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
Tuesday, December 17. 2019
Is psychopathy untreatable?
Why researchers are starting to change their minds.
Here are the problems, with which I am sure most people in my field would agree. First, most serious psychopaths rarely seek help, and then usually only when they get in trouble. Second, lying and manipulating are second nature to them, so they try to play you. Some are quite adept. Third, they tend to be unreliable with showing up or paying their bills.
There are others, too.
In my experience, when people come to me worrying about whether they have a cold or dark heart, or feeling guilty about some pattern of behavior, it's a good sign that they are far from psychopathic.
I will offer the opinion that there are full-blown psychopaths, very scary people. However, there are people with a range of psychopathic (ie sociopathic) traits which are worth being alert to. On the other end of the spectrum, most people have psychopathic fantasies which they never, or very rarely, act on.
No mortal is pure of heart. It's complicated. It's not a disease.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in Psychology, and Dr. Bliss at 15:45 | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (0)
Why the Left Doesn't Like Christmas
Posted by The Barrister at 14:19 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Wonderful holiday duet
Posted by Bruce Kesler at 10:58 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday morning links
Sorry in advance — this year’s ‘best illusions’ might make your brain hurt
The toxic rhetoric of climate change
The Great American Cultural Revolution
Portland State University Professor Peter Boghossian tweeted a photo of a flyer advertising a "Queer Ecologies" course.
For Tessa Majors, ever newer and more creative ways of blaming the victim
Biden Commits To Ending “Racist” Standardized Testing In Schools
Including pilot schools, civil engineering, and medical schools?
As Colleges Move To Do Away With The SAT In The Name Of Diversity, Detroit High School Valedictorian Struggles With Low-Level Math
Boris Johnson, Donald Trump’s secret to success: Take best from right, left
I don't know about Boris, but I see Trump as a bold pragmatist, non-ideological
Trump Job Approval And Economy Rating Hit Highs, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; On Ukraine: 52 Percent Say Trump Pursued Personal Interest
Secret Deep State Demands: The FBI Wants Consumers' Credit Data
GOP Rep Will Hurd: I Don’t Know Why More People Aren’t Outraged At FBI Behavior Revealed In IG Report
Meaning the MSM?
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 07:00 | Comments (15) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, December 16. 2019
Horowitz vs the lies
Posted by The News Junkie in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 14:51 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
When Hate Becomes an Agenda
VDH: Trump so infuriated his opponents that, rather than find arguments to convince a majority of Americans that the president’s policies were flawed, his enemies instead sought to destroy him.
Posted by The News Junkie in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 14:48 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday morning links
Image via Ace
The surprising benefits of caffeine for your skin and body
A book: Give Me Liberty: A History of America’s Exceptional Idea, by Richard Brookhiser
The Business of Climate Change
Dalyrymple on Teddy Bears:
Beowulf is Racist
"It's For Racists!" - Academics Slam Quantum Computing Article For Using The Term 'Supremacy'
Dems: Trump Reaching Out to Black Voters is "Voter Suppression"
Trump’s anti-Semitism order is a Rorschach test for Jews. If you are against federal action to stop anti-Semitic discrimination on college campuses just because Trump is doing it, then you’re the one with the problem.
How the rich and famous profess sympathy for left-wing sociopaths
New York Times puts bad light on murdered Barnard teen and exculpates the city
As Virginia Dems Threaten Gun Bans, Sanctuary Movement Spreads
VA Dems Threaten To Use National Guard Against Sanctuary Counties
NY City Democrat Tells Off Corrupt Jerry Nadler on Sham Impeachment
Barr gets the word out about the Deep State
Can We Impeach The FBI Now?
James Comey Admits: 'I Was Wrong' About FBI's Use of FISA Process
‘You are in need of rehabilitation’: Devin Nunes uses the DOJ IG report to STOMP all over many of Adam Schiff’s claims
IG Report On FBI Spying Exposes "Scandal Of Historic Magnitude" For US Media
SUPERCUT — Media to Americans: Of course the Trump dossier is true!
Leftwingers Matt Taibbi and Krystal Ball Assail Democrats, and Especially the Corporate-Owned Neoliberal Media, For Grotesque Errors and Lies in RUSSIA Collusion Hoax
Tucker Carlson: IG report documents how CNN repeatedly lied. Horowitz' investigation already revealed fake claims from Schiff, Comey
Hillary Clinton, Chris Steele Allege Boris Johnson Is A Russian Stooge
Britain’s Labour Party Got Woke—And Now It’s Broke
The post-WWII order is ending — and nothing has replaced it.
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 07:23 | Comments (11) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, December 15. 2019
The argument that meritocracy is unfair
Aristocracy was unfair. Meritocracy was the new thing but first the Jews, and then Asians figured out how to do meritocracy and now it is unfair. Now, from one point of view, success is unfair. Problem is that success is only individually defined.
A speech by Yale Law Prof Daniel Markovits, the author of The Meritocracy Trap. I see many erroneous assumptions in this guy's arguments (a c-span video). He seems to want to eat the wealthy, kill the kulaks. He thinks too much about money, as if it were the meaning of life. Maybe I think too much about freedom and free life choices.
For minor wealth, I work pretty hard and do the S&P index. For major wealth, I invest in Powerball at $2/month.
He thinks he discovered that life is unfair. If you have the time to listen to Markovits, I'd be interested in your reactions.
Posted by The Barrister in Education at 14:05 | Comments (24) | Trackbacks (0)
Feynman on the scientific method. He makes it all amusing.
Posted by The Barrister at 13:13 | Comments (11) | Trackbacks (0)
From today's Lectionary: "Go and tell John..."
11:2 When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples
11:3 and said to him, "Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?"
11:4 Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see:
11:5 the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them.
11:6 And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me."
11:7 As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind?
11:8 What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces.
11:9 What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
11:10 This is the one about whom it is written, 'See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.'
11:11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Posted by Bird Dog at 07:38 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, December 14. 2019
A Christmas party item
From a too-fancy party last night: "Guess what, Bird Dog, I have an announcement for ya."
"OK, I am listening."
"I've gone vegetarian."
"That's cool," I said. "You are fitting in exactly to the joke about vegetarians telling everybody. But why?"
"Mostly to feel morally superior to other people like you, secondarily for my triglycerides."
Excellent response. I love our friends. So lucky to have them all, especially at Christmastime. I didn't bother correcting him on his medical ignorance, because cheerful friends don't correct people at Christmas parties.
Nobody likes a pedantic a-hole.
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 17:36 | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (0)
The American Chestnut and GMO hope
The majestic American Chestnut, like the Elm, died off to various blights in the past century. You can still see the slowly decaying rust-colored Chestnut carcasses on woodland hikes.
The Chestnut was one of the basic trees of the northern USA climax forest, along with oak, beech, maple, walnut. Lots of good eats for wildlife.
When you buy those delicious roasted chestnuts on NYC streets, they are imported European chestnuts. A different, but related, species. I have planted a few Asian Chestnut hybrids, but man do they grow slowly. As they say, the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.
A handful of American Chestnuts have escaped the blight thus far. In Cape Cod.
The good news for Americans of the future: How GMOs Might Save The American Chestnut Tree
Posted by Bird Dog in Natural History and Conservation at 15:35 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday morning links
WSJ: Cheap vs. Pricey Cashmere: Here’s the Real Difference
My Amazing Uber Drivers from Africa...and Colin Kaepernick
Women make up majority of U.S. medical students for first time
Greta Thunberg Tells Cheering Crowd ‘We Will Make Sure We Put World Leaders Against The Wall’ If They Do Not Tackle Global Warming
Politico: Black Voters Shocked, Shocked To See Trump Wooing Them
Doubt they are shocked. Trump has been great for everybody.
She's Baaaaaaack: Is This New Photo of Hillary 'Radiant' or 'Terrifying'?
It's not a coup. It's a civil war.
President Trump Was Absolutely Right To Ask Ukraine To Investigate The Bidens
Irresponsible not to
Report: IG Findings Support GOP's Claims About Carter Page
It Appears Putin May Have Written The Democrats’ Talking Points On Impeachment
Gohmert Flips the Script: Dems Are Guilty of Abuse of Power, Obstruction
Pelosi Sounds Run Down as She Admits Democrats Have Been Trying to Impeach Trump For “Two and a Half Years”
The UK: IT’S ONLY DEMOCRACY IF THEY WIN
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 08:00 | Comments (15) | Trackbacks (3)
Friday, December 13. 2019
Mallards in the park
From a reader in Yankeeland
Posted by Bird Dog at 19:38 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
A recently-retired friend decided to take up EMT training. He wants to remain a useful citizen. Thus far, he loves it more than he ever liked his job. The chance to save a life is an appealing thing, while learning all sorts of new skills.
As an MD, I have to admit that these people can do things that I have no clue about how to do. Never learned, or can't remember. Most of the car crash victims I saw in ERs were DOA, and most MI people were beyond saving. Death happens, often, as it must. That was a while ago, though.
There are several levels of it, so you can keep aspiring. There is always work too, part-time or full, or volunteer.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in Medical at 17:48 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Brooks Brothers shirts
This frivolous topic comes up because a friend teased me last night at a Christmas party about my shirt. Being sort of conservative types, we 3 guys devouring the sliced filet were all wearing Brooks shirts (and jolly ties and jackets, as befitting the event). Not Barney's shopper types, or Armani types.
We stupidly got on the topic of dress shirts, and the friend accused me of wearing a Milano. Guess what? Brooks now makes 5 fits of their classic dress shirts.
It's about time. You could fit two people in my old Brooks shirts. Here's a related topic: They still have the classic cotton, but their big sellers are the no-iron ones. The no-iron ones feel less comfortable to me but they do not wrinkle up in one day and save a lot on laundry bills.
Re Christmas, most women appreciate a Brooks silk blouse. Silk seems to feel good to female skin.
Founded in 1818 and still in the rag trade. A brief history of the brand.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:00 | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)
Incompetence is the most massively common problem in the world.
Posted by The News Junkie in Quotidian Quotable Quote (QQQ) at 14:47 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday morning links
Father Mulcahey died
How Intellectuals and “Experts” Undermine Moral Agency
The Invention of Hispanics - What it says about the politics of race.
Rep. Tlaib Blames "White Supremacy" For Shooting Carried Out By Black Supremacist Group
Trump Shows Himself a Better Friend to the Jews Than Even Truman
Fox News Anchor Chris Wallace Trashes Trump, Says President “Engaged in Most Direct Assault on Freedom of the Press in Our History”
Horowitz report is damning for the FBI and unsettling for the rest of us
The FBI didn't commit 'errors and omissions.' It abused its power
Pelosi Basically Admits They’ve Been Planning Impeachment For Years
Dem Rep. Steve Cohen Fabricates Trump Quotes During Impeachment Hearing, Gets Leveled For It By GOP Rep…
"Only"! — "Dem leaders see only handful of defections on impeachment." The news isn't "only a handful" — it's that there are defections.
VDH: Is Trump the Only Adult in the Room?
Sen. Graham: 'Don't Need Any Witnesses' in Impeachment Trial
Why Does This Impeachment Not Feel Like a Defeat for Trump?
“Trump is Really Decoupling the US Economy from China”
Johnson, Conservatives Win UK Election Dominated by Brexit Plans
Conservatives Celebrate Historic 'Working-Class' Mandate As Corbyn Quits
American Leftists Believed Corbyn’s Inevitable Victory Would Be Their Model
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 07:37 | Comments (16) | Trackback (1)
Thursday, December 12. 2019
A duet with himself: Marcelito Pomoy
Guy can sing - in two voices: The Prayer
Posted by Bird Dog at 16:33 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
My son Jason is at a conference in Berlin. He visited Sachsenhausen concentration camp, about 20-miles from Berlin. The camp was the admin HQ for the Nazi camps, training site for SS to run the camps, and where methods of murder were experimented with before arriving at the efficiency of gas chambers. It was later used by the KGB and East German communist regime for ongoing oppression. The memorial to the crematorium:
My son is a sunny southern California boy. The 3-degree Celsius (37-degree Fahrenheit) and stiff wind was uncomfortable, and it not yet the height of winter. Imagine the suffering of inmates from the cold, hunger, torture, death labor: tens of thousands dead, including political prisoners, Soviet and then German troops.
Posted by Bruce Kesler at 12:17 | Comments (12) | Trackbacks (0)
The real 2016 collusion
The FBI knew the Russia thing was a Clinton opposition hoax. Sen Hawley notes that the true 2016 collusion was between the Clinton campaign and the FBI. Russians don't scare me, but the FBI does. Russia is a pathetic place.
Related, IG Horowitz Referred The Entire FBI Chain Of Command On Crossfire Hurricane For Further Investigation
Posted by The News Junkie in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 12:12 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday morning links
Image via Vanderleun's photo collage
How Wine Bricks Saved The U.S. Wine Industry During Prohibition
Disney Promotes “Transitioning” Children
Seattle: Radical Fems vs Trans Activists
Don’t Call Them Homeless Encampments. They’re “Curbside Communities”
Food Stamp update
A Professor Tried To End a Flirty Email Exchange With a Young Woman. Then She Threatened to Blackmail Him.
Mega-Rich Environmentalists Respond To Questions About Their Use Of Private Jets
Jewish groups divided on Trump order targeting college anti-Semitism - Legislation welcomed by some as a necessary measure, while others condemn it as anti-Semitic and a stifling of the freedom to criticize Israel
Wider Definition of Judaism Is Likely to Aid Crackdown on Colleges
Ace on social media:
Trump is cute about Greta Thunberg
Pirate: Let’s try an experiment: take everything away from St. Greta and her 15 disciples that has any link to fossil fuels.
Peter Navarro: USMCA is Trump's vision (not Pelosi's) -- and a shining example of promises made, promises kept
The Inspector General Report Is a Huge Blow to the FBI's Credibility. Why Is It Being Treated Like Vindication?
Horowitz: FBI Should Have Pumped The Brakes On Surveillance Of Trump Campaign Aide
Attorney General Barr: FBI Ignored Exculpatory Evidence, Hid Information to Continue Trump Investigation
IG Horowitz Takes a Direct Shot At James Comey In His Senate Testimony
The Inspector General's Report on FISA abuse makes it crystal clear that John Brennan lied. To Congress, blatantly. A bald-faced lie
THE PRESS PILED ON NUNES; WILL IT NOW APOLOGIZE?
Watchdog: 'Basic and Fundamental Errors' in Russia Probe
Horowitz: DNC Funded Dossier Used To Justify Sending “Confidential Human Sources” To Trump Campaign. This is what should be infuriating to all Americans.
Democratic Rep. Karen Bass Says House Would Impeach Trump Again If He Wins In 2020
Impeachment markup heats up as Dems invoke MLK, Nadler says 'we cannot rely on an election' to oust Trump
True that is
“One of the Biggest Rallies I’ve Ever Seen!” – NBC’s Far Left Reporter Katy Tur Caught on Video at Trump Rally in Hershey, PA
Senator Hawley: FBI ‘Effectively Meddled’ In 2016 Presidential Election
Cruz To Horowitz: Did An FBI Attorney Defraud The FISA Court? Horowitz: Yup
Report Shows Crossfire Hurricane Akin To Resurrecting J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI; Horowitz Rebukes Comey: What We Found Vindicates No One; Update: “Don’t Know” If Political Bias Played A Role
IG Report Confirms Schiff FISA Memo Media Praised Was Riddled With Lies. Nearly two years later, the inspector general's report vindicates the Nunes memo while showing that the Schiff memo was riddled with lies and false statements.
Slate: Trump most corrupt Pres in history
Eric Holder Sends Warning to John Durham, Says William Barr ‘Unfit’ to be Attorney General, in WaPo Op-Ed
NATO Secretary General Targets "Rising China": Why Cold War Newspeak Never Went Away
Spain's 'Migrant Friendly' Border Fences
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 06:43 | Comments (14) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, December 11. 2019
A brief history of Hong Kong
At City Journal
Posted by The Barrister in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 19:24 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
From the Horowitz report:
“We are deeply concerned that so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate, hand-picked investigative teams; on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations; after the matter had been briefed to the highest levels within the FBI; even though the information sought through use of FISA authority related so closely to an ongoing presidential campaign; and even though those involved with the investigation knew that their actions were likely to be subjected to close scrutiny. We believe this circumstance reflects a failure not just by those who prepared the FISA applications, but also by the managers and supervisors in the [investigation’s] chain of command, including FBI senior officials who were briefed as the investigation progressed.”
Posted by The News Junkie in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 15:41 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
Perhaps my favorite contemporary novelist, the late Walker Percy: Walker Percy Ponders The Joy And Risk Of Naming The World. In newly published material, the late author complains that linguists can explain lots of things about language--except meaning.
I hear you asking about my other favorite contemporary novelists. OK, Mark Helprin and Cormac McCarthy, not including beach books with snappy, wacky, sociopathic dialog like Carl Hiassen.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:42 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
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