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
Thursday, January 31. 2013
In a marathon session yesterday, politicians allowed people from Newtown and various other lobbying organizations to state their views about guns. Several of the more emotionally compelling statements made the press and have been forced on an unsuspecting public, as a means to push harsher gun control laws. One statement in particular struck me as I watched the news this morning. Susie Ehrens, whose daughter survived the attack, made the following plea:
It is heartfelt sentiment with a strong statement. I have no doubt many people, many parents in particular, were moved closer to supporting gun control as a result. Certainly, it is a statement which hit me hard - do I really love guns more than I love children? So much so that I'm willing to let children die just because I support the freedom to bear arms?
Of course not. After thinking about this statement, I believed a response was needed. Mainly because it is factually inaccurate, at least in terms of how it describes me, and it is logically flawed, in general.
Continue reading "Guns and Emotions"
This clip is via NYM's More Social Pathology:
I can picture the millions of chickens, pigs, cattle, sheep, etc. of the American farms gloriously set free in downtown Oakland, but I suspect they would all quickly end up in peoples' stew pots or hit by cars.
What these people perhaps do not deal with is the simple fact that none of these animals would exist at all without meat and dairy farms.
Worse of all, these annoying people ignore the far worse, massive animal genocide brought about by antibiotic medicines. Why protest the slaughter of only big animals? Does nobody care about the little animals? Are they that heartless?
Photos of Paris, 1914 - in color, from the Albert Kahn Museum
The originals were in color, but those images were digitally brightened up a bit
Human sex: Average is 6 minutes
Sandwich generation takes a hit supporting adult children and aging parents
U.S. Economy Unexpectedly Contracts in Fourth Quarter
Santelli: 'We Are Now Europe'
The U.K. Braces for the Next Wave of Immigration
ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN mum on FBI raid of doctor office tied to Menendez
Mead discusses post-industrial America: The Blue Elites Are Wrong:
Wednesday, January 30. 2013
It's a month or two early to post about bird migration, particularly passerine migration, here in the northern hemisphere, but I did find this excellent review of the most recent science on the topic:
Photo is our common Black and White Warbler, who will be passing through here, on the Atlantic Flyway, in May.
I am confused today by all I have been reading about illegal immigration. Being somewhat Yankee-biased, I tend to feel that the US needs no immigrants from anywhere anymore. Just spend a weekend in NYC and then tell me we need more foreigners around. Half the people you see were born elsewhere, and have no clue what America is all about. They are just using us, trying to get on one gravy train or another. Call me a xenophobe. I don't mind, because I like foreigners - in their own countries and in their own cultures. I do not want my culture changed, or to feel like a stranger in my own country. It's mine, and it is not open to the general global public.
All the Russians too. Sheesh. Unpleasant, loud people without manners and Soviet-style (ie, no) morals. Legal too, I assume, which means they went through the process. They may have to take a test, but there is no civility test. Those lovely Russki girls are silky sociopaths, well-trained in the Soviet system to ignore law and civilization and to follow the money. The turbaned Sikh cab drivers from Whereizitstan are far more pleasant and dignified, but what the heck? We have unemployed college grads who could drive cabs and could probably figure out how to find JFK airport from the Plaza Hotel.
Most nations do not permit any. Just try emigrating to Japan, France, Britain, Sweden, Russia, or Mexico from the US. Can't be done. As we say here, "Don't be lazy, people. Fix your own darn homeland."
I read this one this afternoon: Did The President Make Sense Today For Some Reason?
1 in 4 Swedish Women Will Be Raped as Sexual Assaults Increase 500%
A Miami Clinic Supplies Drugs to Sports' Biggest Names
Eggs not bad for you and the NYT is on it
Student Loan Bubble Update: "This Situation Is Simply Unsustainable"
Preaching to the Choir on Housing - At last week’s debate, New York’s mayoral candidates sang the same old chorus.
If NYC deregulated housing, there would be affordable housing for everybody. Classic example of a government fix of a temporary problem creating a permanent shortage problem. Markets work when government stays out of the way.
Will we learn from Britain and France?
Docs can't "do less" without tort reform. Defensive medicine is a huge factor in medicine today. Many claim it's 30-50% of billings. Other major wastes? Most preventive medicine, and annual physicals. Studies prove it.
Department of Awful Statistics: Are Mass Shootings Really On the Rise? They're not, but the alarmist numbers are more likely to get media attention.
MSNBC Busted AGAIN For Deceptively Editing Video To Make Conservatives Look Bad
Time For Reform And Rethinking On Immigration
While GOP leaders push amnesty, Dems rope more immigrants into welfare state
Five reasons Republicans won't win Latino voters with immigration reform:
Only somebody like Rubio can preach the American gospel to hispanic immigrants. Past large waves of immigrants (Swedes, Jews, Irish, Poles, Italians, Cubans) got the memo, but in the era of big government, this wave doesn't get it.
The fraud at the heart of the Gang of 8 immigration proposal
Tuesday, January 29. 2013
I posted about epigenetics a few weeks ago: Epigenetics in Metazoans.
Here's a good example from pigs: Why Cloned Animals Aren't Identical.
Food cranks update: From Sundance to Dunkin’ Donuts, the gluten-free craze shows no signs of abating
Many libs believe, deep down, that blacks and hispanics cannot make it in the modern world
Question of the Week: Which Department of the Federal Government Should Be the First to Be Abolished?
My vote goes to Dept. of Education. Not a federal responsibility.
Don't get paranoid, but why this? Obama Administration Repositioning Homeland Security Ammunition Containers
1.4 billion rounds of ammo? Maybe they are planning on disarming the criminals in Chicago.
“San Diego Chief of Police: We Can Disarm America ‘Within a Generation’”
No. You maybe can disarm the honest people, but not the crims
Kirstin Powers on Obama & Hillary’s ’60 Minutes’ Interview: “Was Something You’d Expect From State-Run Media”
Clinton backers launch ‘Ready for Hillary’ super-PAC in hopes of 2016 campaign
Malians celebrate, French-led forces clear Timbuktu
Monday, January 28. 2013
I am opposed to amnesty for illegal immigrants, partly because it is indeed a crime and we are a nation of law (why begin citizenship as a Federal criminal when there are legal ways to do it?), and partly because I have seen what five-ten year hoops and expenses legal immigrants to the US need to go through, such as physicians from Canada and the UK, and programming geniuses from Singapore. Also, because I believe that vast numbers of immigrants cannot be assimilated. (Case in point: Mexifornia. Case in point: Europistan. Case in point: Dearborn, MI.) And, lastly, people have no idea how impossible it is for an American to emigrate to Mexico. Many American citizens and retirees would like to, if they could. Puerto Vallarta. Cabo. Basically, they have made it illegal to do so. Mexico is hell on immigrants. They want none of them.
This piece by Skerry reviews some of the history that may make Mexican illegals a somewhat different case. From Splitting the Difference on Illegal Immigration:
It is worth reading. In the end, I suppose, my sentiment is that I would prefer that people who live in crappy countries do what they can to improve them. My blessed and brave ancestors did that here, for me. Half the world would invade the US were they able to do so. If you want to come here, why not try to make your place like ours? We have enough people already, and terrible unemployment with grandiose PhDs working as restaurant waiters. Nothing wrong with educated wait staff, but it's probably not what they envisioned in their Obama Economy.
Bear in mind that I very much enjoy the legal Mexican and Colombian immigrants around here. Great people, family people, ambitious and entrepreneurial, and wonderful restaurants too. They are doing many jobs which unemployed Americans, with their sense of entitlement, spurn. However, it is true that they frequently prefer cash which, as an honest taxpayer, I resent. Not entirely assimilated into American values, know nothing about our history or traditions or even why we are a special place. Willing to work hard, though. It's more about money than political freedom because neither Mexico nor Colombia are totalitarian or oppressive states.
Except for Boston, New England doesn't have the hispanic drug gangs and crims that California has. Most of our crims here are home-grown.
h/t Willisms. Large, interesting chart is below the fold -
Regardless of that info, I'll keep repeating my gun mantra: Government should focus on disarming the bad guys, not the good guys. Begin with Chicago. Disarming the good guys only creates more helpless victims: Milwaukee Sheriff goes national with message to arm yourself.
Police rarely prevent crime. They cannot be everywhere. Their main job is to find crims after the crime. Your own job is to prevent crime against you and your family.
Continue reading "Chart of gun facts for America"
What is happening to America? President Barack Obama to Steve Kroft on Benghazi: $#!+ happens, LOL
Pic above stolen from Pirate
The auto industry is thriving, except for subsidized alternative fuel vehicles.
Is the NFL doomed?
Climate Crisis Downgrade Arriving on Schedule
Whole Foods CEO: Global Warming 'Not That Big a Deal'
It Figures. Liberal Media Already Pushing Death Panels for Fat People and Smokers
Tina Turner renounces her U.S. citizenship to become Swiss (so how much tax will she now pay?)
Higher Ed: You do not get what you pay for
The Second Amendment is Not about Hunting
Why is Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf a bestseller in Muslim countries?
Sunday, January 27. 2013
"You don't read women authors do ya?"
I see people in the park forgettin' their troubles and woes
Highly enjoyable interview. What a charming fellow. A good chance to listen to him when he has time to talk. Not embeddable, but it's here.
In a dramatic part of the interview, he explains his conversion to conservatism.
We get paid for a thing, a service, or a thing plus a service. Most jobs entail some degree of customer service, whether the customer is a client, a buyer in a shop, or a boss. Yes, a boss is a customer, pays you for your service to him or her. This simple textbook might open your eyes to seemingly-obvious things you have been doing wrong to interfere with good business and good business relationships.
It's a lesson in humility. As I said last time, this course is about things many of us think we're too smart to need to learn.
Recap of prior postings in this course this semester:
He's complaining about 10 below zero (F). That's -23 C.
Heck, Mrs. BD and I have skiied at 10 below. Definitely brisk and exhilarating. I recall that I had a big old Ford Bronco at the time, and it was not too eager to get running but it did after coughing a bit. The skiing was just fine (short lift lines) but the chair lift, in the wind, was brutal. That was Vermont.
Government resumes pressuring banks to approve subprime loans.
What could possibly go wrong?
4:22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, "Is not this Joseph's son?"
Saturday, January 26. 2013
I have gotten deep into The Leopard, and I can report that I think (for what it's worth) that it is a masterpiece of modern literature. No, of literature. I've read a lot of books. I have not seen the movie with Burt Lancaster and Claudia Cardinale, but I don't need to.
It is sensual in imagery, poetically-written. Guiseppe di Lampedusa finished it shortly before he died, but, sadly, could never get it published.
The story is set in Sicily in the 1860s, during the time when Garibaldi's forces were constructing the nation of Italy, including the invasion and annexation of Sicily. It's a vivid portrait of Sicily which, even today, seems Italian in name only.
Lampedusa warned readers to keep track of the Prince's dog, Bendico.
While trying to research the rich Macaroni Pie the prince served as a primi (with chicken liver and hard-boiled eggs etc. in it), I stumbled onto this piece about the book and the food described in it.
Certainly not, especially in a time when college degrees are so commonplace and when graduate degrees have lost their economic, social, and academic value through dilution.
Listed in the article are not things you learn in college, but things you can learn wherever you are: high school, college, armed forces, crappy job, or on the street. Basic life lessons which I began learning at 12. I have had paid jobs since then. That's where I learned about life even though my book-larnin' has been a blessing to me.
They could or should have said "should learn before leaving high school" because that is when adulthood is supposed to begin. Well before my time, college students wore suits to class. It was a serious adult endeavor. We don't know what it is now, except that they will give you As (or rarely Bs which used to be Ds and Fs) for paying the bill because the customer is always right except in math, physics or chem. Which is why employers like to see the tough courses and the demanding majors in college grads. They grade on curves, so the right stuff shows to potential employers.
Now that I am in a position to interview new hires at our place, it has been a very interesting experience. We are finally doing quite well after post-start-up challenges. I'll write up a post about our hiring process and our hiring filters when I have a chance.
We get 1000 applicants for each job posting at our little shop, but we do not delete the "overqualified" here if they are willing to take a chance with low wages to start.
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