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
Wednesday, August 31. 2016
We eat supper out a fair bit. One marital date nite per week, one or two social nights out, and a fair amount of take-out because it is easy, tasty, healthy, and cheap. A couple of times each month I'll do a guy's nite out or a guy's breakfast out with a friend or two. Mrs. BD only wants to cook for guests or holidays after cooking for the family for many years, and I only cook when inspired and for guests.
Himalayan bus ride
It is not for me.
How Central Park's lampposts can keep you from getting lost
Obama Designates Maine’s North Woods as National Monument
Lots and lots of trigger warnings
Did Welfare Reform Reduce Poverty? Define 'Poverty'
How do you define poverty in a welfare state where the poor are overweight or have big TVs and $200 sneakers?
Armageddon and The New New Malthusians
George Soros is a brilliant mastermind, the closest thing to a real-life Bond villain in human history
John Kerry actually said this
Merkel defends immigration decision on one-year anniversary of ‘wir schaffen das’
Mexico issues transit visas (to the US) to surge of African migrants
The Democrats Own the Ills of the Inner Cities
Nobody knows how to fix subcultural ills
FBI finds up to 30 deleted Benghazi emails Clinton did not turn over
Here's A Case Study In How Journalists Protect Hillary Clinton From Bad News
TRUMP to Speak Before 25,000-30,000 Indian Americans at ‘Humanity United Against Terror’ Event
Finland will try Free Money
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Finland will try Free Money
With a culturally- and ethnically-homogeneous population of only 5.5 million, does it matter?
(Quality blogging. It's a thing.)
re: Eating out so much
Not counting the dollar menus and cheap pizza, we rarely eat out because it's so expensive. When we do it's almost always for something that we either don't know how to cook or is just too labor intensive. Mexican, Chinese, Pho, BBQ, and good burgers are worth paying for.
Maybe waiting for a table is common in NYC where there are so many people, but I would never wait to sit down. If a table isn't open I get back in the car and go to a different restaurant. Is it just me?
The author didn't mention what I think is the biggest factor in why people eat out so much, which is working mothers. When you look at a home where the mother works versus a home where the mother raises her children, one thing stands out. The working mom's home is clean. Not because she keeps it clean, but because nobody is ever home to get it dirty. Nobody wants to come home after working all day and spend a couple hours cooking dinner, so double-income families and unwed mothers go out to eat. A few decades ago when mothers stayed home to raise families people didn't go out to eat very often. There was no need to.
Judging from what I see in grocery stores, a lot of people are incapable of cooking for themselves.
frozen pb and j, , pot roast in a bag with potatoes and carrots -already peeled, boxed convenience "dinners" as well as frozen convenience dinners.
Since I just watched the movie,Kate and Leopold recently, this struck me:
"Where I come from, the meal is the result of reflection and study, menus are prepared in advance, timed to perfection. It is said, without the culinary arts the crudeness of reality would be unbearable. "– Leopold (Hugh Jackman)
Leopold: "What has happened to the world? You have every convenience and comfort, yet no time for integrity."
I've been eat-out-disadvantaged for 61 years. She makes a full dinner, a lot of it from scratch 5-6 nights a week, and it's nearly always leftovers for lunch next day. Probably why at 85, I still have to pay attention to avoid weight gain. Oh yeah, she was a stay at home Mom of six for about 30 years, but the last 30 years or so she pursued a dietitian/s career which, at 83, she still works at part time. Truly a better half.
Here in SF, eating out has become a competitive sport among self-proclaimed foodies. The minute some new hole in the wall announces its opening, the place will have a line out the door. Of course, so many of them are 20 and 30 something singles who have no idea how to boil water much less cook an entire meal.
I conned my husband into going to a small Polish restaurant last week and it was rather underwhelming despite the above average reviews on Yelp. We both concluded that I make better at home. And this isn't unusual. In a city that has 6 bars/restaurants per person, so much of it is just meh.
Re: The Democrats Own the Ills of the Inner Cities
I think somewhere in the calculation to vote for Democrats who keep not fixing the problems of the Inner Cities is the thought that the problems are intractable and as long as they can't be fixed, you might as well vote for the candidate who will "fight for you"/"give you free stuff"/"care for you". I'm reminded that when Giuliani was running for mayor of NYC, it was "widely understood", at least by the elites and press, that NYC was basically ungovernable. Well, it was till Giuliani governed it.
Re: FBI finds up to 30 deleted Benghazi emails Clinton did not turn over
Think that's bad? She sent classified information via email AFTER she left the State Dept. (http://nypost.com/2016/08/31/clinton-emailed-classified-information-after-leaving-state-dept/).
Re:George Soros is a brilliant mastermind, the closest thing to a real-life Bond villain in human history
There is good reason Putin has issued an arrest warrant for this real-life version of Dr Evil!
On eating out: We probably eat out a couple times a month. I like to cook. I like to make what I like to eat, and I like to know what goes into it. I also am trying to manage my weight (for the last 5 or 6 years) and eating out inevitably sets me back. When I'm at home, I stick to my calorie intake pretty well. Put me in a restaurant, and I struggle to find something I want to eat that won't be enough calories for my whole day.
On student loans: There should be no such thing as a Parent Plus Loan. These are the traps that end up giving children HUGE loan bills. Only student loans should be available, as they are now, for a certain amount. I think the cap now is close to $6K per year. For those that fall under a certain income and have a certain size family (higher income with more kids should bring down your overall ability to pay), state schools across the nation should have to provide a large percentage of their student population an education at 75% of that price (housing and food included). Families should be able to come up with the other 25% through savings, the kid working, or just paying it straight from their income. The poor will still have access to Pell Grants and other aid. Then, for those who are wealthier (and I mean MUCH wealthier), they pay whatever the college deems to be the 'full price.' Since the colleges will now be competing for the rich people's money, they will try to make their college more 'affordable' than other colleges.
Anyway, just a thought. The problem is the amount of loan $$ kids can get through student and Parent Plus loans. This is what drives the cost of education. There's got to be a better way, and increasing loan $$ available is not the answer.
Where o where o where o…does The Constitution provide for Fed-based loans of this ken which, ultimately, falls on the backs of the taxpayer? I worked and worked and worked to pay for my children's education (and they pitched in). Now exactly why should I be on the hook to pay for everyone else who doesn't have the same ethics?
Sorry dawg. The property taxes I pay for K - 12 are sufficient and leave me with no guilt for those who can't git off their asses.
Where did I say anything about federal student loans? Only said 'student loans.' You should be able to get a loan for an education, just like you can get a loan for a car, a house, or a business. I just don't like the idea of allowing a kid to rack up $100,000 in student loan debt. Cap the amount. Let banks or credit agenices provide.
"There's got to be a better way..."
Universities could simply lower the cost. Sure, they'd have to economize here and there. Halving their presidents' salaries would be a good start. I understand the president of Harvard makes about $900,000 a year; getting by on $450,000 would be tough, sure, but it would be a worthwhile sacrifice and set the tone for faculty salary reductions.
Heck, I'm certain that all those tenured professors, greatly concerned (as we all know) for the improvement of society through the intellectual cultivation of young minds, would happily opt to take less money for the common good.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha! I do crack myself up sometimes!
Student loan and grant programs should be terminated period. They have ruined the higher education system. We put five through good colleges and one through court reporter school on a middle middle class income, by scrimping, saving and making do, well before federal grant and loan programs for higher education were widely available. Back then, legitimate colleges appeared to be sound, and for-profit colleges were few and far between. There was never talk of a national deficiency in college graduate talent. If it could be done then, then it can be done now.
re Obama Designates Maine’s North Woods as National Monument
The monument wouldn’t have happened absent the generosity and work of Roxanne Quimby and her family, who donated the land to the federal government yesterday.
Heh. I wonder how much property tax revenue the local jurisdictions have just lost? Maine has a property tax rate of about 1.23%. On 87,000 acres that could be a chunk of money the local schools will no longer have. The lost taxes will have to added to the burden of those that still have private property in the area.
Ya know? If we would follow the Quimby family's example and donate our property to the Feds we could rid ourselves of the scourge of privately owned property. I am sure those at the NRDC would approve.
Hey! Simply create a tax-exempt family foundation under 501 of the Tax Code, donate your property to that Foundation for "charitable" purposes, reserving your family's right to use it for its historical purposes! Ask for "donatiosn" since you are obviously a great philanthropist and use the proceeds to travel the world!
Works for Hill and Bill, the "Bonnie and Clyde" of tax-exempt foundation creators. (Not sure if you'll be able to score $250K per boring, 20 minute speech, though.)
There used to be a payments-in-lieu of taxes program where the feds paid state and local governments for property taxes lost on land the feds owned. It was a big deal in Rocky Mountain states where the feds own a lot of the land, and often made the papers. I don't know if the program is still around or not.
PILT is still around, and if it is supposed to replace lost revenue, then it is a joke.
In the 2016 fiscal year, my county received a little over $1million for about 700,000 acres of federal land. If that land were private and the county assessed it at half of what the very worst range land sells for, then the resulting revenue would have been at least $9 million.
"Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) are Federal payments to local governments that help offset losses in property taxes due to non-taxable Federal lands within their boundaries...." From a Dept of Interior web page. I guess they think 11% is help. More of "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you."
Where is the Gang of Z? There is so much tasty bait for them to jump on.
They are big Soros and Hillary defenders. Anything in a link that shows those two in a bad light, the Zach Borg is usually on it. Blog links and quotes. That's what Soros pays them to do.
At least the Z brigade tries to talk intelligently. The ones I can't stand on other websites are the Obamabot and Hillarybot trolls who simply try to overwhelm the other comments, often with obscenities and the same outrageous emails printed over and over again. Those may very well be automated. On a couple of websites you could count on it like clockwork, say 50 or 60 negative Obama/Clinton comments, and then they would come out spamming like crazy every few seconds.
No one can impose fixes on subcultural ills, but we start by not subsidizing them through welfare and claiming that everyone is a victim.
The Maine Woods are pretty empty up there, except for logging roads the paper companies cut. If you click through the links, these lands are protected for mostly aesthetic purposes. Hikers like the myth and image of being in the untouched wilderness and it harshes their mellow to see trees harvested. I'm no fan of clear cutting, and don't mind the intervention to require harvesting that doesn't risk so much erosion. But even then, it's no big deal. It's big and empty, and no one's going to notice much difference except loggers. The blather about trout and moose is exaggerated. I'm all for those, but people get all worked up about places that are only seen from above. No trout were saved in the making of this park, and the moose are threatened more by ticks than anything else.
clear-cutting is good. It is close to mimicking the beneficial effects of forest fire.
Clear cutting is very good for the ruffed grouse. Other species too. Nothing more sterile than a climax forest.
Re: Himalayan bus ride
There is nothing THAT important at the other end of that ride to take that road. I certainly wouldn't be having as much fun as the people in the video!
I'd want to die just to get it over with. I don't even like driving in the Rockies.