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
Saturday, May 25. 2019
Four climbers die on Everest as record numbers crowd route to summit
NEW YORK TIMES: WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, ABORTION IS LIFE.
Why I’m Now Against Abortion
Britain Bans Plastic Straws, Stirrers, and Cotton Swabs
That's a relief
Why We Should Embrace Our Age of Nuclear
Young people blame climate change for their small 401(k) balances
The Truth about What Causes Income Inequality in America
Income inequality is a crazy subject for too many reasons. Sure, single motherhood plays a role but, importantly, government help is not counted as income. And to further mess things up, incomes change. Entry level jobs pay little, but people can advance. And what about people who make low-paying choices, like those people whose dream is to be a Maine Guide? Or a poor Adjunct Professor? And aspiring artists and actors?
Walter Williams: Presidential contenders are in a battle to out give one another.
We should move most of the bureaucracy out of the DC area. Maybe they’ll be more willing to move when we ban air conditioning in the District.
Rural Americans would be serfs if we abolished the Electoral College
Williamson: The Democrats’ Other Class War
Trump strikes back:
Schiff: Declassifying Crossfire Hurricane Data Is “Un-American”
Tracked: May 26, 08:41
Tracked: May 26, 08:56
Tracked: May 26, 09:13
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"Four climbers die on Everest as record numbers crowd route to summit"
I don't get this ego trip. Then other people end up risking their lives to rescue them. It's almost as bad as the selfish jerks who ride their damn 10-speeds on country roads with zero shoulder, a 45 mph speed limit and lots of blind humps. so every year some unlucky motorist goes over a blind hump at 45 mph and hits one of these clowns who is riding a children's toy at 15 mph on a highway. Then the impulse is to blame of prosecute the driver. Just go ride on the rail trails! That's why they were built.
Yeah. Motorists cruising down country roads at 60mph shouldn’t be blamed for plowing down those clowns. We have the absolute right to text and drive, fiddle with our radio knobs, slurp our coffee. The roads should be perfectly clear of all obstacles. How dare the authorities expect us to drive with care an concern about others. F those dear and other small animals too. Hitch hikers? Get off the damn road, I’ve got important business in town. Gotta get there in record time!
O F F S, take off your spandex, get out of the middle of the road and lighten up Francis
Weird abortion article. I do get tired of people saying that "all morality is subjective." It is nearer the truth to say "It is easy to pretend all morality is subjective, by merely gainsaying all counterevidence." (For those who object to this, I recommend one of CS Lewis's few nonreligious books, The Abolition of Man. Written 1943, named alongside Orwell's 1984 as the most prophetic book of the 20th C.)
True. For a guy who thinks all morality is subjective, he sure engages in a lot of highly emotional judgments of other people. After all that, the best he can do is say that both he and a good friend were almost aborted, and although both are now miserable, he's still glad they survived--so he opposes all abortion. This is where he gets with the idea that morality just means "optimizing whatever is important to me personally."
As C.S. Lewis says, the guy who thinks all talk of moral duties is guff is the first to protest when you punch him in the nose. And whatever you do, don't play cards with that guy.
At the bottom, the very foundation of every human interaction, every institution, every endeavor, there are morals. Honesty, integrity, fidelity, loyalty, community, fairness, the Golden Rule must exist or nobody can trust the other person, the contract, the product quality, the science, the government, the church, etc.
If it is all subjective the control is power and threat of violence.
Morals define a culture. A Christian culture has a definite set of moral rules and all other cultures have their set of moral rules. As we move away or certain segments of culture move away from those rules you do find that the rule breakers tend not to fit in as well and seek distance or anonymity from the majority. Not all cultures are equal as not all morals are equal and it does explain why chaos reigns in some cultures and they simply can not advance beyond subsistence limits.
Goad, interesting nome de plume. Our experience is subjective, adulting is hard, let's work with what we have. I've always thought of morality as an acknowledgment that we are fundamentally selfish by design our inherent subjectivity and that some practical limits on that selfishness are needed for functional association. We are consciousness in one body: the "me". Our empathy requires effort, an individual doesn't feel what any one else feels at the same wattage in real time as part of the body brain infrastructure. Compassion and empathy require some effort, observation and apparently also some wiring else sociopath. The majority recognize others as having equivalent me ness and wish to confer a certain amount of empathetic and practical protection from too much selfish infringement from "optimizing whatever is important to me personally". For sociopaths perhaps practical limits for insurance against the worst "me optimizations by not me" are the selling point? For normal people it's empathetic recognition of the humanness and equality of others. Do unto others... hence the nearly aborted can speak from a strong position. This is why heartbeat laws are so persuasive. The heart implies so much about life, consciousness, empathy and compassion. Morality is the extent to which that recognition of equality has developed in the culture. The law is the line of selfishness that can't be crossed. A line that reasonable society can agree upon. No slavery, no murder, etc. The law defines the limits of infringement applied to gross and extreme cases of selfishness: the extreme "optimization of what's most important to me. " Morality is for the gray selfishness. don't steal: but it's legal to sucker someone to a certain extent in a contract. In groups and tribes might have higher thresholds for selfishness for "other". There are some very interesting dynamics going on in our culture around morality and law. The internet provides a platform and amplifies not just the most logical and best, but also popular but muddled oratory. I wants it! and need some strong emotion evocative truthie ness to hang my hat on. Fundamentally fertility in a woman implies sharing a body with someone not you. Doesn't the whole argument collapse down to what is more grossly selfish? Unwanted sharing of the body and unwanted offspring somewhere in the world vs killing the not me? Good thing we don't have litters. Isn't morality fundamentally a remedy against subjectivity?
"Unwanted sharing of the body and unwanted offspring"
But the women would know this even before she knew she was pregnant. The day after pill or an early abortion is a kind of clean and sterile thing. But a 2nd or 3rd trimester abortion is messy and implies murdering a living human. The metaphor becomes mixed once the left demanded 2nd trimester abortions and then 3rd trimester and then partial birth abortion and now infanticide. I honestly do not understand why they went there. I suspect some wanted it from the beginning but that is what I don't understand. And whenever it is confronted you hear things like "the life of the mother" or rape and incest. But "life of the mother" abortions are rarer than hens teeth and rape and incest is known from day one. So why than are we talking about abortions after a heart beat is detected and any logical honest person knows in their heart that an abortion then is murder of a human???
I've always thought the "clump of cells" argument was the most defensible location on a timeline of dynamic change (not metaphore) for the reasons you mention. And also from a sterile and unemotionally involved distance. Had a friend that went and had a procedure. Very determined she was. It was not what she expected. It destroyed her mentally. She grieved unconsolably over that "clump of cells". Nothing could be done. Nobody talks about that part of it but I suspect it's not an uncommon reaction. Shouldn't we be talking about that? I really don't know why late is being pushed. Seems to me you're all stretched out and nearly done at that point so why not finish up and let someone adopt. Emotionally it won't be easier than the clump of cells. There are health benefits in terms of breast cancer, brain additional wiring and cell material transfer from baby to mother also.
To even use income inequality as a yard stick for anything requires dishonesty and duplicity. It is meaningless or worse. It is not very different from declaring that half of our students are at or below average so therefore we need to increase teachers salaries to close the gap.
The best income inequality scores are found in places where there is not much opportunity and poorer quality of life, a simple result of most people being on the low end of the economic scale. This is the same kind of result that socialism strives for. i.e. everyone equally poor.
re: Age of Nucelar
A few reasons I'm not convinced that nuclear energy is the way to go. First, when accidents happen they are virtually permanent. And accidents WILL happen. Another is that even if we remain accident free, the waste is virtually permanent. I don't want the waste anywhere near me and nobody else does either. Another is that MAD is a Western concept that some cultures don't consider important.
I agree with all you wrote, plus too many nefarious souls in and out of government are shipping this stuff around surreptitiously -- to both enemies and allies -- for such huge profits that they ca pay off all the politicians and LEOs responsible for oversight of these products.
The effects of radiation exposure don't manifest for many years, way after the damage has been done and the results are lethal.
“Waste," as used in the nuclear power debate, is a misnomer. What it actually means is "fuel which can no longer be reacted in first-generation reactors using liquid water as a neutron moderator." It is possible, with off-the-shelf technology, to extract a hundred-fold more energy from the "waste." We have the technology to shut down every single coal, oil, and gas-fired powerplant in the country, and hydro and geothermal plants as well. It could be done at a moderate cost, in a short time frame, as most power plants last about 40 years. Absolutely reliable, dispatchable electric power and 50% reduction in carbon emission is easily within our grasp. We simply lack the political will.
Why millennials are depressed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Pa34orcwwA
NEW YORK TIMES: WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, ABORTION IS LIFE: Why I despise, detest, and distrust the NYT.
Britain: Going Willingly to its inevitable end. (If this goes on.)
Young people blame climate change for their small 401(k) balances: GLOOM and DOOM and WE'RE ALL GONNA DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.
Abolishing the Electoral College would disenfranchise the people in the rural areas...which is why Dems are all for it.
re Four climbers die on Everest as record numbers crowd route to summit
Not sure what the problem is here. Climbing Everest is a rich man's sport, and the guides are paid handsomely to take the risk.
No one makes them do this.
Every May when the Everest climbing season starts, I root for the mountain.
re Rural Americans would be serfs if we abolished the Electoral College
This is a feature, not a disadvantage of abolishing the electoral college.
Colorado city votes to rename 'Swastika Acres' subdivision
Straws: just got a paper straw at the zoo for my coke: very thick and barely lasted through the meal. Wasteful compared to plastic. Banning cotton swabs? What will women use instead?
Income inequality: most pundits ignore the way people increase their income with age. Something like 50% of people will be in the top 20% of income at some point in their life (usually just before retirement).
Just in case you have forgotten I post this video for you
Today was the day to plant flags at Arlington National Cemetery because the weather was so bad (turn on the sound on the video) all military were told to stand down. Except one soldier did not.
Remember who we were and some still are.
I have always thought that Julien Assange was being treated dishonestly.