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, January 12. 2016
Pic: Tree in New England this week
Vegetarians not healthier
US crude dips below $31, hits fresh 12-year low
Powerball compared to phone sex
Something Wonderful: Freeing Bandit the Bull
Higher Ed: Where Do All the Savings Go?
A Call for Caution on Marijuana
Migrant Men Practiced ‘Taharrush’ On German Women in Cologne Sex Attacks
Mass Sexual Assault Covered Up In Sweden, Too
How Bill Quickly Went from Asset to Liability for Hillary’s Campaign
Bob Woodward Compares Hillary Scandal to Watergate
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Without exception, anytime I have been to a "Whole Foods", I have never seen anyone that didn't look like a shopper at Publix, Winn Dixie etc. On those occasions I might go to a Whole Foods, I see the same issues with obesity. No one looks any younger or healthier than anyone else.
Given the choice, I prefer food un-tampered with. But at this point that is somewhat unrealistic. (I don't know for a fact it is gonna hurt me either)
I am not a carnivore bias observer either (did I type that out loud?).
I've gotten to the point where I don't believe anybody anymore at anytime.
I love Whole Foods, not because I feel that strongly about processed food, but because they carry all kinds of things I like to eat that no ordinary grocery does, or certainly not those in my little town. It's crazy expensive, but that's a premium on exotic choices. Their cheese section alone is almost enough to inspire the occasional trek into the big city for provisions. On the other hand, I get roughly the same experience from a Central Market, which (for you non-Texans) is a super-HEB--except that, at a Whole Foods, I have the additional pleasure of supporting a CEO with sane views on healthcare benefits.
"US crude dips below $31, hits fresh 12-year low..."
This is tough news for the usual "Big Oil" conspiracy nuts. Events aren't following the narrative at all. The Middle East is in chaos, tensions are heightening between Saudi Arabia and Iran: so why ain't oil $200 a barrel?
It's hard on my own country's new tremendously high-minded government too. The collapse in oil prices has been really hard on our oil sands industry. Our dollar is way down. It's kicking the crap out of the revenue stream for all their wonderful big new ideas and smug posturing about "climate change".
Indeed JJM. And have you noticed during this price slide, the falling prices have been spun as a bad thing by the media?
It is running counter to The Narrative (The Narrative = The Lie) that we are running out of oil and must use Quixotelike power sources if we are to survive. Furthermore cheap oil will cause demand for oil to rise which will in turn give the Global Warming True Believers yet another case of apoplexy.
The Left wants us all living in apartments and riding the bus and cheap oil isn't going to encourage the proles to do that.
True, it's hurting the oil industry and their stocks, but look at the benefit for the entire economy. The average Joe is getting what amounts to a tremendous tax cut, the entire economy benefits as production and transportation costs drop and our balance of payments in international trade is reduced as well.
As an added bonus many of our international adversaries are being squeezed big time by crashing revenue.
In my view we are gaining much more than we are losing.
JJM: Our dollar is way down.
The U.S. dollar is generally stronger over the last seven years.
That wasn't the first time, and it won't be the last time that Z-Team makes a correction that is not correct. Definitely a case of neglecting to read carefully. In the attempt to show that wingnuts are ignoramuses, Z-Team often trips itself. What was that old saw about familiarity and contempt?
The comment specifically mentions the U.S. dollar. Nor is Canada the only country with oil sands.
The comment specifically mentions the U.S. dollar. Nor is Canada the only country with oil sands.
Let's parse the comment.
It's hard on my own country's new tremendously high-minded government too. The collapse in oil prices has been really hard on our oil sands industry. Our dollar is way down.
Point one. There is only ONE COUNTRY mentioned.
Point two: Canada recently had a change of government.
Point three: Canada is the big player in oil sands. Wiki's article on Oil Sands points out that Canada is the big player in oil sands.
Natural bitumen deposits are reported in many countries, but in particular are found in extremely large quantities in Canada.The article points out that 70.8% of world reserves are found in Canada.
Point four: contrary to what you assert, there is NO mention of the U.S. dollar in the comment: "our dollar." Canada has its own dollar. Wiki states that Russia and Kazhakstan have big oil sands/bitumen deposits, but neither Russia nor Kazhakstan have any sort of dollar as their currency.
Game, set, match.
Gringo: contrary to what you assert, there is NO mention of the U.S. dollar in the comment
The price of oil was denominated in U.S. dollars. As for the weakness of the Canadian dollar in exchange markets, that is a problem for economies that strongly rely on exporting natural resources when the price of those resources drop.
Gringo: Canada is the big player in oil sands.
The U.S. also has oil sands.
Notably, Ten took an entirely different stance with regards to the comment, saying "The dollar itself is worth three cents." This nothing to do with exchange rates.
None of your verbiage refutes the point that your initial response to JJM was off the mark because JJM was talking about Canada.
JJM: Our dollar is way down.When JJM is talking about the dollar being down-and we have clearly established that JJM is talking about Canada- your responses are ignorant to irrelevant. Your refusal to acknowledge your initial mistake shows that you are both ignorant and arrogant.
Z-Team in response to JJM: The U.S. dollar is generally stronger over the last seven years.
Kjeldermand to Z-Team: JJM's from Canada.Way to pay attention, genius.
Z-Team in response to Kjeldermand : The comment specifically mentions the U.S. dollar. Nor is Canada the only country with oil sands.
I am not wasting any further time. Ciao.
Gringo: your responses are ignorant to irrelevant.
We explained how our answer was based on incomplete information, then we addressed the question of Canada's weak dollar, as well as Ten's contrary interpretation of the comment.
What you actually did was the usual squid ink you employ whenever you're caught in a completely nonsensical statement.
Wasn't a contrary interpretation, as I thought was both evident and explained prior. Was an ancillary truth that "we" felt illuminated the general point.
Only stronger against similar devalued currencies, not against itself. The dollar itself is worth three cents.
And no, the commensurate inflation argument isn't relevant. All it does is tacitly acknowledge 1) the local devaluation mechanism exists, 2) within the broader currency market in general.
Although JJM is wrong on the narrative-blowing nature of the recent oil market. Prices are down because the Saudis removed caps in an attempt to take down the Russian and US fields. Nothing to do with deflating leftist economic tropes, which is easy enough as it is...
Ten: Only stronger against similar devalued currencies, not against itself.
That's not what the phrase "dollar is way down" usually means. Anyway,
Median income has dropped somewhat since the Great Recession, even as GDP has increased.
That's not what the phrase "dollar is way down" usually means.
I simply appended your assertion. Wasn't replacing it as much as adding a broader POV to it. A usually pertinent one.
Median income has dropped somewhat since the Great Recession, even as GDP has increased.
Without context, irrelevant.
Correction: JJM is right on the narrative-blowing. I'm not sure the left much tries that one on anymore, is what I meant, but yes, it's technically a leftist buzz-kill to see the oil market - or any market - reflect simple economic pressures instead of cronyism. Which is real when control is greater than in this instance.
I pay more attention to the changes in control of congress, and I believe there is always a 18-24 month delay as the blame/credit gradually shifts from the old regime to the new one.
So you might trace that back to the 2006 elections and change in congress. And if you think that's accidental, you might walk that back 60 years, applying the standard of weighting congress over POTUS at about 2:1, and being mindful of the delay in effect.
A lot of economics suddenly becomes startlingly clear when one does that.
Vegetarians not healthier
Keep parsing the press for confirmation of bias and guess what happens?
Try meta analysis instead, because patterns of data count (and are upsetting more than just this one field). The largest one ever done on meat and health - pursuant processed meat being a Class 1 carcinogen and red meat being a Class 2 carcinogen - completely disagrees with your assertion above. As does the largest population study on nutrition ever conducted, for starters.
And then you have the enormous problem of science's general scandal of credibility these days, which we've seen noted here and other places. And that whole pay-for-play and publish or die problem. Plus the copious payola flowing in from special interest cronies.
This is why you don't isolate pot-boilers and call it science.
The notion that health is independent of diet is as questionable on its face as it is objectively false on facts.
(Driscoll is just a weak blogger, occasionally filling demand by connecting dots that don't connect, and generally degrading the formerly passable Insty blog.)
The meat-ag obsession is identity and cultural signalling by a "right" that over a century squandered its way on literally every other major issue. The remaining vestigial fight is prying their Cokes, pizzas, and quadruple cheese Thickburgers from their cold, dead fingers. 'Murica! Patrick Henry!
You can see this lifestyle subjectivism all over the comments following these throw-away pieces. You don't want science. You want independence from it.
Aaaaaah! The vegan/ vegetarian fascists who can't stand an attack on their religious faith in eating weeds, grass, tree bark and dirt, come out of the woodwork to blister another factual rendering of the falsity of their faith!
Humans are "omnivores. They have eaten all manner of food stuffs since Homo Erectus descended from the trees. Nature's true herbivores are fully adapted to being "vegan" as is shown by the development of teeth and digestive systems evolved to deal with that nasty, tasteless vegetative debris; humans are not herbivores. Humans' teeth and guts scream "Any food I can gather, harvest, catch or kill, is good for me!"
I think what has really PO'ed the veg-heads is the huge governmental flip-flop on the protein and saturated fats. Now that such food stuffs have be shown to be necessary for human health and well-being, the veg-heads are bitter that they have foregone tasty nutrition all those years for empty promises of "better health" and longer lives.
I'd be PO'ed too, realizing I gave up the taste of a juicy porterhouse or succulent lamb chops for the false promise of better health and only to learn that my choice has likely hastened my fall into Alzheimer's disease!
The joke is on the veg-heads!
We wouldn't to ignore "science" now would we, veg-heads????
Nice screed, you old codger, but you fallaciously rail against presumptions nowhere in evidence while basically confirming that lifestyle signaling I noted; one of those strawman-dealing subjectivists who can't present a factual argument to support a foregone lifestyle choice, which is based in preference, and not outcomes.
And that omnivore argument has worn so thin as to be as irrelevant as the rest of your piece. Humans put anything that fits in their bodies. Question is how it does best and why, not what somebody can claim based on fabricated history, contemporary culture, or drive-thru. Those ain't findings; those be assertions.
As for Alzheimer's, I'm genuinely sorry to hear it, your amiable, engaging conversational style notwithstanding. Problem is that its best remedy indeed lies in the plant kingdom, not those widely-accepted anti-disease elixirs bacon fat, lardons, and triple-beef-stackers.
If anybody cared.
The food fight is really all about tightly held biases and proving the other person wrong. There is big money in the food and supplement industry and they prey on the wishful and propagandized public to sell their "whole" food for 2-3 times what it is worth. There has never been a legitimate study where organic foods or special diets have provided any real benefit what so ever. There are statistical anomalies which the food bigots use effectively to fool the public and are often cited as 'proof' of something or other.
This entire discussion is complicated by one simple and very understandable fact: Some people have health problems that require specific diets to alleviate symptoms. It is an easy leap of faith than for uninformed people and those with a bias to assume "gee if low carbs/sugar is good for a diabetic than it must be good for everyone". Of course it is not but the public in general neither understands statistics nor biology. We are in fact sitting ducks for the hucksters and many become useful idiots for the cause willingly and eagerly reciting the crazy diet theories of the industry.
IF some particular diet or some particular family of food would harm you or conversely help you than the proof would be overwhelming. Socrates demonstrated this when he drank hemlock. Hemlock is harmful and it will kill you regardless of your dietary beliefs or biases. Iy is true whether you believe it or not. Meat (red meat) does not. If it did than the data would be overwhelming. There would be dead bodies stacked outside every McDonalds. There would be squads of healthy vegetarians with shovels and back hoes to dispose of these foolish red meat eaters. But there isn't!! In fact red meat eaters live just as long as carrot chompers. The facts simply fail to support any of the many myths.
Gone with the Windiness said again loudly, hands covering its ears.
When one reads the articles, the experts offer notional explanations to the degree they miss the entire target by a football field or so.
Of course the explanation can’t be one or the other, it has to be more of the boogieman route. Yes, the problem has to be the catch-all/all-the-time culprit “meat”. That abstract, non-living, non-breathing, can’t invite over for Sunday brunch character “meat” running roughshod. Episode #2,167,367 of the meat taking the rap.
The ability of these research designs to isolate reliable identifying information and test the untested assumptions in this new research about the construction of better control groups. Evidence points to serious problems with these research designs. Moreover, new evidence based on methods that let the data identify the appropriate control groups leads to stronger evidence of meats' or non meat effects. Could be the evidence still shows a tradeoff of effects and that one needs to bear this tradeoff in mind when making decisions about meat or diet in general.
Funny that with the appeals to rigor, you slipped in that wholly presumptuous and irrelevant, "yes, the problem has to be the catch-all/all-the-time culprit 'meat'”. Or do I misread the remark?
Problem? I'm told there is no problem.
Actually, the problem is quite diet-centric, which in the typical Western version does indeed make for very real issues the purported "omnivore" consumer, bred for appetizing extrusions from the industrialized hopper, suffers but is prevented seeing as such.
I'd say that constitutes somewhat more unsupportable bias than the reliable, classic notion that eating healthy is healthy. Pro-typical American diet is solely pro-lifestyle choice; an identity signal. Defending it as benign is tantamount to malpractice.
Re: Mass Sexual Assault Covered Up In Sweden, Too
This is just more evidence of how dangerous multiculturalism is. Not all cultures are equal. They are not equal in providing for their own populations and they are not equal in positively influencing other populations. We are watching the willful destruction of Western European culture and we have the multicultural left to thank.
Incidentally, Sweden's covering up sexual assaults perpetrated by Muslim immigrants is pretty old news. Pat Condell posted this video about just that subject (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uws9BlnJmjI).
They should be deported.
Z: They should be deported.
Does 'they' refer to the immigrants or the corrupt press? I support deporting both.
But more than that, they should never have been let in in such numbers in the first place. In the second place, they should have been treated exactly like any other Swede, especially when they are found to be criminals. It is very destructive to everybody when one group gets discriminatory (positive or negative) treatment.
mudbug: Does 'they' refer to the immigrants or the corrupt press?
"Anti-migrant protest turns violent ... Demonstrators, some of whom bore tattoos with far-right symbols ... "
I read the article. I know there were some unsavory people demonstrating against the mass migration of Muslims after the instances of Taharrush during New Years.
1) What does that have to do with my question: "Does 'they' refer to the immigrants or the corrupt press?"
2) Why do you bring up what happened in Germany? Are you trying to make the equivalence between the sexual harassment there and the rape in Sweden? Are you equating the handling of those instances by the German police with the way the Swedish police handled rape by Muslim men?
3) Are you against people demonstrating against people who sexually molest women and steal?
mudbug: What does that have to do with my question: "Does 'they' refer to the immigrants or the corrupt press?"
The violent protesters and arsonists.
Ah, "some." Reuters wouldn't want to miss that. Nor would Zachriel.
"They should be deported."
First time I agree with you. And we have millions of people in this country who also need to be summarily thrown out. Can't show you're here legally, out of the country or into prison.
Fortunately, President Trump will do that.
If government doesn't take action, Europe shows that at some point the people will.
Doesn't surprise me that NOW is siding with a liar who we know lied. Rape is atrocious. It should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. When it has happened. But it clearly hasn't in the UVA case.
Then again, if NOW cared about the safety of women, it would keep females away from Bill Clinton. But we know that they won't take that step.
The state of Bavaria is now enforcing EU immigration and asylum laws which force the country of entry to take these people first. Many Germans hope this will be followed by other German states who have had enough of this nonsense. CSU chief Horst Seehofer (equivalent to "Governor" of Bavaria) has demanded a ceiling of 200,000 refugees per year.
Frau Merkle is clearly in violation of the Dublin Regulation and Germans have enough of it! What will be interesting is to see if the liberal media attacks Horst Seehofer as a Nazi.
Dublin Regulation: Bayern sends refugees back to Austria
The stream of refugees continues unabated even in winter. Now reports the Federal Police, that sends hundreds of refugees back to Austria.
Several hundred refugees from Bavaria are currently being sent back to Austria each day. Background for this action was the consistent implementation of the so-called Dublin regulation, said a spokesman for the federal police headquarters in Munich.
Strict implementation of the Dublin Regulation
After the Dublin Regulation each applicant must actually make his application for asylum in the EU country that he first entered. Strictly speaking, the federal police could therefore return all incoming refugees to Austria (where they entered the EU).
The exception is Greece - in this case Germany seeks to protect Greece because of poor (economic) reception conditions.
*** For any of you in America who want to follow conservative German journalism, I recommend Der Spiegel International in English. The Bild is really a trash magazine on the level of tabloid news.
Thanks for the suggestion about Der Spiegel International in English!
I just went there and found an article interviewing the Mayor of Cologne.
To say the least, I am absolutely flabbergasted that she claims the first she heard about these assaults was when she read it in the news!
Perhaps, I am missing something about the role of a Mayor in German Cities; but, I would have hoped that the mayor of any city (in Germany or elsewhere) would have heard about the problems BEFORE reading about them in the news! Especially given that a Mayor of any large city which has huge events on a regular basis would expect an "after report" on how things went - she didn't get that until later.
Thanks; I think I will add Der Spiegel International to my regular news reading!
Of course Germany or any country is free to run their country as they please. But when I say 'they' I mean the citizens not elected politicians or hired bureaucrats. So if the German citizens want to bring in refugees/immigrants/thugs they can certainly do so. What I do not understand in this discussion is WHY? Is the German rape and mayhem statistic so low that they need to bring in thugs and criminals to keep the police from being bored. WHY do they want to do this. Certainly every tax paying citizen is going to pay for these thugs, their housing, food, health care, etc and probably pay for the refugees children as well for as long as they live. WHY do they agree to it? It really makes no sense to me. Every government exits (or should) to look out for their own citizen not for strangers/foreigners. Why would a government without the consent of their citizens put complete strangers and foreigners ahead of their own citizens? None of this makes any sense to me.
IMHO what the government should do and should have done from day one is round them up as they enter the country and handcuff them and return them to either the port of entry they entered from or to their home of origin. Anything else simply makes no sense to me and is inconsistent with the governments duty to their citizens.
"To say the least, I am absolutely flabbergasted that she claims the first she heard about these assaults was when she read it in the news!"
She's just taking a page from Obama's playbook. :)
Frau Reker is your typical progressive German elite who refuses to acknowledge what everyone knows because she has an agenda. You may recall she was attacked by an anti-immigrant protester last year (stabbed in the neck) so I suppose she really has to push for these immigrants to warrant the attack in a way to "feel their pain" as your President Clinton once stated.
FOR BIRD DOG
Hey BD--why don't you and some friends come together to buy this place?
Once again we betray the trusting
Ok--I was afraid this would happen. The Kurds sit on the oil. The US want to get rid of Assad and the Syrian mess. The Turks want to get rid of the Kurds. So we have a win/win for Turkey and US. But, once again the US (see Hungary 1956 and Czechoslovakia 1968 we are selling out the best (Kurds). Read it and weep for us:
@ GoneWithTheWind - Germans are typically very friendly, and while we are not known as the warmest people in Europe we're not totally xenophobic either. Like every country, we have our political extremes (the neo-Nazis in old East Germany and ultra green liberals in the west). But in the middle, are the majority of us who are not so different than you.
Despite a few pictures and YouTube videos, no right-thinking German believes on any level, that these people will help Germany or Europe. Of course there are always the exceptions of individual immigrants finding a good job, fitting into their town or village and becoming a functioning member of our society. This is probably no different to Americans who have seen Indians, Pakistanis, Iranians and other immigrants running small shops, hotels, etc. In these cases, we are quite happy to see them fit in a become part of our social and economic fabric.
But one need look no further than France or the Netherlands to see how poorly the majority of Muslim immigrants, many from their old colonies, have been accepted in mainstream society. They do poorly in school, they have the highest rates of unemployment and primary source of criminal activity. You can't master the language, science or math when you spend most of your day in koran school.
Now, European children are indoctrinated in the mulch-cultural brain washing of "we can all get along" in school. As in the US, where the left runs the schools and the media, the average German is helpless to speak out and voice their concerns.
When we do speak out against this, we are quickly labeled as Nazi's, and trust me when I say this, this label has huge psychological impact even today given everything associated with that term.
Now Frau Merkle is working with Facebook and other online media sites to block "hate speech" as defined by the government. While this isn't exactly book burning of the 1930's and 40's, the similarity is frightening to many of us.
So while we are separated by a very large ocean, what's going on here is nearly identical to what's going on in your own country and other countries as far away as Australia.
OK, this is over my head. My uncle Letsgo warned me:
Don't get between the cats and the dogs when it comes to politics.