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
Thursday, December 24. 2020
Moore is buried uptown. We almost got to that cemetary on our last urban hike.
Somewhat related, The story of the Christmas tree is one of resistance, breakthrough, and change. From the NY Times, 1883:
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:57 | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)
That's my America.
It seems WHO has descended fully into madness. Herd immunity seems to have shifted from being acquired to being delivered by Big Pharma.
Story of famous photo via Vogue
You can stream the musical Hamilton
Andrew Yang Plans To Run For Mayor Of NYC…
Liberal Education and Politics
Wheels Come Off For Bus Companies, Closing Down Travel Options For Poorer Americans
Contrast Between New York And Florida
California Accelerates Plan To Chase Away The Wealthy
San Francisco Mayor: Newsom’s Senate Pick “A Real Blow To The African-American Community” And To “Women In General”
Confused or Dishonest? Biden Claims Hunter Stories Are 'Russian Disinformation,'
Even as Democrats become more anti-Israel, the Middle East is changing
Wednesday, December 23. 2020
One bottle vino Veronese, 1/2 cup sugar, some clove, cinnamon, nutmeg. Anise star, lemons, apples, skin, orange juice. Harvey’s Bristol Cream. Medium heat - don’t boil, for 20 mins. Slice of orange peel in glass for zest.
Not sure what Harvey's has to do with Venice, but whatever.
Friends of mine have barraged me with commentary on the "disaster" that Florida is, particularly with regard to Covid. Anecdotally, I was told urban (and this seems to confirm) ICUs typically range from 55-80% full at any given time, depending on seasonality. The current occupancy rates, in some places, are in the 90s, so while that is very high, it's worth noting ICUs are usually very full. The real concern is the ability to expand, as needed. I believe, based on the response in April, this is something our system can handle fairly effectively. I'm not being too relaxed or naive. I'm not diminishing or putting down the efforts of our medical personnel. I am applauding them for their efforts, their hours, their professionalism, and creativity as they have found many solutions and treatments along the way to help mitigate and ease many of these issues. That is the beauty of not only our medical system, but our overall economic system. Flexibility and ingenuity.
Our friend the Manhattan Contrarian has presented his excellent piece on why Florida has made New York look silly and misguided in the midst of all this.
I doubt the media will present the story as MC has. I applaud our friend MC for presenting the facts. After all, he lives near the center of the echo chamber.
I'll toss in one more point of comparison - New Jersey, which like NY has similar governance, though a much smaller population (8.9mm) than Florida (21.5mm) and New York (19.5mm). Covid cases have reached 440k in NJ, about in line with where Florida is as a percentage, but it has almost 19k deaths - similar to Florida (older and with a larger population). Comparatively speaking, New York City alone has roughly the same population as New Jersey, but has had roughly the same number of cases as New Jersday (390k) and more deaths (24k).
"Follow the science" is a real thing, but not the way Progressives present it. For them, it's really "Follow the politics, which pretends to be science."
It's getting worse.
Over the years, California has proved itself incapable of managing such basic things as water or even electricity. The misguided desires to centrally plan everything, and overtax people to do it, will kill the state. This is a given.
California has succumbed to politicians' worst instincts and is not only taxing people to death, but chasing business away, and enforcing social ideas that are (to put it mildly) out of touch with humanity and reality. It should not be surprising that so many people are leaving for places like Texas, Montana or several other states which are outside the deep blue Progressive belt of shame.
Cali, which I used to visit regularly for business, is nice. I'd consider living there...at one point in time. Not so much now.
A mantle plume producing almost as much heat as Yellowstone supervolcano appears to be melting part of West Antarctica from beneath.
Columbia students go on strike, say Ivy League is 'vampirically sucking every drop of blood'
"Stay Home Except for Essential Activities," Dem Gov Says, Then Goes to a Bar
Bill de Blasio: “Our Mission Is to Redistribute Wealth”
To other states, I guess
De Blasio to destroy New York's top public schools to run an experiment in diversity
Your Christmas Present: Our Political Leaders Are Killing Off New York City
A Path to Better Days - Thanks to the innovative power of our market economy, we’re closer to the end of the pandemic than to the beginning.
Democrats Are Using Tactics of the Marxists of 1917 in Russia to Steal 2020 Election
Despite winning, DEMOCRATS FEEL GLOOMY OVER ELECTION
The Nation: The Votes of Black Americans Should Count Twice
How The COVID Relief Bill Turned Into A Climate Change Bill
People Who Won’t Get COVID Vaccine In France May Be Banned From Public Transportation
Tuesday, December 22. 2020
Can readers ID this mixed bunch of ducks as seen in NYC's Central Park last weeked?
Not that either educational level or income are good measures of a good life, but they are commonly used. It's difficult to measure the amount of satisfaction or love in life.
Was Jesus really born in Bethlehem? Why the Gospels disagree over the circumstances of Christ’s birth
Why the Puritans cracked down on celebrating Christmas
Bob Dylan’s ‘Neighborhood Bully’ Gets Memory-Holed - "Me, I romp and stomp/Thankful as I romp/Without freedom of speech/I might be in the swamp"
EU Approves Pfizer Vaccine; US Warns "No Hard Evidence" UK Mutation More Infectious: Live Updates
New Study Shows Mask Mandates Had Zero Effect in Florida or Nationwide, But the Lie Continues
Covid-hypocrisy: Dr. Birx Travelled For Thanksgiving, Visited Relatives
San Francisco: Many More People Have Died From Drug Overdoses This Year Than From COVID
It’s beyond disgraceful that Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza are exploiting the pandemic to forward their war on standards in the public schools.
Colleges churning out leftist voters
The Upcoming Biden Administration Calls For Extreme Levels Of Reality Denial
“President Trump Is Preparing to Fight Back Against Mounting Evidence of Voter Fraud”
Monday, December 21. 2020
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:35 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
New Grange's tomb with the solstice light entering. It was livestreamed at 3:41am last night. I wasn't getting up for that. I've visited. It's amazing. Hope to be there on the solstice some day.
EMBOLDENED HARVARD RAMPS UP ITS RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
The Chef Who Dared Post a Food Pic without ‘Cultural Context’
Why British Kids Went Back To School And American Kids Didn’t
Eric Clapton, Van Morrison release song against coronavirus lockdowns: ‘Stand and Deliver’
Despite Being Immune, Fauci Urges Trump Get COVID Vaccine…
Want Real Economic ‘Stimulus’? End Economy-Killing Lockdowns Now
The American Left Has Now Fully Embraced Racism - For decades, the American left has helped spread various insidious forms of Marxism. Now, it's openly embracing abject racism.
CDC Urging States To Vaccinate Black/Brown People Over Whites…
AOC, OMAR, AND SQUAD WANT TO FREE 500,000 FAT CRIMINALS
Montana: Move here, but don't change us
EEOC Says an Employer Can Require Employees to Be Vaccinated
Romney Baffled That 2024 GOP Contenders “are trying to become as much like Donald Trump as they can be”
What the New York Times hasn’t admitted: Goodwin
Eric Swalwell and the spy: A lesson in how China is undermining us
China’s Crackdown On Coronavirus News Shows The Danger Of State Control Of Media
China: The Conquest of Hollywood
Sunday, December 20. 2020
Last week I spent some time working as a volunteer at the local Food Bank. I figure I'll put my time to good use and help others, and so I've been signing up to volunteer there. I was amazed at what I did, and how it was set up.
What struck me are how priniciples of good business and manufacture can be utilized for more than just businesses and provide great value. The gains and innovations that come from free enterprise are useful and widespread - and it's not just about making a profit, it's about being efficient. Efficiency - that's where the value is. Adam Smith noted this in his writings over 250 years ago, as he talked about the division of labor and how valuable it was (his pin factory description comes to mind).
When modern Wokesters discuss the gains of our economy they diminish and degrade all aspects of capitalism, right down to free enterprise and division of labor. The division of labor is at times described as 'mind-numbing' and 'unfulfilling'. They love to talk about the 'dignity of labor', and yes working is dignified. But from their perspective the 'dignity' is in doing ALL the tasks required to reach an end result. Yet here I was at the Food Bank utilizing this division to help people in a big way, and feeling very fulfilled in doing my small, 'mind-numbing' role.
We have boxes of food stacked behind an assembly line - cans of tuna, boxes of mac and cheese mix, cans of fruit, pancake mix, etc. As our team arrived, we positioned ourselves between the boxes and the assembly line. First person in line took an empty box, put some food items in, passed it on to the next person who put in one or two items, all the way to the end where the last person put in a flyer with information on SNAP, taped it shut, and stacked it on a pallet that was then lifted and loaded to a truck when it was filled. I personally handled putting 3 items into each box, and noticed that others struggled to open the food boxes.
I saw some box cutters nearby, grabbed them and during down moments ran from stack to stack ripping them open so the process wouldn't slow too much. After 3 hours our team of 6 had assembled almost 700 boxes of food - a week's worth of food for 700 families.
3 hours of work doing, basically, one thing - loading 3 cans/boxes of food out of one box into another box. If I had to do this on my own, I calculated that maybe it would have produced about 20 boxes an hour or 60 total per person. We'd have had to open all the boxes ourselves, shift the food, make sure the right quantities of each were added, put in a flyer and then tape it shut. Maybe 30 per hour or 90 boxes over 3 hours. At what may have been our extreme best efforts alone, we'd have completed 540 boxes. As a team, as an assembly line doing 'mind-numbing' and 'unfulfilling' work, we may have fed almost 160 more families.
Leftists would claim their worldview applied 'properly' would eliminate the need for Food Banks. Of course, history has proved them wrong many times and they are simply ignorant of this fact. My experience says that the surpluses of capitalism and free enterprise - donated to the Food Bank, which we were repacking (some of it was name brand foods!) - more than supplements the presumed shortcomings of the free enterprise system. Could we do more? Certainly we always can do more.
But for me it was a lesson in good business practice and economics, and one I truly enjoyed.
As a side note, the woman working next to me was a younger Hispanic woman who was very chatty. She obviously volunteered often, as she knew many of the full time workers on the forklifts. She told them she'd lost 150 pounds. I looked at her with surprise. She replied "I'm 5'4" and have 3 kids and I'm a single mother. The weight was killing me, so I chose to lose it. And I did." I congratulated her and asked what she did for a living. She replied "I run my own trucking company out of my house, I have 5 trucks and if I need to drive I will, but I've got full time workers now. I also help others in my neighborhood sell their crafts online." I was surprised and said "You still have time to volunteer here?" She said "I'm a workaholic, what can I say? I have to keep moving."
I was very impressed with her motivation and generosity. People like her make our nation great. They are the best of us. I don't see anyone in Washington who could match her in terms of tenacity, willpower, desire and a generally good nature. An inspiring story as I prepare for the new year.
I always need to spend some time in NYC at Christmastime regardless of weather or viruses. We feasted with family and took a nice slippery walk through Central Park. Lots of bundled-up people walking. Mostly cheerful, some masked-up and some not.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:51 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
1:26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth,
1:27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary.
1:28 And he came to her and said, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you."
1:29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
1:30 The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
1:31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.
1:32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David.
1:33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."
1:34 Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?"
1:35 The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.
1:36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren.
1:37 For nothing will be impossible with God."
1:38 Then Mary said, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.
Saturday, December 19. 2020
Podcast #668: Outdoor Competence With an Expert Backcountry Hunter
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:28 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Movie Theaters Are On The Brink Of A Complete And Total Collapse
California Declares Christmas Caroling A Felony
On How to Live - Ancient philosophy is a guide to a meaningful existence.
Flight of the Icons - Anti-business policies are driving flagship firms out of California.
Plummeting NYC Real Estate Deals Crush City's Tax Revenue
Seattle Councilwoman Calls Cops She Wants to Defund.
Modern Iceland’s Climate Is Colder With More Ice Than Any Other Time In The Last 8000 Years Except The 1800s
NYT: Yeah, Sure Looks Like We Got Duped On Our Big Enterprise-Reporting Project
Newly Declassified Texts Messages Reveal that the FBI Spied on Fox News During Crossfire Hurricane Investigation
Hunter Biden’s Former Business Partners: ‘Get Joe Involved’ But ‘Don’t Mention Joe Being Involved’
China Joe Whines That Bringing Up Hunter Is “Foul Play”
HOW MUCH LONGER CAN VENEZUELA'S NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES HANDLE THE REFUGEE CRISIS?
The Shuttering of Europe - For what purpose? To what end?
Friday, December 18. 2020
VDH: Biden should beware
It's all about attitude.
“It isn't what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”
― Dale Carnegie,
For those of you who have known me for years, you know I usually post a reflection on the major Jewish holy days. My Christian friends here, along with my Jewish friends, appreciate those reflections. This year at Chanukah's eight days I've posted It's All About Attitude.
This year, at Chanukah, in my many years I do not recall seeing so many unhappy people, some for good reasons, but even then and for most unhappy due to lack of focus on the wonderful world, country, and people taken for granted, and losing sight of the strength within that comes from attitude. Hence my eight posts over eight days of eight lights for Chanukah of It's All About Attitude.
Chanukah is often referred to as the festival of lights. That is bowdlerized by many who don't pay attention to its narrative of fighting for freedom and turn it into a leftist narrative of whatever cause they are touting. I believe that our freedom comes from within, giving us the strength and smile to fight for a good and free life for ourselves and for others. That's why this year instead of my reflections about Chanukah I've posted eight times (for each light on the menorah) about It's All About Attitude. May you all have a great day, every day.
Pic from a friend skiing in A-Basin (Arapahoe Basin) this week. Wish I were there.
John le Carré didn’t just invent the characters in the foreground of the spy world. He designed the entire set.
Beside the Pointe - Diversity and bias obsessions come for Swan Lake.
U. Oregon Students Want College Republicans Removed From Campus for Attending ‘Stop the Steal’ Rally
New Yorkers Actually Sat Outside During A Blizzard And Ate Dinner In The Snow. Rather Than Insist On Indoor Dining…
New Yorkers can be rugged critters
Determined To Kill Businesses That Survived Lockdowns, New York Plans Minimum Wage Hike Later This Month
NY Times: Say, You Know That Big Snowstorm Is Totally Climate Change, Right?
Trump Administration Moves To Make American Showerheads Great Again
Paris Is Fined For Hiring Too Many Women
Powerline: WHY THE FUTURE IS TRUMPIST
It’s time for the ‘Deplorables’ to become the Unconquerables
Scrutiny of her doctoral dissertation will make 'Dr. Jill Biden' wish she had stuck with 'Mrs. Biden'