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
Monday, January 14. 2013
Pic above from A Christmas card come to life: Jerusalem hit by worst snowstorm for TWENTY YEARS as eight inches fall across Holy City
Tribal Lessons - ‘The World Until Yesterday,’ by Jared Diamond
Colonial Manners - Based on the Exercise of a Schoolboy
Good manners have not changed much since Washington's time
Teaching Self-Esteem Undermines Students’ Academic Achievement
Don't Go to Business School! Unless you can get into a top program, professional school may cause more problems than it solves
Career advice from Aaron Swartz
Hostess sells Wonder Bread and five other brands to Tastykakes baker for $390m with new Twinkies owner expected in a matter of weeks
Saved by a non-union company
Leftism and the Dangers of Modernity - The futile quest to save us from ourselves.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry jabs Andrew Cuomo
Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms Provisions, state by state
A book: So You Want to Own a Gun By Robert Owens
Soft Head, Soft Heart Argument against the minimum wage
It should not kick in until age 21
Banks seek NSA help amid attacks on their computer systems
Body of lies from Benghazi to Barack
News Flash: Jews Are 'Apes And Pigs.' So Why Is Egypt's Morsi The Elephant In America's Newsrooms?
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I've enjoyed MF since I discovered it seeking gardening info years ago (BD, you are sneaky), but continue to appreciate the dialogue allowed by whoever controls such.
Lately, I've seen many more contributing to this forum. Congratulations to all who construct the site.
I would like to encourage those of you who have access to coverage by the foreign press and TV. It is amazing how much of the news is ignored by our MSM. Propaganda rules.
Just started Diamond's "Guns, Germs and Steel". So far it's anything but "brilliant."
When I see logic thrown out in lieu of dogma, I can't help but think that it's nothing more than superstition. Given the etymology of "liberal arts," Diamond's work profanes the term.
While Diamond's views have been criticized by other scholars, nearly everyone gives him marks for a well-thought argument.
pg7984: Nothing like group think dogma among 'scholars'.
Being criticized by other scholars hardly suggests group-think. In any case, DrTorch didn't give any specifics of "dogma" and "superstition", so we were hoping he would read further, and with an open mind. As for dogma, Diamond advances several new hypotheses, so they can hardly constitute "dogma".
Does it strike you that way? I thought he suffered a bit from enthusiasm for an abstract idea, but it was a thought-provoking and reasonably plausible idea, at least worth testing out.
you might want to read William Hardy McNeill's Plagues And Peoples. I think this carries the "germs" part of Diamond's argument much better.
It's true -- that's a terrific book and much better on the germs side of the argument. But Diamond's ideas about crops and domesticated animals are interesting, too, and certainly worth the price of his book.
It is extremely rare for me to not finish a book, truly. Shortly after it was published, given the publicity, I got half-way through 'germs, steel, etc' and gave up, no matter other scholars opinions. Pulling it out of his ass was my sense.
Michael Barone: History suggests that era of entitlements is nearly over... Some leaders of the other party are advancing ideas for adapting a system that worked reasonably well in an industrial age dominated by seemingly eternal big units into something that can prove workable in an information age experiencing continual change and upheaval wrought by innovations in the market economy.
Just curious. What are those ideas about adapting the system? What do they envision?
My question as well. Barone is a bit mirky with this sentence. It's not clear to me who the 'other party' is.
I haven't heard any really good, clear thinking from either party on this topic. Dems want to go full speed ahead faster, the Pubs want to trim around the edges and 'manage' the federal beast better. Neither approach is sustainable.
phil g: My question as well. Barone is a bit mirky with this sentence. It's not clear to me who the 'other party' is.
It follows, "our current president and most politicians of his party", so that would suggest he is referring to Republicans.
Ah, than I agree. The Pubs haven't exactly been leaders on this topic. If Dems are heavily invested in the Blue model, than Pubs are light blue. Still blue.
Pic proves global cooling!!! We must give AlGore the power to stop this fever...er these chills NOW!!!
I wish Barone were right, but here's how it looks to me. The more Americans perceive that there are problems with entitlements, the more the Democratic-controlled government brings in immigrants who vote for legislators that vote for entitlements. Then you have the constant introduction to the voting pool of American-educated young voters, who have been fed socialist propoganda for their entire schooling (I am the parent of 3).
Call them low-information voters, call them what you will. I fear that those of us who understand that entitlements can't go on forever are being swamped by those who don't understand the basic budget truths. I hope I'm wrong and Barone is right.
Cold, hard reality will ultimately decide. If a massive Blue model can't ultimately be financed than it won't be. That will either be decided by a crisis or via leadership. My vote is via crisis.
I think you're right. The weird thing is, Dems, including all those low information voters, which unfortunately includes almost all people in their 20's as well as all the racial minorities and the immigrants, have NO IDEA what is coming to them.
The other group that consistently vote Democaratic are what Barone calls the gentry liberals; I know hundreds of them. They think they can keep manipulating the system to their own advantage forever, so the problems aren't real. Many of them actually think that the debt crisis is something those mouth-breathers (the Republicans) made up and are using to their advantage.
So far it's worked for them. But all bubbles look unstoppable until the moment they burst.
Global Cooling: Dec 7th in '71 (IIRC; '72 possible) there was a 6" snowfall in Tucson and environs. A picture printed in the paper showed two women throwing snowballs at each other. They stood before a 6' high wall (with a small snowman on it) bearing this: Department Of Arid Land Studies. (U. of Arizona.)
Chamber of Commerce very upset that the pic was widely distributed and depressed the tourist traffic. The following January 12 I was lying in the sun by the pool at my apartment.
Tribal Lessons - ‘The World Until Yesterday,’ by Jared Diamond
the Pirahã tribe is clearly full of dangerous psychopaths. that woman on the beach was crying for help ... suggesting that she expected help to come.
strong evidence against immigration reform.