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, June 17. 2019
Not nice to leave gramps behind
Could the Big Bang theory be wrong?
David Brooks' rather ordinary spiritual journey
Church Hosts Summer Camp to Train Grade School Kids to Be Antifa Activists
The Golden State’s War on Itself - How politicians turned the California Dream into a nightmare
Should you pay "surprise medical bills"?
Democrats constantly overlook conservative solutions to fix our broken health care
How is it broken?
Trump Is Expanding Obamacare . . . in a Good Way
Remember when you worried about Net Neutrality?
The Unnerving Need to Believe in Politicians
Executive Order on Evaluating and Improving the Utility of Federal Advisory Committees
WILL THE CRAZY LEFT RE-ELECT TRUMP? Donald Trump is a lucky man.
Victor Davis Hanson on The Case for Trump
What If You Held an Impeach Protest and Nobody Came?
A lefty discovers border checkpoints - and concludes Trump put them up there
Record number of African migrants coming to Mexican border
Capitalism remains broken no matter what
Hypocrites get last kicks at Sarah Sanders, slobbering over her White House exit
WaPo: Say, It Looks Like Trump Won His Tariff Battle With Mexico After All
McGovern: DoJ Bloodhounds On the Scent Of John Brennan
Mollie Hemingway: If Getting Info From A Foreign Government Is A Problem, Ask Democrats About Steele Dossier
The 630 Year-Old Reason Eastern Europeans Dislike Islam
Schoolgirls for sale: why Tokyo struggles to stop the 'JK business'
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Impeachment demo. Has 'MoveOn' forgotten that they originated telling people to 'move on' from the Clinton impeachment... Now they are the ones who refuse to move on,
comments Still not working right.
"Your comment could not be added because comments for this entry have either been disabled, you entered invalid data, or your comment was caught by anti-spam measures."
Re the need to believe in politicians...
A lot of people look on the President as a figurehead, almost like American Royalty. That means they want someone who looks good, or can persuade themselves that he looks good. I'm reminded of the runup to Obama when they were going "Look at his creases! He'll make a great President!" they WANT a glowing leader. It was all about appearance, and nothing about substance. Obama looked good, therefore he'd be good.
Trump doesn't play that game. He's about substance and accomplishment, not how he can stay on top of the 'fashion heap'.
Trump doesn't care whether he's adored or worshipped - he just wants to get the job as he sees it done, and as he sees it the job is to get America working as best as it can.
I don't HAVE to like him - but I sure respect the job he's done so far.
Could the Big Bang Theory be wrong? Yes...but we'd need proof.
Church Hosts Summer Camp to Train Grade School Kids to Be Antifa Activists: That's Portlandia, fer sherr.
California: Pols are sucking the life blood out of it.
Obamacare: Obfuscatrion run amok.
Democrats constantly overlook conservative solutions to fix our broken health care: "Not Invented Here" syndrome.
Will the Crazy Left Re-Elect Trump? Wellll, they'll help immensely by convincing the rest of us that we MUST vote Trump.
What If You Held an Impeach Protest and Nobody Came? – LOW ENERGY MoveOn.org ‘Impeach Trump’ Protests a COMPLETE BUST: OK for Eugene, but why no Portlandia? There are plenty of nutters there!
Math deals in proofs. As pure theory, the Big Bang isn't testable, and as time passes, more and more hard questions are put to the theory. Redshift is in the forefront of those questions.
Semantics. "Proof" is often used interchangeably with "evidence."
Science uses inductive proofs, with evidence to support the inductive reasoning.
Actually, the Big Bang is testable, and has been tested extensively. there are concrete predictions, such as the magnitude of Hubble Redshift, the relative ratio of helium to hydrogen, and the level and magnitude of the Cosmic Microwave Background agree to a pretty high precision with the more or less current iteration, the Hot inflationary model.
That the theory is incorrect is less correct than to say that it is incomplete, as it breaks down at the very early stages of the universe, where the quantum effects of gravity predominate or at least can't be ignored. This is, however, predicted by the theory itself.
It's when you start to get into that early epoch that you get in to the untestable realm of multi-dimensional structures and surfaces that are, at least for now, more guided speculation than science. The fact that you can model a particular interaction as the result of a collision of n-dimensional branes doesn't necessarily prove that these structures actually "exist", whatever that means at this level of abstraction.
The Big Bang Theory will be widely held until something else comes along that makes better sense of a large body of evidence. But it should have gone without saying that, as the article reported, we have an incomplete understanding of exactly what happened 15 billion years ago under nearly unimaginable conditions. You can think the BBT is a good starting point without believing that the science is settled.
It's exasperating to see people, generation after generation, coming to blows over the insistence that every theory has to be 100% perfect or 100% false. Theories are usually provisional, giving way to better theories as better evidence comes in and as principled thinkers work out how to accommodate it. (As someone put it, big things happen when a clever fellow says, "Hmm, that's odd.") Sometimes all we have to do is tinker with existing theories and improve them. Sometimes a genius has to upend a lot of preconceived notions.
The link to "Ask Democrats About Steele Dossier" is broken. :-(
Big Bang: Get a grant, study, declare insufficient information, get another grant...
Wow, the "not nice to leave gramps behind" story was infuriating. I'm not one to drop the "criminal" tag on a lot of behavior, but leaving an 80-year-old alone on a trail up Mount Washington in frigid weather--and then returning by a different trail and not checking on him--seems pretty egregious to me. It's almost like they wanted him to die, particularly given the recent history of deaths of elderly people on similar trails.
On the "positive" side, it sounds like an interesting idea for a murder mystery, although if you were a fiction writer, you'd make the perpetrators less obviously culpable.
Well, this is interesting. The Union Leader has a follow-up story in which the 80-year-old takes responsibility for being stranded because he told his two teenage grandsons to go on without him.
If you read the follow up, it really does sound like it was his poor judgment that caused the situation.
Yet another situation where the maxim "first reports are usually wrong" applies. Too bad the follow up isn't getting the same coverage as the original story.
I go hiking a lot. Sometimes just my wife and I and sometimes kids and/or grandkids go with. My rule even for adults is no one leaves the group alone. Someone goes with them or stays with them. And there is always a checkup to make sure everything went as planned.
Went for a hike today. Saw fresh bear tracks. Saw a lot of bear tracks, more than likely the same bear but the more I saw the more I wanted to turn around. After we turned around to head back to the truck, we saw cat tracks. Can't tell if it is Mountain lion or bobcat. Saw deer and elk tracks too. We usually see coyote tracks but none today.
Big Bang Theory:
Sure it could be wrong, but the weight of the evidence is firmly in its favor. There are a contingent who will continue to try to undermine it because it presents a problem to naturalism; everything that has a beginning has a cause and whatever that cause is it will be unfalsifiable. That leaves an opening for theists to continue to believe in a creator. I have no problem with people continually trying to pick apart the big bang. I just wish they would do the same for AGW instead of making the antiscientific statement that the case is closed.
We once had borders. Once we screened immigrants for infectious diseases. Today we have neither. Is Ebola coming to America?
Increasing numbers of Africans are and they are crossing illegally and if caught being sent to a city near you.
If Ebola comes to America can it be contained?
It seems likely that our large population and large cities would be sitting ducks for Ebola if it got here. Our freedom of movement and transportation systems would work against us. Our very slow legislative system and government by courts and judges would likely keep us from acting decisively. The ACLU would undoubtedly go to court to prevent us from putting a patient in isolation or instituting effective border controls and some judge in California would agree.
Do we have a plan? I doubt it. I doubt that anyone in the CDC, congress or the administration even wants to talk about this simply because the actual effective solutions are unthinkable while those things that might be considered are uneffective. How long would it take for Ebola to reach every city in North America (yes, you too Canada)? A month? How long would it take to overwhelm and completely destroy our health care system? 5 weeks?
Big bang... I've read that the answer to any journalistic headline of this kind: "Could be ?" is always NO. This simple rubric seems to be a sufficient response to this click bait, but it was nevertheless an interesting read. No one has advanced the position that the "big bang" theory is exhaustively complete. Widely misunderstood and mischaracterized, yes, as are all topics pertaining to dimensions beyond the average layperson's intellect or capacity for conceptualization. For me, that includes almost everything.