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
Thursday, August 23. 2018
Why Prosperity Has Increased But Happiness Has Not
Venice restaurant bill outrages Japanese tourists
It's a tourist trap
San Francisco "Poop Patrollers" Make $185,000
Passing the Torch - Why the eons-old truce between humans and fire has burst into an age of megafires, and what can be done about it
Social Media Companies the Most Dangerous Monopolies Ever
Says Legal Insurrection, "Longest “crisis” in human history"
If neo-Nazis didn’t exist, the left would have to invent them. And to some extent have.
Texas School Removes 'Ladies' and 'Gentlemen' Quote After Single Twitter User Complains
‘Social Justice’ is Overrunning the University of Texas
Kling: I think that the case for spending “public money” (i.e., money extracted from taxpayers) on schools is quite weak. Until I see a well-controlled experiment, I will be skeptical of the benefit of schools.
College bans ‘racial’ and ‘offensive’ discussions on campus network for 11 years
52.1% of Kids Live in Households Getting Means-Tested Government Assistance
THE SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER’S PERFECT STORM - And why religious freedom is at stake.
What Socialists (and Most Other People) Don't Understand About The Oil Industry
Anti-Trump Harvard Law prof ‘has lost his mind’ over Supreme Court nominee
Steyn: The Priorities of US Justice
Anatomy of a Sting: Robert Mueller Likely Used FBI and Foreign Intel to Set-Up George Papadopoulos in July 2017…
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"Venice restaurant bill outrages Japanese tourists"
Japanese tourists are about the nicest, most polite and courteous tourists I've ever encountered. If they're outraged, you just know something is very wrong.
(The Piazza San Marco is a great spot to visit. But never buy, drink or eat anything right there: you'll be ripped off because, as Bird Dog noted, it truly is a tourist trap.)
I saw a meme last week of a bill from St. Mark's of 2 coffees and 2 waters, followed by a bill for 24 Euro.
The meme was complaining about "Capitalism" (naturally).
Thing is - what are you doing ordering something without checking the price to begin with? I've been to Venice, and I never ordered anything without checking the price, then checking the bill. If someone was charging 8 Euro for coffee and 4 Euro for water, I'd find someplace else cheaper - as I'm sure you can!
And if not - well, that's an opportunity. Imagine opening a store nearby and hanging a sign that says "coffee and water 1/4 of the price of my competitor" - you'd do well for yourself (assuming you can keep up with demand).
The reality is I think the students made an error by not knowing what they were buying or paying for. If they did, they could have gone elsewhere, or if they were truly ripped off - then you complain when the bill is presented.
But don't sit down, order a steak without checking the price, then complain when someone charges you $100 for it, when it's on the menu at that price. You forgot to do your job as a consumer.
I never over spent for a single meal in Venice. You're never so hungry that you can't walk a few streets away and find a reasonably priced restaurant.
I've been around Japanese tourists my whole life. As JJM says, they are some of the nicest and most well-behaved people you will meet. You are blessed if they are part of your tourist mix. They're polite, they dress well, they don't hang out at bars and get obnoxiously drunk or engage in rowdy behavior after dark.
The problem is that they also have a reputation for being rich and gullible. They come from a society that is better-behaved and more honest in its public behavior than much of the rest of the world. Also, their crime rate is much less than the rest of the world. So they are often clueless when it comes to how unscrupulous folks behave in the rest of the world.
Because of this they have this reputation for innocence and gullibility (which the Japanese themselves call "heiwa boke," which literally means "peace idiot"), and when they travel they are often targets for criminals and scammers. One scam that often comes up is when they get served, all of the sudden the price is two or 3 times higher than other people would be charged. Because of their culture, Japanese usually just bite their tongues and don't say anything and just pay it, even though they even recognize they are getting ripped off.
Just as an example, where I live (Hawaii) was heavily settled by Japanese immigrants, so we have a ton of Japanese restaurants here. But if you ask local people where they eat, you will be surprised that many of them will say they don't go to Japanese restaurants, they go to Chinese or Korean restaurants instead. Why? Because when Japanese tourists first started to come here en masse in the early 1970s, all the Japanese restaurants doubled or tripled their prices because they knew Japanese tourists would pay those prices. So most local people feel (rightly) that Japanese restaurants are overpriced for what you get, and won't eat there.
My guess is that because these were students already going to school in Italy, they more than other Japanese knew they were getting ripped off and weren't willing to take it any longer. Good for them. Ganbatte! (Go for it!)
I've actually seen this exact behavior take place in Hawaii, the main way they get scammed here is if they order wine, all of the sudden they will find out they are being billed $500 or $750 for a bottle of wine that cost $35. Since many are not used to drinking wine back in Japan, they just pay it.
It's interesting that the left, who think of themselves as scientific, completely (intentionally) ignore evolution when it conflicts with ideology.
Natural selection 'rewards' reproductive success. The genes that succeed best gradulually dominate succeeding generations. In humans, males who have successfully acquired resources and power (male aggression, both physical and non violent 'drive' are an advantage here) are most successful mating with young females whose youth means more successful reproduction prospects before the ravages of age and childbearing.
The left loves 'global warming' because they hate oil companies but they close their eyes to any science that does not fit the narrative.
jay: Natural selection 'rewards' reproductive success. The genes that succeed best gradulually dominate succeeding generations. In humans, males who have successfully acquired resources and power (male aggression, both physical and non violent 'drive' are an advantage here) are most successful mating with young females whose youth means more successful reproduction prospects before the ravages of age and childbearing.
Male aggression is certainly an aspect of human evolution. However, a primary factor in human evolution is cooperation. To maintain social stability, cultural monogamy is fairly typical in humans.
I don't really disagree about mongamy. The extremely long development cycle of human young including the fact that a family would consist of several children of differing ages (compared to most other animals) contributed to the evolution of cooperative gender roles (female providing immediate child care, male providing protection and resources)
Cooperation and aggression are not mutually exclusive. Males can be very aggressive but group cooperation is highly developed in humans. I don't think you could find a more intense form of cooperation in any species than fighters (typically male for evolutionary reasons) in combat against an enemy.
But still, the preference among males for young mates, and the willingness of human females to choose older (established) malesfor mates is based on our evolutionary history.
jay: But still, the preference among males for young mates, and the willingness of human females to choose older (established) malesfor mates is based on our evolutionary history.
Sure. Women only reproduce while young, while men can reproduce at most any age. It's a reasonable evolutionary adaptation that men would be attracted to younger, reproductive women. In more monogamous societies, mating is typically done when both are young and then age together to rear their children, but because of the dangers inherent in child-birth, older men often have to seek new wives.
"To maintain social stability, cultural monogamy is fairly typical in humans."
So importing people from all these other cultures is not a good move.
For some reason I think the kiddiez will be tap dancing all around that statement if they respond.
Zachriel: To maintain social stability, cultural monogamy is fairly typical in humans.
Our comment referred to cultural marriage practices, de jure rather than de facto.
Russtovich: So importing people from all these other cultures is not a good move.
Marriage between social groups has been common practice since the dawn of humankind. It leads to stronger progeny, as well creating increased social opportunities.
Re: Mollie Tibbetts
"only "racist fearmongers" are boorish enough to make a fuss about homicidal illegal aliens."
This is how the left addresses every problem, with divisive racist accusations. This is all they got. They use this divisiveness to "woke" their base and get out the vote. They make up racism if it doesn't exist. They put the citizens of America last and the illegals and terrorists first. This is your future until and unless the Democrats lose big in a few consecutive elections and finally decide to MAGA.
GoneWithTheWind: They put the citizens of America last and the illegals and terrorists first.
Grouping undocumented aliens with terrorists is the reason why people say things like this: “Hey, I’m a member of Mollie’s family and we are not so f***ing small-minded that we generalize a whole population based on some bad individuals."
GWTW clearly did not "generalize a whole population based on some bad individuals." He merely listed two groups of people that the left appears to prefer over US citizens. He left out some like MS-13 gamg members, Antifa thugs, people who are racist against white people, and people who are confused about what gender they are. While they generally prefer illegal aliens to US citizens, among them, criminal illegal aliens are okay with them too.
mudbug: [i]GWTW clearly did not "generalize a whole population based on some bad individuals."[/i
He certainly generalized about people on the political left, saying they put terrorists first, which is preposterous.
Are generalizations always wrong? Are they generally wrong? Are they generally right? Is it actually wrong to generalize? Large barking dogs baring their teeth at you are generally dangerous is it your belief that we would all be better off to offer them our hand to bite rather than to make the terrible social error of generalizing?
Generally people who break the law are more likely to break laws again than is someone who chooses not to break the law. Every illegal alien broke the law and continues to break it everyday they are here.
What is an "illegal alien"? Someone who either snuck into the country without showing papers or came here legally but stayed here illegally or lied on their application to come here. How many terrorists in the U.S., Canada and Europe than are "illegal aliens"??? Some? Most? I think "most" used illegal methods to come here or to Canada and Europe to do their terrorism. So I ask again is it always wrong to generalize?
GoneWithTheWind: Are generalizations always wrong?
Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. And if they are generalizations, it should be stated as such with appropriate caveats (a few, some, many, most, all). Rather, you took the most extreme members of the group to color the entire group, even linking the left with terrorism, which is a tactic found on the political left and the political right.
GoneWithTheWind: Generally people who break the law are more likely to break laws again than is someone who chooses not to break the law.
Undocumented immigrants do not offend at higher rates than other groups.
GoneWithTheWind: Every illegal alien broke the law and continues to break it everyday they are here.
That is incorrect. Being in the U.S. while undocumented is not a crime, but a civil violation. (See Arizona v. U.S.) Furthermore, people who were brought into the U.S. as children did not violate the law.
GoneWithTheWind: How many terrorists in the U.S., Canada and Europe than are "illegal aliens"???
Even if it were true that most terrorists are undocumented aliens that doesn't imply that most undocumented aliens are terrorists. But even that premise isn't true. Since 9-11, most such deaths were caused by American citizens — and that doesn't include gun massacres such as happened in Las Vegas.
I did generalize about the left because they DO “addresses every problem, with divisive racist accusations”. And we agree that sometimes generalizations are correct. This one is correct.
You claim I “linked” illegal aliens and terrorists incorrectly. My point is that many/most terrorists in the U.S., Canada and Europe are indeed illegal aliens. Do you deny that?
“Undocumented immigrants” break the law at 7 times the rate of Americans of European descent, at 2 times the rate of Americans of Hispanic descent and somewhat less than Americans of African descent. So yes they do indeed break the law more than Americans do. But as I said before that argument begs the question. Because every time an illegal alien murders, rapes, robs or breaks any law in America it is a crime that would not have happened if we enforced our immigration laws. So the 3000 deaths a year that illegal aliens cause would not have happened. The 100,000 rapes a year they commit would not have happened. The 100’s of thousands of child molestations would not have happened. THAT is the point, not the rate that they commit crimes.
Being in the U.S. illegally is indeed a crime, period!
“people who were brought into the U.S. as children did not violate the law.” Technically true. But I would be willing to wager that once here they broke the law by lying on legal forms and by using fake ID.
“Even if it were true that most terrorists are undocumented aliens that doesn't imply that most undocumented aliens are terrorists.” Well duh! Perhaps you misread what I said because I never said that. Can’t you win an argument honestly?
“Since 9-11, most such deaths were caused by American citizens” Wow, that’s a relief. I’m sure that everyone who lost a loved one will be happy to hear that. But as usual you are begging the question. I do not deny that Americans commit crimes. I am arguing that illegal aliens commit crimes AND if we had effective immigration laws and border controls that those crimes would not happen.
GoneWithTheWind: I did generalize about the left because they DO “addresses every problem, with divisive racist accusations
But not everyone on the left "addresses every problem with divisive racist accusations". Indeed, some liberals recognize and argue against that tendency.
GoneWithTheWind: My point is that many/most terrorists in the U.S., Canada and Europe are indeed illegal aliens. Do you deny that?
Even leaving aside domestic terrorists, in the U.S., the vast majority of international terrorists entered the country legally.
GoneWithTheWind: So yes they do indeed break the law more than Americans do.
Undocumented immigrants commit less crime than native-born citizens
More undocumented immigrants, less violent crime
"Immigrants are in fact much less likely to commit crime than natives, and the presence of large numbers of immigrants seems to lower crime rates." See The Integration of Immigrants into American Society, Chapter 7, National Academy of Sciences 2015.
GoneWithTheWind: So the 3000 deaths a year that illegal aliens cause would not have happened.
The Jews who committed crimes in Germany wouldn't have committed those crimes in Germany is they hadn't been in Germany.
GoneWithTheWind: Being in the U.S. illegally is indeed a crime, period!
That is incorrect. As the Supreme Court noted in Arizona v. United States, undocumented habitation in the U.S. is generally a civil matter. Arizona wanted to make it a criminal matter, but the U.S. has priority over matters of immigration. The reason the U.S. treats it as a civil matter is that it doesn't require all the trapping of criminal law to deport someone.
"He certainly generalized about people on the political left, saying they put terrorists first, which is preposterous."
You mean when you leftists do the EXACT. SAME. THING. to gun owners anytime and every time there's a school shooting?
jimg: You mean when you leftists do the EXACT. SAME. THING. to gun owners anytime and every time there's a school shooting?
No. It's not the EXACT. SAME. THING. Most gun owners are responsible in their use of guns, but an irresponsible minority can cause an inordinate amount of damage. That is NOT. THE. SAME. THING. as saying all gun owners are crazed.
In any case, if someone makes a gross overgeneralization, that doesn't mean you should do the same thing.
Zzzz: In any case, if someone makes a gross overgeneralization, that doesn't mean you should do the same thing.
Dog whistle meaning the kiddiez just lost another argument and ascribe their own MO onto their opponent.
So full of shit, those kiddiez are...
The Folly of Scientism
There are many areas of interest that are largely outside of scientific inquiry, such as ethics or aesthetics (though science can often illuminate why certain ethics or aesthetics are prevalent in humans).
The fundamental problem raised by the identification of “good science” with “institutional science” is that it assumes the practitioners of science to be inherently exempt, at least in the long term, from the corrupting influences that affect all other human practices and institutions.
Science doesn't depend on individual scientists being immune to corrupting influences.
If any human institution is held to be exempt from the petty, self-serving, and corrupting motivations that plague us all, the result will almost inevitably be the creation of a priestly caste demanding adulation and required to answer to no one but itself.
Reasonable, except to say that it would then be science in name only. Science is based on skepticism, and ceases to be science when skepticism is abandoned.
BornSouthern: Of what is it appropriate to be skeptical about?
Scientific claims aren't just accepted based on received wisdom or authority. All scientific claims must be supported by evidence. Even then, scientific claims are considered tentative, though, as Stephen Jay Gould noted, some claims are "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent."
A few years ago an undocumented alien tried to make a withdrawal at a local bank but the police shot him as he was leaving because he was an undocumented customer.
"Social Justice" is a totalitarian scam.
SPLC: I, for a time, was on their mailing list. Got off by sending back their card saying "I see you as a scam."
Larry Tribe: The picture alongside the article would have been better if the guy's head were wrapped in tinfoil or he wore a metal colander.
This site needs a "like" button. My grandmother targeted Morris Dees of the SPLC from day one as a shyster personified who thralled in burying the naive in scary direct mail campaigns. Guess his multiple wives also thought as she did...eventually.
Fires are worse today because Smokey the Bear and his cohorts insisted that forest fires were bad. All over the world, we bought into that lie without ever considering that fire was and is a vital component of the earth's ecosystem. We stopped every fire which let the dead wood and debris build up on the forest floor to the point that every fire now is huge.
Bird Dog check out Dr. Shiva. About 20 min in he gets into some workable ideas on health care, education reform, and getting email / social media out of the hands of the monetizers via the existing privacy laws governing the USPS. http://blog.dilbert.com/2018/08/23/episode-193-scott-adams-talking-to-dr-shiva-ayyadurai-running-against-elizabeth-warren-about-immigration-education-and-innovation/