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, April 14. 2016
The 6 elements of an effective apology, according to science
The World's Most Dangerous Airport
Low fat diet correlated with more heart attacks
This study 40 years ago could have reshaped the American diet. But it was never fully published:
"War" on obesity? What? Let them eat cake if they want to.
Anti-Zionism Is Anti-Semitism. Get Over It.
Wrong. It's faux offense for bullying purposes.
WSJ Confirms Collusion Behind #ExxonKnew
Blue state pensions: Unimaginable Math Problems
Why Minimum Wage Is Bad For Workers, Great For Unions
It is that simple
Around here we call it Island Time
George Soros Warns Europe: Absorb 500k Refugees Costing $34Bn, Or Risk "Existential Threat"
Wargame Warns NATO Unready For Baltic Crisis
Why Violent Islamists Assault Antiquity
The new grenade launcher
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DeBlasio is married to a black lesbian woman and has fathered her children. He is more than vaguely familiar with CPT. Not racist at all for him to comment on it. Hillary panders to the black community and is their savior; and her husband Bill was the first black president. No racism there either. What is the big deal? A little more racial humor now and then might help us all to mend fences.
Just a-shucking' and a-jivin' here in paradise.
What kind of lesbian ALLOWS a man to get her pregnant? And bear a child? I'd guess a really rotten, lousy, UNCOMMITTED lesbian.
Soros is a piece of work, he admits he wants to eliminate Europe's borders using the migrant crisis and then warns that the migrants are causing an existential threat!
He hates the US, too! He benefitted from capitalism and Western culture and now that he's gotten his billions, he's ready to destroy them.
how difficult it can be for new evidence to see the light of day when it contradicts widely held theories.
Dead-ended, quasi-paranoid rhetoric - there are hundreds of scientific studies that disprove the trendy fat = health fad among 2016 rightists. Yards of studies and data are where standing wisdom about arterial inflammation and decay comes from, as if that needed saying, even as impermanent and meandering as human knowledge is.
Science falls completely apart from time to time as fields undergo revision but this just isn't that thing. This is global-warmist-like zeal and partisanship producing a rather sanctimonious, self-victimizing reinterpretation of history and founded, grounded science. This is an appeal to the god of Science!, that other thing unrelated to science. You should find such convolution a little embarrassing.
The ostensible right is reduced to dietary partisanship while abandoning a nation to cultural decay. Have the Powerline and Reynolds readers promoting the cardiovascular-restoring properties of industrial bacon from penned, hormoned hogs ever, for example, formed or even joined a campaign to reform education? And by reform I mean restructured it entirely out of the public cesspool that's saddled us with campus garbage babies and their entangled, tenured nannies, as you also allude above.
If you want to see a field in upheaval, look to cosmology. Dietary Science! as recently redefined by a lost right is not upheaval. It's desperation signalling.
The war on obesity is a stupid effort with ill defined goals and little to no effective tactics. While their might be some value for the 10% or so children who are genetically obese to follow a specific diet the "plan" seems to be that every child in school must follow a specific diet. if your child's weight is perfect they still must eat reduced calorie meals. If your child is thin, they still must eat reduced calorie meals. If your child is genetically obese and WILL go home and eat until they feel full they still must eat reduced calorie meals in school. If your child is an athlete burning twice the calories of typical students, Yes, they too must consume low calorie meals in school. The intent isn't and never has been to actually do something about obesity. The intent is to appear to be doing something.
This story ties in with the low fat diet story in that the so-called experts simply do not know what is "good" and what is "bad". This isn't science and appears to have always been about personal biases and belief systems. If you placed all the dieticians and diet 'experts' in a straight line they would still all be pointing in different directions.
How do we carp about diet but not about it's inherent, public-sector conflict of interest, even as you've elaborated on it? How do we not demand that the two be divorced in practice, and that to not to do so is a violation itself?
This is what I mean by rightist co-dependency and fecklessness. Champion what's really a cultural desperation signal and virtually never address real causes.
Re: Blue State Pensions
The Zman is correct that low bond yields are part of why those pension plans are in trouble, the other reason is the ridiculously generous nature of the pensions themselves. NC is not one of the states in dire straits spelled out in the column, but my daughter's 1st grade teacher was able to retire at 50!
Shortly after the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, Meredith Whitney, who called the Wall Street meltdown, predicted that the next wave of failures was municipal bonds. She took a lot of heat for that, but she probably wasn't wrong, but rather early.
It isn't as simple as saying that government retirements are too generous. Some may be and some rules may be more generous to some than to others; for example police and firemen can retire at age 50 with full benefits. But the problem behind the public retirement systems is more complex than being "too generous".
The primary problem in all state retirement systems is that while the employees contribution (typically 6%) is deposited immediately with the retirement fund for investment the employer (the state) can delay this contribution essentially forever and many state agencies (perhaps all of them did just that). Well the same miracle of compound interest that causes the low paid employee working for the state for 35 years to accumulate $150,000 with a mere 6% deduction every month also puts the state $150,000 behind the eight ball when that employee retires. The state should pay the 6% as soon is it is due not 35 years later.
The second problem is one I already hinted at and that is the tens of thousands of police and fire retirees who receive full pensions as though they worked until 60 or 65 but in fact they retire at age 50. The legislators caused this because the powerful police and fire unions demanded it but no one funded it. The money was simply taken from that low paid secretary who had to work until age 60 or 65 to retire. The legislators should fix this either by contributing more or reversing this undeserved benefit.
Third problem was when the rules were set up the state typically provided a straight annuity OR a retirement pay based on wages during the last three years. What happens is 90% of the people retire and choose the annuity option but some (typically political cronies) get promoted work the three years to lock in the higher retirement and then take the money and run. This too should be fixed and put everyone on a annuity (commonly called money match).
If the states had set this up correctly to begin with they would not have the mess they have now.
From "This study 40 years ago could have reshaped the American diet."
But the long-belated saga of the Minnesota Coronary Experiment may also make a broader point about how science gets done: it suggests just how difficult it can be for new evidence to see the light of day when it contradicts widely held theories.
Hmmm... sounds like it's happening all over again, but this time it's about the weather!
How about it's happening all over again for anything the government gets its nasty little fingers into, which at this point is just about everything.
Sultan's essay on the 3 stages of civilization is brilliant. It explains much of what is happening in the world right now.
RE Sultan: Civilizations go through three stages; Barbaric, Vigorous and Decadent.
the Sultan is usually insightful, but in this essay, he's inviting you to connect the dots between what he knows his audience has gotten their panties a-twist (on no! ISIS! Mexican immigrants! America's doomed!) with an imaginary past (apparently the 4th century roman empire). he gives few historical examples, mostly highly questionable.
argument is not evidence. he's impossible to take seriously, he's just preaching to the choir.
That Decline of the Roman Empire analogy always drives me nuts!
Rome stretched over two millennia, from mud huts on the Tiber to the Turks finally investing Constantinople. It went from vassal state, to kingdom and to republic in its first 750 years, became an empire and carried on for another 450 years and then - soldiered on in its Eastern/Byzantine form for yet another thousand years after that.
And against all that, people would compare the US with its 400 years of history?
(And I'm being generous here by lumping in about 175 years of pre-independence colonial history as well).
Odd, I can't find the word Rome anywhere in the Kanish piece. Nor do I find any historical examples.
It does look like his analysis of a Decadent Society fit our current one rather closely, as if it were defined our current society, which is of course exactly what he did. Still, he's not wrong from where I stand.
amazing. you figured that out all by yourself.
the sultan is being vague about his analogies because he knows how stupidly weak the obvious this one is. he correctly assumes that most of his readers are as intellectually lazy as you.
as for decadence, you know yourself best.
RE The 6 elements of an effective apology, according to science
not all offenses are purely private. a theft from an individual is also an offense against the public peace, and the offender should acknowledge the harm to the community and willingly accept suitable punishment, e.g., jail time, unless your skin color mandates midnight basketball, another social program and a free lunch.
Crybullies - University snowflakes.
I think it' a bit of both. My theory is:
If you tell someone from the time they're a toddler until they get into college that they're victims, what you often get is learned helplessness. There is also a agressvie element to hopelessness - An "if I'm scewed, then screw everyone!" sort of philosophy. So you get both the in-your-face screeming type, and the fall on the floor crying type and they are I would suggest that the Regressive-left encourages a codependantcy between the two groups built on a massive sense of entitlement.
I think it's all part of that helicopter parenting - everyone gets a trophy - there are no winners only participants. There are those who belive it, and those who know it's crap but they're stuck with it. So, we get melting snowflakes and exploding snowflakes. Flakes in either case.
My brother-in-law had a rule for his older daughter: if it makes your little sister cry, it stops immediately. It seems to me that there are those who now want to make that a principle of constitutional law.
The actions of ISIS with regard to antiquities brings to mind the apocryphal story of the destruction of the Library of Alexandria. When the Caliph was consulted as to what should be done with the contents, he replied "either the books are in consort with the Koran, or in conflict with it. If they are in consort they are unnecessary and can be burned, and if they are in conflict they are heretical and must be burned.
"Around here we call it Island Time"
A friend of mine grew up in Aruba. He's still on Island time 40 years after he moved to NY/CT.
"So you get both the in-your-face screeming type, and the fall on the floor crying type and they are I would suggest that the Regressive-left encourages a codependantcy between the two groups built on a massive sense of entitlement."
Somebody does that, pull out your phone and tell them it's going out to YouTube LIVE.