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
Sunday, October 27. 2013
This winter series is re-posted from last year -
A friend did the research on this topic for me, because we were both looking for something good, and we have tons of wood and hate paying our heating bills (I have oil heat and propane stoves).
My friend concluded that Harman makes the best products in that area: furnaces, fireplace inserts, free-standing, etc. I like the idea of something that works for wood, pellets, or coal. The "green" aspect has no importance to me, but I do like to have flames to look at to warm my spirit.
To warm a house and for cooking, there's still nothing better that a wood-burning cook stove to turn a house into a home. Here's a modern version that the Amish make:
“Men who act like belligerent assholes probably do get laid a lot more
What do women want? All sorts of things. Women are all different. I think we only tend to hear about the angry women. Guys shy away from them. Most guys are drawn to females with sweet, affectionate temperaments. NB: I am not a belligerent asshole, but I am no metrosexual asshole either. Like all guys, I can be a stupid, annoying and selfish jerk at times.
Many of us think of Christianity as a “cheerful” religion, but Andrew Klavan, who is a convert to Christianity, wrote that “for me, one of Christianity’s central assets is that it’s a tragic religion — which is to say, a realistic one. The son of God prayed for release from a dreadful death and his prayer went unfulfilled. That tells you something, something you need to know in order to live with patience and wisdom.”
Saturday, October 26. 2013
If all of your winter firewood has not been split yet, it is Splitting Maul Season.
Log splitting is a great joy, a great work-out, and useful. And it can be done as well by a 113-pound gal as by an 180-pound fellow because, when done properly, the maul does most of the work. Heck, it's a sort of lever. You lift it, then let gravity and leverage do the rest of the work, assuming you put the right English on the blow to your log. That is a matter of practice and experimentation, and a deep source of pleasure once this basic life skill is acquired.
Axes are terrible for wood-splitting. Wedges get stuck, cause huge frustration, and get lost in the field. There are all sorts of good mauls. This photo of mauls shows the spring-loaded maul, #5, which looks like a foolish gadget but which truly works well, and will really throw the wood around if you are wise and work on the edges and don't aim for the middle of a big one. Highly recommended by the Bird Dog Consumer Reports.
I approach a large log in the classic manner: I work around the edges, then I chop the corners off the remaining square, or pentagon, or whatever it might be. I like to end up with a square piece at the end. Knots? I never fight a knot just like I never argue with a Leftist/Statist. I burn them intact.
Very satisfying work and, as Thoreau said, it warms you twice: Once when you split it and again when you burn it. That is true Yankee economy.
Teach your children well...
Olmstead would love that job
Wells Fargo Study: 37 Percent of Middle-Class Americans Say They Never Will Retire
Nothing wrong with that. What else are you gonna do? Drink? Play golf? Surf the net? Do errands all day? Be a useless member of the tribe? The Braves leave the useless ones behind...
The Blue Government Model Needs Wall Street to Survive
Quotation of the day on ethanol – one of the great political boondoggles of our time, and it’s dangerous and delusional
Arrival of Obamacare forcing insurers to drop customers with low coverage
Number of Americans Who Receive Government Benefits Outnumber Those With Full-Time Jobs
"Lack of credit history should not be considered a factor."
Oh, boy. Here we go again. Dodd-Frank wants a rerun.
Jewelry Store Owner in Wheelchair Shoots Burglar
It's not because I knew you well or thought you faithful,
(Translated by T. Kline at this Catullus website.)
Friday, October 25. 2013
The good idea behind Obamacare was the idea of a national marketplace for medical insurance. Of course, an insurance consortium could have done it too, but the complication in that is that insurance is controlled and regulated state by state.
A deregulated, nationwide marketplace for every kind and flavor of medical insurance with wide competition for coverage format, would have been a good thing for everybody - and put a lot of brokers out of business. Probably most people would opt for cheap high-deductible insurance (Major Medical, aka Catastrophic) as protection against bankruptcy. Brokers have easy access to all available deals within a given state, but it's not national and not available to consumers, and now the ACA has strictly limited peoples' choices.
Instead, we have an illusory marketplace selling government-designed product at government-determined prices, and they'll fine you if you don't buy it. Doesn't sound like America to me.
Requiring marketplace insurance companies to cover the highest-risk patients is a challenge with many possible solutions. Coverage for kids to age 26 is insane and infantilizing. Adulthood is 21, at the latest. However, "adulthood" keeps creeping upwards, doesn't it?
The other useful reform would have entailed tort reform. I have read varying estimates about how many medical costs are lawsuit-avoidance, but it is substantial.
I use adverbs mainly because my verb vocab is weak. Colorful verbs elude me. This short post is about "statistically significant," which does not mean "significant."
Wimpy boys and wimpy girls. If safety is your biggest concern in life, you will never live. I thought it was all about fear of lawsuits, but I am beginning to think it reflects some form of psycho-ideology. We are raising a generation of wimps.
'Offensive' Halloween costumes banned by US university
Keystone Should Be an Easy Choice, So What’s Taking Obama So Long?
Buying Stocks On Margin At The Top - They Never Learn
Hedge Fund Manager Spitznagel: Stocks May Plunge 40 Percent
Charles Krauthammer squares off against Jon Stewart on the merits of conservatism
Dan Mitchell on taxation:
Setting the Record Straight About the White Working Class
“Obamacare, Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell and Ken Cucchinelli: Lessons in Political Communications
Thursday, October 24. 2013
I assume everybody is sick of reading about Obamacare, but this piece is good: NYT: Obamacare Disproportionately Hurts Poor, Rural Americans
As somebody commented, Obamacare was designed to convert insurance companies into government-serving utilities, selling government-designed one-size-fits-all products at government-determined prices. Now watch the insurance companies get blamed for doing what the government forced them into.
Yet another good version of the George Jones classic (h/t, SDA)
I heard one hooting outside my open bedroom window the other morning at 4 am. Woke me up. After 20 minutes, another one joined in the conversation. A mate?
Remarkable large birds, top predators, and adaptable to almost every habitat from urban parks to deserts. They are found everywhere in the US, Canada, Central America, and in parts of South America.
They will eat anything that moves: house cats, snakes, skunks, rats, porcupines, mice, fish, muskrats, possums, crows, gulls, ducks, even smaller owls - but their favorite food seems to be rabbits.
I rarely see them, but I hear them regularly. They are non-migratory and early nesters, laying eggs in January snowstorms.
This is fun: The Owls of NYC
Property rights are a foundation stone of a free society, but government relentlessly chips away at them regardless of the nature of the property.
Here's a rebel: Virginia Farmer Starts Property Rights Legal Revolution
If $300,000 buys you a statistical chance of living a few more days with a terminal cancer, would you take it? Would you take it even if Medicare paid for it - which it probably would?
Cancer chemotherapy is a big business: The Cancer Drug Racket:
Depressing graph above via Doug Ross
Evangelical Leader Preaches Pullback From Politics, Culture Wars
Via Insty, Time to end the war against saturated fat?
Infighting: Salon Rips Left-wing Media for ObamaCare Truth-Telling
NY Liberals Fight Gas in Politics, Burn it at Home
The Progressive Psychoracialists of McRacism
ObamaCare 2016: Happy Yet? The website problems were finally solved. But the doctor shortage is a nightmare.
The Changing Politics of Public Sector Pensions
Sebelius Says We Needed ‘FIVE YEARS’ of Website Construction and ‘Two Years’ of Testing
Wednesday, October 23. 2013
I have referred to the DSM as an obsessional disorder. This author approaches it as a dystopian novel, and I do agree with some of his sentiments.
He says, about this "novel," that "A mad person is like a faulty machine." What he doesn't quite mention is that, in the DSM, essentially everybody has at least one DSM disorder. That satisfies insurance companies, which is the main point in the end.
I haven't seen them on milk cartons, but I wonder where Buddy Larsen and Dr. Merc disappeared to.
I hope the European Muslims are aware.
"..As some warn victory, some downfall
From Conrad Black's interesting commentary on the Pope's recent speeches:
I sympathize with the Pope's traditional attitude of "love the sinner, not the sin," but the idea that all souls should get my care and love is utterly beyond my capacity. I steer clear of malignant things in the same way that I avoid rocks on a boat.
Surfing NYC - The city’s surprising subculture of wave riders
Desire is a noun, love is a verb
The Real Reason Couples Have Sex
Thousands Of Consumers Get Insurance Cancellation Notices Due To Health Law Changes
Legal fighting over affirmative action makes the college landscape look like Gettysburg.
How a Terror Attack Against Our Marines — 30 Years Ago This Week — Reverberated
World Council of Churches Stands By As Christians Perish, Churches Wither
Thornton: Prestige and Power in Statecraft
The Left’s hatred for conservatives has become so obsessive that it is
In Just One Month, Politicians Prove the Power To Govern Is the Power To Destroy
More Americans than ever want to legalize pot