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, October 6. 2017
A book: Darwinian Sexual Selection and the Politics of Beauty By Ethan Linck
Butterflies Confuse Denver Radar-Watchers
Pepsi Pushes Healthier Drinks, Sales Go Down in North America
Duh. Soft drinks are for fun, not health
Who’s Ready For A 45′ Tall Naked Woman On The National Mall All Winter?
The Donald might get a kick out of it
"When Ms. Ruzickova was 15, the family received what the Germans called 'an invitation' to Terezin, which the Nazis considered a model concentration camp for the cultural elite."
Why isn't trans surgery malpractice?
I think it is
The Sociology of Sociologists - Arnold Kling
Campus free speech is on its deathbed By Post Editorial Board
Good. That was not about clean. It was about CO2
Like Schools, Parks, Social Programs? Too Bad, Because Retirees Get Paid First - New report shows how California's pension obligations are crowding out spending on other things.
The Implications of DACA Amnesty and Chain Migration
Exactly what makes people who are unlawfully present in the United States think they have the right to demand legislation?
Vietnam Vets for Factual History
Facts ‘The Vietnam War’ left out - Communist barbarism that invited U.S. involvement was left on the cutting room floor
6 reasons why Puerto Rico slid into financial crisis
Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock’s mental health was in steady decline leading up to the massacre which killed nearly 60 people and injured over 500.
Noonan: The Culture of Death—and of Disdain. Why do Americans own so many guns? Because they don’t trust the protected elites to protect them.
She is so wrong. Under British law, commoners were not allowed to own swords for centuries. Commoners want weapons too for whatever reason. Now the elites want their armed bodyguards but they don't want me to have my .22?
Harsanyi: Come And Take Them, Bret Stephens - As an American-Jew whose ancestors came here escaping both Nazism and communism, I totally 'get' the Second Amendment 'fetishists.'
The argument that "Conservatives don't care"
Conservatives care about your freedom
Nothing Makes Liberals Angrier Than Us Normals Insisting On Our Rights
TRUCK CONTROL, IT ONLY HAPPENS HERE AND OTHER GUN CONTROL MYTHS - 4 mass shooting myths exposed.
NY Times Reporter to Ivanka Trump and Her Children: “F**k You!” and “You’re a Bucket of T*rds”
Why is the US in Niger?
Tracked: Oct 08, 09:47
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TRUCK CONTROL, IT ONLY HAPPENS HERE AND OTHER GUN CONTROL MYTHS
Actually, truck control is currently a major issue, with new designs being proposed, such as bollards to help segregate pedestrians from traffic to prevent just such attacks, and automatic braking anti-collision devices on vehicles.
Bird Dog: To protect from Moslems? Or Quakers? Or who?
The article was posted in response to the attacks in Las Vegas. Was he a Muslim or a Quaker?
The point is that people can and do take action to prevent recurrences of violence. The deaths on 9-11-2001 were far fewer than die in road accidents every year, but it was an opening in U.S. defences that could be exploited unendingly — unless the U.S. took action to defend itself. In the case of truck attacks: Yes, society takes actions to defend itself, which may include designs to protect pedestrians, and may also include changes to truck design.
Similarly, instead of throwing up your hands, and saying that you have to allow a single gunner to cause hundreds of casualties, it is very possible to devise solutions to reduce the risk. Even the NRA thinks that regulations allowing bump stocks should be reconsidered.
saying that you have to allow a single gunner to cause hundreds of casualties,...
No one said that, stop lying.
NY Times Reporter to Ivanka Trump and Her Children: “F**k You!” and “You’re a Bucket of T*rds”
Ben Berkon is not a reporter for the New York Times, but a free-lance writer.
When referring to Ivanka Trump and her family, Berkon was almost certainly referring to her father and husband, and not her minor children.
Oh, well, that makes it alright!
I assume he said the same thing about Mrs Obama and her children.
GoneWithTheWind: Oh, well, that makes it alright!
The article was attempting to smear by association.
The article was attempting to distort the message by saying it was about Ivanka's minor children, when it was not.
Texan99: No power, no water: how long before Puerto Rico has cholera?
Cholera is a specific pathogen (Vibrio cholerae) that has to be introduced, but outbreaks of other diarrheal illnesses are threatening. Standing water in the warm climate can also breed mosquitoes, leading to an outbreak of diseases, such as Zika. It's essential that water, power, and medical services be restored as soon as possible.
"We're not going to be satisfied until the situation is stabilized and the bottom line is that this is the most logistically challenging event that the United States has ever seen." — Brock Long, FEMA Administrator
Well, other than D-Day, the Moon Shot, the Berlin Airlift ...
Not to pick on Brock Long, who probably meant Hurricane Maria is the most challenging event ever for FEMA; the examples are meant to show that the U.S. is more than capable of rising to the challenge, but leadership has to come from the top.
Not to pick on Brock Long, who probably meant Hurricane Maria is the most challenging event ever for FEMA
Along with Harvey and Irma.
D-Day, the Moon Shot, the Berlin Airlift
of course such minor details as preparing for years for a single event occurring at a time and place known well in advance, or being fortunate enough to have just fought a major war in the immediate vicinity and fully demobilizing have nothing to do with meeting the challenge.
Christopher B: of course such minor details as preparing for years for a single event occurring at a time and place known well in advance
Good point. The U.S. has known about the problem of hurricanes for some time. Significant strides were made after Hurricane Katrina, so that the response was much better after Hurricane Harvey. (Thanks Obama.) However, the damage associated with Hurricane Maria overwhelmed the systems in place.
Responding will require significant leadership and investment. After that, the U.S. needs to take another hard look at its disaster preparedness.
I could not disagree more. FEMA is supposed to supply resources and the state and/or local governments are supposed to use the resources and provide the manpower. The federal government should not "investing" in states, territories or cities. The federal government should not rebuild, grant, reward, insure or pay for anything more than resources needed to get past the emergency or to save lives and rescue people.
Everyone with more than two brain cells knows that what is going on here is a vendetta against Trump. If Obama was in office today and FEMA and the rest of the government had taken identical actions the left wing press would be singing his praises and if any twit mayor dared speak against him their words would never make it to the TV or radio. This is nothing more that dirty left wing politics of personal destruction as usual.
GoneWithTheWind: I could not disagree more. FEMA is supposed to supply resources and the state and/or local governments are supposed to use the resources and provide the manpower.
There's your problem right there. The infrastructure is gone. Consider trucks. There are no communications as there is no electricity. Drivers can't get to work because the roads are impassable, their cars may be destroyed, even their houses may be destroyed. If they do make it to work, their trucks may not be usable. If the trucks are usable, there may not be fuel. Meanwhile, their children don't have food or drinking water.
The problem with modern technological civilization is that there is an intricate network of specialties and systems. It's not as if there is a Pony Express as backup for the cellular communications system. When those systems are disrupted, then it may take a long time for the system to recuperate. Meanwhile, half the island doesn't even have safe drinking water.
GoneWithTheWind: The federal government should not rebuild, grant, reward, insure or pay for anything more than resources needed to get past the emergency or to save lives and rescue people.
Consider that a million people may move to the mainland. Consider that diseases such as Zika may be incubating in the population. It's a critical emergency, and it will require significant investment from the outside to put it back together again.
No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee — John Donne
You missed the important part of the argument. How do you do it constitutionally? I know how they will do it; they will take/steal my money and assets from me and give them to a corrupt puertorican government with no strings and no controls. But how does an all powerful federal government with no money of their own give the kind of aid you are demanding???
GoneWithTheWind: You missed the important part of the argument. How do you do it constitutionally?
Article I of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to tax and spend.
"Article I of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to tax and spend."
Presumably for constitutionally "allowed" functions like funding an army or paying debts. Do you really in your black left wing heart believe the constitution intended to allow congress to take money and assets at the point of a gun from productive citizens and give that money to useless non-productive people for the express reason to buy their votes??? Does the constitution explicitly allow redistribution of wealth?
GoneWithTheWind: Presumably for constitutionally "allowed" functions like funding an army or paying debts.
Allowed, along with other constitutional functions, such as providing help at the request of local authorities for disaster relief. Do you really think the U.S. Constitution renders the federal government helpless in the face of disasters, that the President can't order agents of the federal government to aid the states at their request?
Maybe the states should unite to form a pact for their mutual benefit and protection. Call it the United States, perhaps. Maybe they could pass an act for the "relief of the sufferers" of a disaster. Do you think the Founders would approve?
In any case, feel free to take it up with the courts.
We went from sending pallets of money to Puerto Rico to "aid the states". Yes! Send the army, navy and Coast guard. But don't send money of "insure" private property, or rebuild.
We are broke. We are over our head in debt. We are addicted to borrowing and spending money we can't afford to pay back and never will pay back. One of these days this will bite us in the ass and our economy will collapse making the great depression look like a Sunday school picnic. Welfare and the many ways we find to redistribute money that isn't ours is killing us. It is way past time to return to sane budgeting.
There are four problems with California's (and most states) pension plan and they are all self inflicted.
1. California public workers are vastly overpaid. Since their retirement is based on their pay the result is that their retirement overpays them as well.
2. The legislators gave away retirement funds to police and firemen. They allow them to retire early at full retirement and there was no additional funding to pay for this gift. It amounts to a robbery of the rest of the retirees who must contribute for 10 more years and retire with less retirement years in front of them.
3. The laws allow the employer (the state) to not contribute monthly while the employee is required to have their 6% contribution put into the retirement fund monthly. With the last 40 years or so being a series of wall street boom times that investment has doubled every 8 years or so leaving the state owing an obscene and insurmountable debt to the public retirement system. THIS is the primary reason that the system is in such big trouble.
4. They pay retirement based on either the amount of money the retiree has in the system OR on their final pay rate. Seems fair. Most retirees by default get a payout based on actual money in the system a simple annuity calculation. BUT some "lucky" people (mostly friends of politicians and political appointees work for a relatively brief time BUT are promoted to a very high paying job for their last couple of years before retiring. This allows them to retire with a big bucks retirement but having paid very little into the system. Pure graft.
The problem really comes down to dishonest politicians and public employees unions. This won't get fixed because someone's ox will be gored. Instead it will fail and all U.S. taxpayers will likely pay to bail it out.
Why are we in Niger?
Probably for the same reason we are in Burkina Faso, I would guess.
"Report: Trump Admin Plans To Scrap The Clean Power Plan. Good. That was not about clean. It was about CO2." It was also about wiping out what's left of the coal industry, and sending those nasty, increasingly Republican miners packing.
BillH: It was also about wiping out what's left of the coal industry, and sending those nasty, increasingly Republican miners packing.
Coal is on the way out regardless of U.S. policy, and coal mining jobs have been on the way out for a generation due to technological innovation. Clinton had proposed a major investment in communities hit by changes in the industry. But people chose to believe the story that the coal industry was going to return.
Coal is on the way out regardless of U.S. policy
And yet several new coal mines have opened in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Kentucky since Trump was elected.
Obviously the price of natural gas has negatively impacted the coal industry but regulations were a major cause of the decline that started in 2011.
mudbug: And yet several new coal mines have opened in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Kentucky since Trump was elected.
About 2000 jobs have been added in the coal industry since January, or a couple of hundred per month, a blip in the employment scene, which typically adds a thousand times that many jobs per period.
By the way, the coal mine openings have nothing to do with coal-fuel friendly policies, but are mostly for metallurgical coal. Supply disruptions have led to a spike in prices for metallurgical coal.
mudbug: regulations were a major cause of the decline that started in 2011.
The coal industry has been declining for generations, and will continue to decline.
Facts trigger zachriel. You're oppressing her, you misogynist.
DrTorch: Facts trigger zachriel.
We posted a number of facts, that the number of jobs recently added in the coal industry is negligible in the overall economy, that new coal mines were primarily opened for metallurgical coal, not fuel coal, and that the coal industry has been declining for generations. Let's add another fact. Coal production in the first half of 2017 is 15% lower than the first half of 2015.
Coal as a major source of jobs isn't coming back, and telling people that it is will leave them unprepared for the new economy that is quickly developing.
Not in Germany. Since Angela Merkel arbitrarily decided to close all German nuclear plants after the disaster at the Fukushima plant (that due to a tsunami; haven't heard that any German nuclear sites were vulnerable to that particular threat), the German coal industry has ramped up production and German coal-fired plants are going gung-ho. And their coal is "brown" coal, very polluting compared to that in North America.
Frances: Since Angela Merkel arbitrarily decided to close all German nuclear plants after the disaster at the Fukushima plant
Nuclear is being phased out over time.
Frances: the German coal industry has ramped up production and German coal-fired plants are going gung-ho.
Coal production in Germany has declined over time, and a relatively stable part of electrical energy production in more recent years.
Frances: And their coal is "brown" coal, very polluting compared to that in North America.
Yes, and because lignite is cheap, it's hard to disengage from its use. However, Germany is looking at various options to avoid the polluting use of coal, while also meeting its commitments under the Paris Agreement.
Already poor households are reeling and electricity is becoming a luxury for the affluent only.
"Who’s Ready For A 45′ Tall Naked Woman On The National Mall All Winter?"
Only if during Mardi Gras, we can put up a big sign saying "Show use your ...."
"Under British law, commoners were not allowed to own swords for centuries."
(1388) The Statute of Richard II restricts laborers to their hundred and makes it compulsory for them to follow the same trade as their father after the age of twelve. The wages of both industrial and agricultural laborers are again fixed — shepherds, ten shillings a year; ploughmen, seven; women laborers, six shillings, and so on. Servants are permitted to carry bows and arrows, but not swords, and they may not play tennis or foot-ball. And here is the historical origin of the important custom of exacting recommendations: servants leaving employment are required to carry a testimonial, and none are to receive servants without such letter — the original of the blacklist.
--Popular Law-making: A Study of the Origin, History, and Present Tendencies of Law-making by Statute, Frederic Jesup Stimson (1910)
Not to mention commoners wanting to play tennis or football. Or maybe move and get a job somewhere without so much as a by-your-leave from your previous owner, I mean, employer.
Butterflies, eh? Not something the radar watchers were smoking, then?
You diminish your blog by linking to Gateway Pundit. Years ago I frequented that site only to leave after numerous falsehoods went uncorrected even after being pointed out. I will not give any credence to anything posted there. If someone wants to argue that the situation has changed, I'll be happy to reconsider.
GoneWithTheWind: We went from sending pallets of money to Puerto Rico to "aid the states".
Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, populated by U.S. citizens, and the governor has requested aid from the federal government.
GoneWithTheWind: Yes! Send the army, navy and Coast guard. But don't send money of "insure" private property, or rebuild.
Your original position was that it was unconstitutional. As for whether it is something the American people want to do, you can take it up with your Congress, which funds FEMA and other relief.
GoneWithTheWind: We are broke. We are over our head in debt.
The U.S. is not broke, nor is their debt insurmountable. The cost to help Puerto Rico is quite small compared to the tax cuts being considered. However, it would be prudent to move towards a more balanced budget. However, when the roof blows off, you may have to borrow to repair the roof lest the contents be lost as well.