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
Tuesday, May 27. 2014
I forget where I found that image (ok, reader reminds that it was our friend Vanderleun)
Can homeopathy 'work' even when there's no evidence?
Packing your kid for camp for $1000
From Williamson's The Cloud in the Machine,Or, you can never have the same traffic-jam twice.
Ben Carson on Progressive Tolerance: 'Only Works in One Direction'
Rethinking Tax Benefits for Home Owners
European elections 2014: This is one peasants’ revolt that Brussels can’t just brush aside
Thailand: Economic growth is not enough
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RE: The Rise of the Master’s Degree
My wife has a couple. She was having trouble getting a job a while back because her resume had plenty of education and not enough work experience.
She left her masters degrees off her resume and applied for a job she was well overqualified for in an enterprise she wanted to work for. She got her foot in the door and has moved up considerably due to her competence. The boss now knows she has the degrees.
"Packing your kid for camp for $1000 "
How come these people aren't being told to check their privilege and spread the wealth?
Nice Pic - Mikey Moore was not available for comment.
Had a nice conversation with a Warmest proponent - pulled up the nice graph of the models predictions vs. the actual climate that has happened, and she scoffed - "You can make up anything on the internet...", then proceeded to bemoan all the skepticism for a settled science...
Its not just a problem, its a religion and malignancy for them...
My view on homeopathy, for whatever it's worth as the son of a doctor, is "whatever floats your boat, but be aware of the potential consequences."
If vaccines work, and some people don't want to vaccinate their kids, I should be fine (assuming I've had my boosters, etc.) if an outbreak occurs. Let them be the ones who suffer for their foolishness.
I do go in for some mild alternative regimes. Chiropractic and acupuncture are two which I use on a semi-regular basis. My father often made fun of me for using these. The results were hard to argue with, though. He has since adopted a similar 'whatever works for you' view that I have.
Sometimes the results were short-lived, requiring a return, but I am not in their offices frequently and never if I have a severe problem which they clearly can't deal with.
I don't go in for homeopathic medications, though. I've never seen any proof, though their believers point to other cultures which are 'healthier' than ours. Usually their 'health' is the result of different, more active, lifestyles.
That said, I'll still side for 'whatever floats your boat'. If it makes you feel better to buy the homeopathic stuff even if you're still getting sick, then by all means keep wasting your money.
I saw that image on American Digest. Vanderleun is a treasure.
'there were "no health conditions for which there was reliable evidence that homeopathy was effective".'
I was going to say this is like the AGW debate. But it isn't, it is by far more obvious and provably wrong. At least the AGW debate has a modicum of science behind it. Homeopathy and CAM in general is superstition and probably the worlds oldest scam committed by grifters, witch doctors, late night advertisers and quackery. It has one purpose and that is to seperate you from your money. In an ironic twist it has captured true believers who write books and document fake cures after fake cures for the fun and enjoyment of their legions of true believers in snake oil medicine. Is it harmless? Perhaps if you have a fatal disease that real medicine can't sure and thinking you are helping yourself gives you peace of mind. But certainly not if it prevents you from seeking competent medical advice. Anyway I'm not worried I take my megadoses of vitamin D3 (not just D but D3) and vitamin C so, what me worry!
Tax Benefits for Home Owners - These articles never seem to include the effect of Alternative Minimum Tax.
My current interest rate is ridiculously low and my wife and I hit the AMT hard every year. Together they make the interest deduction a non-factor in our lives and decisions.
The $1,000+ a month in property taxes we pay in NJ, on the other hand, will motivate us to make a move at some point.
Homeopathy; I'm thinking it's the placebo effect. Thinking that something works convinces the body and brain that it does. I recall reading that all of us are breathing oxygen molecules that Julius Ceasar once breathed--so I keep a close lookout for a group of supposed friends with daggers.
Packing for camp! Oh, WOW!
"European elections 2014: This is one peasants’ revolt that Brussels can’t just brush aside"
they have already brushed it aside...
re European elections 2014: This is one peasants’ revolt that Brussels can’t just brush aside
From the article:
"When people have voted against the federalist impulse in the past – like the populations of Denmark, or France – they have been asked to have another go; to vote again until they get the right answer. This time, I expect the Eurocracy will try to ignore the election results; they will try to brush them aside. Men like Jean-Claude Juncker, the ex-prime minister of Luxembourg (pop. the same as Wolverhampton) will appear on global media to denounce the European electorate for being so tasteless and irrelevant as to ask for change."
I think that is exactly what the ruling elite will do. Though 30% of the new MPs may be euroskeptics, they are in no way politically united. I suspect some can be peeled off and others will see the errors in their ways and 'evolve' the way conservatives become RINOs in DC. In any event 30% is not enough to effect fundamental change.
So the question is: What happens in a couple of years when the newly elected have produced no tangible results? Will these new parties still find increasing support or will the voters give up on them in frustration?
Time will tell.
re The Retail Death Rattle Grows Louder
I haven't seen any stats but the loss of disposable income under 0bama has to be catastrophic. The increases in fuel, food, rent, health care, the loss of employment, and the aging demographics, coupled with job killing policies from the 0bama administration does not bode well for the future. In addition, near 0% interest rates on savings for the last 10 years hasn't helped either.
I don't see how this ends well.
The ruling elite in the GOP don't seem to grasp the problem either.
Re Retail death rattle. We certainly heard that this weekend. We went to a little-visited shopping center (by us that is) that happens to have both Sears and Penny's as its anchors on either end. (We were going to see a film at the attached movie theater complex, which we don't often do.) Frankly, it was like venturing into a Third World country. The whole place is clearly suffering from major deferred maintenance.
We first tried to get to the theaters through Sears, and discovered that the escalator going down through Sears to the theater level was broken and blocked off by barricades. You couldn't get from Level 1 (where the parking was) to Level 2 of Sears. So we had to go back out of Sears and walk around the shopping center to another entrance that got us to the theaters.
Ironically, we got to the theaters, and the other escalator that takes you up to the theaters and food court level was also broken. Fortunately, there were also stairs, so we could at least get to the theater.
Two hours later, reversing the process, the theater escalator going up is still broken. We get to Sears and now find that both escalators, going in either direction, are broken, and there is literally now no way to get from either level to the other. So again, we have to go back out and around the shopping center to get to our car.
It just astounded me that on a busy Memorial Day weekend, neither the shopping center nor Sears could be bothered in getting a repair man there to fix their escalators. For Sears, it would have been an absolute disaster, since no matter where you were, half of their store was inaccessible to you because of their broken escalators. But nobody seemed to care.
My guess is neither Sears nor that shopping center are long for this world. (The only Sears in the vicinity near where we live went out of business a couple of years ago now.) My wife and I remarked to each other that this whole country is turning into a ghetto. This used to be a major regional shopping center--it was eye-opening.
I have a strong suspicion that the reason people attribute success to unscientific alternative therapies is that the practitioners actually spend the time to listen and touch.