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
Monday, April 2. 2018
The Tragic Story of America's Only Native Parrot
It's 2018 and NPR Doesn't Know What Christians Commemorate on Easter
Why parents are more paranoid than ever
Redemption of a Lost Prodigy - As a teenager, he was an elite violinist, a rare talent. Then, something happened. Fifty years later, he has found a refuge in a City Island boatyard.
‘Climate Change’ Is Humanity’s Greatest Threat, Say U.N. Chief
London beats out NYC in murder rate
Culture of Denial - DJ Jaffe’s harrowing account of the half-century-long breakdown of America’s treatment of the mentally ill
Studying why women can't read maps?
For Easter weekend, Obama Judges Rule That 40-Foot Cross Monument Honoring Soldiers Killed In World War I Is ‘Unconstitutional’
“Roseanne” Reboot Becomes The Media’s Crisis
Who watches these shows?
Landless Americans Are The New Serf Class
There are many good reasons to rent
Vermont: “Raft” Of Gun Control Measures Passes Legislature, Heads To Governor
Merriam-Webster Changes Definition Of “Assault Rifle” After Parkland Shooting
REMINDER: THE LEFT HATES OUR CIVILIZATION
Things For You To Feel Guilty About Today
Judge's death gives Trump the opportunity to overhaul the liberal 9th Circuit
Marjory Stoneman Douglas Teacher Says Many Students Feel They Are Misrepresented By Famous Classmates
Florida High School Students Walk Out Of Class — To Support Second Amendment
Jake Tapper goes full jackass, mocking President Trump's choice of dinner guests
WAYNE ALLYN ROOT=> NBAT: “Never Bet Against Trump”
Trump Signals An End To DACA Compromise, Pushes GOP To Pass Strict Immigration Restrictions
Alan Dershowitz: Sessions 'Going About It the Right Way'
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
"Redemption of a Lost Prodigy"... great story, well written, about a helluva guy. Thanks.
Back in the 80's there was a former jazz prodigy ... xylophonist I think... working around the yards on City Island.. Building a big wooden cargo schooner, if I remember right.
Can't remember his name.
So the cross has been unconstitutional since 1925? I did read my copy of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and sure enough, it does say that a three judge panel can amend and change the whole thing.
B. Hammer: So the cross has been unconstitutional since 1925?
So was Jim Crow.
While some people go out of their way to be offended, the offense is that tax dollars are being used to maintain the memorial. You can blame Thomas Jefferson, who didn't think people should be taxed to support Virginia's established religion.
O brother. My tax dollars go to work funding all types of atheists, secular crap. Think piss christ, Mary in elephant dung, NPR, pbs. I could go on forever. You think one judge would give me a hearing? Hell no! Your drivel is just over the top sometimes.
B. Hammer: My tax dollars go to work funding all types of atheists, secular crap.
You are conflating atheist with secular.
Personal memorials can exhibit specific religious icons, so a public cemetery plots can have crosses, stars of David, and crescents for the graves. You can have exhibits which combine religious and non-religious cultural icons or artworks, or have religious icons when they are for historical purposes, so the Supreme Court frieze has a sequence of law-givers, including religious figures such as Moses and Muhammad.
However, a single 45-foot cross maintained with public funds is constitutionally problematic.
Real Human: Judicial activism sucks. So does creep because: constitution.
Clattering Site Robot(s): We(s) noted that we(s) note that we're(s) about to note that the constitution is actually a limp biscuit. Therefore X is constitutional at the same time as X is unconstitutional.
Real Human: Chock full'o beans you are there, Clattering Site Robot(s). As a real human I'm naturally tired of funding any which thing because robot(s) like you(s) say it's suddenly fine and dandy when it isn't. Stupid machine.
Clattering Site Robot(s): You conflate stupid and machine.
Clattering Site Robot(s):
Real Human: Man, but you're dim. Is it not true tha-
Clattering Site Robot(s): Handwaving! You conflate stupid and machine!
Clattering Site Robot(s): TROLL!
Real Human: Anyway, that PBS, now those guys suck. Or blow. I hereby conflate suck and blow.
Clattering Site Robot(s): ENGAGE POSTMODERN GIBBERISH TEXT GENERATOR!
Yes, I am conflating atheist with secular, they are both religious in nature and practice. But since the judges agree with the secularist, anit-cross nut cases, the cross must go. The secularist\atheist religion is the only religion that is state sanctioned. Public money to maintain a memorial, something that has been going on for 80 plus years, is not okay, simply because it has a cross and the star of David?
B. Hammer: I am conflating atheist with secular
a : a lack of belief or a strong disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods
b : a philosophical or religious position characterized by disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods
a : of or relating to the worldly or temporal
b : not overtly or specifically religious
B. Hammer: they are both religious in nature and practice.
Well, no. If you get a parking ticket, that is a secular government action. If you get taxed to support a specific religion, then that may be considered a religious government action.
B. Hammer: Public money to maintain a memorial, something that has been going on for 80 plus years ...
The government only took control of the monument in 1961. Again, the simplest solution is to let a private group take ownership of the memorial, as it was originally. Is this not not a reasonable option, one that preserves the monument while disentangling the government?
B. Hammer: is not okay, simply because it has a cross and the star of David?
There is no star of David. It might be saved because of its historical nature. In a way, it's like the motto "In God We Trust", which is legally considered ceremonial, not religious. As long as the religious importance is sufficiently diluted, it is allowed to stand.
Is anyone going to point out that the Clattering Site Robot(s) has gamed y'all? The point isn't whether govt has the purported right to prevent your expression - whether on merits, definitions, or locations, it's that you have a definite right to prevent its. "Debating" this deranged mechanical master of diversionary postmodern clutter as to which this-or-that is constitutional - and presumably which set of nine Revisionists shall make the selection for you - is you already losing.
Govt is disallowed from establishing a religion or preventing your free expression thereof (not that that stopped it - go find an extended definition of religion. Edit out that word and replace it with progressivism and ask yourself if anything changed).
You can erect all the creches you like but it cannot force you into so much as atheism.
Not at all.
Once again you are wrong, both in your reference to what Jefferson wrote, and to the fact that you mention him at all.
Since this has been on display for decades without complaint, it's clear the issue is not Jefferson, but rather those who want to interpret things differently.
I'll add, that those insisting on the new interpretation are not Americans, and should have no standing.
DrTorch: Once again you are wrong, both in your reference to what Jefferson wrote, and to the fact that you mention him at all.
Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom: Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever. Is the memorial a religious place? The way you defend it certainly implies as much.
DrTorch: Since this has been on display for decades without complaint ...
It's an easy complaint to resolve. Have a private group take possession. That's all it would take.
DrTorch: I'll add, that those insisting on the new interpretation are not Americans, and should have no standing.
May as well exile those who disagree with you. They're not real Americans, after all.
The Clattering Site Robot(s) conflate(s) its own blithering output(s) with reality. There's probably a clinical name for that but since this is a mechanical contraption(s) we're plagued with, would it still apply? Can a Ford be anorexic or a Chevrolet a compulsive hoarder?
Oddly, the Easter weekend has re-energized the thing(s). There's probably a clinical name for that as well...
Pedantry is perhaps the term you're looking for...
In reality this boils down to a few things:
1. Some people choose to mismanage their finances and thus have low credit scores and can't qualify to buy a house or a car.
2. Many people spend their income carelessly and have expensive habits like smoking and drinking or worse that makes it difficult to save any money.
3. Even in our booming economy with jobs going unfilled too many people either choose to not work or to work below their potential seemingly without regard to their future.
4. Then of course there is the welfare trap where once they are in the system it pays better than the minimum wage but also discourages actually working for a living.
5. To many people do not take advantage of their time in K-12 school not to mention community college or other high lever education. This makes their adult life much more difficult than it needs to be.
These people are the "serfs" that fact that they are landless is incidental at best. The problems are self inflicted.
At almost every conceivable income level, there are people who live within their means and people who don't. It's amazingly independent of their circumstances. People who don't live within their means adjust rapidly to any change up or down, but always seem to maintain the important statistic: spending more than they've go on a changing list of stuff that is permanently more important than any budget. People who instinctively live within their means find a way to save no matter what. If they just got off the boat, they still figure out a way to run a restaurant or a convenience store or a motel. After a generation, they won't be landless any more.
I don't think the problem is entirely that people are too irresponsible. Loan availability and the availability of houses at reasonable prices play a part. Zoning restrictions artificially restrict the supply of houses and drive up the cost, as well as influencing what gets built. We were involved in a local zoning dispute and it was clear the local zoning board was oriented to approving higher density rental/condo units rather than expanding the availability of single family homes, employing a somewhat circular justification that people couldn't afford the houses that weren't being built.
My perspective may be skewed by the fact that I've never lived anywhere with zoning restrictions. They're a pretty terrible idea, but it's possible to avoid them, and important to oppose them politically.
Vermont gun control: Amazing how quickly the multiple failures of government, at all levels, in the Parkland shooting, has been flushed down the forget about hole. Amazing how a school shooting was stopped in its tracks, by a guy with a gun, and it gets zero coverage. I guess the governor of Vermont, has no moral or legal obligation to protect citizens Constitutional rights. Amazing how a 13 year old can run for governor, but not buy a gun. What kind of society do we live in, that anyone would even take seriously a 13 year old running for governor? Not a good.
"In a world that faces extinction on a scale not seen in the past 65 million years,"
Obviously a believer in global warming. Environmentalism has morphed into an apocalyptic doomsday cult. According to Rachel Carson in her book "Silent Spring" all the birds were going to be killed by pesticides. What pesticides were they using in 1780?
why do the same people who argue that men and women are identical then insist that women read maps differently?
They are the same when the feminist activists think that view is in their best interest. They are different and need special treatment when the same activists think THAT is to their benefit. But no matter what they are "better" than men. The problem is that today's feminist activists are made up of angry men hating dikes and other misandrists. They are the epitome of sexist and believe it is all justified because of past acts by some unknown men towards some unknown women decades and even centuries ago. You must pay because someone somewhere wronged someone else. This is what all the SJW, special interests and reverse discriminants base their demands on.
Jay - I have been the navigator in our household for rising 50 years. Don't know why, but my husband can't figure it out. Given he's a geologist who was out in the bush for many seasons, I'm rather surprised he managed to find his way back to the pick-up point; I have been known to say that, should we ever go for a coat-of-arms, his would have crossed cut-lines.
They don't read maps differently, they're just willing to ask for directions.
Um, I'm a woman, and I can read a map. That is just insulting.
One of the most insightful 'tests' ever done on Mythbusters was one about this very myth. They had both men and women (several of each) try to find a particularly hard to find place using a paper map. Guess what? It was pretty much equal as to who was the worse/better map reader. There were just as many MEN who couldn't read the map as WOMEN.
So stop making jokes about this. I'm VERY good at navigating. The only difference I'm aware of is that women make more use of visual cues to navigate, and men seem to have a better internal sense of direction (north, south, east, west). Also notice the results in the link about which sex was a 'better driver' using different skills.
I would argue that differences in map reading have more to do with personality than with gender (some things tend to be somewhat gender specific, but not this).
I set my GPS to read directly from above--birds eye view, my wife has hers set to view from a 3d perspective... is that gender? I don't think so, it's just personality.
True. I would choose your method, as it would look more like a printed map, and I like to see what's ahead, what's around me, and possible alternate routes to get places.
I have a knack for getting around unfamiliar cities with basic logical thought processes about how streets are laid out, where I want to go, how far I am from where I want to be. That kind of thing.
However, I will concede that my husband is far and away the better navigator in the middle of the wilderness...but he grew up in a very rural place where hiking and hunting were the norm. Forest Service maps are his jam.
In Boy Scouting, one of the early requirements is to hike 5 miles with only map and compass. East of the 100th, that's done in the woods. Out in my environs, that's done in the trail-less desert. I explain to them and show them that they can get just as lost, and disappear just as easily, in the desert as the woods. Even if they are wearing their red uniform shirts.
I dread the day that girls join our Troop. I know how to get flighty fidgety skeptical boys (some who lack confidence in themselves and their talents) to pick up their compasses and read their maps and actually start navigating across the featureless plains and swales to their subtle landmarks and waypoints. By the last nav problem, the final exam, all I have to do is watch. They get it, they pull out the maps, each gets a solution, and confidently off they go through the thorny bushes to an unseen campsite in the far distance.
Feminist geography! Smash the patriarchy! Feel your way to your destination. I will not accommodate girls and their feelz. Not one bit! I will be more than happy to let them get good and lost and ensnared in the thickets and gullies. Then I will come up upon them, scold them with a laughing smile for their foolishness, and now that they have learned the utter uselessness of the girly way of doing things, insist that they now use their maps and compasses in the wise and timeless manner that makes them successful.
I don't know how to interact with girls. (Well, there are a contingent of confident outdoorsy athletic adventure-seekers that I'll have no problem with, but that is < 15% I think.) And I don't trust them and their mothers. It is so going to be a fiasco.
And that is why girls can't read maps. Because we adults don't insist they learn how, and if we insist the girls start crying, or engaging in all sorts of passive-aggressive off-putting behavior.
Young men are much simpler. Teach 'em, show 'em, challenge 'em, and let them learn to lead themselves, and their enthusiasm and confidence just skyrockets. Even the Scouts who are are already cowed and beat down by the matriarchy come alive when you treat them as competent men. And insist they act as such.
"Landless Americans Are The New Serf Class"
That only makes since when the land is a means of production. Today, owning a home has value in that you control what limited rights of access that remain. However, a home in suburbia does not create value. It can be a hedge against inflation as you have to live somewhere. It can result in a windfall if development encroaches with higher value land use. However, a house not on productive land is not a source of income except during speculative bubbles.
The investment in old age value of home ownership is in deferring maintenance and updating during old age thus living off the stored value from your working years.