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
Wednesday, May 31. 2017
These people are playing with fire. It is political, but probably enabled by ignorance. The countless crazy fantasies of youth can be sort-of interesting to some, but adults are supposed to be the ones with intact reality-testing. Grown-ups with decent reality-testing are the only buffers against the really hard and dangerous realities of life.
Peterson, for one thing, has a knack for framing large topics. That is a job of a teacher (or a preacher). He offers the listener a big frame, a map, in which to fill in the details. That is something which is difficult to do on one's own without expertise.
In my career as a student, I had a couple of History teachers and profs who never set the frame: Battle of Thermopylae? What, when why, how, and why should I care? Plenty of reasons to be interested, but it wasn't told so it was disembodied information.
Peterson's hypomanic lectures teach Psychology, Anthropology, Politics, Religion, Mythology, History - they are interdisciplinary explosions. It's all from the tragic, fierce, fact-facing view of the world.
With things around now like The Great Courses, and Peterson, for examples, any curious person in the world can get a high-level university education if they want it. Cliche though it is, a formal education is just a door to further learning for those who want it.
We'll continue to post Peterson's explosions, and to urge our readers to try out some of The Great Courses as alternatives to TV.
In this piece, he focuses on IQ as a limiting factor in pursuing goals, but makes the more important point that personality factors are likely more important in life choices and career success. Unfortunately, he ignores certain factors, like passion and interest but this is just a short segment.
Fact: 50% of Americans have below average IQs, so it's not too hard for Watters to find these people. Both political parties compete hard for their votes.
Learning the Art of Conversation
Clothing: What was lost in the casual revolution
Going Out for Lunch Is a Dying Tradition - Restaurants suffer as people eat at their desks; no more three-martini sit-down meals
Illinois Mandates Social Workers, Families Be 'LGBTQ-Affirming' for At-Risk Kids
Meet The Beautiful Sudanese Model Nicknamed The “Queen Of The Dark”
Very black and beautiful. Difficult to photograph?
I still am convinced that the penis and climate article was a hoax
The blasphemy case against Bret Weinstein, and its four lessons for professors
Illegal Aliens At Columbia U Release List Of Demands
Somebody teach them manners
"Suffer" is not the right word
Mark Zuckerberg's crusade against nationalism
Will This Be The Week That Was for the Fox News Channel?
The Marines Can Treat Women Honorably Without Putting Them in the Infantry
Hillary is retired, but courtiers help her maintain the appearance of importance.
James Rosen: Comey's FBI Broke Its Own Rules & Procedures On Spying On Americans
Separating Fact From Innuendo in the Flynn Fiasco - The former national security adviser may not have broken any laws. But those who leaked against him committed a chilling abuse of power.
In the Course of Explaining Why Democrats Lose, Matt Tabbi Demonstrates Why Democrats Lose
The stupid party did not get its nickname because of its smashing successes. And right now, it’s stupider than ever.
More cowardice than stupid
There was an easy answer, but it eluded him
The press' war aqainst Trump
What Was Merkel Thinking? An historical turning point or mere campaign bluster?
Palestinians paid terrorists $1b in past 4 years, Knesset panel hears
Photo is a large Gneiss ledge, a remnant of the great snow-capped mountain range which ran through New England in the distant past
Mrs. BD and I are in hiking mode now, especially with the cool Spring weather. (We have only been mostly casual or urban hikers in the past, but we're getting more serious now to the point of a visit to the big sale at REI for waterproof hiking gear.) We picked a steep, deep woodsy 5-miler on Saturday as a warm-up.
In New England, deep woods means relatively mature hardwood with a high canopy. Occasional Hemlock groves. Not very much understory. Whether that is due to deer or just the nature of things I don't know. I do know the Indians hated the understory, and often burned it out. Mature hardwood forest doesn't host a lot of wildlife except streamside. There are some warblers and other things up in the canopy which you can hear but not see without hassle. When there is a powerline cut, suddenly there are lots of birds. Edges, streams, and marshes are where most of the life is.
Birds seen or heard in the deep woods: Wood Pewee, Ovenbird (lots of them), Robin (yes, Robins are woodland thrushes), Wood Thrush, Veery, Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, Scarlet Tanager, Prairie Warbler, Flicker, Downy Woodpecker.
Tuesday, May 30. 2017
RURAL AMERICA IS THE NEW ‘INNER CITY’. It's difficult to maintain the vision of pastoral innocent wholesomeness. Non-tourist rural areas are rapidly becoming creepy. There is no fix for this evolution.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 19:19 | Comments (19) | Trackbacks (0)
The guy actually said "These were all approved songs."
It Was ‘No Picnic,’ but All Nine Bond Brothers Signed Up for World War II. Russell Bond gorged on carrots so he could qualify for Army Air Corps
GREEN WEENIE OF THE WEEK: ORGANIC DIETS
Market Disrupted: How Piggly Wiggly Revolutionized Grocery Shopping
When Buying Life Insurance Was Deemed Immoral
Gender wars and the bizarre new puritanism
Yale Gave Special Award for “Exemplary Leadership in Enhancing Race and/or Ethnic Relations” to Two of the Leaders of Crowd that Abused Nicholas Christakis
Charles Blow Has Utter Meltdown For Memorial Day
Fake news: Portland killer was actually a Lefty
The Democrats are following the lead of the progressive media — together, they now form the anti-Trump brigade.
President Trump Has A Great Opportunity To Cut The "Poverty" Rate
Inside Trump's war on regulations - The push to block, rewrite and delay scores of Obama-era rules may be the administration's biggest untold success.
Byron York: While other controversies rage, work on border wall moves forward
Sweden: 48 of 50 ‘Child’ Migrants from Morocco Found to be Adults
About 23,000 jihadis — potential terrorists — are living in Great Britain today, British intelligence recently revealed.
Monday, May 29. 2017
The Crossfit Games are like the Olympics of general fitness. Contestants have to be generalists, not specialists. Each year, they vary the events. For example, for 2017 there will be no barbells, just sandbags instead. It's a race, too. Speed, endurance, strength, power. Pure Sparta.
Seems like a wild and crazy event. Some highlights from 2016 -
At Zero Hedge, Less Government. More Freedom.
For Decoration Day, a pic of my Dad - Veteran of WW 2 and Korea - with dog, reading Pravda (aka The NY Times).
Italy Is Giving Away Over 100 Castles for Free - The application period is open until June 26, and special preference is given to people under 40
St. John Neumann: American saint who arrived with $1 in his pocket and one suit of clothes
10 Types Of Ancient Crosses In Different Cultures Explained
Graecopithecus – Possible Early Human Ancestor from Europe
Gregg Allman, Southern Rock Pioneer, Dies at 69
Saw them live a couple of years ago. They kept going.
Is the Urban Renaissance Over? The suburbs might be growing faster right now, but don’t be glum about the prospects for urban growth and revitalization.
""Bright premed, but like many others," another admissions officer wrote of an Asian-American applicant."
Adding Calorie Counts to Menus No Simple Feat: New at Reason - Some supporters don’t really grasp the complications.
Calorie-counting is a dumb and obsolete idea
Taubes' new book: Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It
Swamp-draining: More on Waters of the United States rule
Tough Time Sleeping? Blame ‘Climate Change’
Student op-ed on criticism of disruptive student protesters: ‘Stop focusing on free speech’
'Abolition of Whiteness' course offered at Hunter College
WATCH Ami Horowitz DESTROY The Myth Of White Privilege
I’m Not a Terrible Person, I Just Believe in Liberty
Dalrymple: Is the West becoming Sovietized?
Clinton, Trump, Nixon and Those Liberal Blind Spots
Hillary and the no-class party
Amid Russia Crisis, Trump Prepares "War Room", "Big White House Changes", Loss Of Twitter
Trump vs the ruling class
The courts: What's at stake with the travel ban
Trump Got Trolled
Life in Saudi Arabia
Sunday, May 28. 2017
Merkel Furious With Trump After "Unprecedented" G-7 Failure To Reach Consensus On Climate Change
It's about time somebody, like the US, calls "bullshit" on the climate scam.
Scientists Predict 0.3C of Dangerous Warming in 100 years if President Trump Pulls Out of Paris
Critical thinking is good: Organic Farming is Bad for the Environment
1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11
Saturday, May 27. 2017
A decade ago, in a moment of excessive candor, Watson referred to the (statistically true) lower average IQ of black Americans. He probably had some bad experiences, but there is no shortage of less intelligent white people in the world either. Half of white Americans have below average IQs and many of them sport college degrees.
Anyway, the warnings are out there. You can be blackballed in academia, and in life, so keep your disappointing experiences with race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. to yourself and to your friends like everybody does. Lie if you have to. Thus experience and facts are driven underground.
Jordan Peterson, in one of his Youtubes, said "The alternative to free speech is tyranny." In Watson's case, as in Charles Murray's case, the consequence of free speech is being blackballed which is a sort of extra-legal social tyranny with financial consequences. Watson would be a very wealthy man if not for his indiscretion.
Fast is, there are plenty enough intelligent, energetic, and competent people out there of all colors and ethnicities. Statistics do not apply to individuals or to the task at hand, but only at the macro level.
My ethnicity is dumber, statistically, than Ashkenazi Jews and East Asians. I can see that, experientially, in my life. My competitive self is disappointed, but I am ok with it now. IQ is not the most important factor in success or life happiness anyway: it's just one of several limiting factors in high-complexity work. I know my limits.
In fact, I think I have seen more people with average IQs achieve their life dreams than I have high IQ people. It's just in different areas of endeavor. Depending on the area, any of these can be life- limiting factors: IQ, social skills and social graces, solid judgement, stick-to-it-iveness, stress tolerance, self-discipline, energy and drive, integrity and loyalty, articulateness, curiosity, dutifulness - and more. IQ, like height, is a life factor which can't be improved by effort.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:13 | Comments (12) | Trackbacks (0)
A friend tried to email an iPhone pic of the Barred Owl snoozing on a branch right off his deck, but the photo didn't come through. Regardless, this is my favorite local owl.
While we usually think of the Barred Owl as a species of the lowlands, and the Great Horned as the similar nighttime predator of the uplands (mice and rabbits get no rest in this world), the Barred can be a regular forest bird. A couple of weeks ago, I heard one every early morning in Georgia in the piney woodland.
We have had a pair nesting in a thick Hemlock grove on a rocky hillside above a flood plain at the Farm for many years. They use an old crow or hawk nest, not a nest hole.
The thing with owls is that it is great fun to see them, but even more fun and weird to hear them. If you are listing birds, hearing is as good as seeing.
Speaking of owls, no pair of Screech Owls have chosen my $45 Screech Owl nest box, and I am disappointed because it is perfectly situated. And at the same time I have seen them use Wood Duck boxes on tiny islands in the middle of ponds, which seems stupid and almost guaranteed to drown the chicks.
Crazy thing about Barred Owl: The experts want to kill thousands of them in the Pacific Northwest because they are "competing" with Spotted Owl. That is how some environmentalists think: Destroy the village to save it. It's like they want to kill immigrants with a slightly different color. Fact is, the Spotted is a west coast variant of the Barred. They interbreed, thus different races, same species.
I am all in favor of trying to destroy invasive species which threaten a stable, precious ecosystem (eg Burmese Python in Everglades, or Australian Pine in Florida and the Bahamas. "Invasive" usually means introduced by man, not critters and plants moving on their own.
I can think of one bird species that moved to North America: The Cattle Egret, blown over to the New World by hurricanes from Africa. They found their niche and fit right in.
Some man-introduced plants never become invasive in the sense of dominating an existing ecosystem. I am thinking of things like the Norway Maple which shades many urban streets, the Norway Spruce, - and the apple. Nobody complains about the occasional wild apple "escape" growing in a brushy forest edge. Some new species dominate, some just fit in unobtrusively and harmlessly.
Killing a Barred Owl is a sin unless you intend to dine on it.
Need a stuffed ostrich? Get one here
I prefer plastic Flamingos
An American hitchhiker meets a Swiss miss in her hometown. They spend three lovely days together, then part forever — or so they thought.
Warren: Vietnam Revisited
Jerusalem Day - 50th Anniversary (video)
Google now mingles everything you've bought with everywhere you've been - (And everything you've seen) Welcome to 'Closing the Loop'
Sen. Grassley releases report on Wounded Warrior Project spending
Evergreen State College biology professor Bret Weinstein is swarmed and cursed and hounded by students who are scarily deluded about their own righteousness.
“next, let’s sue because the weather was bad for my picnic today”
‘Deja Vu All Over Again’ As Connecticut Unveils Governor Malloy’s Marvel
Blue State Blues
McCaleb: Public pensions in some ways mirror Madoff’s Ponzi scheme
Political Violence From the Left Continues Garnering Zero Condemnation in Leftist Media
How Team Obama tried to hack the election
CBO Is Wrong And Its Numbers Shouldn't Deter Needed Reform
Russian ambassador told Moscow that Kushner wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin
Manchester Suicide Bomber Used Student Loan And Benefits To Fund Terror Plot
I had a friend who used his student loan to buy a Bass Boat
Friday, May 26. 2017
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:10 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Banning Lou Reed: The Cultural Revolution Eats Its Fathers - The whole comic incident lays bare certain truths about our own cultural moment, compared to the 1960s. (h/t Instapundit)
Tenure will only endure where it is least justifiable; in unionized government schools: The End Of Teacher Tenure?
Tenure, I suppose, used to be a substitute for high salary, but that no longer applies. Guaranteed job plus high salary plus great benefits no longer exists in the real world. Outside government jobs, that is. Why is that?
Non headline du Jour: Explosive Revelation of Obama Administration Illegal Surveillance of Americans - The NSA intentionally and routinely intercepted communications of American citizens in violation of the Constitution.
The "deep State" is an enemy of us Americans
The times they are a-litigious: Kyoto University gets billed for using Bob Dylan lyrics in speech
Acquittal for Man Who Argued His Impressive Penis Was To Blame For Girlfriend’s Choking Death
Woman Sues Candymaker for Its Sugar-Filled Jelly Beans
Is preventive medical care worth the cost?
The cost to society? No. To me, yes. "Society" doesn't care about you or me. We have to take care of ourselves.
Some Black Lives Don’t Matter - Black-on-black homicide is rampant, but professional agitators couldn’t care less.
Racism: The Last Refuge of Us All?
Student Mob Shrieks at Professor Who Objected to Event That Kicks White People Off Campus for a Day
‘I Might . . . Pull Off a Leg or Two’ - A shocking new undercover video exposes the grisly reality of ripping apart fetuses.
Climate Scientist Michael Mann Borrows the Words of a Holocaust Survivor to Express His Personal Angst
Farmer on trial for plowing his own land
Teacher of the Year Commits the Unpardonable Sin: Working at a Charter
State Dept. Redacts Big Chunks of $22.8 Mil Contract to Resettle Muslim Refugees
Since when do I have to pay to settle immigrants? It is meant to be challenging.
Legislative Malpractice: the CBO Scores the American Health Care Act
What the CBO’s “Uninsured” Score Really Means
THE DEMOCRATS’ SECOND SECESSION & AMERICA’S NEW CIVIL WAR - How to look at the bizarre turn our political life has taken.
Trump's Budget to Preserve the Swamp? New at Reason - Republicans dodge another opportunity to rein in spending.
Berlin: Obama, Merkel Stage Side-Event, As Trump Meets European Leaders
The media are totally trolling Trump on Russia
Trump talks terrorism while Europe shouts ‘Climate!’
Desperate Liberals Try To Blame The Manchester Terror Attack On Anyone Other Than Islamic Terrorists
What is Terrorism? What do Terrorists Even Want? Terrorism is not an ideology like communism or capitalism
When the FBI discovered a network of Bosnian-Americans giving support to terrorists, they also discovered Abdullah Ramo Pazara, a U.S. citizen and a battalion commander in Syria.
Losers, as Trump said
Goodbye ISIS, Hello Losers
Terror potential in Germany's immigrant population quadruples, German feds say
James Naismith horsing around with basketball, with Mrs. Naismith
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 04:46 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, May 25. 2017
Maybe the southern Indigo Snake can sometimes look like a black snake.
They are all wonderful, large critters and all can climb, but the Racers less so. They tend not to be wanderers, with home ranges of only around 30 acres so they know their way around. Naturally, they prefer rodent-rich home ranges, but they will always raid bird nests for eggs or babies in the Spring.
The Black Rat Snakes seem to prefer a mixed habitat with woodland edges, fields, plenty of brambles, and a pond, stream, or marsh.
Is that a frightening photo? Only if you identify with the baby birds instead of with the hungry snake. Or is it strangely sexual? Why are gals so often afraid of snakes while guys find them interesting?
Can you ID that snake?
And have you seen any cool snakes lately?
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