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, September 13. 2017
Elk Noises & a Party Crasher
Having a beer might help get your creative juices flowing.
Famous Viking Warrior Was a Woman, DNA Reveals
Or a trannie?
Silent heart attacks
They are common
U.S. middle-class incomes reached highest-ever level in 2016
The secret of Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy
Menton: How To Deal With Equifax
Pope Francis: Climate Change Deniers 'Stupid' After Hurricanes
He's been studying paleoclimatology, statistics, and mathematical modeling in his spare time
I blame climate change
Another VICTIM OF THE SPLC
Hurricane Hillary: Was Irma Over-Hyped?
Hillary Clinton: Deplorable book, deplorable person
Related: The failed candidate’s awkward book misfires on all fronts, obsesses over sexism, and even drags David Foster Wallace into the whole mess.
Trump to consider more aggressive policy towards Iran
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I am curious how Catholics here view the current Pope. As a protestant, I don't pay a lot of attention to him. But this one seems like he has been at odds with most Catholic doctrines.
It doesn't surprise me a bit that he called me stupid. While I greatly respect Catholics, I have a hard time respecting this man.
Dangerous Dean: I am curious how Catholics here view the current Pope.
U.S. Catholics love Pope Francis, poll says
My take is that the current Pope is a socialist first and Christian second (if that high) . He's popular largely because of the "if it feels right, that's God telling you it is right" disease affecting much of American Christianity. He seems to suffer from more than a bit of this himself.
His appeal is to luke warm Catholics only, traditional Catholics are beginning to view him as an antipope and Benedict as the true pope. By now you should have considerable doubts about polling.
indyjonesouthere: His appeal is to luke warm Catholics only
So only 15% of Catholics are True Catholics™.
Brought to you by the same pollsters who said that Killery would win in a landslide.
Thanks Zach for your paid contribution here.
Dangerous Dean: Brought to you by the same pollsters who said that Killery would win in a landslide.
Most polls just before the election showed Clinton with a 2-4% point advantage, which was within the margin of error of the final results.
November 7, about ±3%
Bloomberg, Clinton +3%
Rasmussen, Clinton +2%
Fox News, Clinton +4%
Reuters/Ipsos, Clinton +3%
Final result, Clinton +2%
President Donald J. Trump
And Hillary Clinton will never be President of the United States of America.
Yes, one might think that the God part of the job would keep a guy busy enough without bothering with weather
The media regularly misquotes and misrepresents what the Pope says to suit their narrative, so you can't base your opinion of him on what you read. Last night on Tucker Carlson a Catholic Priest who is a regular Fox News contributor did a good job of correcting the media narrative on this.
I don't worry a lot about what the media is saying because they mostly aren't Catholic and don't understand Catholicism.
As a Catholic, I loved Pope John Paul II. All of the Popes have wisdom to offer. I can't imagine anyone not liking Pope Francis.
I am reminded of a quote sometimes attributed to Abraham Lincoln.Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool than to Speak and Remove All Doubt.
Quote Investigator: There is a biblical proverb that expresses a similar idea, namely Proverbs 17:28. Here is the New International Version followed by the King James Version of this verse: 1I would assume that the Pope would know the Bible- if not the King James version.
Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
"Famous Viking Warrior Was a Woman, DNA Reveals"
Sorry, not buying this Grrrrl Power myth the Euro-cucks are trying to sell. These Euro-metrosexuals will claim anything to get laid: Vikings loved equality; ignored biology!
You're Viking warrior and the person next to you, per her biology has less testosterone than a man, meaning she is slower, weaker and has less endurance than the typical man, but you're going into battle with opponents who have no such weaknesses? Yeah, right! A Viking warrior may as well have tied his right arm behind his back!
If anything the bones establish the Vikings had mascots or cheerleaders whom they cherished as much as pro and college sports fans do, today!
My theory is she was an opera singer that died while performing. I'll donate up to 15¢ toward funding an archeological dig for evidence in support of my theory.
Oh, BillH! That's the best theory I've read about it. And it made me chuckle, too.
Old Codger: You're Viking warrior and the person next to you, per her biology has less testosterone than a man, meaning she is slower, weaker and has less endurance than the typical man, but you're going into battle with opponents who have no such weaknesses?
Another way to look at it is that, during the period, armies were often made up of only a few hundred fighters, while the general style of fighting was somewhat disorganized. Including a number of women would add to the overall fighting strength of the army. If it makes you feel any better of your masculinity, think of them as backstabbers during a melee.
There are still some residual arguments against the latest findings, but until it was tentatively determined the person was a woman, no one had any serious doubt that the person was a military leader.
Why would you think a woman of the North could not be as fierce as the Romans reported the Celtic women from further south?
“…a whole band of foreigners will be unable to cope with one [Gaul] in a fight, if he calls in his wife, stronger than he by far and with flashing eyes; least of all when she swells her neck and gnashes her teeth, and poising her huge white arms, begins to rain blows mingled with kicks, like shots discharged by the twisted cords of a catapult”
"A Celtic woman is often the equal of any Roman man in hand-to-hand combat. She is as beautiful as she is strong. Her body is comely but fierce. The physiques of our Roman women pale in comparison."
--An unidentified Roman soldier
Pure speculation: daughter was the only surviving child of warrior chieftain, raised her to take his place and keep title in the family. I'd think you could check femur circumference (partly genetic, partly adaptive) to get an idea of how strong she was vs. the average man of the time. If comparable, may have been an actual warrior, if not, could still have been a military leader/strategist.
I've seen this story linked numerous times. One significant fact not always reported is that the skeleton shows no signs of ever being wounded in battle, making it highly unlikely the person was an actual fighter. Per Zach but more honestly, what the DNA testing of skeletons is showing is attempting to 'sex' a corpse by examining the 'sex' of the grave goods is little better than a random guess. The ancients didn't have rigid sex roles, either (feminists impacted most).
Feeding the beast
Here are two good comments about the multiple fires burning in western Montana this summer. We have now lost over 1 million acres of timber lands. It is time to re-evaluate the "let it burn" policy that is/was the darling "scientific discovery" of the 1980's
] feeding the beast comment [/url]
Sorry to hear you've had a bad fire season, but the "let it burn" philosophy isn't totally wrong. When fires are suppressed, a lot of seriously combustible material accumulates on the forest floors. So when there is a "bad" fire season, all this combustible material makes the fires worse.
Consider the lodgepole pine; its cones only open to release seeds during a fire. So it adapted to be responsive to fairly frequent fires.
Back in the day, in the East Kootenay region of British Columbia (just north and west of Montana), there were big herds of large animals, and the hunting was good. Gradually, the herds diminished, and studies were conducted to figure out why. Seems that back in the 1890's and near decades, there had been a lot of forest fires, some natural and others set by prospectors wanting to clear the area and see the outcrops. The result was large unforested areas which were ideal for the ruminants who moved in and took over. As the forests reclaimed the grasslands, the ruminants disappeared.
Obviously, a proper balance between fire suppression and "let it burn" hasn't yet been achieved. Will be good when it happens.
Excuse me. Can't seem to make the link thingy work this morning. Here are the links to two of the comments we are hearing here in Western Montana.
Letter to the editor:
I tend to favor let it burn. Those woods are not farms. Fires are natural, they rehabilitate forests.
But but... who's going to shade all the orphaned saplings? We must protect and nurture the saplings above all.
You're saying "It's for the children", aren't you? (You sly fox!)
Saplings are tree children, Sam. Hug one and you'll see.
I see no reason not to clear cut areas to break up the tree growth rather than let nature clear burn it and have no influence on what parts are deforested.
"U.S. middle-class incomes reached highest-ever level in 2016"
Well, the median, or even average doesn't tell us a lot. Did the rise come from an general, overall rise, or a large increase for a few on the top end, or the advancement of many off the lower end?
Nassim Taleb offers the following thought experiment to demonstrate the importance of variability
You have just been informed that your grandmother will spend the next two hours at the very desirable average temperature of seventy degrees Fahrenheit (about twenty-one degrees Celsius). Excellent, you think, since seventy degrees is the optimal temperature for grandmothers. Since you went to business school, you are a “big picture” type of person and are satisfied with the summary information. But there is a second piece of data. Your grandmother, it turns out, will spend the first hour at zero degrees Fahrenheit (around minus eighteen Celsius), and the second hour at one hundred and forty degrees (around 60º C), for an average of the very desirable Mediterranean-style seventy degrees (21º C). So it looks as though you will most certainly end up with no grandmother, a funeral, and, possibly, an inheritance.
Taleb, Nassim Nicholas. Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder
U.S. middle-class incomes reached highest-ever level in 2016
JK Brown: Well, the median, or even average doesn't tell us a lot. Did the rise come from an general, overall rise, or a large increase for a few on the top end, or the advancement of many off the lower end?
If the median rose, it can't be because of a large increase for a few on the top end, which will not result in any change in the median.
Irma may have been over-hyped, but we're going on two days without electricity way up here in North Carolina. Winds were only gusting to 30 Kts, but a tornado must have passed through our neck of the woods because trees (and power lines) are down everywhere. A big oak tree fell on my neighbor's house and took out a big chunk of the corner. Another oak tree fell on his car and busted the windshield and dented the hood. Yet another HUGE oak tree fell across the road to his house so he and his wife were trapped. All of us neighbors showed up with chain saws (and even a tractor) and cleared out the fallen oaks. Someone brought a tarp to cover the hole in his roof. No FEMA required. Three hours after the sun came up yesterday morning, we had the roads cleared throughout the entire development.
That is indeed the way it is supposed to work. A neighborhood can be overwhelmed if too many suffer damage at once, but even then Harvey has shown me that the nationwide volunteer network is vibrant. We've had help from as far away as Wisconsin.
A memory of East Germany. In the 1980s I worked in Berlin which was about 100 miles inside East Germany. The East German border guards were continually having their guard posts and partners changed so they couldn't plot together to escape into west Berlin. But even that couldn't prevent them from escaping. One night two border guards came over a low area in the wall, walked into a bar and announced they were defecting. The patrons bought them a beer and called the police. These guards decided a long time ago to defect, but had to wait months till they were on duty together again at the low spot in the wall, then over they went.
Did the border guards successfully defect, or were they sent back after the bar patrons called the police?
The Northern Europeans were more egalitarian in many senses, allowing women to own property, for example. They might possibly have had some female war leaders. It is a mistake to translate this into a 21st C picture, however, of equal opportunity for women in war. Many types of battle-strategy involve the leader directing from behind, especially in an elevated place.
Somebody (wish I could give credit) pointed out that one cross-check would be to inspect the condition of the bones of men and women. Are there more broken bones and stab wounds among the men than the women, or are they roughly equal?
Clinton's book should have been titled "Wha' Happened?!"
She truly is yesterday's news.
"Merkel: Hungary Can’t Disobey EU On Immigration Policy..."
Hungary is a sovereign state: it can do whatever the hell it wants.
Hungary is also a member of the EU, which limits its options. But so also are the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland; all are resisting accepting migrants. Indeed, the Polish response has been the most memorable: in response to Merkel's demand that they accept a lot of free-loading migrants, the Poles have responded by announcing they will sue Germany for a whole lot of money as reparations for the damage caused by WW II.
Slovakia is the weakest of these four. It has always been the poor cousin of the other countries: for many years the provincial estates of Hungarian nobility, it is working hard to establish its own identity (while visiting a church there, I was asked if I were an American. As a Canadian, I responded to the effect of "that is assuming you are a Czech." The young woman involved understood instantly). Unfortunately, Slovakia adopted the Euro, which may make its resistance harder. Perhaps it will return to the Koruna.
By the way, noticed that in Hungary you see a lot of prices quoted in both forints and euros.
JJM: Hungary is a sovereign state: it can do whatever the hell it wants.
As a sovereign state, Hungary has entered into treaties with the EU. There are many advantages to those treaties, including trade and free movement of Hungarian citizens through Europe. Hungary does have the right to withdraw from the EU, but shouldn't expect the benefits of membership without accepting the obligations.