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, February 18. 2021
The Curious Warnings of Kipling’s ‘Copybook Headings’
The Intellectuals' Assault on Intelligence
Slate Star Codex and the Gray Lady’s Decay. The New York Times hit piece on a heterodox blogger is a bad stumble — the latest of many
Why did The NYT even bother with this guy?
Did Frozen Wind Turbines Impact the Texas Freeze? Here's the Data
The False and Exaggerated Claims Still Being Spread About the Capitol Riot - Insisting on factual accuracy does not make one an apologist for the protesters. False reporting is never justified, especially to inflate threat and fear levels.
Everything They Don't Like Is Now A Public Health Emergency
Harris: We’re Following The Science On School Reopenings Except When Teachers Unions Reject It, Or Something
I’m an epidemiologist and a father. Here’s why I’m losing patience with our teachers’ unions.
Lori Lightfoot talks truth on teacher-union entitlement
How Rush Limbaugh rescued me from liberalism, By Dex Bahr
Eating Biden’s Lunch, From the man who said China is not our competition.
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Copybook HeadingsI love Kipling's poem, but I really think he chose the wrong word when he blamed the Gods of the Market for the insanity we see all around us today. I think "Government" or "Politics" or "Socialism" would have been a better choice. For example, right now AOC is blaming the power outages in Texas on the lack of wind generators. Sorry girl, that pig won't fly.
I have found it good to trust that Kipling knew what he meant, and where we disagree it might be us who missed a trick.
By Market, I believe he meant the common fads and fashions of the day, the fleeting things of "importance" that preoccupy the crowds, as well as the mindless pursuit of wealth that they harness.
Politics, government, and socialism ... I think of those things as all methods by which the Gods of the Copybook Headings return, because they bring back the Darwinian brutality and anarchy that accompany the dominance of brute power.
Slate Star Codex and the Gray Lady’s Decay.
I have to wonder if this is going to backfire. If the NYT had pushed ahead with publication as originally scheduled, which IIRC was about five or six months ago, they might have been able to cancel him. Instead of folding, he used the intervening time to adjust to speaking out openly and now it appears all the NYT did was give him publicity. If they had continued to threaten to dox him they might have gotten him to abandon his platform. These folks obviously haven't played much poker.
Did Frozen Wind Turbines Impact the Texas Freeze?
Everything that I've read says maybe not directly but that over reliance on generating sources that aren't stable (wind, solar, nat gas) certainly did.
This is a good illustration that, even if AGW wasn't a bunch of bunk, warming might be unpleasant but cold kills.
I have absolute proof that "Climate Change" is caused by humans.
I changed the thermostat in my house to up it 2 degrees and, sure enough, the house got warmer.
Whether it's "unity" or immigration, climate change and the Green New Deal, the Coronavirus vaccine or schools re-opening, the economy or China, Biden lies. He lies blatantly and casually, and as much as Trump ever did. And he seems to be touchy on the issue as well, he gets angry when his lies get pointed out.
"Funny little poem" is not the way I'd characterize "The Gods of the Copybook Headings."
One of the comments at the link also pointed out that the article's author seemed to have missed the actual meaning of the poem, which is really a rather serial apocalyptic warning.
Anybody who goes to the Emergency Room, or sees a cop car, or goes to the grocery store, or goes to the Pharmacy, or gets their lawn mown and their house built - knows what a crock of putrid sh*t the Teacher's Unions are for claiming they cannot work safely.
That they are not eager to be back at work, trying to salvage and correct the damage in the social and intellectual development of our nation's children should be enough to outrage every single parent. They are professionally corrupt.
They need to be presented with an ultimatum: Report for work or be fired, summarily. No politician can pretend to not to understand the importance of this. No politician has the political courage to stand up to them. The politicians work for the unions and use your vote to get [/i]their[/i] money. Americans continually underestimate the power of their votes. This is an issue that cuts across party lines.
I think many are genuinely fearful that this is horribly dangerous to them, and this lack of knowledge and perspective might be worse than merely trying to work less. They aren't teaching as much academic knowledge these days, but they are teaching powerful lessons about fear and overcaution.
Genuinely fearful.... As if all the grocery workers, doctors, nurses, etc are immune to fear - or maybe, they overcame it in order to eat, and found they could manage after all. That is the essence of the problem, a preference for indulging in their fears.
The lack of ethical concern for their professional remit and their charges is remarkable, given the assumption that their training requires an understanding of critical thinking, and given that there is mostly negative evidence that children are an infectious risk.
I believe this only highlights that incompetent people are in charge of educating our young, and that it's getting more and more obvious.
Their fear is unjustified by the data. Rather than accept and coddle them in their fear, the humane thing to do is to educate them as to why they should not be fearful.
Schools resumed here in September and parents were given the choice to have their kids attend physically or virtually. This is where the choice should properly lay, in my opinion. Quite a few parents here have already made the change to home schooling or educational collectives, which also seem to work well.
It may be rash to conclude it, but teachers who are treating a return to the classroom as an elective choice that they can defer, seems to be a problem that is more or less limited to Machine Democrat districts that depend heavily on Teacher's Union money. I would be happy to be educated otherwise.
Right, Aggie, our schools are back and can't tell who are happier, the parents or the grandbrats The only concern is how to cope should one teacher parent be forced to self-isolate because a particularly stupid student hasn't bothered to stay home when told to take a test. This is a concern because spouse runs a business which would seriously flounder should spouse also have to seriously isolate for 14 days. They are organizing alternative measures, but this is an issue.
Someplace like Khan Academy could easily replace the teachers. Math and reading are the important skills to learn in grade school, and I'll tell you - if I'd had something like this available in the '60s-70s I'd have been far more inclined to learn. Immediate feedback? Go at your own pace? Yeah, I'd have loved it!
I got my haircut yesterday. My barber told me that he just heard the day before that his best friend in High School and his best friends mother had died from Covid and that his bets friend brother is in ICU on a ventilator. I am not sure it makes sense to call this fear unfounded. Covid is killing people and the U.S. number is over 500,000 so far and not stopping.
But we've all heard these kinds of COVID stories; nobody is calling it 'unfounded'. This is the problem with COVID, and many other public policy issues today. By using generalizations about COVID to scare the daylights out of everyone, we lose the opportunity to work a resolution of the problem.
How many children have you seen communicate COVID to adults? What does the CDC say about children communicating COVID to adults? What does the scientific data say? Shouldn't this be the start of rational decision-making about schools opening with teachers present?
I know quite a few people that died of heart disease and cancer in the past year, each of which claim more lives every year than COVID - and yet, society is not running in terror to change their lifestyle at all cost, to reduce their risk to these causes of death.
I think you missed the point. In less than a year 500,000 people in the U.S. died from covid and it isn't stopping. If a year from now that number is a million and still climbing will you rethink this?
I don't actually get to see anyone give anyone else covid. But with no apology to the CDC and others who have said that covid does not pass from children to adults they either have never had children or they are ignorant. We parents and grandparents get everything the kids bring home. The only reason that anyone is claiming that they somehow magically don't pass covid is because covid and everything about it has become political.
There is no "resolution" to the problem. The vaccine may be partially effective and yet experts believe that covid will mutate faster than we can create new vaccines. Face masks, lockdowns and social distancing don't work, it these things did work California would be a success story.
The likely result of covid will be that sooner or later everyone will get it and a percentage will die. AND every year it will mutate and that process will repeat itself probably forever. China unleashed a disease that had been weaponized and now we will watch it kill indiscriminently.
No; I think it is you that needs to review the data and understand it. It comes across as if you think the CDC are idiots and you know better. And I note that you ignored the salient question regarding schools: If teacher's in certain areas are ignoring successful school operations in other regions on the pretext of COVID fears - in order to not return to work - then should they continue to enjoy payroll and benefits while the children suffer developmental impairment? And should a scientific examination of the data on children communicating COVID form the basis of that decision by policy makers, as well as consideration of the impact should school closures continue?
This year, more people will die of COVID but I predict that even more will die of either cancer and heart disease. What terror-driven steps have you taken to eliminate these risks in your own life, that your recommend to others?
I take my health, and the health of my family seriously. I know of people that have died of COVID, that have had it more than once, that still suffer after effects, and that didn't even notice they had it. I've had it myself. The medical community is still figuring it out, but one thing is crystal clear: Treatment regimens continue to improve (outside the COVID political cesspit) and consequently fewer people are dying from it, even those with serious comorbidities. And a vaccine is now available for those that choose to have it.
“It comes across as if you think the CDC are idiots”
The CDC is political and they are making mistakes contrary to our interest but favorable to the Democrats. Cuomo is a perfect example of this problem. He choose to not use the medical facilities provided by President Trump just so that he didn’t make Trump look good and because of that people died. The CDC made decisions in the same way. It doesn’t matter if they are idiots if their acts are those of idiots. A good example of this is masks; the CDC knows that the masks available to we civilians do no good, but they insist that we wear them. Why? It is a purely political decision to make it appear that they are doing something.
“I predict that even more will die of either cancer and heart disease.”
You act as though that somehow negates the deaths of covid. That is an apples to oranges comparison.
Regarding your point on schools; I agree that we should return to a more normal status with schools. Those teachers who choose to not go back to class have that right but should not be paid while off work. Those families who choose to not send their children to school should be provided some assistance to home school.
I have already had bot shots for covid but I do not consider myself ‘safe’. I intend to continue to stay away from people and to reduce my risk of infection. I know nothing is perfect but it only makes sense to me to do what I can. I believe that the government should not lockdown businesses and restrict our rights but that individuals have the right to choose to take those measures that they can to help themselves.
Anon is right that what other people are dying of is irrelevant. It weakens your argument when you include things like that. Our knowledge is improving, and we actually do know some things here. Focusing on the schools and their relative safety is fine. But what you are doing here is accusing people of bad motives without any evidence - you just can't do that. You don't know, you are just making that up. And people always make that up in the direction that is convenient for them politically.
Some teachers are providing evidence that they might have bad motives. Generalising from that is what liberals have been doing for years, and I have spent a lot of energy condemning. Some teachers are working twice as hard during these hybrid times - I know some of these people personally, who are very much looking forward to going back to live schooling so they can see more of their husbands and children again. You aren't in the least interested, apparently. You'd rather just kick people.
It's not your job to try and balance the world by hammering one side unfairly just because some people are hammering the other unfairly.
COVID's death count has been trotted out on a regular basis to strike terror in the land and make political hay, and it is normally done as if the plague is upon us, without providing a meaningful context, which in my view, would start with comparisons to other causes of death that we have come to accept as part of normal life.
It is not unreasonable to point that fact out. COVID is brand-new to humanity, and that has caused quite a bit of irrational fear, which has been unhelpfully amplified. I didn't know where a comparison of COVID's death toll lay until I actually started looking into the actuarial data myself - but that's just a product of the journalism of today.
Saying that, My GOD millions are dying - is just hair-on-fire stuff that is not helpful toward understanding the problem in any way. Medical science is learning at an amazing rate, and treatments are improving by leaps and bounds, and the mortality rates are dropping and that ought to be the focus of the news - not least, because it's good news and will help allay fears.
Who am I accusing of bad motives? I guess I could refer you to the video that is making the rounds today, of school board members conducting a derisive meeting they thought was private? Or the Teachers' Unions in many states, because they have demonstrated an aversion to acknowledging successful school operations in many other states, while attempting to influence policy making at the CDC without disclosing those actions. Isn't that wrong? Don't you think the innovative states that have opened their classrooms safely should be held up as a successful example for others to emulate, outside of a political arena? Isn't the developmental well-being of our children more important than that? I think so.
I'm not seeing your point about generalizing - I thought my points were clearly speaking against using generalization in arguments. You'd just rather kick people. Really?
This article goes quite a long way toward explaining the issues with the Texas grid
It’s not just the windmills, but it is related to the policy forces that drive decision making toward Alternative Energy with heavy tax credits. I’m all for innovation and accept that society and industry should partner to support it. But the problem with Alternative Energy can best be found looking no further than its name: Alternative – as in Not Primary.
The Intellectuals' Assault on Intelligence: Proving that THEY are not intelligent.
Slate Star Codex and the Gray Lady’s Decay: The STUPID is STRONG at the NYT.
The STUPID was STRONG in Texas this winter. Have you heard of "Blue Northers"? I have. Those in Texas are reminded of them...though, of course, "too late."
Did Frozen Wind Turbines Impact the Texas Freeze? Here's the Data
Texas reports (i've read) that only wind provides 7% of electricity. The natural gas pipelines freezing impaired electric delivery.
This article's lede is misleading .
When is the NYT not full of shit? Now that would be a story.
Re: How Rush Limbaugh rescued me from liberalism
Bahr's column is a great remembrance and tribute to Rush. Without diminishing his column, I advise reading these:
As a general rule, I post Gods of the Copybook Headings on FB at least every 6 months.
Many times, I get comments about how eerily familiar it sounds, and not JUST from my conservative friends.
Regardless of your politics, if you read this poem for the first time, you'll instantly recognize what he is talking about more than 100 years later, and see that it still applies today.