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, October 31. 2013
What is it like to be a bat?
"Thomas Nagel's article "What is it Like to Be a Bat?" is undoubtedly one of the most important pieces of philosophical work completed in the last fifty years. "
That is from What is it like to be a man? A quote:
Nagel's essay is a critique of reductionism. Here is Nagel's famous essay.
Posted by Bird Dog in Our Essays, The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:40 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Why Charles Krauthammer Matters
Posted by The News Junkie in Politics at 15:18 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Important new Rasmussen Poll
Posted by Bird Dog at 14:12 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Fallacy du Jour: The Kettle Fallacy
It would term this fallacious effort as a sub-category of the "baffle them with bullshit" informal fallacies. Via Wiki:
Posted by The Barrister in Fallacies and Logic, Our Essays at 13:33 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
The Dems and Wall St.
Those on the inside know that, when Dems talk class warfare, they are always winking at the bankers and at the ultra-wealthy, and hoodwinking naive populist voters. (I have nothing against the bankers. They are necessary for almost everything, but it would be fine with me if their politics were more balanced.)
Posted by The News Junkie in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 11:24 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday morning links
Mead: Immigration: A Bigger Problem Than You Think
15 outrageously NSFW Halloween pumpkin carvings
Unfortunately, being beautiful imposes real, ugly burdens...
David Warren on his Mom's death
NYC politics: When Class Trumps Identity
Is Mike Lee The Better Liar I've Been Waiting For?
The Ten US Cities With Less Than Ten Days Of Cash On Hand
David Coleman: Architect of the Common Core and, soon, the SAT
Keynesian Economics, Government Shutdowns, and Economic Growth
Sultan: Liberal Greed is Good
Obama's 'Transformed' America Is Worse In Every Respect
Scarborough: Obama a ‘deliberate,’ ‘flagrant’ liar
The Passionate Chris Matthews Rant on Benghazi That Will Probably Leave You Speechless
HHS Predicted Much Employer-Backed Health Coverage Wouldn't Survive Obamacare, Either
Steele, What's Wrong with Obamacare:
Obama tells insurance companies to shut up, if they know what’s good for them
Obamacare will cause people to freeze in geographic location. Insurance companies cannot compete across state lines, so your policy is only portable within your state.
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 05:55 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, October 30. 2013
Blame, blame, blame
Excuse me, but they are trying to follow your law, Mr. President. This is like blaming the banks for giving the high-risk mortgages that the government forced them to offer.
And yet, from another member of the administration, A canceled health plan is a good thing
I think I would term this the "baffle them with bullshit" defense as here: Obamacare team offers multiple self-contradictory explanations for coverage cancellations
In my case, I do not want the government standard insurance. I want my cheap, old-fashioned major medical with a high deductible. It makes sense to me, and I like to pay my doctors.
Posted by The Barrister in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 18:41 | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)
Shocking news: College President Defends Free Speech
People have to draw a line against PC academic bullying. Sometimes it sounds just like the Inquisition.
Posted by The Barrister in Education at 13:39 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Barack Obama is a handsome, glib, stylish, and seductive guy
But so are many or most of the 500,000 gay guys in New York City, of every skin color. A lot of it is about stylin' and profilin'. There is some mileage in that.
"Obama is an ineffectual, disinterested executive. Oh, and the last pile-on points out that he’s an evil pathological liar."
Posted by The News Junkie in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects, Our Essays at 11:47 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
News you can use
Useful especially for investment and retirement planning: When will the universe end?
You want to make sure that you die broke, do you not, with as few regrets as possible?
Posted by The News Junkie at 11:15 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Weds. morning links
How Americans Will Adapt to Lower Living Standards
Man buys $27 of bitcoin, forgets about them, finds they're now worth $886k
People recommend Charles Martin's translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses
Why colleges get an F for cost control
The charter school that turned my life around
Gallup: Self Defense Number One Reason for Gun Ownership
MSNBC's Ronan Farrow: 'The Clintons Represent a Style of Honesty That the Public Craves Right Now'
BBC declares Obama a "right wing" social democrat
Who the HELL is Jay Carney to Tell Me My Health Insurance Policy is "Sub-Standard"?
Obama's Favorite 'Conservative' Columnist: 'People Don't Know What's Best For Them'
An earthy expletive comes to mind...
BBC – Real risk of a Maunder minimum ‘Little Ice Age’
"Sounds like we’re going to have catastrophic global warming and catastrophic global cooling at the same time."
EU Unveils Crackdown on Free Speech
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 05:08 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, October 29. 2013
Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground
Posted by Bird Dog at 17:20 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Your Editor, in youth, with some thoughts about basic life skills
My baby Sis, on the right, sent me this pic she found of us messing around with boats many years ago. I was helping her tune her Laser's rigging. We both remain happy to mess with boats of any sort, anytime. Sail or power. We have a feel for water. In adolescence, this one particular sis of mine was a great sailboat racer (Lasers, as in photo) but always scowling. Tough competitor. Happily, she outgrew the scowl, hasn't really scowled for years, has three cool, scowling kids now, and a distinguished career.
Lightnings were my racing boat. Our threesome of young fellows even got into Sports Illustrated, with my cuz as skipper. We took strategic risks, often, to break from the pack and we studied the winds, currents, and tides. Wonderful boats for learning seamanship, and seaworthy in most weather including those nasty summer squalls which always added excitement and danger.
I consider basic seamanship to be a fundamental adult life skill, along with swimming, shooting, tennis, land navigation, quoting Shakespeare and the Bible, catching and cleaning a fish, how to start a fire, play an instrument, budgeting, fundamental principles of cooking, handling tractors on hills, riding a horse, public speaking, log splitting, using correct grammar when called for, handling tools, appropriate grooming, dressing, and manners including table manners; pleasing social conversation, making basic judgements about other people, making a Martini, and a few other things - most of which which I have not yet perfected but there is still time.
I suppose every person has his own idea about the Basic Life Skills needed to negotiate the world effectively. I know some who would even include Golf!
The youth need parents to teach these things - or to pay to have them taught. It's called parenting, and it can't be outsourced. It's a serious enterprise.
Posted by Bird Dog in Our Essays, The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:00 | Comments (14) | Trackbacks (0)
Is this the new new math?
‘Reform math’ (aka ‘rainforest math’): Replacing what has worked for centuries with what sounds good to bureaucrats?
Posted by The Barrister in Education at 13:55 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Guys' night out
Men need to meet up with friends twice a week for a brew (or a brawl) to stay healthy
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 10:35 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday morning links
Italy Breaks Your Heart
Amazon never makes money: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Is Like King Midas in Reverse
Arthur C. Danto, Philosopher of Art, Is Dead at 89
The Kids Aren't All Right - Younger Americans are being suffocated by spending, subsidies, and debt
Sultan: Government is Magic
Obamacare Website Company Had Ties to Obama Fundraising, Michelle Obama
The Unbearable Lightness of Obama - The president didn't know the NSA was spying on world leaders, but he's found time for at least 146 rounds of golf.
Valerie Jarrett: Obamacare doesn’t force you off your plan; your insurance company does, by complying with Obamacare!
Big government project, big failure: The Obamacare website fiasco shows that big government can't deliver on extensive endeavors.
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 05:28 | Comments (25) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, October 28. 2013
Democrats' New Argument: It's A Good Thing That Obamacare Doubles Individual Health Insurance Premiums
Too many lies.
What's the point of lying when you know everybody will find out? Oh, OK, because it will be too late.
Obama admin. knew millions could not keep their health insurance
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 18:35 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Frank Lloyd Wright
I've always felt it was a place I needed to see. I was correct. It lived up to every expectation. Pictures don't do it justice(but I'll share some anyway). The story enhances the visuals to a degree I had not prepared myself. You could visit this several times a year and get a substantially different feel each time.
Wright had something very particular in mind when he built this, and he clearly achieved what he set out to accomplish. It wasn't easy. He exceeded budget, there were disputes, and Wright was not easy to work with all the time. But the owners of the home, the Kaufmans, had bought into his vision, and the results are spectacular.
While their original budget was only $35,000, total costs eventually topped $155,000 (roughly $3mm today). While it would be nearly impossible to build this structure today due to environmental impact issues (this structure has been assessed regularly has having a negligible impact on the environment, which says something about environmental regulations, as well as Wright's ability to deliver on a vision), the costs would clearly be far higher than the inflation-adjusted figure of $3mm. In addition, you'd have to account for the costs of ego, which were significant in this project.
Continue reading "Frank Lloyd Wright"
Posted by Bulldog in Our Essays, Travelogues and Travel Ideas at 18:24 | Comments (23) | Trackbacks (0)
A free ad for Gould Farm
For difficult patients who need more than outpatient treatment or short-stay stabilization. Over the years, I have found Gould Farm to be very helpful to patients: Gould Farm.
Good, highly-dedicated people work there.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in Psychology, and Dr. Bliss at 15:25 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
I hate to link these
but I will, anyway. Very busy today.
Who cares? She is the new next old thing!
The sorry state of Hamilton College
Read it and weep.
The Sorry State of Hamilton College
Posted by The Barrister at 13:49 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday morning links
Lou Reed died
People are recommending Allan Bloom's translation of The Republic
The bag Cate Blanchett carries in Blue Jasmine is a Birkin Bag
US Courts Deliver Verdict on Law Reviews: They’re Useless
Oregon School Board: Teachers with Concealed Licenses Can Carry in Classrooms
Utopia is a cruel place
Why new drugs are so expensive
Legislation Curtailing NSA Domestic Spying to Be Introduced Tuesday
Ted Cruz’s grassroots: The new Reagan Revolution?
500,000 Californians Lose Health Policies
10 things Obamacare won’t tell you - The health exchanges, central to the law, are also its biggest mystery
Give us Your Young, Uninsured (and Dying to be Rooked)
Obama’s Valerie Jarrett: Often Whispered about, But Never Challenged
Obamacare: We have become seduced by computer glamour.
Iran Announces 34 New Nuke Sites - Working with Russia to boost nuclear program
Is it time for the military to recruit for resiliency?
UK update: Riding the Lesbian Gravy Train
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 05:23 | Comments (14) | Trackbacks (0)
Yesterday a friend emailed me his photo of sunset from a Dominican Republic resort. He called it Paradise, I don't know why. Cheap but excellent ceegars? Paradise for me is a cold, wet duck boat on a northern marsh, but there are times, I must confess, when the sub-tropics and tropics are appealing. For example, I do love Bermuda and the Everglades.
Mrs. BD is planning a winter trip to Islamorada, but I have sort-of lost my enthusiasm for fishing - I just like to know that the fish are there - and I will not sit on a beach for more than five minutes although I am happy to swim in salt water. Might be good bird-watching, though.
Posted by Bird Dog in Travelogues and Travel Ideas at 05:15 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, October 27. 2013
The Motet in 40 Parts, in New York
The Hudson River from The Cloisters today
Tallis' "40 Part Motet" - officially Spem in alium numquam habui (c.1556) is a Renaissance motet, not a medieval motet. Thus no real rhythm, but plenty of flow.
Mrs. BD and I had to hustle down to The Cloisters after church to hear their special installation of Tallis' most famous work. One speaker per voice - 40 speakers - and you walk all around and hear each individual voice, or stand in the middle to hear the blend in the acoustically-superb old stone Spanish apse. We did it 2 1/2 times.
It is a popular event. Most people listen to it twice.
Here's the piece, done normally:
Posted by Bird Dog in Music, Our Essays at 17:41 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Do you want your medical records in the cloud?
For the same reason, I keep minimal notes anyway and just enough to refresh my memory. From The
Many docs today are spending more time on computer screens than they are with patients.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects, Our Essays at 15:34 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
Corporate tax reform
My preference would be a 0% corporate tax rate, but it would put a heck of a lot of tax lawyers and accountants out on the street.
Posted by The Barrister at 13:04 | Comments (23) | Trackbacks (0)
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