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, August 7. 2014
How stress is good for you
Legal Pot in the US Is Crippling Mexican Cartels
All about sex dolls
Talking about gardening is racist and classist
I will not teach my kids about safe sex because there is no such thing
9-1-1 Dispatcher’s Insane Instructions To Woman Whose House Was Being Robbed: “Put Down The Gun”
What they’re teaching
Do Americans really want to disengage from the world?
Lancet: a Home for Evil’s Useful Idiots
The rich now work more than the poor.
U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner: College kids not ‘developed’ enough for free speech
The Obama Administration’s Epic Rail Fail
No, the IRS cannot be fixed --- it must be abolished and replaced with the Fair Tax
Lancet: a Home for Evil’s Useful Idiots
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Concerning laptops, a quick look shows that Ebay offers many Windows machines for around $300 or less. Even a new laptop should not be more than $400-500. Anyone that buys a Mac is paying for a lifestyle image. There is no difference in quality or performance. For the price of one apple product you can usually buy two similar products with a different OS, more than two if you buy used. You are much better off using the money an Apple product costs to invest in Apple stock.
I bought an Acer Aspire S7 for about $500 at a local shop. I may have overpaid compared to other machines, but it's a nice little laptop.
It has drawbacks. For one, its EXTREMELY touch sensitive. I've found I need to re-learn how to use the click buttons and touch pad. Windows and tabs seem to open at the oddest of times, simply because I dragged my finger across the wrong way. I've played with the sensitivity settings, and there is no middle ground. It's either very light or very hard.
It has some issues with connectivity. Seems to drop WiFi randomly, and it's not always easy to get it to reacquire. I have read there is a fix to this problem, but none of the blogs or comment sections make it easy to understand, and I'm pretty good with computers.
I have found my own workaround for this issue. It's not perfect, but I've found that if I make sure the machine is connected at the point of putting in my personal passcode, it will tend to hold. If I put in my passcode, then wait for it to acquire WiFi, it will take a long time and be unreliable.
Why would that make a difference? No idea. But it works for me. Sometimes these things have minds of their own.
After all, the old "unplug it, wait 20 seconds, then try again" still works for my WiFi when it loses its signal...
How stress is good for you;
YES! There's a great book called ANTIFRAGILE, by the writer of THE BLACK SWAN.
Natural systems become stronger by stress. Man-made and machine made structures become weaker.
Our entire society has been engineered to avoid what makes us stronger. Anti-bacterials, Anti-bullying, Conflict Avoidance, Zero-Tolerance policies, etc.
"So stress isn’t what kills us, it’s just thinking that it can kill us that kills us."
Awesome! Perspective is everything. Wild animals don't get ulcers from worrying about stuff, because they have flight/fight response. (witness horse that goes back to grazing after danger is gone)
I'm about done with the campus sexual assault issue. Neither side is seeking legitimate solutions. I guess we could see them as humanities types who just want to talk about it and feel about it rather than engineering types who look for a solution.
The solution is simple and requires very little modification of an existing system. That system is the manner in which police departments conduct administrative investigations. There is already training available for such investigators, retired investigators who could be hired, and methods to protect rights and not mess up criminal prosecutions.
There are already mediators who could hear the cases to issue an impartial judgement.
In the Roman law system of the examining magistrate, a State appointed official is both the interrogator and the judge. He could in the past use torture, he could use informers, he could threaten and lie, he could use all and any means to try to extract ‘the truth’ and when he was satisfied of guilt, he must force a confession – again under torture if necessary. After the confession, in serious cases the person who confessed was burnt, hung drawn and quartered, broken on the wheel or whatever the often extremely harsh punishment was.
How very European of the American universities to implement a complaint adjudication system so unaligned with American values and traditions. That such a a system is pushed upon them by the allegedly American government is somewhat disturbing. But this is at our universities where they supposedly know more than those ignorant, uneducated buffoons who created the modern world. Much better to throw all that off for the backward systems of pre-modern societies.
This ‘island of law’ spread from England to North America in the seventeenth century and then, in the eighteenth century, to India. It has now influenced many of the legal systems around the world. Its opposite, which covered all of Continental Europe with the revival of late Roman Law from the fourteenth century, is worth noting. It is the system which, with varieties, is to be found in most agrarian civilizations – centralized, rule generating, attempting to find a solution to every problem before it occurs, giving the State immense powers and the citizen or subject, little protection.
quotes are from 'The invention of the modern world', Alan MacFarlane
VIRAL - "Apparently" This Kid is Awesome, Steals the Show During Interview
"U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner: College kids not ‘developed’ enough for free speech"
Oh the irony as the leftist hippie protest generation now tries to squash speech from youth, especially those who don't follow the leftist script
Especially so because those '60s leftists were all about free speech....then.
Why should any college handle sexual assault charges? It not only flies in the face of the constitution it may well be a crime by interfering with a criminal investigation. Try it next time someone you know is charged with a crime. Take over the investigation, after all you have as much right and authorization as the college does. Punish the "guilty" after your kangaroo trial and see if you can get away with it. Lets get colleges out of criminal investigation and doling out "justice". As for a mediator! Give me a break. The purpose of mediation is to cut the baby in half. There is no attempt to right wrongs or actually find the truth it is a process of giving enough to both sides so you can claim to have been fair. Mediation is the worst possible choice and I might add probably as unconstitutional as allowing a college to mete out justice. As for the Duke case this illustrates the bankruptcy of the entire process. If there were justice then the Duke accuser would spend as much time in jail for the false charge as the victims would have spent if they had been convicted of the false charge. The fact that she was allowed to walk away scot free is proof of a biased system of justice.
I agree, if there is evidence of a crime that is a matter for the police and prosecutor. Those schools that pressured accusers not to contact the police should be fined to near bankruptcy and the "educators" who did the pressuring banned from all university positions.
But, once the police have investigated and determined that there is not evidence to prosecute a crime, the university still has its rules and policies that apply to the students. Not to mention, a rules violation complaint investigation could uncover evidence that the matter should be handled criminally, but if the school has violated rights then that prosecution becomes difficult. And it doesn't help that universities have a long and storied history of covering up prosecutable crimes by athletes and coaches, as well as professors.
Mediator may have been a poor choice of term. But there are those out there with experience handling administrative proceedings and judging them independently something that does not exist in a university employee.
Given the agenda of the federal bureaucrats, it is unlikely a university could sanction a student who filed a false charge. As for prosecution, that is in the hands of the all to corrupt prosecutors and then only if the matter is brought as a police complaint.
As I said, this is looking more and more like just something those in useless Liberal Arts majors want to bicker over rather than find a workable solution that fairly handles complaints.
It would be interesting to see what majors the accusers and the accused are studying.
Sex Dolls: Such an appropriate subject for [i]The Atlantic[\i] .
Free Speech: They wanted it in the '60s; now they don't want anyone else to have it.
Theo: Follow the money. Complaints about Big Oil. Big Coal, Big Gas...but it's Big Government that's got the most $$$, and wants more, just like Rico in Little Caesar.
High Speed Rail = High Speed Fail.