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
Friday, October 31. 2014
Some people love horror tales and frightening, high-suspense movies, while some cannot tolerate them.
Every person has his own zone in which fearful things are exciting and interesting.
The scariest costume this Halloween would be to wear an ebola costume. The Psychology of Irrational Fear - Why we're more afraid of sharks than car accidents, and of Ebola than flu
That is, unless you are on a low- or zero-carb weight loss diet.
Sugar Is Not Toxic. Reese's and Snickers are Maggie's officially-endorsed Halloween treats.
American pop-cultural history: How Candy Conquered Halloween
Taylor Swift: a New Yorker
71 Percent of New Jobs Go to Foreign Born Legal, Illegal Immigrants in NH
20-Year CBS News Veteran Details Massive Censorship And Propaganda In Mainstream Media
Health-Care Hell - Doctors and patients get burned by the world’s worst middleman.
Why it's time for Libertarians to Vote for Republicans
Dems have the statists and authoritarians in their tent, Repubs have room in their tent for Libertarians (ie, traditional Liberals)
Shocking Harvard poll: Millennial voters want GOP in charge, abandon Obama
The yoots like Rand Paul
VOEGELI: Why liberals can’t govern
Scare the black people: It's Just Like Willie Horton Except Completely Different
... the state of Maine may have had just about enough of Saint Kaci of the Order of Unique Snowflakes.
The crucial question: Do we have more to fear from largely imaginary terrorists, or from the FBI? Your chances of being killed by terrorists are essentially zero, even if you live in Washington or New York, and far less if you live in Memphis or Raleigh-Durham. (To express this we need the concept of negative zero, which I hearwith offer to the mathmatical community.) Your chances of living in an electronically locked-down police state are very high. This is far more dangerous to what the United States was than even a successful bombing of a mall.What goes through the minds of those who are doing this to us?
Thursday, October 30. 2014
I think the whole idea of federalizing lower education was a major error. From How the Common Core Went Wrong:
More info on the topic: We Are All Confident Idiots. A quote:
You think you cannot appreciate art music. Well, you have not been properly introduced. Pop music needs little introduction but art music does because we do not automatically know our way around it. You know your way around a Lacrosse field (and so do I - played it like a redskin, lost a tooth).
This is an excellent intro, much better than I got in college: The 30 Greatest Orchestral Works. Readers know how much we love Bob Greenberg. My Mom loved him too. Buy it, or ask me to lend you my copy (which is actually on loan from a friend with whom we exchange Great Courses).
The Great Courses is one of the most life-enriching things we know of. We generally do one session of some course every evening.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 10:39 | Comments (12) | Trackbacks (0)
Book in the mail: Rebecca Bynum's The Real Nature of Religion
Galapagos Giant Tortoise Brought Back From Brink of Extinction
Parenting: Imagine a tragedy, dammit!
Apparently you have to have OCD to be a parent
Not Everyone Wants to Be Happy - Americans are obsessed with happiness, but other cultures see things differently
Why Middle-Class Americans Can't Afford to Live in Liberal Cities
Instead of illegal immigrants, I have hired some beavers to repair our dam
Genetic Engineering Could Provide the Solution to Florida’s Citrus Problem
Feminists: Abort all male children
Obviously never worked for a female boss
Woman walks around New York for a day, is catcalled more than 100 times
Report on Non-Citizen Voters Shows Why Amnesty Would Be 'Suicide' for GOP
Former Trek Employees Say Mary Burke Was Fired by Her Own Family for Poor Performance
How Rand Paul Threatens Left and Right - Libertarian-inflected conservatism challenges entrenched political coalitions with a transpartisan appeal.
La Raza Promotes Washington Post Guide On Where People Can Vote Without An ID
Obama Is a Republican - He’s the heir to Richard Nixon, not Saul Alinsky.
Where is the media on the Attkisson story?
Millennials abandon Democratic sinking ship
Kim Jong Un Executes 10 Officials for Watching Soaps, Graft
Has Italy Passed the Point of No Return for Statism and Big Government?
Wednesday, October 29. 2014
Governments try to control what kids eat, and they'd like to control what you consume also.
However, government planning rarely can do anything right not only because central planning can never work but because government is plain dumb.
Dietary fats do not cause vascular disease, and dietary fats do not make you fat. From The Last Anti-Fat Crusaders - The low-fat-diet regimen is turning out to be based on bad science, but the USDA has been slow to catch on:
I still don't get it: The Odds, Continually Updated
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:04 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
"Early childhood education" is probably really unionized government day care under a marketing name.
Ten Things That Are Killing the Family
The baseball Playograph
Environmentalists Are Ruining Everything, Including Halloween
Will Food Allergy Hysteria Destroy Halloween?
The Utter Moral Collapse of UNC-Chapel Hill
NY to colleges: Don't ask applicants re criminal history
Berkeley students try to boot Bill Maher
EconLog’s David Henderson does a splendid job explaining that minimum-wage legislation harms the very people its well-meaning proponents mean to help.
Organic activists reject science, propose ‘natural’ Ebola cure, claim government conspiracy
2040’s America will be like 1840’s Britain, with robots?
Scott Walker, in Dead Heat, Faces Third Election in Four Years - The national Democratic Party throws everything they have at the possible presidential contender.
How Goldwater Changed Campaigns Forever
Tuesday, October 28. 2014
Tonight I watched the Kansas City Symphony play the national anthem at Game 6 of the World Series. I began to wonder, if you're a trained musician and you don't make a major orchestra, do you begin trying out for smaller city orchestras? I had no idea. I suppose you begin looking for seats in various cities until you can find one. Then I wondered whether it's lucrative work.
These are extremely difficult jobs. While I may not be deeply involved in the symphony, I am well aware how hard it is to be good enough to be asked to join one, especially the best (Boston, Philadelphia, New York, etc.). That said, how much could it pay?
I was rather surprised. I didn't expect them to live on subsistence wages, but it makes me wish I'd had a greater appreciation for music (and the talent to go along with it) in my youth.
There is reason think so, at least for the moment.
Sad to say, Psychiatric meds cannot really fix anything, just ameliorate and prevent. But that is true of many meds. I do not think that our meds have anything to do with the underlying problems whether in the soul, in the genes, or in the wiring. As I am wont to say, a headache is not an aspirin deficiency disorder.
Our ability to control or prevent psychotic episodes is remarkable, but still the patient is never fully well. Quit the meds, and it can return.
Seems like everybody wants to be a therapist or counselor these days.
Everybody has problems of various degrees, and indeed sometimes it is helpful to talk it over with a trusted person. I have no problem with Biblical counseling. Anybody in a "helping profession" needs to know his limits and needs to be humble about his capacities.
My guess is that biblical counseling as some form of psychotherapy (as opposed to help with relationship to God which I would call Pastoral Counseling) can be most helpful for those whose guilt is honestly come by. By that I mean people who have every reason to feel troubled by guilt and remorse because they have done wrong, have not earned self-respect or earned a feeling of deserving God's love (which is another complicated topic). In other words, non-neurotic guilt.
Is Western civilization suicidal? From We Have Met the Enemy - Some reflections on the current state of the West:
Image via Driscoll
Why is virginity so hard for modern culture to understand?
Acid reflux: The Dangers of Eating Late at Night
Welcome to the Big-Time College-Sports Sausage Factory
Boston Globe endorses Republican for MA governor
Thornton: The Politics of Victimhood
Richman: The State is No Friend of the Worker
Want a Stable Job With Steadier Raises? Try Working for a Nonprofit
Is Cruz too conservative for America?
Army isolating some soldiers returning from Africa
Teachers squeezed for $27 million in union political spending
If oil speculators were to blame for the $12 per barrel Jan.-June increase, do they now get credit for the $25 drop?
DeRugy: Government Failure Is Baked In
China’s Third Era: The End of Reform, Growth, and Stability
‘Swarms of Cooperative, Autonomous’ Robots to Hit Battlefields
Special interests weigh down America's economy, while Vietnam's young capitalism booms.
Brazil: "As a Brazilian friend told me last week, we are two countries, one half that works and the other half is dependent on government."
Monday, October 27. 2014
“God is the only comfort, He is also the supreme terror: the thing we most need and the thing we most want to hide from...If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth – only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair.”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
What young person would want to sit all day? This industrial-style, conveyor-belt form of education is terrible for most kids.
Henri was a founder and one of the better known members of the Ashcan School, along with several others who were known as the "Philadelphia Four." Among these four artists was Everett Shinn. Everett felt one of our tour stops, Washington Square, was the "most beautiful place in New York."
It certainly is a wonderful place, vibrant and active on nice days. Shinn caught its beauty on a wet and windy night, as well.
You Don't Have to Feel Your Breasts - Breast self-exams haven't been shown to save lives. Instead,
Should we pay teachers more?
Should we pay teachers more?
A Feeling of Control: How America Can Finally Learn to Deal With Its Impulses
Feminism Has Nothing to Say But It Still Won’t Shut Up
New York: Finally shred the charter-school cap - Why limit the spread of success?
The bogus fuss over Walrus beach parties: Walrus Haulouts Are Nothing New
Democrats Push for New Heavy Regulations on Internet Postings, Drudge, and Blogs
Good luck with that
Canada Shows How to Eliminate the Tax Bias against Saving
Two Yr-Old and Four Yr-Old Boys Shot in St. Louis Drive-By Shootings – Media Silent
George F. Will: The nastiest political tactic this year
Early voting alters campaigns' strategies, costs
Related, it's the executive end run
Democratic billionaires outdo GOP in Super PAC contributions
Energy costs in the Northeast US
Erasing borders in the Middle East
Sunday, October 26. 2014
From Daniel Dennett's Are we free? Neuroscience gives the wrong answer:
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