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, January 15. 2015
23 Hollywood Moms With Same Sperm Donor Go on Vacation
Alfred Fuller's brush with history
Personal Trainer Impressed By Man’s Improved Excuses
The bias against guns: What the media isn't telling you
AMERICA'S MILITARY: A conservative institution's uneasy cultural evolution
A ‘Gentle Mob’ Pushes UVA to the Irrational
Oxford University Press bans sausages and pigs from
ObamaCare Opt-Out Act: Let all Americans make their own health care decisions
Martin Luther King Jr. enlisted to fight illegal immigration, Obama amnesty
The Problem with Romney Nostalgia - Romney’s 2012 campaign was premised on dissatisfaction with Obama, not enthusiasm for Mitt.
Mitt is a superb fellow. If I were elected, I'd put him in charge of something big
Scott Walker, the un-academic?
1 million tons of pressurised CO2 stored beneath Decatur, Illinois. It was a tenth of that, 100,000 tons, that caused the Lake Nyos disaster
Top MIT Climate Scientist: ‘Senate’s Climate Change Vote Is Ludicrous’
What Terrorism? Kerry Still Obsessing Over 'Climate Change'
France Arrests Comedian Dieudonné for Condoning Acts of Terrorism on Facebook - 54 arrested in crackdown; Interior Minister promises ‘total severity’ against free speech the government doesn’t like
WaPo: French Muslims 'Deeply Torn' by ‘I Am Charlie’ Slogan - 'Many are viewing the tragedy in starkly different terms from their non-Muslim compatriots.
Sky News Really Doesn't Want to Show the New Charlie Hebdo Cover - Self-censorship in action
Free Speech Can Get You Killed? Support It Anyway.
The Existential Necessity of Zionism After Paris: A COMMENTARY Editorial
Drawing While the Hand Trembles - A view of "Charlie Hebdo" from the world of Arab cartoonists, where the risks loom large and the humor is black.
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I don’t invite my friends to church because I don’t want to subject them to Leftist propaganda.
I attend an Episcopal church in a small town in South Texas. Despite the rap the Episcopal Church gets, it's different in the Western Diocese of Texas. No leftist dogma; no political dogma at all; I really couldn't guess how my pastor or most of my fellow parishioners vote. There is a careful avoidance of the controversy over gay marriage that is such a cause of schism nationwide.
Friends of the Earth are the Enemies of Mankind
I think we need to consider the eradication of environmentalists... for the sake of survival of the Earth, of course.
You couldn't pay me to click on that video of PsychoKerry.
The Haitian $ disappearance. I thought this was old news. Or is this is the continuation of the destruction of the Hilary pResidential campaign? Not that I'm complaining.
My Lovey Wife in the Psych Ward......hmmmm, sounds like someone who was never allowed to fail and learn from that failure that life will not end, but that failure is instead, a valuable teaching tool in life's endeavors.
Wonder how many of theses Psycho cases arise in individuals who were cocooned and overly protected, then, when faced with some minor setback, had others rush to their "aid" and comfort, rather than being to taught to buck up and face their issues and simply relax? As Scarlett O'Hara so keenly observed, "After all, tomorrow is another day!"
The after-effects of adrenalin can be a killer! Yet, people forget this potent naturally-occurring chemical/drug is ever present and must be accounted for, in dealing with human behavior (if it can give a 100 lb. woman, the strength to lift a 3,000 lb. car off her child, one can only imagine what effect it could have on someone such as the wife in this article). I could feel the build up of same, as the author described his wife's behavior on her dream job: she was terrified of failure and the adrenaline rush from that stress, was a likely trigger for her descent into her own personal hell.
Wonder how many of theses Psycho cases arise in individuals who were cocooned and overly protected, then, when faced with some minor setback, had others rush to their "aid" and comfort, rather than being to taught to buck up and face their issues and simply relax.
I am reminded of what a Colombian co-corker told me. His grandmother came from a protected, upper class family and married into an upper class family. Having been sheltered all her life, I was told, his grandmother could not cope with the stress of coping her husband's death, and spent the rest of her life in an insane asylum.
Scott Walker, just a few credits shy of being granted the magic ticket, is apparently, according to Democrats, unqualified for high office. It is not like he didn't "go to college" he just didn't get the magic sheepskin.
If Walker runs, it could be very interesting as the DC crowd, both sides, reveal themselves to the American people as snobbish and ignorant. Universities may never recover from an honest discussion of the value of a "degree" over the "education" the diploma supposedly signifies.
Well, Oxford, although did permit some basic research that facilitated it, miss the steam engine. They rushed to catch up, but their bigotry excluded the men who transformed the world from their hallowed halls. If we depended on university to advance mankind in the transformative ways, we'd still be in a horse and buggy.
"Newcomen's religion had consequences greater than absence from a local census. Dissenters, including Baptists, Presbyterians, and others, were as a class, excluded from universities after 1660, an either apprenticed, or learned their science from dissenting academies."
"At the same time that he chartered the world's first scientific society, Charles II had created an entire generation of dissenting intellectuals uncontrolled by his kingdom's ever more technophobic universities."
p29, Rosen, Willam, 'The Most Powerful Idea in the World'
So the universities abandoning freedom of thought, we might see another major transformation of humanity via the minds that avoid the universities tyrannical thought control.
In support and in amplification of your point, C.C. Darlington in The Evolution of Man and Society points out that the scientific and engineering advances in 17th-19th century England came entirely, or almost entirely, from religious dissenters. While Newton spent most of his career at Oxbridge, he had to dissimulate his dissenting religious views in order to do so.
During this time Oxbridge ended up training Anglican clergymen or government bureaucrats, not scientists, as a consequence of requiring adherence to the Anglican creed.
Re: Bernie Sanders and Climate Change
As if declaring himself to be a socialist wasn't enough evidence to believe he is a loon... I guess "in for a penny, in for a pound".
A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
Re: Scott Walker The college dropout
I notice that Bernie Sanders got a college degree - in political science, no less. That's all I need to know about the usefulness of a college degree.
Ah, political science. I have a cousin who was a good football player but not such a good student (untreated dyslexia). When he got a football scholarship to college, he majored as most of the players did in political science. When his knew blew out and he lost the scholarship, he switched and got his degree in Sports Medicine. Did okay, but no lucrative, working with a Sports Medicine Group and training a couple Olympic athletes.
The moral of the story is, once you lose your sport scholarship due to injury, you should switch out of poly sci and into some major that offers a future since you'll have the time to meet the more stringent study.
Yeah, imagine if you did graduate in poli-sci. You might end up as a know-nothing politician like Bernie Sanders (who unfortunately will continue to suck at the tax payer tit till he dies).
Why Arabs Lose Wars
by Norvell B. De Atkine
Middle East Quarterly
Norvell De Atkine, a U.S. Army retired colonel with eight years residence in Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt, and a graduate degree in Arab studies from the American University of Beirut, is currently instructing U.S. Army personnel assigned to Middle Eastern areas. The opinions expressed here are strictly his own.
Arabic-speaking armies have been generally ineffective in the modern era. Egyptian regular forces did poorly against Yemeni irregulars in the 1960s.1 Syrians could only impose their will in Lebanon during the mid-1970s by the use of overwhelming weaponry and numbers.2 Iraqis showed ineptness against an Iranian military ripped apart by revolutionary turmoil in the 1980s and could not win a three-decades-long war against the Kurds.3 The Arab military performance on both sides of the 1990 Kuwait war was mediocre.4 And the Arabs have done poorly in nearly all the military confrontations with Israel. Why this unimpressive record? There are many factors—economic, ideological, technical—but perhaps the most important has to do with culture and certain societal attributes which inhibit Arabs from producing an effective military force.
It is a truism of military life that an army fights as it trains, and so I draw on my many years of firsthand observation of Arabs in training to draw conclusions about the ways in which they go into combat. The following impressions derive from personal experience with Arab military establishments in the capacity of U.S. military attaché and security assistance officer, observer officer with the British-officer Trucial Oman Scouts (the security force in the emirates prior to the establishment of the United Arab Emirates), as well as some thirty year's study of the Middle East.
A very interesting and worthwhile read. Thanks for posting.
As has been pointed out before, it predates Islam.
i.e. The Anabasis.
Only the Wests disunity and internal wars have ever given the Arabs and their neighbors a chance.
Re: Iraqi army (Afghan army, too, for that matter)
We spent a lot of money and lives to help the Iraqis and Afghans stand on their own two feet and it doesn't look like it's paid off. The "reasonable" thing to do is to cut our losses and leave them to their own devices. What are the chances that more training, more equipment, more lives lost will make a difference? Worse, if we end up being their protector, what incentive would they have to defend themselves (see Europe).
Unfortunately, given their (and our) enemies, there are global implications to their failure. There may be no good options.
"The problem with Romney nostalgia"
Romney is a smart and capable man. He is likeable and honest and no doubt would be the ideal grandfather or mentor. He has proved his management skills numerous times. The problem is if he were elected president he would be a place holder. He wouldn't reverse any of the disastrous policies and directions that our prior politicians have created. He wouldn't implement new and radical (constitutional) inititives to bring us back to a constitutional Republic of for and by the people. He would simply "kind of" maintain the status quo. Make no mistake he would do it as well as the best manager in the world could do it. We would slowly increase taxes, slowly increase welfare and slowly increase the national debt. At the same time we would continue to increase the restrictive and probably unconstitutional federal government bureaucratic regulations that are strangling our small and large businesses, we would continue to allow the federal government to usurp power that the constitution clearly says is not theirs for the taking and we would continue the disastrous foriegn policy that the last three presidents have created. But he would do all of this well and with a winning smile. I like Romney, but I have seen his "type" before. With a strong hand guiding him and very explicit instructions he would be a great manager of a company or other organization. As an innovator and leader he lacks so much. What we need is a Ted Cruz. What we are being offered is Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton. There are no good choices in front of us so the next president at best will make things much worse but slowly and at worst she willmake things much worse quickly.
Slightly related to the Iraqi Army story.
The man who may have been one of the most influential in ending the US Draft, Martin Anderson, passed recently.
Imagine the shape the US military would be in if we still forcibly took in all those loser grads from the universities, especially the Ivies, instead of men and women of character who want to be professionals and take pride in their calling?
re 1 million tons of pressurised CO2 stored beneath Decatur, Illinois
I had not heard of this project. It would be interesting to learn how they did it and how they could build 'safeguards' into the project so there could be no catastrophic leak.
I also wonder what it cost, and who made off with the money?
The "Black Lives Matter" crowd has blocked the two main roads into Boston today.
Commuters going to work and ambulances going into the 77 major hospitals in Boston experienced hours of delays.
I live ten miles south of the southern blockage and traffic on the highway didn't move all morning. I think the stalled traffic went back another ten miles south due to the lack of any other roads to detour onto.
Two points; none of the protesters I saw on the news were black, and at least two seriously injured car crash victims had to be diverted to other suburban hospitals.
AN update to that story: When these protestors appeared in court they were released on their own recognizance. The protestors are wearing slings on their arms presumably to demonstrate that the police caused them physical harm when they were seperated from those 55 gallon drums full of concrete. As they were walking out of court a reporter tried to interview two of them and the protestors refused to be interviewed and asked the reporter to get out of their way because they had to go to the hospital to get their injuries looked at. The irony...
Once again--we are being forced to forsake our own rights to be an outspoken individual because we cannot "offend the other". BS! BS! BS!
I grieve for this 54 arrested in France. I grieve for a world with speech codes and any restraint on "free speech". You CANNOT HAVE DEMOCRACY if the individual is not allowed to speak her thoughts, or to defend her family. PERIOD !! NO GROUP--NONE should be protected--singled out as "protected" If you are not aloud to speak about a problem, an issue, or a circumstance, you are not able to resolve the problem! If you don't like colorful language --turn off the damn TV!!