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 25. 2015
Barnett, via George Will:
American governments of all flavors hate the Constitution because its purpose is to restrain government power. This is what was meant to be unique about America and the idea for which much blood has been shed.
If anybody wants or expects anything from government other than defense, border maintenance, and basic law, they have a slave or serf mentality and just do not get the American Idea. I am a patriot dinosaur, obsolete in today's gimme, decadent world.
Pastor preached this morning on the loaves and the fishes and the hungry heart, advising something like this: Whenever you desire anything - food, love, material things, personal importance or glory, amusement, money, beauty, power, relationships, etc., just stop for a minute and ask yourself whether you are just trying to fill the hole in the soul that only God is big enough to fill with the bread of the Spirit.
He could have stopped right there. I have preached the same idea to myself many times. I will tell Pastor that I frequently desire sex, and I know in advance what he will say: "Me too."
Indeed, not all desire is desire for God. Just asking the question is enough, for us mortals. Humans are full of desires and subject to pointless temptations and wonderful desires. Shrinks would pose a similar question, but in a secular format. Pastors pay attention to false idols, and shrinks look for displacements.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:46 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
A Young Penguin Finds His Human Soul Mate
Saturday, October 24. 2015
Very popular. The author of the musical plays Hamilton too. I do not need to see this show, but I am glad they are getting rich. Making money is a pretty good thing. Not the best thing, but good.
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:48 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
From your lips to God's ears, Bird Dog. Calvinist tradition. Just pick your preferred combination of the list. A nap by the pool with a whiskey and a smoke must be ok sometimes, though:
"Life in America, where all citizens strive constantly for physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, relational, artistic, and financial improvement and uplift! What else is there to do?"
Hunting, or defending the ranch? Photo via Gwynnie
Can You Get Smarter?
How Friendships Change in Adulthood - “We need to catch up soon!”
Doctors Agree: Obama’s Electronic Medical Records Mandate Sucks!
The Myth of Growth
Prosperity Is Good for Marriage, and Vice Versa
Mona Charen comments on the above
Campus Whiners Keep Winning
At her inauguration as Cornell’s new president, Elizabeth Garrett said, “We must heed the call to be radical and progressive.”
Another Climate Alarmist Lets It Slip: Why They Want To Scare You
Crock Boy: When the Media Gets Owned by a 14-year-old
Can a Venture Capitalist Jumpstart Illinois?
Free college tuition for everyone?
Clintons lie. It's their brand. It is assumed.
Free college tuition for everyone?
A Rabbit as King of the Ghosts (1937)
The difficulty to think at the end of day,
When the shapeless shadow covers the sun
And nothing is left except light on your fur
There was the cat slopping its milk all day,
Fat cat, red tongue, green mind, white milk
And August the most peaceful month.
To be, in the grass, in the peacefullest time,
Without that monument of cat,
The cat forgotten in the moon;
And to feel that the light is a rabbit-light,
In which everything is meant for you
And nothing need be explained;
Then there is nothing to think of. It comes of itself;
And east rushes west and west rushes down,
No matter. The grass is full
And full of yourself. The trees around are for you,
The whole of the wideness of night is for you,
A self that touches all edges,
You become a self that fills the four corners of night.
The red cat hides away in the fur-light
And there you are humped high, humped up,
You are humped higher and higher, black as stone
Brief bio of the Hartford, CT resident and NYC lawyer here.
Friday, October 23. 2015
From all over:
Misery loves company. I hope to inspire readers towards my exercise program so you can share the pain with us.
My Fridays are just for calisthenics (it's never the same things, but it's always some form of "kick the sh-t out of you morning" at 5 am):
- 3 minutes Elliptical wake-up warm-up
That's it. One hour. I felt a little faint a few times, and out of breath often. Good stuff. The goal of calisthenics is to use your body with max intensity, not to build strength but to improve endurance, posture, agility, and cardio. If that sounds like a warm-up, then you don't know how many reps I do in each set.
After that, coffee, sausage, toast, and eggs at the diner with my Bible pals. Stress and challenge in all areas of life build American strength. That's Life in America, where all citizens strive constantly for physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, relational, artistic, and financial improvement and uplift! What else is there to do?
Tomorrow is my 3 day/wk cardio-fat-burner day, first thing in the morning. That will be this simple routine, under 60 mins:
10 min intervals on elliptical
That's it. No breaks. I will shorten the calf thing with weights. The stair is a killer for me. Can't do 10 min on it at one shot. (As I explained before, Mon and Weds are for upper, back, and lower body heavy weight work plus pull-ups, pull-downs, dips, rows, one-arm and dumbell presses, etc) I am almost 6 months into this darn program now and showing some progress. Thank God for Sunday - day of rest and recovery before dead lift Monday.
We are blessed with a smart, savvy, knowledgeable, attentive trainer who really knows his physiology. Without him and accountability to him, this would not work at all. And I have a "partner" - Mrs. BD.
Dylan does Sinatra his way on hallowed London stage
Feminist Blog Suggests "Empowering" Halloween Costumes for Girls,
Why You Can’t Afford to Retire - And why expanding Social Security isn't enough to help the middle class.
Does Privatizing Higher Education Undermine the Public Good?
Krauthammer: "We're Living In An Age Where What You Say And Its Relation With The Facts Is Completely Irrelevant"
Democrats Are Godless Heathen Tyrant Maniacs Because That’s What Voters Want:
Klavan: Waiting on the GOP - Americans are waiting for the grownups in the room to start acting like, well, grownups.
Netanyahu is so good
Thursday, October 22. 2015
I have a problem with the premise of that question, assuming that the premise is that Americans work 35-40 hour weeks. Americans are not the French.
I don't know anybody in any field who works as little as a 40-hour week. Nobody other than clerical and support staff. Everybody I know works like a farmer, ie as long as it takes to get it done, to keep the job, to advance, and to show results. I do not think that most Americans count their work hours outside of union jobs. The 40-hour week was from another time, another era.
Perhaps my perception is skewed by working in business in NYC for a few years, so please inform me how I am wrong.
Here's a related piece: The Labor Theory of Value Refuted: Nobody Cares How Hard You Work
Nobody cares how hard you work or how long, but they care about the results. However, nobody wants to look like a slacker.
Image via Moonbattery
Kitchen Design Isn't Sexist. It Liberated Women.
Hamilton Takes Broadway - A Founding Father gets his due—in a hip-hop musical.
My kids loved it. Tough to get tix.
A movie about Birmingham, Alabama: In Silent Defense of a Fragile God
New York is dazzled by its first luxury hotel
So are lots of things
Speaker Disinvited from Williams Because Students Got Angry
Why Won’t Liberals Talk About the Most Important Kind of ‘Privilege’ in America? — It’s Marriage
Bourgeois and Christian values are bad
Californians on Insane Water Policy: ‘Whatever’
Is Big Government Holding Us Back…From the Future? “Back to the Future” Day reminds us how far we haven’t come.
Unrealized gains cannot be taxed - except for when real property is reappraised
How Trump is Filling The Void
And having fun doing it. Is he a Harry Truman?
Trump’s 9/11 Play Beats the Political Insiders at Their Own Game -- Brilliantly
Why Hillary Will Likely Win the White House
Wednesday, October 21. 2015
I guess we can no longer say "thought Nazis" either. It's sick and getting sicker, as Bob Grant used to say.
Since you are so interested, here are the species we shot last week in Manitoba, and which now reside in the freezer: Shoveler ("Smilin' Mallard"), Bluebill, lots of Redheads, Canvasback, Mallard, Gadwall, Wigeon, Pintail, and Canada Goose.
The limit in Manitoba is 8/day, any species of duck.
We also had some luck with Ruffed and Sharptail Grouse. I do love huntin' the grousies because you get to walk all day in beautiful places.
Photo of a few handsome Redheads - they taste as good as Canvasback. Tip for fellow duck hunters: forget steel shot. It often cripples and does not kill cleanly. Use heavy-shot or bismuth or anything else -our wonderful ducks deserve the best, despite the expense. I am through with steel shot for ducks and goose forever, as of now.
Kimball: Why the Left Hates Freedom
Painting below is Turner, 1822.
Coming to terms with autism
Principal holds up student election results because winners not diverse enough
Conservative female author of ‘The War on Men’ disinvited to speak at Williams College after protests
Can't let the kids get ideas
Where Did Colleges Go Wrong? From 'puppy days' to trigger warnings, higher ed needs a course correction.
Sears goes dhimmi
Social Inequality Matters as Much as — or More Than — Economic Inequality
The confused carbon profile of a massive solar power plant
Rising oceans? A Common-Sense Solution to Combating Impending Damage from Climate Change - Which is one of the reasons it will be shot down by both liberals and conservatives.
Brazil’s Pension Crisis Is Like America’s on Steroids - Unsustainable and yet seemingly unstoppable
His Piety, Your Neighbourhood
I always liked Schama
Trump-ism wins big in Switzerland: Is It Possible to Speak about Culture?
The Death of Europe - How the Mohammed retirement plan will kill Europe.
A bit confused about fences?
‘Slaughter the Jews’: ISIS Goes on Incitement Blitz
Tuesday, October 20. 2015
Deaton is well-liked in the community of Economics because he is generally perceived as not having an ideological ax to grind. In other words, he hasn't spent time justifying one school of thought versus another as many economists, such as Krugman, typically do. Deaton has spent his time analyzing the reasons for, and solutions to, extreme poverty in the world. He was not wedded to a school of thought which supported intervention over markets, or vice versa.
What he found, as a result, is broadly accepted by many different schools of thought, because he plumbed the depths of human behavior, particularly the behavior of the very poor.
In seeking solutions, he did not limit himself to the need for individual endeavor, or simply promote ideas supporting government aid and intervention. What he found is that inequality was a great driver of behaviors to improve individual position, and promote general progress, as long as there were structures in place to protect individual rights.
Deaton is critic of foreign aid, as that line suggests. His primary thrust, however, is that the world is on the whole wealthier and healthier than it's ever been in history and has the potential to continue getting wealthier and healthier. He points out there is not a nation on earth where infant mortality has risen since 1950. The main reason for this, is income growth which is the result of trade and markets. However, Deaton points out that aid is similar to using an engineering approach to solving a problem. Pumping money into the 'problem' doesn't solve it. The solution requires strong institutions to protect rights and activity.
Deaton is by no means advocating Laissez-Faire Economics. He recognized strong judicial institutions supporting individual drive and effort are necessary, or gains are easily lost. However, he points to the value of trade and markets and the goodwill they spread over a broad swathe of society. He generally disagrees with Piketty's claim that income inequality is a scourge. However, he did worry about centralization of undue influence in the realm of politics, since wealth can be used to derive political power.
By focusing on how the poor behave, rather than on seeking institutional solutions that adhere to a particular economic theme, Deaton has found ways to help the poor, and has created the potential to completely eliminate extreme poverty (as opposed to the relative poverty we often see positioned here in the US by politicians as reasons to provide assistance) within our lifetime.
Deaton has done a great service to the realm of Economics. It is a field which often comes under justifiable criticism. One area of criticism has often been the lack of attention paid to poverty, as opposed to wealth accumulation. Deaton, in focusing on poverty, has shown that the two are inextricably linked. Not because wealth accumulation makes others more poor, but because wealth accumulation spreads goodwill to all, if institutions exist to protect individual rights. But he is critical of the use of intrusive aid and handouts, particularly in environments where individual rights are still lacking.