is most surely broken. It is a weariness born of 14 hour days; of dictating charts and finishing paperwork until 8 or 9 pm each night, after starting the day at 7 am; of endless audits by the insurance industry and Medicare; of the constant threat of litigation; of the crushing burden of one more federal requirement mandated but never recompensed; of a host of ever-expanding administrative burdens having nothing to do with patient care, and everything to do with bureaucratic micromanagement of the profession. And this before we have even begun to see the nightmare which Obamacare will inflict. Camels weren’t designed to carry such a load.
But the change (ie the change Dr. Bob is making) is nevertheless much anticipated in a host of other ways, with its reduced administrative and regulatory burdens, and substantial increase in free time. For me, the war is over: I have fought the good fight, and no longer see it as profitable to battle the inexorable forces which threaten to crush a beloved profession.
"Studies show" that, once 10% of a population accepts a notion, it acquires a sturdy enough foothold to have a chance to widely penetrate the population. That's why cranky ideas and crazy notions - along with worthy notions - become part of popular culture.
Politicians know this, which is why they are so full of BS. Their tactic is to repeat a meme until it's accepted by a quorum, even if you Maggie's Farmers know better. You can get 10% of people to believe that the moon is made of Roquefort, that vaccinations cause autism, that JFK's assassination was a conspiracy, or that the planet is about to burn up due to cars.
In addition to finding that far less heat is being trapped than alarmist computer models have predicted, the NASA satellite data show the atmosphere begins shedding heat into space long before United Nations computer models predicted.
Computer models are not reality. They are virtual realities. How did all the fancy computer modeling work out for the economy? Computer models are toys for grown-ups.
On this video, Dr. Buziszewski teaches, or preaches, what I have been teaching and preaching for years about the region in which religion, morality, and psychology are intertwined, inseparable. This is a good primer on the topic.
Whether you agree or not, it's an important concept.
I have posted about codes of behavior here, several times. It is an important subject for me, and it seems to me that honor is a core concept in Western Civilization (I cannot speak for alien civilizations because I am still struggling to understand my own.). U VA seems to be dealing with this subject now. One quote:
Complaints that a strict Honor Code represent an antiquated, all male, aristocratic standard appropriate only to the slave-holding ante-bellum South in which it originated, that it needs to be replaced by a new standard more attuned to a diverse community with “nuanced perspectives on crime and punishment” sounds more than odd coming from the Grounds of UVa, where “Mr. Jefferson” is not so much a ghost as a virtually live presence. The Declaration of Independence, after all, another "old boy" product, can be described in exactly the same terms.
Perhaps the psychotics at the otherwise wonderful U VA are not aware thatjobs have honor codes, citizenship has an honor code, all relationships have honor codes, science has honor codes, the professions and business have honor codes, supposedly academia has honor codes, every organization and club has an honor code, even the Mafia has honor codes - everything in civilized life is based on honor codes, whether implicit or explicit. That's why it's called "civilized".
Violate them at your peril. At the least, ostracism and social avoidance are unpleasant consequences of violations of mannerly codes, appropriateness codes, and honor codes. In real daily life, just one screw up often is fatal because nobody forgets. The Law only covers the most extreme violations of the codes.
I'm mostly white (if you ignore a little American Injun blood), and yet cops keep pulling me over because they are profiling me and my red Lamborghini. Is it my ride, or are they detecting my inner Injun?
A federal wildlife biologist whose observation in 2004 of presumably drowned polar bears in the Arctic helped to galvanize the global warming movement has been placed on administrative leave and is being investigated for scientific misconduct, possibly over the veracity of that article.
So I understand that my country is about to become an insolvent failed state, plunging over the cliff into abject bankruptcy. On the other hand, I just discovered a great video of the Josie and the Pussycats theme song rendered in a mash-up of different musical styles. Fellow Americans, we face great challenges; but we must never lose sight of what made us a great nation.
The Democratic party loves taking credit for the social safety net, but they have proven to be completely irresponsible trustees, squandering the trust by borrowing against the sum, and then borrowing against the debt to fund an entirely separate agenda. What began as security for workers mutated into a bureaucracy that existed for its own sake expanding benefits and spending to bulk up its power and influence.
The old worker centered universe was turned upside down. Private sector unions gave way to public sector unions. A non-union public was suddenly forced to subsidize the municipal crony unions of Democratic politicians. Corporate health insurance became mandatory. Illegal aliens showed up for the free health insurance. And the taxpayer kept picking up the tab. Now the system is on the brink, and the trustees have no answer except more spending and a few cuts.
The New Deal had always been rotten with wealth redistribution calculations, but it wasn't unfeasible until fiscal responsibility went completely out the window. The Potemkin Village economics had been there in the 1930's, the unconstitutional mandates, the overreaching regulations and the share the wealth platform. But they had at least used a nation with a solid industrial base and birth rate as their base. Both of those have been sinking for decades, even as spending has been growing...
PTSD is one of those fad diagnoses which won many adherents in the past ten years, even gaining admission to the DSM.
As I have written before, very few of the descriptive Psychiatric diagnoses have validity - all most of them (with a handful of notable exceptions) have is varying degrees of reliability. In my field, a diagnosis does not mean a disease in the usual medical sense (which is why we call them "disorders").
What is termed PTSD is presumed to be a collection of complaints which some (but not most) people experience following significant emotional trauma. There is no doubt that people are distressed by, and, I think, permanently altered by significant emotional trauma. It doesn't have to be bad experiences in combat, because many things in life can constitute emotional trauma (depending on the person's psychological make-up). The reason PTSD is so often studied in combat vets is because that's where the research money is. (In the past, such symptoms were classed as ""nervous in the service," "combat fatigue," "shell shock," "traumatic neurosis," and the like.)
To anyone familiar with this Golden Age, roughly spanning the eighth through the thirteenth centuries a.d., the disparity between the intellectual achievements of the Middle East then and now — particularly relative to the rest of the world — is staggering indeed. In his 2002 book What Went Wrong?, historian Bernard Lewis notes that “for many centuries the world of Islam was in the forefront of human civilization and achievement.” “Nothing in Europe,” notes Jamil Ragep, a professor of the history of science at the University of Oklahoma, “could hold a candle to what was going on in the Islamic world until about 1600.” Algebra, algorithm, alchemy, alcohol, alkali, nadir, zenith, coffee, and lemon: these words all derive from Arabic, reflecting Islam’s contribution to the West.
Today, however, the spirit of science in the Muslim world is as dry as the desert.
I don't blame Mitt entirely for this fiasco because has was dealing with a solidly-Dem government, but I do blame him some.
If government wants to take over control of a huge area of citizens' lives, and of the economy, they can't do it in a half-assed way that injures and distorts markets and eliminates choice. They have to do it all-out and eliminate markets and choice entirely, as does Medicare (which we still have in the US, thanks to Chinese loans).
I don't think Mitt intended RomneyCare to be a stalking horse for a government take-over of all medical care in Massachusetts, but it is set up to make that inevitable. ObamaCare, on the other hand, is designed to cause markets to fail so that government can step in. Many proponents admitted as much. It's the long view.
If you tell an insurance company what products they may offer, they must cover, and what they can charge for the insurance, then there is no market, no choice...and soon, no company.