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
Saturday, July 19. 2014
Toon via Hit & Run
Billionaires Who Bought Congress Say They Feel “Shortchanged”
Burt Shavitz, the World’s Most Famous Retired Beekeeper
Are Hookups Psychologically Healthy?
That extramarital affair is costing you a fortune
The Big Mystery Behind the Great Train Robbery May Finally Have Been Solved
Dietary Guideline Committee ‘Quadruples’ Down on Moving Americans to ‘Plant-Based Diets’
The potato chip and French Fry diet? Or is it "Let them eat cake"?
Quotations of the day on racial profiling in college admissions
Mommy Police With Real Handcuffs:
How did we get the schools we have? The K-12 Conspiracy
The Obama Albatross - Playing pool in Colorado rather than visiting the Texas border is not very presidential.
This idea that we live in a world where government cares about us is just the biggest propaganda ever.
Iraqi Christians Told to Convert, Submit, or Die
New Islamic Caliphate Declares Jihad on … Muslims
Religion of death
US Marine Corps commandant openly blasts CIC Obama
Not sposta do that
Fly them all to Minneapolis
How to win in Gaza
The treacherous task of tunnel demolition
CNN reporter reassigned for crude manifestation of anti-Israel bias
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The diet guidelines are amusing. Just last night, I was reading the chapter on material wealth in Alan MacFarlane's "The Invention of the Modern World". A good portion of it was comparing diets between England the the Continent, usually France. Seems England, even the poor Englishmen, were eating quite well compared to the Continent even back to the Middle Ages. Commenter after commenter commented on how the English had access to meats only the very wealthy had on the Continent.
Now, is as our world declines from modern to pre-modern, they are trying to push the diet back to grains and gruel. How European of them.
Saw this a couple weeks ago via NewMark's door. Compare chart 19 (obesity) with chart 20 (diet changes). They love to highlight that caloric sweeteners and fats/oils went up but only a bit. The part of the food group chart that seems to mirror the increase in obesity is "Grains". Hmmm
I remember reading that when Europeans came to the America's the natives were taller and healthier then the Europeans. This was attributed to the availabilty of meat protein and nutrients. Within a generation the European immigrants had gained 10% increases in height over their parents due to the better diet.
Or, as a veterinarian friend refers to a grain-based diet: "the feed lot diet". And you know what that does to animals.
US Marine Corps commandant openly blasts CIC Obama
I hope the US military isn't getting tired of waiting for the rest of us to clean up the mess we created by putting The Regime in office. The US military have an admirable culture and sterling values but corruption and foolishness rooted out by a internal military action is not how Republics are made.
I am not shocked by the quotes attributed to the four star general. Saying Iraq would be in a different place if we stayed there is sorta like saying the sky is blue.
Basically, I think the headline writer is overwrought. To me, the general's comments were just spicy enough to help him sell his book or agitiate for a bigger budget. Anyway, any suggestion of a military junta is far fetched.
About that admirable culture and those sterling values, I have many thoughts. Most of them too pungent for this page. Expressing a mild one, I think that in the process of severely damaging and destroying hundreds of thousands of America's finest citizens, it would have been better if they had at least won some of those damned stupid wars. Wounds heal better if they achieved something.
So no, I don't have much respect for the generals.
"Billionaires Who Bought Congress say they feel shortchanged"
This push by the uber rich to bring more cheap labor into this country is very reminiscent of the Southern plantation owners bringing in slaves from Africa.
"Dietary Guideline Committee ‘Quadruples’ Down on Moving Americans to ‘Plant-Based Diets’"
Should the USDA be in the dietary advice business. Honestly I would feel differently about this if there were some "truth" or consensus on what is good and what is bad. But there isn't. What we have is various special interests each pushing their own version of their biases and propaganda often in complete disagreement with other special interests and with science itself. The fact that "the USDA recently hired an environmental food activist to lead its Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion" boggles the mind. This would be like the catholic church hiring a leading atheist to set religious policy. All of these food bigots should be required to either shut up or be placed in a room with allthe rest of the food bigots and not allowed out until they can agree on what foods are good and what foods are bad. During this time they should be denyed salt, sugar, any and all fats and oils and meat.
NY Times: Raise The Gas Tax, Cause Republicans Are Mean"
20% of the Highway gas tax revenues have been diverted by congress to other then highways most notably to Amtrak and light rail. So restore that and voilà you have 20% more to spend on highways. About 30% of the cost of highways (and most federal projects) goes to comply with the Davis-Bacon act. This was a gift to unions by politicans in exchange for votes. End the Davis-Bacon pork and voilà another 30% available to build and repair highways. Problem solved without increasing taxes!!
"How to win in Gaza"
Caroline Glick makes some excellent points in this article. I particulary approve of her important observation that factions within the Arab community occupying Gaza are competing with one another for supremacy. I would expand on that and encourage such competition, if I were Israel. In light of the present isolation of Gaza, the extreme hardships and the carnage, I would set up and fund a program with other countries to resettle qualified and compliant residents to other places willing to take them in. I would make them wait, jump through administrative hoops and compete against one another for the sponserships and vouchers.
Losing the best educated and skilled people to jobs and opportunities around the world, combined with internal strife, chronic shortages and death, the Gaza strip would depopulate. In time, the population would be whittled down to a manageable number.
Certainly, it would cost billions of dollars. But, and this is important, it costs billions of dollars every year to maintain constant chaos.
As it is presently configured, the money going into Gaza supports everlasting conflict. Even if half of that money were diverted to evacuate people, it would soon take the wind out of the sails of the extremists. In no time, Arab residents of the west bank would be crying to get on those lists.
Of course, the program would need a good name and have political cover from Egypt and Saudi Arabia and the UN. But, it could be done.
"Affirmative action discrimination defies — indeed flouts — equal protection and other liberal values. It rests upon a diversity rationale that is theoretically incoherent and in fact produces little if any of the diversity value that alone might justify it (and then only under a dubious rationale). It has failed to increase its political support in the nation after four decades of energetic advocacy. It fosters corrosive racial stereotypes, poisons race relations, and encourages opacity, dissimulation, and even evasion by its administrators and advocates." Dat's de plan, man.
Gas tax: NYT Ignorance On Display.