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 26. 2017
Photo, and more: "My Little Old Sod Shanty on the Plains"
No trees out there, for various reasons
Mary Tyler Moore, RIP
College Student Mistakes Lab Equipment for Klan Rally
What's Causing Chicago’s Homicide Spike?
Government is confused, but it's clearly
Researchers uncover vast numbers of unknown Nazi killing fields
The $7 billion school improvement grant program: Greatest failure in the history of the US Department of Education?
Money is rarely a solution for education
Bourbons of the Press, Believed by But 15%, Straggle on in Defeat
Was the Women's March a revolution — or a self-indulgent dead end?
Trump is the revolution
Are performers dumber than normal people? Like most people, I just assume this is so, because actors tend to say stupid things when not following a script.
Trump’s intervention into policing, voting and immigration sets up showdown with America’s largest cities
Texas Reps Move to Protect States’ Rights to Refuse Refugees
Suddenly, people are for state's rights. Local power vs. federal power - a good battle
Defeated candidate Clinton considers launching liberal television show to lay the groundwork for ANOTHER White House run
Trump Administration Preparing Executive Orders To Drastically Reduce U.S. Role in U.N.
CNN Quietly Releases Updated Pic Showing Trump’s Inaugural Crowd Size Greater than Obama’s 2009 Inaugural Crowd
‘America’s Having a Love Affair With Tucker Carlson’: Morning Joe Panel Praises Fox Host
Trump expected to order temporary ban on refugees
What if Trump ran Britain?
Germany Unleashes New 'Ministry Of Truth'
Confronting China's Slow Invasion of the South China Sea Is Long Overdue
Why is this America's problem?
Former CIA director: US must keep military option in Iran open
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Little sod house on the prairie: Wow, look at all that white privilege.
Any one recall "Frontier House", from aired by PBS? Many homesteaders lived on the brink of malnourishment.
I have a picture of my great, great grandparent house from 1835 (?). I think it was called a dogleg construction in order to keep the cooking area (dangerous) away from the living/working quarters with a narrower, less expensive alley to join the two during bad weather. It still exists at a college campus to document the way the country was settled.
Great photo, BD. You do such as rich blog site.
These people couldn't have been doing too badly; they had saddle horses. Since horses need to be shod, it implies access to an infrastructure that included blacksmiths and farriers.
"My Little Old Sod Shanty on the Plains"
Those four Chrisman sisters up there sure don't look like they were women to be trifled with. And I'll bet not one of them owned a pink pointy hat.
(Thanks for the link; those old photos are amazing.)
Heh, last weekends snowflakes are puny in comparison. I have ten thousand times more respect for the Chrisman sisters and their like.
They make me think of Mattie Ross (as played by Hailee Steinfeld) in the 2010 remake of True Grit.
RE moonbat - I think I've been to that coffee shop. Is it odd that I still wonder if that woman is for real? I kept waiting for either the alien to pop out of her chest or for someone to say Punked!
I know there's too much rich material to follow it all but I hope you saw Scott Adams' pink hat thread.
Thank you. I thought I was the only one in the country with those thoughts.
DrTorch: Don't think her show was "innocent" either.
No. Moore was consciously subversive of the prevailing culture, showing a 30-year-old single woman directly competing with men at work. She was a significant role-model for women, including, among many, Joan Jett.
MTM was early identity politics. The socialist/progressive mode was to capture identity politics for their party while mandating universalist politics for the conservatives. After this last election it is rather obvious we are ALL moving to identity politics. It will likely be the end of socialist/progressives.
...Clinton considers launching liberal television show.... Good luck. Al Gore tried launching a whole TV channel that flopped big time.
His channel flopped...but he sold it for big $ to you-know-who.
re sod houses:
Yes. I have seen all those photos. Most were taken in Custer County Nebraska, not far from where I live.
I have a picture of my paternal great grandfather's sod house with family members posed outside.
The black homesteaders generally didn't make it. The winters were too harsh for them.
Life was hard. I am told that when the University of Nebraska football team adopted the name "Bug eaters" in the 1890s, it was a nod to the hard life endured by rural Nebraskans.
The photographer who made these pictures was Solomon D. Butcher.
Here is the wikipedia entry about him.
Are performers less intelligent? Probably not, but I think that the whole industry collectively suffers from imposter syndrome raised to a neurosis.
As others on the site pointed out, IN order to make it big as a movie star, you've got to be discovered young. If you haven't hit it big by the time you're 30, you're pretty much done. This in most cases doesn't leave time to go to college (or if you do you go into the drama or performing arts school, and spend your time trying to get out) and more importantly, doesn't grant time to have much life experience outside the industry.
Everyone who does succeed knows that there are others just as talented as they are, and willing to work just as hard as they did, who did not make it. Yes, there's a lot of merit involved as to who gets to go up the ladder, but there's a whole lot of capriciousness as to who gets on the ladder in the first place. Much of this is centered around having the right social networks, and thus they tend to surround themselves with other people in the industry. This leads to a tendency towards two assumptions: that everybody is pretty much the same as they are, and that people who succeed do it on a largely arbitrary basis.
there is also the fact that they are in an industry where superficial differences matter intensely. There are roles you don't get because you're too short, or black, or a woman, or the wrong accent. None of these things may matter if you're swinging a bond trade, but they make a lot of difference if you're playing George Washington.
So you have a bunch of people who are rewarded with success on what they believe to be a pretty much arbitrary basis, in an industry ripe with favoritism and discrimination, You're going to have people who are obsessed with proving their own merit.
You get an industry obsessed with giving itself awards, and people obsessed with proving their intelligence and worthiness to the outside world , while being institutionally incapable of seeing the limits of their own ignorance.
Another guy named Dan: Are performers less intelligent? Probably not
Probably not, and they are probably even somewhat more intelligent and empathetic because of the literary demands of acting. However, actors are specialists, and like all specialists, their skill-set may or may not apply more broadly.
Another guy named Dan: None of these things may matter if you're swinging a bond trade, but they make a lot of difference if you're playing George Washington.
Even that is changing.
1. I can argue this only from personal experience, but I find correlation between intelligence and empathy to be weakly negative on a whole. The people I work with are the same guys who established that stereotype of the tech services drone - the Dilbert generation. I'm far more inclined to believe that they two are orthogonal.
2. Hamilton is to history what "The Wiz" is to "The Wizard of Oz". They took a lot of flack for specifying non-white actors in their casting calls. It's hard to reach a conclusion that someone is changing a standard by deliberately playing against it. Actually a better example of stunt-casting against type would have been Gregory Hines in Chicago.
I'm dating myself but speaking of Gregory Hines, the best casting against type I've very seen was probably Hines and Billy Crystal as Chicago undercover cops in 'Running Scared'.
Another guy named Dan: 1. I can argue this only from personal experience, but I find correlation between intelligence and empathy to be weakly negative on a whole.
Being analytical and being intelligent are not necessarily the same thing. We can probably agree that being analytical is not part of most actors' skill sets. Actors who work in theater, especially something wordy as 'Hamilton', have to memorize a great deal of text, as well as all the timed movements and interactions that it takes to make up a performance.
Another guy named Dan: 2. Hamilton is to history what "The Wiz" is to "The Wizard of Oz".
The musical 'Hamilton' is based on Chernow's biography 'Alexander Hamilton'. While it was obviously transformed into a piece of art, its purposeful refraction of the actual history is an important thematic element.
Another guy named Dan: They took a lot of flack for specifying non-white actors in their casting calls.
Under New York law, the producers can advertise for specific ethnic characteristics consistent with the roles, but can't exclude specific ethnicities from attending auditions. They issued a correction and an apology.
What's ironic, of course, is that for generations, even explicitly minority roles have been given to white actors, called whitewashing, something that still continues.
That's not "ironic". One more word you use incorrectly.
DrTorch: That's not "ironic".
irony, incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result
Irony was the correct word choice.
I agree with the "skill set" thing - they're not necessarily stupid, it's more like rational ignorance. Would it surprise you to know Tom Brady writes piano concertos in his spare time? I know it would me - when's he ever get any spare time? He has to spend all his time keeping on top of his ability to play football, I would expect him to know a lot less about a lot more things than the average person. It's common to assume people who are good at one thing are probably good at a lot of things, but at a certain level being good at that one thing takes so much time and effort that it would be more rational to assume that somebody really good at one thing is probably not very good at all at many other things.
While listening to the news last night I kept hearing "we have NO PROOF of election fraud". "We have NO PROOF of election fraud." "We have NO PROOF of election fraud." Do you know why that is folks--because of the useless laws regarding VOTER ID. You cannot "prove" anything without information upon which to draw your conclusion (fraud). For example only here is the link to Voter ID in TX. I am quite sure the laws in WI, MI, IL,NY, NM,CA, AZ, and NV etc.,etc.,etc. are on a par with this http://www.sos.state.tx.us/about/newsreleases/2016/092116.shtml There is "NO PROOF" because none exists, because. . . oh well you get it don't you?
fculty wife: While listening to the news last night I kept hearing "we have NO PROOF of election fraud".
More precisely, there is evidence of some election fraud, but at very low levels. There is no evidence that 3-5 million illegal votes were cast in the last election. Such evidence should be readily available because of the scale of fraud that is alleged.
Methinks thou dost protest too much.
All the left wing talking heads are on TV with the dual mission to deny any voter fraud while simultaneously insisting we shouldn't look for it. Very strange. Unless there is massive voter fraud and the left is very afraid that a real investigation will expose it. After all if there weren't voter fraud and the left was as confident as they claim that there is no voter fraud an investigation should prove them to be brilliant and the right to be paranoid. How do we know there is no voter fraud if we refuse to actually look for it.
Hint to investigators: Look in those districts with over 100% turnout. I'm no expert but something is fishy there.
Look in those districts where Democrats were hired to be "Republican" poll monitors. If that isn't a red flag I don't know what is. Look in those districts where the politicians protest too much.
Another thing. Stop with the looking for people (Republicans only) who happen to be registered to vote in two states. More than likely if you ever lived in two or more states and registered to vote in those states the stupid state voter registration system is not designed to remove your name when you move. This is NOT the voters fault it is the governments fault. DUH!
SweetPea: How do we know there is no voter fraud if we refuse to actually look for it.
But people HAVE looked at voter integrity. Those studies show no indication of millions of illegal votes, which because of the alleged scale should have been readily apparent.
I never said there weren't any investigations. I said we/they never 'actually' looked for it.
But your response goes right to my point. Why would you care if we have a real investigation if you believe as you claim to that there is no or very little 'actual' voter fraud. I would think given your position on this that you would welcome it and crow from the roof tops when the investigation proves you correct all along. You should be embracing the investigation, unless...
SweetPea: I never said there weren't any investigations. I said we/they never 'actually' looked for it.
investigation, to observe or study by close examination and systematic inquiry.
SweetPea: Why would you care if we have a real investigation if you believe as you claim to that there is no or very little 'actual' voter fraud.
That's what the evidence indicates. What we do have evidence concerning are partisan attempts to make voting more difficult for minorities.
The federal court in Richmond found that the primary purpose of North Carolina's wasn't to stop voter fraud, but rather to disenfranchise minority voters. The judges found that the provisions "target African Americans with almost surgical precision."
RE "President Trump reiterated his false claim that at least three million illegal immigrants cast ballots for Hillary Clinton..."
Since the 'beest lost, it doesn't matter whether this is true or not, except ...
What's important is that people believe it, and will back Trump's immigration reforms which will stick it to the foreign vermin.
True, this is possibly unfair to the refugees, but then, if they hadn't voted for Hillary none of this would have had to happen.
You libtarded losers made your bed of nails, now you're going to get pressed into it.
Someone should do a little research and examine the growth in size and popularity of political marches. The timeline on this should be from 1967 to the present. We can see first how they were rebuffed with force and later laws were changed so that the police were required to accommodate marches in a non-violent way. What I am most interested in is what I call the "hootenanny" factor. The skills and techniques required to get thousands of people on the street at one time would be interesting to have out there as public knowledge. The rhetoric of the march leaders on the site all sounds the same. It starts with "hello I am XXXXX, would you please tell the world (the press camera) "hello"? (After a loud response from the audience) the leader then goes on to the next "request" which creates a more unified sense among the strangers standing next to each other, etc.,etc.,etc. Let's get the picture of "how it's done" out there in the public realm. Let's provide the same set of skills to those on the other side who do not YET have the ability to do "community organizing at the local level". This skill set of creating, selling, and managing a protest march should not be held by only one side!
You really need to add a comment to that Tesla link warning not to read the comments if you're at all optimistic about the human race. Several of the commenters take issue with the fact that when the author calculates the cost of a gallon of gas he only counts the pump price and not the "additional" cost of extracting and refining and shipping the oil. I can only conclude from this ignorance of the fact that the pump price necessarily includes all of those costs that the commenters seriously believe that retailers just make up random prices to slap on their goods that have no connection to the cost of producing that good. But it does make me wonder - where exactly do they think oil companies get the money to extract and refine and ship the oil if they're not getting it from the price paid at the pump?
The question of whether Teslas are overall more efficient than comparable gasoline-engine vehicles seems fairly simple to me. How many people buy Teslas versus how many don't? If Teslas are overall more efficient, isn't it kinda stupid not to buy a Tesla? If the vast majority of people don't buy Teslas I would suggest they're not stupid, it's that they've concluded there are more efficient uses of their money. "Efficiency" isn't just MPG's or cents-per-mile, it includes things like the opportunity costs for a big fat chunk of cash, how easily you can find a fueling station and whether or not you've got three kids and a boat you gotta haul around frequently.
Jerryskids: How many people buy Teslas versus how many don't?
They're called early adopters, people willing to pay a premium. (By the way, if you want acceleration, electric cars have no lag, and can provide more power.)
Electric cars are still new, but the technology is quickly becoming mainstream. China and India are both looking closely at mass production of electric vehicles. If the U.S. pulls back from development, they may be outpaced in the race to provide the new generation of vehicles for the burgeoning Asian middle class.
As for green, electric cars are as green as their power source. As the electric infrastructure is updated, electric cars are becoming increasingly green.
Electric vehicles--Inefficient use of capital if you are buying one to go to the mall; inefficient use of time if you are buying one to drive across country. There are sections of I-70 in Colorado and Utah with no services (no electricity to recharge and no gas stations either...and an added bonus--no cell service. On your own!
Re Zachriel; Electric cars are not green...no how, no way.
rocdoctom: Electric vehicles--Inefficient use of capital if you are buying one to go to the mall; inefficient use of time if you are buying one to drive across country.
Electric cars are still in the early adopter phase, but that is ending, and mass production, especially in Asia, is coming soon.
rocdoctom: Zachriel; Electric cars are not green...no how, no way.
If an electric car is powered, for instance, by solar, then the only carbon emissions are during manufacture and recycling, which are small compared to the carbon emissions from a like gasoline-powered vehicle.
"If an electric car is powered, for instance, by solar..."
See below--I think your solar claim doesn't pass the smell test.
In 2015, the United States generated about 4 trillion kilowatthours of electricity.1 About 67% of the electricity generated was from fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and petroleum).
Major energy sources and percent share of total U.S. electricity generation in 2015:
• Coal = 33%
• Natural gas = 33%
• Nuclear = 20%
• Hydropower = 6%
• Other renewables = 7% • Biomass = 1.6%
• Geothermal = 0.4%
• Solar = 0.6%
• Wind = 4.7%
• Petroleum = 1%
• Other gases =
rocdoctom: See below--I think your solar claim doesn't pass the smell test.
Huh? It was a conditional statement. If you power your electric car with clean energy (such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydro), then your electric car is green. If you power your electric car with dirty energy (such as coal), then your electric car is not green.
Your own figures show that there are major sources of clean energy in the U.S. Some regions, such as Washington State, get most of their electric power from green sources. The national mix of sources will continue to green over the next several decades.
If you are smart and like acting, you see that acting is a bad choice for a career, so you take on 'real work' that has much higher odds of success. The same can be said for musicians. You might be great at playing guitar, can write your own music, etc. But a smart person realizes that a 'career' in music 99% of the time is a dead end and also surrounds you with drug abusers & alcoholics.
Sure, there are certainly 'smart' people who become famous actors and/or musicians, but they are the exception, not the rule. And most of these people had other career goals in mind. One example, Dolph Lundgren, has a Master's Degree in Chemical Engineering. But he managed to find success in acting...rarity.
MissT is 100% correct. Been there, done that, couldn't afford the T shirt.
Hepburn didn't have a high opinion of actors intelligence.
“Acting is the perfect idiot's profession.” Katharine Hepburn
OMG! That explains why so many of them are perfect idiots.