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, March 7. 2017
Stuck Inside of Stockholm with the Nobel Blues Again
Cursive Writing Is Making a Much-Needed Comeback in Schools
Investing: The World's Most Deceptive Chart
Notwithstanding The Warnings Of The New York Times, Economic Growth Is Limitless
Science Has a Reproducibility Crisis
AS POLAR BEAR NUMBERS INCREASE, GWPF CALLS FOR RE-ASSESSMENT OF ENDANGERED SPECIES STATUS
Michael Moore Moons Over Hugo Chavez And The Success Of Socialism In Venezuela
They do have a good weight-loss program there
Not Just Treading Water: In Higher Education, Tuition Often Does More than Replace Lost Appropriations
Women’s and gender studies degrees have increased 300% since 1990
2 centuries of US immigration: Graphic
Social Justice Syndrome: ‘Rising Tide of Personality Disorders Among Millennials’
Finding an enemy makes some people feel whole
Dreher: The Madness At Middlebury
Scholar IDs ‘axis of intolerance’ killing higher ed: gutless admin, radical profs, crybully students
A Bubble Is Its Own Kind of Cage - The riot over Charles Murray at Middlebury College was an appalling display of intolerance.
How “Family Values” Conservatives Are Hurting Families
Apparently guys won't use condoms
Case closed on the Rosenbergs - A startling confession again proves their guilt. Now it's time for the left to acknowledge it.
New York Mayor Hides 500,000 Illegals, Vows to Ignore Immigration Laws
How to Survive In the Age of Rage
I am not angry
Meanwhile he is trying to do what people want
NY Times Columnist Wants Trump’s Presidency Put “On Pause” Over Russia Allegations…
Here Are The Top 15 'Obamagate' Wiretap Victims
OBAMA’S WIRETAPS? Details of a Watergate-style conspiracy against Trump emerge.
Flashback=> NY Times Front Page Headline: “Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides”
Obamacare did create a new entitlement expectation.
#ObamaGate Is a Lot More than a Hashtag
Gazprom Gloats over Captive European Market
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Re: Case closed on the Rosenbergs
I disagree with Radosh. I doubt it will make any difference to leftists at all. If one is still willing to cling to an ideology when every time it has been employed has ended in misery and massive loss of life, the fact that the Rosenbergs actually were Communist spys and not falsely accused will not likely mean anything to them.
For the rest of us, it is yet another vindication of the truth.
the point has been made on cold war discussion groups that the atomic spies contributed to keeping the cold war cold, albeit not in the way they expected.
the spy ring shaved a few years off the Soviet atomic research so that they achieved at least second strike capability (countervalue targeting) against the US sooner than they would have on their own.
the theory is that the most dangerous times in an arms race is when one side is closing the military gap with the other, or the other is losing its advantage. this would have been even more obvious to people in 1947: the paralysis of the Brits and French during the Phony War when Germany could have been defeated and the timing of the Japanese stop-hit attack on Pearl Harbor before the buildup of US Pacific forces was completed are lessons within recent memory.
so the thinking is that a rough US-USSR parity was safer than an increasing or decreasing gap when either side might be tempted to exploit its advantage or prevent that advantage from increasing.
this in no way mitigates the atomic spies' guilt; they should have been executed many times over.
"Women’s and gender studies degrees have increased 300% since 1990"
This is the big mistake that a lot of people on the right make. Sure, a lot of them DO end up in barista-style jobs. But these people were never looking for good corporate jobs to begin with. What they are looking for is jobs in academia, not-for-profit organizations and State or Federal bureaucracy. All jobs where you get to live off of the taxpayer's dime and tell other people how they have to live their lives. Pres. Trump should issue an E.O. forbidding anyone with a degree in Women's/Gender/ Studies from being hired by the Federal government.
Actually, he should issue an EO ordering the agencies to follow federal law on federal employee hiring that requires any "educational" credential requirement to be specifically supported by the duties of the position.
Then another EO forbidding any GS position whose duties require a "-studies" degree.
job opps for -studies grads in non-profits is limited, academia jobs are even more scarce and pay worse. the usual entry level public job does not need a degree in -studies.
barista training. or training for the zachriels squad.
Hey, the sky's the limit if you're a -studies major !
Paid internet troll
Cat shelter operator
Mainline denomination clergyperson
RonF: Barista training
Not sure that's fair to hardworking baristas, which is a specialty in its own right. ("It's hard to find good help nowadays.")
If a high school aged kid can do your job with nothing more than OJT, it's not a specialty, regardless of how hard you work.
Flashback=> NY Times Front Page Headline: “Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides” ... But Two months later they are trashing their own reports!
The New York Times article from January discusses wiretaps of suspected Russian intelligence agents from before the inauguration. This does mean that if Flynn or others had contact with these agents, it's possible they may have been monitored while they were private citizens.
This does nothing to support Trump's claim that he was wiretapped by the Obama Administration.
In a ironic juxtaposition the two claims; 1. that the Trump team collaborated in some way with the Russians to change the election and 2. That Obama used extra-constitutional methods to spy on the Trump team to change the election.
The first claim has been investigated and 1000 reporters have salivated and turned over every stone and found nothing. Zip, nada, nothing. But the 2nd charge is new and already there is evidence and substantiation from people in a position to know the facts.
There is a second and possibly more significant irony in that if the Trump team did collude with Russia in any of the ways that the left has claimed it would most likely be either legal or at least not illegal. But if Obama or his administration did conduct an investigation of a presidential candidate with the intent of changing an election it is illegal and in certain cases serious felony level illegal that could get you life in prison.
IMHO it reminds me of that old saying; be careful what you wish for. It would seem that we will have a congressional investigation and follow the evidence. Karma's a bitch, ain't it?
#ObamaGate Is a Lot More than a Hashtag ...Congressional committees, the FBI, not to mention numerous avid media organizations and who knows who else (NSA? CIA? ASPCA?) have been investigating putative Trump-Russia collusion for some time now and come up with... exactly nothing.
That's clearly not correct. The U.S. Intelligence Agencies are confident Russia interfered in the U.S. election in favor of Trump. Russian money flowed into the Trump organization in years past. Paul Manafort resigned after allegations of cash payments while working for the pro-Russian president of Ukraine. Michael Flynn was fired as National Security Advisor for lying about his contacts with the Russians. Sessions was forced to recuse himself from the matter for being less than fully truthful about his own contacts with the Russians.
This came after Mark Levin, Breitbart, Andrew C. McCarthy, Louise Mensch and others I've forgotten about or am unaware of reported about two appeals to FISA courts (one denied last summer and one approved in October) for permission to tap phones in Trump Tower.
That's more an indication of the echochamber than of independent confirmation.
Trump wants this possible surveillance to be investigated along with the rest of the supposed Russia mess
Ha! Now that's just plain silly. Trump is the President of the United States of America. He can just pick up the phone and ask if there were any surveillance warrants.
"The U.S. Intelligence Agencies are confident Russia interfered in the U.S. election in favor of Trump."
Careful, you're overplaying your hand.
First of all the ONLY thing known to be fact is that the Russians hack everything they can and have for 20 years or so. YOU and other far left pundits have transmogrified that into "the Russians hacked the election". They didn't of course they simply hacked everything they could and that included the DNC. Now you are claiming they did it to help Trump, LOL. Like the Russians wanted Trump who will bring back our military strength and is the clinker in the question of what America will do to protect itself where Hillary would have held hands with Putin. Clearly the Russians wanted Hillary a friend and bought and paid for hack. They didn't want Trump because he can't be bought.
Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!
OneGuy: YOU and other far left pundits have transmogrified that into "the Russians hacked the election".
Hmm. We never used the words you put in quotes. We did use the word 'interfere', the same word used by noted "far left pundits", such as Army Intelligence.
OneGuy: Like the Russians wanted Trump who will bring back our military strength
Trump has not only lauded Putin, but has indicated a foreign policy that tilts towards autocratic Russia at the expense of democratic Europe, and a willingness to ratify Russian intrusions into the Ukraine and interference in the elections of western democracies.
But you've repeated said "hacked" and "influenced" and claimed the Russians caused Trump to be elected.
Orioles Like Oranges: But you've repeated said "hacked" and "influenced" and claimed the Russians caused Trump to be elected.
There is evidence that the Russians hacked emails of the DNC, then released those emails for maximum political influence. We have never said that the "Russians caused Trump to be elected". In a close election, one can point to any number of factors that may have been decisive. Millions of Americans voted for Trump having nothing to do with Russian interference, or the plethora of fake news.
Zacnrheisl: We have never said that the "Russians caused Trump to be elected
Then what's your problem? You wouldn't say a word if Clinton won with all the pay to play moola she extorted from foreign countries. Nor are you saying that the Russians forged material or causes voting machines to vote Trump. Nor are you denying that the material distributed was accurate. You tools are so out of touch.
The fact that POdesda fell for a 1990s / AOL-era phishing troll says a lot for his incompetence.
ahhh... Do you have any pictures? I mean for a second opinion of course.
Tits like melons: You wouldn't say a word if Clinton won with all the pay to play moola she extorted from foreign countries.
Clinton provided tax returns going back decades. The Clinton Foundation's tax returns are public record. There's no evidence that Clinton profited financially from any of these transactions.
Tits like melons: Nor are you saying that the Russians forged material or causes voting machines to vote Trump.
There is no such evidence.
Tits like melons: Nor are you denying that the material distributed was accurate.
No. The material was private, stolen, then released for maximum political effect by a power adversary to the United States, clearly with the intent to damage the Clinton campaign, and sow doubt about the U.S. electoral system.
It was a crime committed by Russia used to distort the American political process. Trump advocated that the criminals release the stolen emails, yet millions of citizens brush it off. Something is rotten in the state of America.
By the way, have you noticed how the very same people who are always quick to vilify US intelligence agencies for their "extra-legal" underhanded shenanigans (think of the CIA as depicted in the Bourne films and shows like Homeland inter alia) are so quick to take their word as evidence when it suddenly suits their politics?
JJM: By the way, have you noticed how the very same people who are always quick to vilify US intelligence agencies for their "extra-legal" underhanded shenanigans
The U.S. Intelligence Community often gets it wrong, and intelligence is often tilted towards the President's preferred outcome, such as in Iraq. It does pay to be skeptical of such findings. In this case, however, it is supported by independent cyber-security investigations, and by the known facts.
(Not sure your fictional cases are persuasive as they show the somewhat imaginary extremes and not the norm.)
achriels: Trump is the President of the United States of America. He can just pick up the phone and ask if there were any surveillance warrants.
Says someone who has never reviewed a warrant. You are one clueless kid.
We have to have free birth control so that the single mother with health problems who can't work can still sleep with her boyfriend without getting pregnant? Where exactly was the "family" in that example?
Cat Lady: We have to have free birth control so that the single mother with health problems who can't work can still sleep with her boyfriend without getting pregnant? Where exactly was the "family" in that example?
The three-year-old daughter. The mother trying not to get pregnant so that she can take care of her daughter.
Bird Dog: Apparently guys won't use condoms
Some couples use two forms of birth control for layered protection. Because of her health issues, that may be advisable.
I got married in the early 70s. Up through the time I chose to get a vasectomy on the 90s, birth control was NEVER covered by my health insurance. There are reasonable cost approaches.
I could not get past the very first sentence in the Family Values article. If you start out with a lie, I'm not going to waste my time trying to read the rest of the article.
To Lorena Barrientos, the idea that politicians would reduce women’s access to contraception is baffling.
B Hammer: I could not get past the very first sentence in the Family Values article. If you start out with a lie, I'm not going to waste my time trying to read the rest of the article.
In fact, Republicans have worked to reduce funding for Medicaid, which would directly impact birth control options for the woman mentioned in the first sentence. Many Republicans have supported bills which would allow employers to not cover birth control. Furthermore, many Republicans have supported bills which would outlaw IUDs, also directly impacting the woman mentioned in the first sentence.
Reduced or cut off funding, is know where near the same as cutting off access. This in lieu of the fact, that the activity in question, can be 100% cut from your life. It's called abstinence. It works every single time it is tried. The monetary cost is zero. Now the emotional cost may be different, but the whole of society should not have to pay for your sexual hangups. Sacrifice. It builds character. You don't need to have handed to you on a silver platter, your every hearts desire.
Now I must go say Hail Mary's, get back to my Lenten sacrifices. One of which was not arguing with the Zach Borg. Because it so very frustrating!
B. Hammer: Reduced or cut off funding, is know where near the same as cutting off access.
Reduced funding does cut off access for many. The proposed AHCA (American Health Care Act) specifically devised Medicaid to push people off the system over time.
B. Hammer: This in lieu of the fact, that the activity in question, can be 100% cut from your life. It's called abstinence.
What century are you from?
In the real world, of course, lack of birth control options nearly always lead to an increase in the pregnancy rate. In the case of the woman in the first sentence, it may mean the death of the mother, the fetus, and orphaning a child. And while you might think this is unusual, in fact, in times past, it was very typical for women to die from childbirth.
In fact, 60% of Planned Parenthood’s federal funding comes from reimbursements from Medicaid and Title X funding for preventative and primary care (things like birth control and cancer screenings).
The Government Accountability Office estimates that 390,000 women would lose access and up to 650,000 would face reduced preventive care within a year if Congress blocked Medicaid patients from Planned Parenthood,” CBS News reported earlier this year.
The case was closed on the Rosenberg's a long time ago. When Nikita Khrushchev died his memoirs were smuggled to the west and published. He praised the Rosenberg's and said the information they provided greatly helped the soviet atomic bomb program.
"The case was closed on the Rosenbergs a long time ago."
The 2009 book Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America by John Earl Hynes, Harvey Klehr and Alexander Vassiliev lays it all out in quite considerable detail.
(A side-effect of reading it was a considerable sense of professional sympathy I developed with the poor old KGB field operatives who had to handle all those CPUSA prima donnas!)
Notwithstanding The Warnings Of The New York Times, Economic Growth Is Limitless
The question raised in the New York Times is the rate of growth. A developed economy can grow by putting unused capacity to work, population growth, or through innovation. The U.S. economy is finally nearing capacity, and immigration is being constrained, so further growth is limited to innovation, which, in a developed economy, is typically about 1-2% per year. That already accounts for robotization and other investments. (Of course, innovation can sometimes yield surprise.)
Infrastructure and research investments can help, but because the economy is near capacity, this will tend to compete against available capacity, resulting in inflation. It would have made a lot more sense to have invested in infrastructure when the U.S. was working at less than capacity, when originally proposed by the Obama Administration, putting the idle to work, and keeping them honed for the work environment, rather than atrophying.
While the Trump Administration has proposed some (questionable) infrastructure investment, they have also proposed cuts in research funding. Tax cuts will also exacerbate the problem by putting additional pressure on interest rates, at the same time borrowing for infrastructure.
In any case, the New York Times article doesn't say there's a limit to economic growth, but a practical limit to the growth rate.
America's dismal economic performance is due to over-taxation and over-regulation, which now make it impossible for companies to invest or grow, or for new companies to get started. It also has led to a huge capital and jobs flight out of the country, as companies flee for better economic environments.
Immigration, it's not all the same.
Using annual data from 1850 to 2010 for Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, and the USA, this paper examines the impact of immigration and the immigrants’ educational and cultural background on unemployment. Instruments for 27 emigrating countries are used to deal with the feedback effects from unemployment to immigration. The results show that educated immigrants, in particular, and immigrants from Protestant countries significantly reduce unemployment, while poorly educated and non-Protestant immigrants enhance unemployment.
and who doesn't want a world full of WASPS? damn those dagoe malfactors, those hebrews, micks and exotics.
Irish and Dogs Need Not Apply! this is Serious.
I actually feel a bit sorry for WASPs these days. They seem to be rather too heavily into self-loathing lately.
Different faces, but the same problems of immigration
FOREIGN CRIMINALS IN NEW YORK.
BY POLICE COMMISSIONER THEODORE A. BINGHAM.,
Source: The North American Review, Vol. 188, No. 634 (Sep., 1908), pp. 383-394
When the circumstance is taken into consideration that eighty five per cent, of the population of New York City is either
foreign-born or of foreign parentage, and that nearly half of the residents of the five boroughs do not speak the English lan
guage, it is only a logical condition that something like eighty five out of one hundred of our criminals should be found to be
of exotic origin. In no one police precinct on Manhattan Island does the percentage of native-born heads of families reach 50? the highest, 45.44 being in the West Side district lying between Forty-second and Eighty-sixth Streets and Eighth Avenue and
the North River, and the lowest, 3.12, in the densely congested East Side quarter, largely peopled by Russian Hebrews, bounded by East Broadway, the Bowery and Houston and Norfolk Streets.
Wherefore it is not astonishing that with a million Hebrews, mostly Russian, in the city (one-quarter of the population), per
haps half of the criminals should be of that race, when we con sider that ignorance of the language, more particularly among men not physically fit for hard labor, is conducive to crime; nor is it strange that in the precinct where there are not four
native-born heads of families in every hundred families, the per centage of criminality is high.
Although, while the Italians are outnumbered in New York by the Hebrews by two to one, the crime percentage of the former is but 20 to the latter's 50, the Italian malefactor is by far the greater menace to law and order
Ref millennial snowflakes
Humorous event. I was a the cashier stand in our company cafeteria and this young guy was trying to decide whether to buy a particular candy bar. He kept asking the cashier what it tasted like. He hemmed and hawed for several minutes asking again.. worrying that maybe he wouldn't like it. At first I thought he was joking, but he was really stressed... Couldn't decide what to do. Apparently, buying one and tossing it if he didn't like it didn't occur to him.
This is the future??
RE Science Has a Reproducibility Crisis
some trash sciences like climate fetish have a crisis. hard sciences like relativity are reproducible and some well established soft ones like evolution are as well.
Michael Moore Moons Over Hugo Chavez And The Success Of Socialism In Venezuela
They do have a good weight-loss program there.
Yes, they do have a good weight-loss program in Venezuela. The irony of revisiting what PSF such as Michael Moore had to say about Chavista Venezuela is that they were spouting BS even when the price of oil was around $100/BBL, as it was in 2013. Here is what Michael Moore wrote in his 2013 tweet.
Hugo Chavez declared the oil belonged 2 the ppl. He used the oil 2 eliminate 75% of extreme poverty, provide free health and education for all1)"Hugo Chavez declared the oil belonged 2 the ppl." : Venezuelan oil was nationalized in 1976. Chavez was elected in 1998, and took office in early 1999.PDVSA was, before Chavez's takeover in 2003, one of the better-run nationalized oil companies. In the 1990s, when oil had fallen from its peak near $40/BBL in 1981 to around, $20/BBL, which resulted in a lack of cash for investment for PDVSA, PDVSA entered into some partnerships with foreign oil companies, primarily in the heavy oil Orinoco belt. Chavez also entered into partnerships with foreign oil companies.
2)"eliminate 75% of extreme poverty": Yes, Chavez threw a lot of money around, some of which ended up in the hands of poor people. In 1998, the year Chavez was elected, the export price of Venezuelan oil averaged around $11/BBL. In 2013, the export price of Venezuelan oil averaged around $100/BBL. Therefore, comparing economic growth from 1998 to 2013 will give a good idea of how Chavez managed the oil bonanza.
GDP per capita, PPP (constant 2011 international $), % increase from 1998-2013The abysmal growth of Chavista Venezuela's economy compared to other countries meant that the funds available to eliminate extreme poverty weren't that great. If you don't have more money to distribute, you won't be able to distribute money to more people.
Upper middle income 108.7
Low & middle income 90.9
Latin America & Caribbean 30.2
Venezuela, RB 15.2
3. provide free health and education for all
Education in Venezuela was free before 1998. Regarding health, simply look at how Chavista Venezuela performed compared to other countries in Latin America. Life Expectancy and Infant Mortality are the gold standards for measuring progress in health care. From 1998 to 2013, Venezuela went from 9th in Latin America to 12th in Latin America. From 1998 to 2013, Venezuela went from 6th in Latin America to 7th in Latin America. These indicate that at best, Chavista Venezuela's performance in health care was, at best, slightly below average compared to the rest of Latin America.
Even before the fall of the price of oil in 2014, Chavista Venezuela's accomplishments were primarily smoke and mirrors. In 1998, the price of oil was around $11/BBL. Today, the price of oil is around $40/BBL. I don't hear anyone saying that today Venezuela is better off than it was in 1998, except some deranged Chavista or PSF. I
World Bank: World Development Indicators
From 1998 to 2013, Venezuela's Life Expectancy went from 9th in Latin America to 12th in Latin America.
Well he did correct some poverty:
Yes, training to become a surly embittered one who might take a vicious turn on a poor customer at a moment's notice over some imagined slight or other.
(Such as, say, some innocent rube daring to complain that the men's room is out of toilet paper.)
Well, they do say there's no getting around Michael Moore...
...not without a good long walk.
Re: cursive handwriting reintroduced.
While the Palmer handwriting style had been taught for generations to public school students, it often devolved into a very illegible style of loopy, unreadable letters. The Getty-Dubay Italic Handwriting method offers an extremely legible style as well as a beautiful graphic. I taught it to my students and as adults they retain a lovely and readable handwriting. The move to calligraphy brings it to an art form. Try it; you'll be impressed! http://www.handwritingsuccess.com/index.php
Venezuela needs help. That's obvious.
Are Moore or any of his Hollywood (or Democratic Political) cronies ponying up any money to help out?
Why aren't all these Chavez-loving knuckleheads providing relief? Where are their Caracas Airlift flights? Where are their cargo ships bringing carloads of foodstuffs and other needs?
The silence of PFS/Chavez supporters like Sean Penn, Michael Moore, Oliver Stone or Danny Glover regarding Venezuela's current situation has been "deafening." Crickets. Not a word, as far as I can tell.
Similarly, Mark Weisbrot, a PhD. who previously wrote voluminously in support of Chavismo, has been very quiet lately.
Perhaps Barbra Streisand should move to Venezuela. It would help her lost weight.
Needs are infinite. The Venezuelans did this to themselves. No help will be forthcoming. Venezuela will end up like Albania, NoKo, Cuba. They are 17 years into the standard 70-year timeline. Even when all the wealth is looted, and their Treasury is bare of any gold bars, there will be enough for a small coterie to Rule in Hell. O'Brien didn't need wealth, just privilege and power.