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, March 20. 2014
Here's How NASA Thinks Society Will Collapse
Bear Safety: Follow These Tips for Camping in Bear Country
Culled kangaroos to be processed as pet food as part of two-year trial
7 ways to stop the shopping habit
I've read 'em all. Really. Many in college.
It’s Not Porn, It’s HBO
How New York Is Building an Entire Neighborhood on Top of a Rail Yard
The only subjects schools seem to be good at teaching are environmentalism, critical race theory, and queer studies
A Startlingly Simple Theory About the Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet
Utopia Now! in New York City
Why Are Asian Americans Democrats?
Russia Confiscates Half of Ukrainian Fleet in Crimea – Including Submarine
A Ukrainian navy?
Hey paranoids - It's going on Your Permanent Record
In choosing whether to major in econ, women respond more to grades than men
The Left’s new racism: cultural appropriation
College Limits Part-Time Faculty Hours To Avoid Obamacare Costs
Norway: Arctic Jihad
DEMOCRAT LAWMAKER: Vermont's single-payer health care system will destroy the state
Who’d a-thunk it? Taxi cartels don’t like competition? And they’ll use their government enablers to squash competitors?
Greenpeace co-founder testifies there is no climate crisis
Obama is The Man Who Didn’t Need Kennan
Putin ends the left’s daydream
3 LA City Council members Launch Study to Determine If Fracking Caused Earthquake
Communism Is the Goal at a Commune, but Chinese Officials Are Not Impressed
Cold War Revisionism and the Defense of Obama’s Ukraine Blunder
New CMR Analysis: Pentagon Cannot Justify Anti-Woman Policies
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The HUGE problem with the NASA study is focusing on symptoms, not causes. Rome fell because of a government which imposed unequal taxation in order to strengthen the core - Rome itself - ignoring the damage government policy was doing to the exterior regions. It also began to realize its populace was no longer interested in providing for the defense, and was hiring mercenaries to do their dirty work for them - ultimately what led to the sack of Rome.
Similar qualities can be seen in great nations throughout history. Great Britain's heyday was its period which could best be described as open(ish) borders and free(ish) markets. After two world wars diminished its ability to fend for itself, it became insular and focused on doing just what NASA suggests - and fell into decline.
Bad ideas tend to repeat because people don't pay attention to the root causes of the things that happened. Inequality and used up resources are hallmarks of government interference, not free markets and free minds.
Rome became too weak to survive because of too much government and high taxes. Income inequity wasn't the issue - it was loss of income mobility. They literally taxed the middle class out of existence. Sound familiar?
very true - they were the first nation with a real middle class (the tax collectors). They taxed the tax collectors out of existence.
The policy was Rome collected X amount from the collectors, and they went through their region imposing a tariff on the landholders, keeping the differential between what they collected and X.
As X rose, their tariff rose, and landholders either refused to pay or shut down entirely. Soon, the tax collectors had little or nothing to send back to cover X. Middle class died, the landholders (producers) out of business, land lay fallow....Dark Ages weren't too far behind.
As for the Bruno portion of Cosmos - I agree with Powell. I had a very similar discussion with an atheist friend of mine who never heard of Bruno. I pointed out much of what Cosmos presented was misrepresenting not only Bruno's impact, but his relationship with the Church. Bruno's heresy was distinct and separate from his views on cosmology. More importantly, the show DID intend to show Bruno as a lone wolf, rather than someone who took ideas from others. In fact, the show focused on Bruno's 'vision' of the infinite universes, which supposedly came to him in a dream.
What was truly hilarious about this is how Cosmos sought to display the importance of scientific rigor, but in focusing on Bruno, showed how spirituality and mysticism led to one of cosmology's greatest breakthroughs!
In other words, they were extremely dismissive of religion for its mysticism and belief in God, but accepting of a 'dream' or 'vision' as the basis for the growth of cosmology!
Well, I suppose they can justify it now, implying that much of what Bruno suggested has been proven - and that is all well and good. But to accept Bruno as the 'breakthrough moment' is absurd if they want to discredit religion (as the producers clearly wanted to).
I laughed through most of the Bruno portion and spent time discussing with my sons the problems inherent in this depiction of such a divisive character. Bruno DID add much to the discussion, but if Bruno showed up today, deGrasse Tyson would laugh him out of the room!
Follow These Tips for Camping in Bear Country. Timesaver: Don't.
NASA's implied solution appears to be more government, self-serving to say the least. to wrap it in NASA's scientific reputation is disgusting. Bulldog is correct in that a major part of why Rome fell is that the populace lost its desire to pull together to make the government work, it became all about money, power and corruption, the common man became cynical and stopped supporting the shared sacrifice that government requires to work well. our current government is only concerned about itself and is fast losing its support among the population. sure people vote, but only in their own self-interest, not in the country's.
Richard Cohen is pro charter schools!!! What's the world coming to?
Of course he makes sure to draw the distinction that they are NOT private schools (those nasty upper crusty institutions of separatism) but indeed they are PUBLIC schools. And he gets in an obligatory dig at the NRA, but I am as astounded that he supports charter schools as I am that Cuomo supports them. Maybe the NYT can write columns about how Demoncrats are beginning to turn on education issues (see Ann Counter's column today)!
Of course their support of charter schools is not quite actual school choice, but it's a good healthy first step!
"Pentagon Cannot Justify Anti-Woman Policies"
It is insane to force the military to comply with the feel good PC rules in the face of obvious evidence that it will seriously harm our ability to defend ourselves. One simple fact that everyone probably knows but may not want to accept is that for multiple reasons men and teenage boys are considerably stronger then women and have a totally different attitude about physical tasks. One example of how this applies to the military is this: In the army manual the correct way to defend yourself if you are in a Humvee that is disabled by the enemy is to pull the top mounted 50 cal machine gun off the turret along with the ammo and the removable mount. This is about 110 lbs in total with the heaviest piece about 65 lbs. You then run to cover while dodging enemy fire and set up the gun to defend your position. For whatever reason even the skinniest 18 year old boy can do this. They may struggle and even cause themselves injury in the process but they can do it. None of the females tested can. This inability of women to correctly achieve strength based mission essential tasks includes almost everything in the book. This is more then simply not being able to do 3 chinups. Just carrying the standard pack that ground soldiers are required to carry and still be able to march 20 miles a day is literally impossible for women. Depending on the mission this pack varies from 40 lbs to well over 80 lbs. You will often hear someone make the simle and seemingly logical statement "if a woman CAN meet the standards then why shouldn't she be able to serve in combat". But in fact what actually happens is the standards are lowered incrementally until a desired percentage of women can meet the new standards and what never happens is that women are required to meet the real requirements of combat. This hamstrings the unit in multile ways: 1. you have fewer "able" combat members to achieve the mission goals because the female members cannot pull their own weight. 2. Someone has to pick up the slack so therefore some of the compentent soldiers are tasked to carry more or help the less able female soldiers. 3.General morale is harmed as the competent soldiers realize they will have to do more while the "protected" class will do less and no one is allowed to comment on this problem for fear of reprisals by the PC police. 4.In actual combat lives will be lost and missions will fail as a result of this fairy tale belief that women can equal men in combat.
Before we destroy our country's military effectiveness by continuing this mistake I suggest a simple public test that will effectively bring home the problem to everyone. Starting this fall half of the NFL's teams should be 100% female. They can select the best and strongest and then let the chips fall where they may out on the playng field. Ditto for basketball, hockey and baseball. We should extend this to MMA fights where in every fight one of the contenders must be female. Bring these measures to our police and firefighters as well by requiring half the cities in the U.S. to have all female police and fire departments. Obviously I'm kidding. No one really thinks that any women atheletes could compete in the NFL or that all female fire departments could fight fires and rescue people as effectively as the quite strong and capable male firefighters do. But that's the point. It should be just as obvious that with very few exceptions the military is not a suitable place for women.
There is room for one woman in every army, to stand stark nude in front of the troops (maybe a Grecian robe hanging from one shoulder exposing one breast) pointing with a gleaming sword at the enemy. Then to say, "Sic 'em". And stand aside.
Bear Safety: Stay away from them. Avoid attracting them. Good luck.
Books Unread: I started Billy Budd, could not read it, gave up all thought of Melville.
Building over the railyard: Wouldna want to have an earthquake...
Debate? Argue? Why bother with facts when volume and lies and demonization works so well?
NYC: DiBlasio may say he's for income equalization, but makes an exception for himself and his friends/accomplices.
Global Cooling: There ain't nuthin AlGorebull Worming cain't DO!
Paullie "the Beard" Krugman's Preposterous Statements: New entry for WSJ''s BOTW category of "Longest Books Ever Written".
Ukrainian Navy? Yes. They inherited most of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet. Might even have done some maintenance and upgrades in the 20 years or so since.
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re: camping in bear country
This should also apply to people who live in rural areas that contain bears, esp ones wakening from hibernation - HUNGRY and seeking bird feeder snacks, dogs in yards -
In PA, there are at least 1/2 doz. reported stories of aggressive bears attacking homeowners or family dogs, sometimes coming through screened porches. Recently a girl deer hunting was attacked by a black bear and the PETA freaks all started on the "it's her own fault" bandwagon.
Never mind that hunting licenses funds preservation and habitats.
Oh and did you hear that a mountain lion is roaming a Boston, Mass suburb?
Message: Stay armed, my friends