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, April 11. 2013
Remarkably Audubon-like photo of eagles sharing a meal from Smithsonian, via Am. Digest.
Heather MacDonald never ceases to amaze: Rigoletto, L’Elisir, and Clemenza - Considering three new Met opera productions
She does opera reviews too? She is too much. Well, she went to Andover so maybe that explains it. Yale, Oxford, and Stanford Law too. Here's her bio.
My year on Match.com - I'd done so many scary things in my life, but this might be the scariest. At the age of 58, I joined a dating site
That plumbing requires serious engineering
Many Moms love to do it, but any health benefits seem to disappear when corrected for income and social class. Poor people breast feed less.
Wood: The fuel of the future - Environmental lunacy in Europe
Wood is fuel for barbarians like me and Sippican. It's just pre-fossil fuel for rednecks and Neanderthals.
As Dr. Merc pointed out, precisely 50% of Americans are of below-average intelligence. Strange how it comes out to exactly half, isn't it? That's not fair.
The US equity market: It's not a rally, it's a credit bubble of epic proportions
What he says
Can the Weiner get up again?
He is an astonishingly obnoxious jerk.
Not to mention the incalculable costs of the unintended consequences
Andy Kessler: The Pension Rate-of-Return Fantasy - Counting on 7.5% when Treasury bonds are paying 1.74%? That's going to cost taxpayers billions.
Gun Manufacturer to Leave Conn. After New Gun Control Law
Historically, CT was the center of weapon manufacturing
VDH unloads: Confessions of a Counter-Revolutionary
What he says about everything
Same as children and slaves
Energy Journal: Shale Ripples Hit Middle East and Russia
Minority contractors ‘game the system,’ find havens in D.C. homes
Minority (ie black) shell companies profit by acting as contracting pass-throughs for service and manufacturing companies. Despite seeming fraudulent, it's entirely legal, encouraged in fact by the government. One easy way to profit from skin tone is to offer to be an intermediary conduit for white-owned businesses.
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"As Dr. Merc pointed out, precisely 50% of Americans are of below-average intelligence."
Worse, it's not fair no matter how you slice it.
If one out of two people you talk to is below average intelligence, well, why are you bothering talking to them?
But if they're the other one out of two and are above average intelligence, then why are they bothering talking to YOU?
Like Dr. B said, this statistics stuff is complicated!
Technically, precisely 50% of Americans are of below-median intelligence, although since the distribution is nearly Gaussian the mean (average) and the median should be nearly identical. So roughly, Yes.
Here, let me try it: Add up all the IQs, then divide by the number of tested people. The dividend = the average IQ. You can be below average yet still within a majority (cough democratic party cough).
Note: clearly the average moves up, creating more democrats per republicans, if you can include professors, who are high IQ --well, i hate to say morons, how about lunatics? --which explains why the party is dumbell-shaped (albeit with a really bady engineered dumb-bell, suitable for Popeye only).
The mean IQ would be the number below which is half the total, and above which is half the total.
Note: this would create an identity problem for whomever has that number --and that's what makes them so mean.
I'll need some time to think your remarks over... I guess I'm torn over lunatics and morons.
Possibly because I fail to see why it can't be both.
Oh, there's a huge difference. A moron reflects on his family --well, that's ambiguous, say, a moron casts a reflection on his nature and nurture.
A lunatic, on the other hand, has been selected for Lunacy by the Moon, and is hence simply a victim of the odds.
The distinction is the moron does not present the Lunar Tic, which is a kind of twitchy smirk associated with the phase of Lime Disease --an autoimoon disease carried by the Citrus Grove Tick, common in (cough) Doc Merc's home state (cough), Florider.
Bird Dog: As Dr. Merc pointed out, precisely 50% of Americans are of below-average intelligence.
Something should be done about it!
Well . . . . it's an average result that 50% are below average, so the 50% below average are just average. Not so bad!!
What Really Happens When You Flush on an Airplane?
Back in the good old days when I was retired, but consulting, I was involved in the design of the waste disposal system for a cruise ship - which turned out to be the Carnival Fantasy which now ports out of Charleston, SC.
I went out to the factory in Kansas of all places (the ship was built in Helsinki, Finland - never got to go there) where they had the complete system setup in a huge warehouse and were doing flush tests - as in all staterooms at the same time - over and over to see if they could break it.
It was an amazing site I'll say that.
Almost 100 million people aren't smart enough to enlist in the military
Interesting and it relates to the Dr. B statistic threads.
It's not that 160 million people aren't smart enough - the average is right around 100 (depending on the test used) worldwide and in the US it's exactly 100 (depending on the test used). It's the over use of metrics that creates the problem, not the fact that people are dumber.
Our modern military requires the ability to adapt and use advanced devices and technology. This approach was first championed by Donald Rumsfield with his whole "smaller, smarter, lighter" concept. And this type of combat does require smart people - I'm not arguing that.
My argument is that the military also needs bodies - regular ground troops that you can train to obey orders, point a rifle in the correct direction and pull the trigger. Or walk a patrol beat or provide backup when the spit hits the fan. That type of service doesn't require higher than average IQ - in fact, higher IQ would not be a good idea.
Our "smaller, smarter, lighter" military is now largely a citizen soldier type of military where multiple tours of duty are necessary because we've cut ourselves off from the larger pool of sufficiently adequate people with which to fight a war.
As was seen in both Iraq and Afghanistan (speaking of the surges), boots on the ground are the important thing - and we've eliminated that by the over use of metrics to determine who should and shouldn't fight our wars or other military actions.
How to milk the system: Lawyers & disability claims
Here's my take - there are too many lawyers with nothing else to do so they, by necessity, have to generate revenue by suing for anything and everything.
I said statistics were evil, in an earlier comment. Mine was overblown hyperbole, in a sense, but there is truth to it.
"because we've cut ourselves off from the larger pool of sufficiently adequate people with which to fight a war.
Concur. And as you say...
Pure IQ is no direct indicator of battlefield smarts. The opposite may be true.
"Historically, CT was the center of weapon manufacturing"
Don't you mean, hysterically ?
"50% of Americans are of below-average intelligence".
If we would only tax more of the middle class into poverty to pay teachers more then surely we could improve that number. I say lets increase taxes and shoot for 50% of Americans above average!
--just popped up on instapundit --a warning about stats and sample size. New (for me) term introduced: 'statistical power' which seems to be another name for 'sample size'.
Some 10 years ago there was a $60 million dollar wood-burning power-plant built in the UK. The project included contracts for wood supply, and some 35 nearby farmers switched their cropland to willow -- thousands and thousands of acres of willow. They had 12-year contract for supply to the plant, and figured it was a pretty safe bet given the millions in grants to the plant from the EU and UK governments.
Unfortunately, by the time the plant was operational (and the willow matured enough to begin harvesting) the government had moved on to other flavors, and the free money dried up. The plant managed to run for all of 8 days, and then was broken up and sold abroad.
If it only exists because of subsidy, then the caprice of whoever is in control of the subsidy makes it a shaky business:
On the other hand, solid fuels of any sort are usually easily transported to the historic locations of solid-fuel energy plants, which have the virtue (unlike most wind and solar projects) of being at the hub of high-current power distribution to where the power is needed. So if the extremely stupid decision is made that some fossil fuel is to be eliminated then wood might be the most sane response to a stupid decision. Plants can be adapted so that the same boilers can be fired from either wood-gas or burning wood directly, and then the lights stay on at higher cost, which is preferable to the lights not staying on. I'm under the impression that Scotland's larges coal burning plant is now largely given over to burning wood.
RE Minority Contractors - that includes women.
I had a client who ran a minority owned middleman company that sold supplies to businesses that sold directly to the government.
The nature of that relationship, or at least the minority ownership angle, wasn't what I was working on, but it was a significant background detail.
The businesses that sold to the Gov't liked getting supplied by minority owned businesses, if they could. The suppliers had some sort of incentive to actively seek out such firms - I forget exactly what; whether it was a benefit for contracting with MOB's or a penalty for not doing it.
Anyway, I soon discovered that there were squads of little "minority owned" businesses set up to take advantage of this; so long as the business could point to minority ownership - say 50.1% - they made the cut. You can imagine the truth-stretching some of these little companies engaged in; corporate formation juggling, ethnicity pantomimes etcetc.
Getting just one big supply contract could make a middleman outfit a huge profit. Depending on what was supplied, it might be good enough to get just one supply order a year. So there was plenty of incentive to go fishing for the supplier's business with "minority-owned" as the bait.
The problem the suppliers faced was that they were forced to seriously consider the various MOBs whether or not they were competent at what they claimed they did.
The suppliers liked my client because it had been in business for years and was honestly minority-owned by a woman who actually ran it and knew her market and materials. Her prices were competitive inside and outside the minority-owned pool.
Once the suppliers found a MOB like that they didn't want to let go, because there were crowds of little fly-by-night outfits that just wanted to make a buck and scram.
A city I lived in a while back was the county seat and had some colleges and federal buildings. One of the heating and air conditioning companies put his company in his wife's name and got all the minority government contracts. He sucked up most of the business putting a number of male owned companies out of business. He ran the company his wife ran her kitchen and wouldn't have known which end of a wrench to hold. It was a scam and the government were co-conspiritors in it. But it checked a box somewhere that was required to be checked and that's all that matters.
I'm old enough to remember the bumper sticker, Split Wood, Not Atoms. I also drove thru a little town in Idaho , which had a lot of wood smoke in the air. Now, of course, trees are far too precious to be cut down for mundane things like heat (and toilet paper, and...).
Kinda surprised the CG wants higher AFQT scores, but I have seen the CG people and missions, and I am pretty impressed.
I remember Project 100,000 to accept into the military some of those who did not quite pass the AFQT. Did not work out well.
Can the Weiner get up again?
He is an astonishingly obnoxious jerk, and his wife is named Humma Weiner. Sheesh.
This isn't funny.
We are not amused.
Do you find, at meet & greets, you introduce yourself to an astonishing number of people named Goff Ugyersef ?
"Well, she went to Andover so maybe that explains it. "
I think not.
Short-wave radio operator in airplane: "Calling Andover station, and Over."
Ground HAM: "Andover station, read you loud and clear, say your 10-20, and Over."
Air HAM: "Over Andover, Andover, and Over."
Ground HAM: "Come Back? i copied the lyrics to Lloyd Price's "Personality" and Over."
Air HAM: "Copy that, Andover, priceless! We're flying north, and over you --and Over."
Ground HAM: "Andover U! Go knights! -and Over."
Air HAM: "And a Good Night to you, sir, and Over."
Ground HAM: "Copy that, Sir Andover signing off, Andover, and Over."
that would be funnier if the operators were CBers, not hams, who don't use CB-speak.
I knew that. I just didn't want to waste it on this early draft
That poor woman, so lost. Because she no longer, and quite deliberately so, has any interest in TBW2Bs, she has excluded herself from ever marrying. She will be spending the rest of her life alone, her friends slipping away one by one. So all those those comforting hugs and holding hands on the long beach walks, and curled up by the fire, that she so pines for she will never have.
There is no way to get to those moments of the quiet cooling embers of still-warm love, except by a lifetime of having built and fed and gone through the white-hot bonfire of youthful passion and exuberance; and then the well-fired glowing hearth surrounded by happy rosy-cheeked family faces.
When you get to that certain age, for both men and women, to start again you've got to bring something to re-kindle the blaze. Women, if you say you're done with all that, then there is no magical man out there for you. All those magic men go to the women who really, really like having a rough-handed, hard-working, strong-willed, and still-lustful man as their companion.
see that pic of what looks like an eagle tearing into some hapless animal? that's an illustration from the article. be ware.