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.
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.
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.”
But I think it is not so much a tragic as one determined not flinch before tragedy; committed to patching up a bunny even though it may be eaten the next moment; or save an unknown woman in Calcutta if only for a while and to see in that no futility whatsoever, no cause for despair. And as to the terror, horror, beauty and wonder of life — why that is what God — or the universe as a synonym for God — is supposed to be like. The Old Testament warned Moses that he could not see the Face of God and live. We know the familiar lines from Exodus:
Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”
And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
To “see God”; to “know the truth” is asking for trouble. Are we sure we want do that?
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.
It's not because I knew you well or thought you faithful, Gellius, or thought you could keep your mind from vile sin, that I expected you to be true to me in this hopeless ruinous love of mine: but because I was aware that she, for whom a vast desire consumes me, was no mother or sister of yours. And though I was closely linked to you by friendship, I didn't think that was enough excuse for you. You considered it enough: there's so much pleasure in every game to you, in which there's any sin.
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.
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.
Gimmicks are bad, of course, but politicians also respond to fiscal squeezes by raising taxes.
And that can be even worse as the prospect of more revenue leads to a ratchet effect, with periodic tax hikes used to maintain or expand the gravy train of spending. The fiscal mess in Europe is an obvious case study, but if you want a painful example from America, just look at data from Connecticut. The state did quite well without an income tax from the 1600s until 1991.
But then an income tax was imposed, in part to deal with the fiscal shortfall caused by an economic downturn. And, as critics warned, that new tax has produced dismal results. The top rate has jumped from 4.5 percent to 6.5 percent and inflation-adjusted per-capita state government spending has doubled. And there have been zero net private-sector jobs created since the income tax was implemented.
Obamacare wasn’t intended to increase competition. Never. It was intended to force millions of Americans and all insurance companies to behave according to Barack Obama and the far left’s notion of “fairness.” Obamacare was built to limit the number of plans available and force insurance companies to act against their own economic interests, in the name of “fairness.” It was built to force millions of healthy young Americans at the dawn of their careers to subsidize older, less healthy 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.
What is sobering about this booming business is that, as a group of oncologists wrote earlier this year, "most anti-cancer drugs provide minor survival benefits, if at all." They often (but not always) reduce the size of inoperable tumors, but they rarely eradicate the disease. For relatively uncommon malignancies like testicular cancer, some forms of leukemia, and lymphoma, drugs effectively cure the disease; for the common "solid tumor" cancers (lung, breast, colon, prostate, and so on), which account for the vast majority of annual cases, drugs buy some time-precious time, to be sure, but time usually measured in weeks and months rather than years. And even though many of the newer drugs are less toxic, they often still have to be given with older drugs whose side effects include nausea, hair loss, fatigue, and decreasing blood counts. One anti-cancer drug produces a skin rash so severe and disturbing, according to Saltz, that some patients have been asked by employers not to come to work.
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.
Bureaucrats like those at the European Union, which is entertaining a proposal to set up “surveillance units” within the Ministry of Justice to “monitor citizens…suspected of ‘intolerance.’”
I hope the European Muslims are aware.
"..As some warn victory, some downfall Private reasons great or small Can be seen in the eyes of those that call To make all that should be killed to crawl While others say don’t hate nothing at all Except hatred."
What the pope was really saying was that the Roman Catholic Church must not allow its critics to continue to portray it successfully and falsely as obsessed with the vagaries of people’s sex lives, and as fanatically and principally preoccupied with such matters; that it must be clear that all human life is sacred, that all people are souls to be cared for and respected, and that it is a reasonable surmise that any plausible characterization of God would not be a deity who approved the creation of life that was condemned to be irredeemably evil from the start and would not be deserving of any consideration. At the same time, the Church must be seen by all, despite these efforts to smear it as a neurotic gaggle of prurient scolds and hypocrites, as really in the business of caring for and about everybody. This is not a new interpretation: It is a new counterattack on those who have said or implied that Roman Catholicism was incompatible with anything except the personal life of eunuchs, and eunuchs who kept their hands to themselves.
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.