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, February 5. 2014
Hoffman’s Heroin Points to Surge in Grim Trade
P.J. O’Rourke talks Baby Boom, Gen Y, & what (maybe) lies ahead
About a book: The Perv in Us All
An interesting admission of error by J. K. Rowling
Real men know how to shuck oysters
Author Jennifer Senior: “Kids have almost no responsibility, and I find that unnatural”
Louisiana Continues Education Hot Streak
A Gang Disappears. The LA Times Frets
CT Collectivist Gun Grabber Ruthlessly Exposed By Sipsey Street Irregulars
Most Midwestern Businesses Want Amnesty, Know It Will Hurt U.S. Workers
Re-breaking the Windows - Mayor de Blasio’s decision to settle the NYPD lawsuit threatens the city’s triumph over crime.
What Is Liberalism and Where Did It Come From?
Amanda Knox And Extradition: More Likely Than You Might Think
Sports Scandal: What Did UNC Leaders Know, and When Did They Know It?
CBO says Obamacare will add to deficit, create reluctant work force
‘Rich America’ is not the ‘idle rich,’ but rather a working America, an educated America and a married America:
Do most Americans energetically pursue wealth? I don't think they do. People have other desires besides wealth, fortunately. Of course, few would refuse a windfall. Even Bill Ayers lives high on the hog, on his family fortune.
Ruth Wisse: The Dark Side of the War on 'the One Percent' - Stoking class envy is a step in a familiar, dangerous and highly incendiary process.
She says it's about Jews. Is it?
"A critical mass may be welling up against the tyranny of modern liberalism" - Seinfeld, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times: Scenes from the Culture War
Femen: Abortion is sacred
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Agree completely w/ the assessment by Somin's comments about Harry Potter. I can't see Hermione and Ron lasting...Ron was just too much of a wimp. He wasn't alpha at all.
Harry was obviously alpha, but once Voldemort was gone, what did he have to do? Neither he nor Ron took their studies very seriously. Harry's and Ron's characters never developed maturity and responsibility in that way. Even Ron's twin brothers developed enough proficiency w/ their pranks to open a successful business. Ron and Harry never grew into anything (although maybe Harry could play professional quidditch).
And that was the mistake made by Rowling.
BTW, here's a piece of Kenyon history
"Don’t get caught up in the scientific discussion. You’re not a scientist, and evidence doesn’t persuade people who reject climate change. What carries power is your personal conviction as a friend, colleague or neighbor.”
When somebody is seriously trying to convince me of something, whether I know a lot about the subject or not, I ask him to present to me the counterargument to his assertion.
"Please set out the reasons why your assertions may not be true, and why those counterfactuals don't defeat your argument."
After all, if he's convinced, it implies that he's pretty sure he's not wrong - so he must have considered arguments contrary to his position and found them unpersuasive, right?
The character of the responses gives you an idea the quality of his understanding of the issues. Even if you don't know anything about the subject, you can get a feel for how much credit to lend his suggestions.
"Science!!!!" what these folks don't get is that when they step out of the white tower and start demanding money and power, they've engaged in politics, where you don't need science to smell a rat. Ask for money and power you've got no right to expect anything except a serious and skeptical grilling. An apparent lack of good faith is grounds to spike any grant of power or authority, and even if the demand it is justified, the blame lies on the party who asks for it and cannot convince others to give it to him.
...believe in climate change.... As one who classified and counted pollen grains in peat bog borings as an undergrad lab assistant in the '50s, and an acquantance of lab rats who did the same job on coal, and went on to do substantial research as a microbiologist, I am and always have been a fervent believer in climate change. It changes by the minute. It changes by the day. It changes by the year. It changes by the epoch. It changes by the eon.... And (IMO) we can't do anything but observe it and talk about it, which we've been doing for a long time. We only got excited about it when there was money to be made.
re Hoffman’s Heroin Points to Surge in Grim Trade
Well, this column says otherwise.
"That sounds like a big increase, but overall heroin use rates remain very low. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 0.3 percent of Americans 12 and older used heroin in 2012, compared to 0.2 percent in 2002. During the same period past-month use remained steady at 0.1 percent. According to the Monitoring the Future Study, past-year heroin use among high school seniors actually fell from 1 percent in 2002 to 0.6 percent in 2012."
One grows so weary of the media manipulating the numbers in order to cry wolf.
Most studies show that drug use numbers among drugs like cocaine and opium/heroin haven't changed significantly as a percentage of the population down through the years from the time they were legal to the present.
Drug laws don't really affect the number of users at all, just the profits to the dealers and the black market related crimes.
When I was a child in the 1970's, we learned all about Global Cooling and the coming ice age in school. Global Cooling was a unit in my science class curriculum, and among other things I rmember we had a group assignment where we had to come up with ways to protect the human population from this impending ice age. Yep, Global Cooling was totally a real thing - it even made the cover of Time.
Is it any wonder that Gen X'ers are, today, the age cohort most skeptical about global warming?
Modern "liberalism" was always a pr mask to hide progressive roots. The real liberals were the founders, hence the label "classic liberals" some of us use now.
There is nothing liberal about a progressive, and I really wish conservatives would stop calling them that.
Nothing liberal about them, except the liberal amount of liberties they take with it, and want to take from us.
Can I have your permission to tweet this on my twitter?
In fact it was exactly the global cooling of the 60's and 70's that set the stage for the global warming hysteria of the 90's and new century. Have you noticed how many charts proving global warming begin in the early 70's/late 60's during the coldest part of that global cooling period? Without the global cooling of the 60's our current so-called global warming is nothing. The real gloal warming peaked in 1934 but the warmist can't cite that because the global cooling that followed it destroyed their meme of CO2 caused global warming. What is a warmist to do? Why, selectively pick the data that supports your theory and throw out anything that doesn't of course. Sounds dishonest tome.
Hillary Clinton is a weak presidential candidate. Indeed she is. Or should be. She has no accomplishments to her credit except marrying well. I jest, or do I? But she does have the majority of the minority, specially protected segments in her pocket. Especially the bankers. She is also a female and, as a matter of long established national policy, that automatically makes her better, smarter, more honorable and peace loving than any man could be. She also has the best money raising machine in history working for her. And Bill Clinton's winning smile, engagingly fake southern drawl and slick, oily sincerity. And, she will be competing against what? Chris Christie? Another Bush? What sack of beans is the GOP going to hang out to dry this time? I'm laughing on the outside and cringing on the inside. Jeepers, America elected Obama twice. TWICE! So, Hillary is a lock. Well, at least she is an upgrade from that affirmative action entitled saboteur we elected twice. I can see it now, Hillary as the red queen, terrifying the weather into obedience, raging against the tides of war and controlling inflation, the national debt and school shootings with the discipline of the lash. We will love her as commanded, cower in fear and surrender all remaining self respect. Line up for your spanking Americans, you richly deserve it.
I always thought Ron did not deserve Hermione. I thought Hermione made much more sense with Harry. So much so that it was hard to buy in to Rowling forcing Ron and Hermione together. It just didn't seem realistic.
As a writer myself, I can sort of guess what happened. You write with a plot in mind...some writers with more in mind than others. But as you write to that plot, the character take on a life of their own and personalities of their own. You try your best to stick to the plot, but the characters are telling you something else.
I think Rowling felt that as she was writing. She had set up the plot already (sounded like she was a big pre-planner) and then noticed her writing wasn't staying true to that plot. But she doggedly went on, because that is what she had originally planned. I think it sticks out in the writing...the one thing that just didn't ring true to me. So I believe she forced it to happen to stick to her plot, rather than listen to her muse who was telling her something else.
I would've been okay with Luna as the love interest for Harry, once Hermione was pushed in Ron's direction. But she didn't go that way either. Ginny was weird and never worked for me.
LAT laments loss of gang: Oh, the stories they can't now tell!
I believe in climate change. It's always changing. 15Kyears ago the state I grew up in was about half covered by glaciers. I note that they went away before any industries began, any factories built, and no (zero, zip, zilch, nada) SUVs extant.
Is accusation of the attack on the "1%" an invocation of Godwin's Law? I think not. I think it's a pretty good simile, though.
Topless Femen: Topless should refer to their brains. Why do they hate children so?
one phrase you'll never hear is "second generation quidditch player" they tool around a soccer field groping sticks between their legs looking like .... I can't go on ....
More than a sports league
We’re empowering future leaders and advancing gender inclusivity in sports.
Why does my spider sense tingle when I see otherwise intelligent folks discuss other people as 'alphas', 'betas' or 'omegas'? What nonsense is this? Have I missed some memos? Or, is the utilization of stupidly ill defined and stereotypical labels the insultingly lazy slap across the face this reader perceives it to be? Bluntly, if you are going to write something, put some damn effort into it. Just a little bit, please. Despite the cultural depravity splashed all over the internet and the powerful urge to be 'cool' or 'ghetto' or 'gangsta' or whatever the hell passes for 'hip' nowadays, there are more words available to us than those that fit into small box mentalities. "Alphas", my big fat ass. People, resist the urge towards the banal, the predictable, the stupid. Show that you care about your reader and by extension, yourself. Carry on.
re UK Update: Six-Year-Old Suspended for Four Days for Possessing Mini-Cheddars
Of course this is an outrage.
One of the things the educrats (and parents) seem to have forgotten is that they are the employees of the taxpayer. IOW, the parents are the boss and not the educators.
The parents of the children of this school need to fire these arrogant nitwits though I suspect the sheeple of England are too far gone to even entertain the idea.