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, December 3. 2009
A friend and beer afficionado responded to our post about Sam Adams' Winter Classics with this email:
"The best beer available in the USA is Palm. It's the only beer I will drink these days."
I guess I'll have to give it a try, but I don't think my local discount beer dump, which carries about 200 American and imported brands, carries it.
Palm is a Flemish beer. It has only been imported to the US for a year or two. Have you tried it?
It is a moral imperative for parents to take care of their kids as best they can. And, in a nation founded on equality in the face of the law, you could make a case for universal free national legal care.
Socialized medicine is no more insurance than Social Security is. What it is is having the government - ie your neighbors - pay your bills. That's not insurance.
Similar theme at Pajamas: The End of the Line for Climate Hysteria?
Right Wing Prof is in a nursing home now, more or less, I think, and dealing with his apparently terminal cancer, pain, and frustrating dependency on others - yet posting as he is able at his Central Pennsylvania Orthodox site.
God bless this sweet, devout, tough, shy fellow who has been a blog pal for several years. From his posts at his other site, Right Wing nation, he has been one heck of a devoted, creative, and demanding prof of mathematics, statistics, and business-and accounting-related numbers.
I recently accused him of morphine-blogging. That was my attempt at levity. One of his recent posts:
Image is Mark of Ephesus, from his site.
But those aren't the only ways to judge an author.
What about ingenuity? Originality? The brilliance of an idea never thought of before? A correlation; a conjunction of ideas that few others, if any, have made?
Some guy chases a big whale all over the place. Moby-Dick. A lawyer defends an innocent black man. To Kill A Mockingbird. A bunch of Okies migrate to California. The Grapes of Wrath. Architect makes it big. The Fountainhead.
These are original ideas? They might read well, and there are certainly some deep, underlying truths running around the place, but, by my definition?
Pretty boring, really.
Below the fold I present the case that the late Michael Crichton was perhaps the greatest original author of all time.
I'll present the argument. You answer the challenge.
Continue reading "The Michael Crichton Challenge"
Image via Driscoll's Bowling For Afghanistan
Related: We have always said that the problem with Afghanistan is that it isn't a country - it's a place. Community Organizing in Afghanistan
Bad news for the Washington Times
Sort-of related: Murdoch Plans $15 M. N.Y.C. Edition
From I own the world:
Medicare cuts and other D.C. fairy tales: Obama's so-called 'savings' are pure political fantasy
Jim Miller: It's more complicated than warmists and deniers
That quote is from the post CRUdGate: Why this can't be swept under the carpet, who includes a few images of which this is one:
Wednesday, December 2. 2009
Scathing op-ed by Driessen in Wash. Times: Pseudoscience cesspool. A quote:
...the Climategate e-mails reveal an unprecedented, systematic conspiracy to stifle discussion and debate, conceal and manipulate data, revise temperature trends that contradict predictions of dangerous warming, avoid compliance with Freedom of Information requests, and pressure scientific journals and the IPCC to publish alarmist studies and exclude dissenting analyses so as to manufacture "consensus."
I am not a professional climatologist but a common-sense fellow. Therefore I think I have more credibility than the average person who makes a living from "climate change." I enjoyed Coyote's Catastrophe Denied, but I think even he gave too much credence to existing data.
It seems to me that there is no accurate way to measure "global temperatures" or "global climate" other than via the troposphere. Tree rings and sediments and weather stations are ridiculous "proxies" for "global climate." Furthermore, there is no such thing as a "global climate" anyway.
The reason is that, at sea level, the earth consists of thousands of climates and millions of micro-climates - all on land undergoing constant fluctuation and all impacted by natural ebbs and flows and much of it impacted in some way by man and his land use, urbanization, etc (The earth's population was 1.2 billion in 1850, now it is 6.8 billion.) - and the ocean remains incomprehensibly complex with all of its oscillations and strange fluctuating vertical and horizontal currents.
I am not a climatologist, but I am always a skeptic about whatever experts tell me. I am a skeptic even about the 0.6 degree F change in the past 150 years. I think all of our temperature data is meaningless beyond its immediate locale - except for the troposphere data which we have only for recent years.
Science is never about truth. It's just about the theory and hypothesis du jour. That's what it's supposed to be.
The Sam Adams Winter Classic selection is interesting and very tasty this year. The Cranberry Lambic is unique, but whether it is a true Lambic or not I cannot say.
Here's a review of the selection at Fermentedly Challenged.
(Disclosure: The Boston Beer Co. was kind enough to ship 1000 cartons of Winter Classics to Maggie's Farm as a neighborly thank you. That should get us through December, anyway.)
PAPER: CLIMATE CHANGE 'FRAUD'...
I was being facetious yesterday about Climategate and Palin, but not today: is the Afghanistan "plan" timed to provide cover for health care? Sort of a wag the dog thing?
Am I getting smarter about how pols manipulate us, or am I getting paranoid? Or both?
See it? A tiny green 3 1/2- story 1860 brownstone in mid-town Manhattan:
That photo is brought to you by Scouting New York, who says:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:33 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
From Spiegel Online re the O's speech. It is devastating. The US media would never be so bold or direct.
Reason: The Scientific Tragedy of Climategate -Can climate change science recover from the damage done by leaked emails?
Pajamas: The Fraud Is Everywhere: SUNY Albany and Queens University Belfast Join Climategate (PJM Exclusive)
Slate: Confused by the O's speech. I thought the speech was dull, rambling, and incoherent until he tried to wrap himself in the flag at the end.
Am Thinker: Dick Morris and the Crusade against ObamaCare
Howard Dean Declares Debate Between Capitalism and Socialism to Be Over. Isn't that nice to know.
Dr. Sanity: EDUCATION IS A WEAPON
That almost made me barf.
And from Vanderleun on Climategate:
Moonbattery: UN's Green Blueprint for World Domination
I suggest that the Swiss tell the UN to stick it
MIT professor of meteorology Richard Lindzen has a few well-chosen words on global warming.
Caption and photo came in over the transom - might be photoshopped but we don't know -
By the length of his beard and the gray legs this bull moose must be over 10 years old. He appears to be over 8 feet at the shoulder hump … this fellow is ONE BIG BOY! The picture was taken near Elliott Lake, Ontario, Canada on a dirt road, probably the width of 1.5 cars.
One of my oldest and, deservedly ten times over, most respected friends, a combat veteran, a journalist, a frontline refugee aid worker, a man of the cloth, a professor, major scholar, a mentor and example to generations, wrote me this email below. He offers insights based on real experience that is lacking in mere scribblers in media and blogs who haven't ever been on the front-lines of life, death, and hope and effort despite odds due to undefeatable faith.
My friend's email, to all of you:
From a column by David Ignatius:
This is all just a distraction from health-care and cap and trade. If the Taliban do come back
He says in the speech that we are not patrons but partners, and then he speaks of the Pakistan and Afghan governments in an utterly dismissive tone, as if he were speaking to ADHD children. The Karzai government is corrupt and inefficient? Compared to what? Najibullah or Mullah Omar, Kharzai's predecessors? Is the Afghan government more corrupt than the governments of
However, if the Afghans, as Obama suggests, don't want a return of the Taliban, why are we about to facilitate their return? Obama's whole plan sounds like just enough to keep his generals from resigning, but not enough to defeat the Taliban. An upfront capitulation and retreat would actually be better. That would say we don't want to win but would leave open the question of whether we could have won if we wanted to. But the result we'll get will say we couldn't have won in any case, that American arms simply couldn't prevail. Notice that he said nothing about why he's sending 2 brigades less than his commander asked for. It probably polls better that way.
He plans to "end" both wars--no matter the consequences--before the 2012 campaign season begins. This will aid his reelection and help him "earn" his Nobel. I'm beginning to wonder if I can in good conscience encourage a student to remain in or enter ROTC with a commander-in-chief as unprincipled and feckless as this one--and an Army chief of staff as stupid as Gen. Casey. I've always encouraged our students to at least consider military service. I never thought this would be a question for me. But it is becoming one now.
My friend is a bit discouraged tonight, to say the least. Neither you nor I nor he need worry that he will remain that way. His life is one of striving with all his being and integrity to overcome evil and to contribute good to the world. He will keep on, as must we, as Obama too shall pass, and be replaced with a better.
P.S.: My friend saw this and a private email comment to him that "spirit demands fiber". He replies
BTW, Related: Read this op-ed, by another friend, of course a former Marine, and much more: Counterinsurgency Incoherence
And, Related: Ralph Peters gets to the point.
Tuesday, December 1. 2009
These fine-looking fancy jackets are obviously not meant for heavy brush-busting, chain-sawing, snow plowing, duck hunting, or ditch-digging. (Waxed jackets are a separate topic.)
I loved this quote from the CRU computer guy: "We can have a proper result, but only by including a load of garbage!"
Today: Jones stepping down. Penn State to investigate Mann. That's the core of the IPCC's numbers factory. Plus there has already been a political fatality in Australia - probably the first actual victim of global warming.
Tierney in the NYT says:
If Mann is telling the truth, he is utterly incompetent. I suspect he is lying, but a gullible Tierney appears to buy it. How would you not know how your cover graph was constructed?
I am going to have them send me a daily reminder.
The Christmas Season runs from the first day of Advent until the end of Epiphany. Joseph Bottum discusses. Advent and Epiphany are the religious, mysterious, joyful part, and Christmas is the secular, fun piece. It's all good, in my opinion.
The American people are mad as hell
Meanwhile, today from the self-satirizing BBC:
And similarly, this from the self-satirizing UN:
Politico: 7 stories Obama doesn't want told
The about-face on Honduras