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
Friday, March 24. 2017
David Rockefeller was a serious bug collector
WHY DRIVE-INS WERE MORE THAN MOVIE THEATERS
Yes. they were for beer and sex too. Try the Wellfleet Drive-In - still going strong during the summer.
CIVIL WAR ON THE LEFT, PART 38: THE BECLOWNING OF SCIENCE
Defund the National Endowment for the Arts — for Art’s Sake
Can President Trump rescue the Rust Belt?
He would like to. It's probably more about getting government out of the way than anything else
K-12: No Joy In Reading. That's the Plan.
I was reading pretty well at 5 with phonics. Mom taught me to read. Expecting school to teach a kid to read is like expecting government to be your doctor.
Even 'Healthy' Overweight Face Higher Heart Risk
Why Charles Murray will speak at Notre Dame
HIGHER EDUCATION: NO SAFE SPACES FOR CONSERVATIVES - Conservative students threatened with violence.
Vanderbilt U. Students Demand School Cut Ties With Wendy’s
Hotcoldwetdry Will Cause More Snake Bites
Understanding the Climate Debate: The Lost Middle Ground
Author: It’s Not College Kids Creating Chaos To Resist Trump, ‘They’re Professionals’
Nebraska Democrat Party Includes VOTER REGISTRATION FORMS in Refugee Welcome Baskets
Potential 'smoking gun' showing Obama administration spied on Trump team, source says
Bob Woodward: Obama officials possibly facing criminal charges for unmasking scheme
Here’s Why Nunes’ Obama Spying Revelations Are Such A Big Deal
What does Congress' Black Caucus want?
Canadian Parliament Passes “Anti Islamophobia” Measure, Which Could Make Criticism Of Islam Off-Limits…
As long as people are still free to criticize Christianity, I'm cool. Christianity is used to it. Christian guy or gal might feel hurt or insulted, but all they will actually do is to throw in a prayer for your soul. They won't scare the crap out of you the way the Canadians are askeered of their Muslims.
‘No European…can walk safely on the streets,’ Turkey’s Islamist President Erdogan Warns Europe
Does Europe suddenly treasure NATO?
WHY OPEC IS FINISHED—AND RUSSIA TOO
Rex Tillerson: North Korea Threat Is Imminent, Strategic Patience Is Over
The Korean War never ended
How Paris has become one of the most dangerous capitals in the world
Arrest of JCC bomb hoaxer challenges the narrative on anti-Semitism
How the media treated those Jewish community center bomb threats
Tracked: Mar 26, 09:10
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My family taught me to read before I started school, so the school never had a chance to do anything weird to me. I don't actually remember how they taught it when I did get there, though I think it was phonics, to judge from flashes of memories of going over words that sounded alike: cat, hat, bat.
Nor do I remember how I was taught at home, which was something like osmosis, I think. Someone reads aloud to you while you're both looking at the book, and then at some point you know how to read, without preserving a memory of how you got there. Once I was reading alone, I remembering seeing a word ending in "ing" and wondering "How in the world am I supposed to pronounce that?" I was so excited to learn that "ing" on the page was the same as that bell-sound I already knew. "Whose idea was it to spell it like that?" I wondered.
My mom taught first grade before she had kids. When I had children of my own I asked her for advice on how to help my children read. She said, "I don't know. I didn't do anything. They just learned how."
I figured that out for myself when I sent my youngest off to kindergarten knowing practically nothing (he was stubborn about learning anything from me). He was reading on his own 6 weeks later, and they hadn't even made it through the alphabet.
Kids pick up on the sounds and letters very quickly, if you just give them a chance.
Vanderbilt & Wendie's: Clearly, it's DISCRIMINATION against red-heads. Ooooohhhhhh, that makes me so MADDDDDDDDDD.
in my work, "demand" is followed closely by, "or else" or "we offer". I don't think kollege kids or the kollege administration understands how "demand" works in the real world.
“Even 'Healthy' Obese Face Higher Heart Risk”
This article highlights what is wrong with using statistical data to determine health risks and health advice.
The claim that everyone with a BMI of 30 or above is “obese” is ridiculous. They use a real life example in the article which is useful to understanding why this is ridiculous. The individual in question is 5’ 9” weighing 210 lbs. I can find atheletes (and non-athletes) all day long who meet these criteria and have low body fat ratios. People who are the essence of good health but who either by genetic predisposition or years of good exercise or both have this knod of muscle mass/body type. At the same time I can find others who fit this criteria who are out of shape and have too much body fat and look obese. But the BMI cannot tell the difference.
Secondly there is the issue of individuality or genes. It is quite possible that the 5’9” 210 lb out of shape individual may well outlive us all and have good health all his life. Simply being overweight is not a reliable indicator of bad health or future health problems. There is something called the “obesity paradox” which in essence states that the real life outcomes of overweight people is better than the real life outcomes of underweight people (below the ideal BMI). This points to a problem with statistics AND the BMI. Neither one is useful when evaluating an individuals health or future health problems.
Third, statistics tends to point in different directions and often in the wrong direction. Are people simply obese because they eat too much and this causes health problems OR do genetic health problems cause obesity and the obesity is just another symptom of bad health? I tend to believe that latter is the more common condition. For example the article pointed to obesity as a probable cause of type II diabetes but more likely having type II diabetes is likely to also result in obesity. Which is the cause and which is the effect. Statistics doesn’t discriminate between these and it is up to the researcher to do that and if the researcher has a bias then they choose the answer that supports their bias.
Last, the idea that obesity is a BMI of 30 or above is flawed. You could easily assemble a list of college football players who all had a BMI above 30 who would appear to be the epitome of good health and conditioning. Are they “obese”? You could also show an equal number of 5’1” women whose BMI was 29.9 who would appear to most people to be obese (sorry, not trying to sexualize this but that is one of the problems with BMI in that it fails those on the higher and lower height scales and most certainly fails those people who are in good physical condition.
In my opinion that study is useless as a predictor of future health. BMI is not really useful and statistics is not really meaningful and can easily be interpreted in different ways.
BMI is descriptive not predictive. If you are obese, you will have a high BMI. Having a high BMI does not mean you are obese. The measure also breaks down with people more than about 6' tall, due to square/cube factors. There are also no scientific bases for the limits between the categories, that is, there is no significant difference between a 24.9 and a 25.1, though one is considered "normal" and the other "overweight"
I think a tape measure and some good eyeballing detect obesity, or just too much weight in the wrong places far better than body fat/BMI ever will. My wife is a dietitian and loves to dazzle the unwashed with her scientific looking body fat calipers, BMI calculator and charts.
While I agree that learning phonics is helpful, the fact that Korean, Chinese and Japanese students (languages with NO phonetic information) manage to be very literate suggests it's not absolutely essential.
Actually, the present Korean writing system (한 글-hangul) is totally phonetic. It was developed by King Sejong and his scholars in the 15th century as a scientific alphabet system representing specific sounds and how they are pronounced in the mouth. It's essentially a system of sticks arranged in logical patterns to represent different sounds. With a few exceptions (mainly how certain consonants are pronounced at the end of a syllable block, but even there there are specific rules), the spoken language is pronounced exactly how it's written.
Hangul was developed by the king to give common people an easy way to learn how to read and write, since they could not afford to have their children educated to write in Chinese characters like the aristocracy did. Stories say that the commoners could learn the hangul system to read and write in 3 hours, although that seems very optimistic. It probably took me about a week to learn and remember the alphabet (although the spoken language is really tough for a westerner to learn in my opinion--harder than Japanese but not as bad as Mandarin).
Chinese characters were still also commonly used in Korea up until perhaps the end of the Japanese occupation, but now have almost totally died out, although they are still taught in many schools and knowing Chinese characters is a mark of how well educated you are. (I probably recognize at the most 5 Chinese characters, the main one being the one for "Exit" or "Way Out" (出口) which of course is everywhere in China and Japan-LOL.) One of my Japanese friends tells me that in Japan, they begin teaching you Chinese characters in kindergarten and by 6th grade you have learned about 5 to 6 thousand of them. Needless to say, Asian cultures heavily value the skill of memorization.
There are three different alphabets commonly used to write the modern Japanese language. Of these, Hiragana is the most closely phonetic, and is what learners typically start with, with katakana and kanji being added as the learner proceeds in skill. Most written Japanese is a mixture of the three, with a more or less consensus that older concepts use kanji, while newer concepts and loan words use the more phonetic scripts. There are some pretty standard Romanizations in use as well for areas where international people might gather, like airports and train stations.
I should think it's a question of how the written language is structured. If it's structured phonetically, it's hard to understand why it would be a good idea to avoid phonetics. If it's structured pictographically, I can just imagine some education experts decreeing that it must be taught phonetically.
David Rockefeller was a serious bug collector. An essay in idleness? Yes indeed, Rockefeller had his hobbies which many would approve and delight upon. But he was VERY frisky when it came to shaping this world to the whims of his own greed. The man was a grand puke of the highest order. Gary North has some choice opinions and other links for you to consider.
Actually, had anyone listened to what Comey said in his latest testimony, they would not see an assertion that no one spied on Trump. They would find that no evidence of physical wiretapping was found in Trump tower but he couldn't rule out other methods. They would also find a nuanced statement that in total only says that he found no evidence of wiretapping by the FBI and he passed on a similar assertion from DOJ.
It was all very nuanced and all very telling. The rush to report meant few writing about it actually listened to what was said.
Discerning people should have learned better by now. The failure of reporters and pundits to close listen and apply critical thinking to what was said was common practice with Trump. Apparently, a lot of people can no longer process complex statements. Or assess the totality, which may refute the specific quotes. This was what one used to learn how to do in college, but no longer.
Nunes: Let me be clear, I’ve been saying this for several weeks. We know there was not a physical wiretap of Trump Tower. However, it’s still possible that other surveillance activities were used against President’s Trump and his associates
COMEY: With respect to the president’s tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets and we have looked carefully inside the FBI. The Department of Justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for the Department of Justice and all its components. The department has no information that supports those tweets.
You can look on Youtube and find numerous videos where a policeman is telling someone videoing him that he cannot do that and that it violates federal wiretap laws. If you do some research you can find numerous cases of people being charged with violating those wiretap laws who never actually physically "tapped" anyone. It is a very broad definition to include voice or video in private and in some cases in public where the "victim" has no expectation of privacy. But the press and the left are parsing the meaning of wire tapping in this case to only mean a physical tap of Trump's phones. They are doing this even as more and more information comes out that indeed Trump and his people were "wire tapped".
Another careful parsing of the meaning of things is taking place as it relates to "who" was wiretapped. The left and the press finds itself in the awkward place of first saying there was no wiretapping and Trump is crazy and now saying that yes there was wiretapping but the target wasn't Trump so he is still crazy. Soon it will be that there was wiretapping, someone (but certainly not Obama) decided to release this information with the intent of targeting Trump but with enough parsing we still believe that Trump is crazy.
Andrew McCarthy at NRO had an excellent piece a couple days ago explaining the legal environment in which this happened. It sounds like the Obama administration did a combination of surveillance on foreign officials likely to be talking to Trump's people, as well as data-mining previously collected communication for references to them. They then widely shared these intercepts among various agencies, including opening somewhat bogus FBI counter-intelligence investigations on the foreign contacts. Somewhat bogus meaning they didn't really expect to find anything but could then leak that X was a 'person of interest'.
"As long as people are still free to criticize Christianity, I'm cool. Christianity is used to it."
Christianity is antifragile. It gets stronger when stressed and challenged. It is in the complacent days that Christianity has weakened from lack of exercise.
Kevin at NRO is right about NEA.
I've been asking the ppl who've been getting hysterical to name their favorite music, art, literature.
Then asking if any of it was NEA funded.
I know none of mine was.
This was very well done. Most people believe or do not believe in Man Made Climate change based on idealogy, yet know very little about it.
This is a great overview with a point of view that everyone can respect. I wish everyone would watch it but I have discovered that left wing leaning people believe in climate change because they believe that it can be used to further their agenda, and right wing leaning people also believe it is a vehicle to advance a left wing agenda, therefore it does not matter if Man Made Climate change is true or not to most people because they have already made up their minds. They CHOOSE to believe or not to believe and facts be damned. For those still open minded this is a very resonable approach to the issue. I wish all students watched this and their teachers are not too threatened to present it to them.
This is just another great reason I check on Maggie's farm daily. Thank you for posting...
"The Korean War never ended"
Not only that, in 2013 Kim Jong Un specifically repudiated the armistice agreement that created the ceasefire. So the U.S. could nuke North Korea tomorrow, if it wanted to.
The only real resolution of this situation is for China to assassinate Kim Jong Un and replace him with a more rational China-controlled puppet ruler that would also be palatable to the U.S., S. Korea and Japan. That probably would also be welcomed by N. Korea's generals and high government officials, all of whom are in utter fear of Kim. If you make the mistake of yawning or looking at your watch during a meeting with the Leader, you run the risk of being used for target practice by anti-aircraft shells.
Unfortunately we now have this surreal situation where one of the most advanced economies in the world is sitting right next to a country that could turn the whole thing into ashes in seconds. You can almost see North Korea as you are driving on the freeway between Seoul and Incheon Airport.