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, April 10. 2018
NECCO wafers may become a thing of the past.
I've always liked them. Great for making a roof on a gingerbread house, too.
Humans Have Wreaked Havoc on Walden Pond
Too many tourists peeing in the pond
Birds Have A ‘Sixth Sense’ And Can Feel Earth’s Magnetic Field
Despite being panned by many critics, “The Greatest Showman,” is a smash hit with audiences
GM's dress code is only two words
Imagining a World After Anna Wintour
Censorship at Yale: my experience on campus
Inside the White House Bible Study group
Cultural-Marxist Left Doesn't Like Term 'Cultural Marxism'
The UK: Subversion in the Garb of Social Justice
Facebook has always been one big swindle
Never was interested in it
Vietnam activists question Facebook on suppressing dissent
Illinois Democratic governor nominee mum on details for his proposed pension bailout tax hike
They say that the Illinois government is a pension plan with some services attached
FBI To Produce Additional Documents To Congressional Investigators On Hillary Clinton Email Probe
Alan Dershowitz: Today is a 'very dangerous day for lawyer-client relations'
This all seems crazy to me
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Censorship at Yale: my experience on campus.
The article confirms my suspicion that a lot of the prog censorship and intolerance on campus is driven by prog administrators.
Recall that Prof Bert Weinstein, who resigned from Evergreen, said that it started at Evergreen when Evergreen's new President went full prog. The students that harassed Professor Weinstein were merely following in the footsteps of the new Pres.
I live five minutes from TESC. It didn't start with the new president. It's been a left-wing cesspool for decades.
No, it didn't start with the most recent Pres, but he amped it up.
One of my favorite professors had a motto: If one wishes to acquire polish, one must encounter an abrasive.
He was also a firm believer that there were plenty of areas of human endeavor where reasonable men of good will could disagree, even his exams. If you had the facts to support your conclusions, you could still do well in his classes (European History). In class you could expect to get grilled, even, or perhaps especially, if you supported his thesis and interpretation. He thought his job was, as we would not be becoming professional historians, to give us the tools to interpret events and reach our own conclusions, rather than to regurgitate a single opinion.
re NECCO wafers may become a thing of the past.
Liked 'em as a kid because you got so many for a nickel.
Haven't seen them for sale outside of novelty shops in decades. It's a wonder they've hung around this long.
Same here. I look for them whenever I'm in the candy section of any store but the only place I can find them is in stores that specialize in candy. They need better marketing. Sweethearts seem to have a little more presence on the shelves. I like them too.
re Facebook has always been one big swindle
Never was interested in it
You may not be interested un Facebook, but Facebook is interested in you.
Sorry. I couldn't pass that up.
"NECCO wafers may become a thing of the past."
Dear God! Say it's not so!
I first encountered them in - of all places - a US PX in Germany years ago while on a NATO exercise. It was love and first sight.
These days I have to wait until we make a trip from the Ottawa Valley down across the St Lawrence to Ogdensburg, NY or into Vermont to get my NECCO resupply.
I always have NECCOs in a jacket somewhere, just as I always have a packet of British Polo peppermints handy (they look like Lifesavers).
If the New England Confectionery Company goes under, and the Brits stop making Polo mints, I'll really be crushed.
Good issue today, congrats!
1. Remembering Necco wafers from my childhood, chocolate was always my fave. An investor may come through but I doubt it will do much long-lasting good.
2. Walden Pond: O for goodness sake. Can the Eco-shriekers give it a rest please. This is a large pond bounded by Route 2 (the Concord Turnpike) on one side, a housing development on another side, and the Sudbury River on another side. Yet all these (millions and millions??) of people every day, all coming to learn about Thoreau, all lining up to pee? Jeez Louise. Did they list the comparative volumes, pond vs puddle? The runoff from one modest rain shower would vastly exceed any supposed annual pee quota which incidentally is confined to less than a handful of summer months from the actual people there. Someone give the avenging ecologist a dunce hat.
3. My respect for Alan Dershowitz continues to grow, inversely proportional to the Mueller team.
"Cultural-Marxist Left Doesn't Like Term 'Cultural Marxism'"
Good. Then the term should be used with ever increasing intensity.
They are always trying to force everyone to frame all discussion with their vocabulary. How about we start insisting on framing the discussion with our vocabulary?
Including the repeated use of the term Cultural Marxism of course.
And even more emphasis on newsprint and social media cultural Marxism.
Facebook is great if you use it correctly. Given that I've been in I.T. for years I did the following:
1) Entered in a completely bogus birthday.
2) Entered in the absolute minimum personal information, and falsified much of it.
3) Never talk about where you're going, only talk about where you've been (if at all).
4) Only "friend" people you actually know in real life.
5) Never answer surveys.
6) Never answer any question that sounds like a security question (e.g., "What was your first car?").
7) Set up an e-mail that is used only for Facebook notifications, etc., and don't use it to actually communicate with people.
I've connected with some old friends all the way back to from first grade. I actually ended up going on a wonderful trip with one. But the information on the trip was kept off of Facebook, both before and afterwards.
We use the two-word name of our house for our account and a picture of the garden and woods in the back as an image. We use a cropped image of our dog's head as a smaller identifier.
Family and folks who know us also know the name of our house, recognize the back garden and our dog.
People who don't know us don't matter.
I should add that we're careful about our phone too. We always let the answering machine do the work, picking up only if we recognize the caller and want to pick up. Our message is:
"Hi. Can't come to the phone just now but if you leave your name, number and a message, we'll get back to you."
We don't identify ourselves because family and friends and business acquaintances will recognize our voices anyway. And if some caller doesn't recognize our voices: too bad, so sad; they can always leave a message.
I don't pick up the phone until the caller leaves a message. I would estimate that only 20% of callers leave a message, and even the callers that leave a message are often robo-callers such as "You have won a vacation trip to..."
Facebook Is Tracking You Even If You’re Not on Facebook
There are people in government pushing to make it illegal to falsify identity online (and by some readings of law it might be technically the case). The official reason is for people sharing Netflix etc IDs, but there have been attempts to use this as a way of racking up charges against someone they wish to convict.
Thoreau liked to commune with nature.
But he still sent his laundry back to Mother to be washed.
RE Walden: Shorter Winters? Apparently this writer is not from Massachusetts.
Living here in the northeast I've read a bit about what some of the locals think of Thoreaus experiment
If you read the book he pushed his "simple life" with evangelistic fervor, but only followed it himself for 3 years. Others compare it to boys camping in the garden shed and getting meals in their moms kitchen (in Thoreaus case less than a mile away)
Agree on Walden Pond. It is maybe a 10-15 minute walk from the center of Concord, MA - a very large suburban Boston town at that time. We lived nearby and hundreds of people walked from Concord to Walden Pond for a swim in the summer every weekend.
Sort of done with the self-righteous "I've never been on Facebook" types.
Great. That's lovely for you.
For the rest of us, stop snickering behind your hands and pretending we were dupes for signing up. I have been able to get in touch with many long-lost friends, create closer friendships with relatives I never knew well, get to know in-laws, my children's friends, parents, etc. High school reunions were organized and attended through Facebook, friends with a very ill baby were able to connect with others who had the same genetic condition, etc.
So laugh all you want. Be derisive. Facebook was useful. Facebook had a positive purpose for many, who otherwise would've been forgotten, ignored or isolated.
This doesn't mean I'm happy with Facebook and what it does with information. But I knew when I signed up what I was doing. I only shared what I wanted to share. If Facebook broke their own rules and did something illegal...how is that the fault of the user? How is it you should be snickering about it? Seriously.
And a reminder, without Facebook, maybe Trump would've gotten a few less votes. Watch the 60 Minutes Brad Parscale interview about the campaign and micro-targeting of ads.
By all means, point fingers at Zuckerberg and those who knew what was going on, but don't be nasty and claim users are 'dupes' and 'dummies' for using the service and getting something positive out of it.
You might be correct to some extent that the anti-facebook people are snickering at you. But you miss the point. It is a legitimate problem and some recognize it and chose not to be on facebook. Some recognize it and chose to be on facebook and perhaps avoid the pitfalls. And most of course could care less. So it is a perfectly sound position to be anti-facebook and perfectly reasonable to say so and be prepared to defend that position.
My wife is on facebook and it is a constant drama fest with family and friends. She never comments/likes and never posts anything, she only uses it to play games and of course look at other people's page. Whenever family tries to contact her on facebook or posts anything about her/us she calls them to explain we don't do facebook and don't want you posting about us on facebook.
Having that point of view doesn't subtract from your enjoyment of facebook. It is like that old argument about Ford vs Chevy. You can chose to get into the argument or ignore it.
IMHO doing anything personal or important online is a mistake. The government shouldn't be doing it. Businesses shouldn't be doing it and individuals shouldn't do it. If it is secret (like your banking) or private don't put it on the internet. I am always stunned when a bank, the government or business claims they've been hacked and personal or secret data was compromised. What did they expect???
Being on Facebook (I am) or not on (my brother and several others in my family are not) is immaterial. Whatever data Facebook has, other online outlets have as much, or more. In fact, being on Facebook doesn't mean Facebook doesn't have data on you. Any article page with a "Like" button on it allows Facebook to collect information such as IP Address - which can be re-aggregated to identify who you are.
The same goes for IDFA or AdID, the mobile identifiers.
In other words, just being online allows you to be identified.
The REAL question isn't "what are they doing with the data" or "who are they selling it to". We know the companies are using it or selling it (Amazon, by the way, has WAYYYY more data than Facebook) for a variety of reasons. But the main one is to sell you stuff. Including candidates.
I don't care so much if people say "Ha! I'm not on Facebook and you're a loser for being on it." I know that's not true, mainly because that's like saying we're losers for having email or text messaging. It's equally true if these people think they're not being tracked or having information used to identify them.
The REAL question is WHY does the government feel IT needs to insinuate itself into this situation and WHY is Facebook (and Twitter and many other outlets) interested in letting the government in?
Because, the government will do far WORSE things with this data than try to sell you stuff. But more importantly, by letting the government in, these firms will insure themselves DATA DOMINANCE and MONOPOLISTIC PROTECTIONS.
The hurdles the government will put in place will be onerous for new, small, firms to overcome. But for Google or Facebook, it will be business as usual, with some additional discomfort.
There are claims that Europe is "ahead" of the US because of their General Data Protection Regulations. To a very small degree, there's truth to this. The "Right to be Forgotten" is an important right - and one which should be adopted. On the other hand, most of the other GDPR restrictions are just fluff and nonsense and don't improve life for users of online systems at all.
At the end of the day, Facebook didn't do anything 'wrong'. Neither did Cambridge Analytica. The only thing they did "wrong" depends on who you backed in which election....
But it's important to understand that one thing that sets politicians apart from firms with the online collection of data is that politicians INSIST AND DEMAND that they own ALL data collected from online advertising. On the other hand, most publishers either share or limit rights to ownership and use of online data that is collected.
I'm actually quite comfortable with Facebook. That is, I know what I signed up for, and I know how to manage it. The idea that Russians did anything besides try to make money by engaging in online ad fraud is insane and stupid. Anyone who believes it has no background in media or advertising.
But we are a nation that loves three things. Scandals, fingerpointing, and boogeymen. Facebook has managed to hit the trifecta.
I think the government is inserting itself because facebook has become a 1st amendment issue. They did it by selective censoring of users with the nefarious intent to benefit one group and harm another. We have established that even a humble lil' ol cake maker cannot do this and will feel the full wrath of the government if they so dare. But facebook has been blatantly doing far worse for years with no harm, no foul. either we have a right to speak truth to power or we do not and facebook is not the decision maker on this issue.
Also the government is inserting itself to "take" some of facebook's power for themselves too.
Humans can get that too, now. I know someone who had a niobium magnet implanted in his finger. He can sens electrical current from wiring, appliances etc.
Life without Anna Wintour? I skimmed that entire article and never found the slightest hint why I should care.
FWIW, Hinderaker says "Democratic Operatives."
Meuller, Comey and McCabe are Republicans.
Are they Democratic Operatives? I really don't know. But Republicans have certainly allowed them to continue down the path they've chosen.
Investigations like this, as usual, move into the field of salacious behaviors. It's no surprise Cohen's role is now attacked from the angle of Stormy Daniels. If that's what it takes to shake the tree....that's what they're going to do.
Not firing Mueller may be the best thing Trump can do. If he knew he was guilty, it would be the first thing he should have done.
"These people are thugs with law degrees"
Congratulations Robert Mueller, you have become a Starr.
Speaking of Starr, remember when Starr was investigating Clinton that the media would show up at his front door every morning and shout questions at him. All we ever see of Mueller is an old stock clip of him walking in a hallway somewhere in DC. Where is the press?
Didn't know there was a P.T. Barnum movie. I'd been satisfied until now with his autobiography (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). Love P.T. Barnum.