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, November 6. 2021
Yes, you guessed it. Roger McGuinn discusses:
The Newest Insanity Out Of Yale Law School - These controversies could be wake-up calls—for the YLS community, legal academia, and society at large.
California Is the Supply Chain’s Weakest Link. Environmental and antibusiness regulations in the deep blue state are backing up port traffic.
A torture experiment’: plan for almost windowless student megadorm raises alarm
Attacking Merit in a Bumbling Bureaucracy: The University of California Leads Again
5-Year-Olds to Be Required to Show Vaccination Cards in San Francisco
Yes, Charles Blow, Cases of COVID-19 Are Increasing in the North, Decreasing in the South
THE DURHAM INVESTIGATION, ELI LAKE’S TAKE
Young BBC staffers angered by trans story claiming harassment of lesbians
Critical Race Theory Is Coming for Your Doctor
Woman Who Testified Against Trump Also Introduced Authors of Fake Russian 'Dossier' to Each Other. Gee, What Are the Odds ... ?
How the climate lobby crushed debate. Anyone who dissents from stringent climate policies will be branded an enemy of The Science.
Note that I’m not saying that the whole climate scam is going to collapse tomorrow. Just that the hysteria has reached a peak beyond which it has nowhere to go.
NBC, Axios: Tuesday was worse for Dems than they realize
Even The NY Times Editorial Board Thinks Democrats Are Denying Political Reality
Friday, November 5. 2021
Why Do They Want to Vaccinate Children?
Italy Makes a Stunning Announcement About COVID-19 Death Toll
NY Times Wonders If Classic Rock Songs Should Be Toppled Like Confederate Statues
New Jersey professor on White people: 'I want to say ... we got to take these motherf---kers out'
MSNBC's Meltdown Over 2021 Races Was One for the Ages
After Being Humiliated In VA, Democrats Tell the Voters to Kiss-Off
Nearly a Week Later, It’s Still Not Clear . . . What Was the Lincoln Project Thinking?
A cartoon (not The Simpsons for once) predicts liberal meltdown over 'Lets go, Brandon'
‘Sure to infuriate a few folks’: Joe Manchin truth-bombs far-left Dems during interview with CNN
Thursday, November 4. 2021
Thing about the Italian life style is that most people do not work long hours. Whether in small towns or in cities, the passagiatta at around 5 or 6 pm is a ritual with kids, old folks and, of course, dogs on leashes. Delightful. After that, some wine or aperatifs in a cafe. Dinner begins, mostly, 8-9 pm. That's when restaurants fill up. Many do not open for dinner until 7:30 or 8. After dinnertime, lovers are all out in the piazzas while kids kick soccer balls around in the dark. Cool.
Night is the time to get out and about. No danger except from growling dogs. Everything stays open at night.
Being American, dinner at 8 seems late but I am a guy who likes to get to the gym at 5 AM so I like to get to my books at 9 pm. (Readers know I do not do TV or movies.)
Sunset over the lagoon in Orbetello, which is not really a foreign tourist place but some Brits seem to like it (more night pics below the fold):
More evening and nighttime photos below -
Continue reading "La dolce vita: Evening and nighttime in Italia"
For legs etc, you can do deadlift one day, barbell squats another. Or leg-press.
For HIIT, you can do stairmaster one day, treadmill sprints on another.
For triceps, you can do press-downs one day, skullcrushers on another.
For calisthenics, the list of choices is so long that you always vary what you do.
Varying the things you do reduces boredom, but also keeps your neuromuscular system nimble and adjusting.
When are we going to stop doing this? When there's a third black mayor? A fifth? A tenth? Never?
Facebook Running TV Spots Begging Government To Regulate Them…
What Have We Learned? The 'White Supremacy' Bit Is Hack
Wednesday, November 3. 2021
Desserts in Italy are not worth it. If you need a sweet, grab a gelato on the street. Or a lemon ice, which the Italians learned from the Arabs who, remarkably, imported the snow and ice from the Alps.
Tiramisu seems to be a popular Italian dessert. I think it's ok, but I rarely eat dessert anywhere. I had one gelato (coffee) in Italy, and it was disappointing.
Professor works to advance ‘fat justice’
Did a NYT's OP-Ed Insinuate That the VA Girl Who Got Raped by Gender Fluid Kid Was Asking for It?
GETTING MINDS RIGHT AT YALE: LEARNING FROM TRENT COLBERT
The AMA jumps the Woke Shark, introduces Medspeak
British government considers "psychological harm" punishment for online abuse
The Cost of Communism: 'Comrade de Blasio' Has Gutted the Big Apple
Glenn Youngkin's Win Officially Ends the Clinton Era in American Politics
Tuesday, November 2. 2021
Etruscans, as I view it, were proto-Romans. A fresco sample:
What did Alec Baldwin know of the firearm with which he killed Halyna Hutchins? The answer, based on his filmography, is not much.
Virtue Signaling And Wokeness: A Return To The Primitive
White students lie about their race on college applications
Colin Kaepernick, Who By the Way Is Half-White and Very Ashamed of That, Claims That the NFL Draft Is Exactly Like a Slave Auction
COP26 And The Hubris Of Our Political Overlords
The Big Climate Summit Welcomed Up to 30,000 Officials Flying in on Planes
Young Climate Cultists Travel To Glasgow To Say This Is “The Last Chance For Humanity”
Poll: 71 Percent Say Country Headed in Wrong Direction Under Biden
Monday, November 1. 2021
Best thing of all: it is truffle season. Every decent place to eat had at least one truffle item on the menu, and we brought home two truffle pecorinos for Thanksgiving. Our lovely place outside Montepulciano (Villa Poggiano) put up a chalk board of things they would arrange for you to do each day. One of them was truffle-hunting. (Among others were a cooking class, horseback riding along the back dirt roads, and a rental Ferrari for 4 hours).
I declined the truffle hunt because you have to pay but of course you don't get to keep the black truffles. Also, I do not trust myself with a Ferrari although I do enjoy driving around rural Tuscany (in daylight only). We did happen to see a truffle hunter with his dogs on one of our own back-country hikes on which we got happily lost. I always have a half-roll of toilet paper in the bottom of my Osprey daypack. Who does not?
An American honeymooning couple at our place did everything on the list during their stay. Ah, youth.
As we drove around southern Tuscany looking at various hill towns and things (MapQuest got us everywhere), we stopped by a Roman bath, Bagno Vignoni. We had a nice light lunch there, pecorino ravioli with black truffle. Roasted root veggies on the side. That's Italian! I doubt that you have ever seen so many truffle slices in the USA. Naturally, I had a glass of Vino Nobile de Montepulciano. Fine for the purpose and helpful for driving confidence.
A few more pics, and a truffle hunting vid below the fold -
Continue reading "Reposted: Tuscany in October, with truffles"
Readers know that we like jump rope as an intense cardio (ie real "cardio") exercise. The heavier the rope, the more challenging. I have used a 1 lb rope a few times and it is brutal.
About jump ropes in general
Jeremy Clarkson on why he won’t be giving up pheasant shooting
California condors: Virgin births discovered in critically endangered birds
How the FBI Discovered a Real-Life Indiana Jones in, of All Places, Rural Indiana. A 90-year-old amateur archaeologist who claimed to have detonated the first atomic bomb was also one of the most prolific grave robbers in modern American history.
'We're being pressured into sex by some trans women'
Life is a mental health gym
University Allegedly Attempting To Fire Professor For Saying Hurt Feelings Are ‘No Big Deal’
Border crisis hits classrooms as unaccompanied minors flood NY schools
Dems Try To Pass Off $10,000 IRS Reporting Threshold as Merely Going After the 1 Percent. Proposed IRS surveillance now limited to non-wage net annual transactions of $10,000 and above. Which is still ridiculously low and intrusive.
Judge Finds Teenager Guilty in Loudoun County Bathroom Assault
In Defense of Meritocracy. It’s the worst system for deciding who gets society’s most important positions—except for all the others.
Transgender fiction is about political control - Elite gather at G20 and in Glasgow to talk about their religion
Lectures From Limousine Liberals. The same people who sat at home praising essential workers as heroes now repay them with exclusion and sneering condescension
China Warming. The CCP is by far the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases on the planet. Is that a problem?
Progressive Craziness Of The Day: Critical Race Theory In K-12 Schools And Corporations
The Next Democratic Crusade: Taxing Hypothetical Income
Sunday, October 31. 2021
If Roger, semi-retired King of Sicily, would take over my morning links job here, we'd be a far more interesting, amusing, and educational website. But he won't.
Mrs. BD and I have been driving around northern Italy for 12 days, staying in cool places, tasting real Italian foods (avoiding pasta and pizza as usual - they are just not the best Italian food), and trying to keep to my limit of 1 museum (limit 1 hr) and 1 old church/day. And on this trip 1 Etruscan ruin/day. It got to the point that I called everything, including newstands,"Etruscan" just to calm things down.
As usual, I will post iphone photo travelogues when I get organized. For now, though, a menu from an ordinary cafe in Porto Santo Stefano. Nice lunch right on the fishing docks. We drove out there to the island Monte Argentario to look around while we were staying in Orbetello (in the Maremma). Fun to look at all of the frutti di mare in the fish stores.
Vecchia Pesa. Here's the menu. - click on it.
I am always amazed by the rate at which Octopi must reproduce given the rate at which Italians and Greeks eat them. Best grilled, I feel. I love seafood of every type.
Random bonus trivia: The police in Siena drive Alfas - Alfa Guiliettas, in fact. Me? I drive a Stelvio here at home. Fun, but this time in Italy we had a big diesel Citroen which was great especially on the highways. Mrs. BD loved driving it. Mapquest is excellent in Eurolandia.
Second tip re tourism: October is the only time to visit Italy. Off-season hotel prices, far fewer tourists, no hot weather and no rain, and everything open, cheerful, and lively. Plus it's truffle season.
Third thing: Tourists in Italy are still there in October, but in manageable and not-annoying numbers. We only saw them in Siena and some in San Gimignano. Mostly Scandinavians and Germans, bunches of Brits, a few French. Almost no Americanos or Asians at this time of year. You can ID tourists by dress, manners/mannerisms, posture, etc. Brits look and dress quietly elegantly, tastefullly, and always get lost; Scandinavians hip with their babies running around randomly or in backpacks and do not care if they get lost; and Americans and Germans dowdy, clunky, and overweight. You can easily ID the natives because they are skinny and fashionable at all times. La bella figura. If you want to look local, good luck: a cigarette, a dog on a leash in the bar, Max Mara, a Prada bag, and good shoes (so testifies Mrs. BD, who can pass for Italian even without Prada).
Re the flag - Italy has not been a nation for very long, if they even are a functional nation now. Began 1861 or so. The history of this peninsula and its surrounds is long, complex, and fun but not important in the long run. The only reason they all now speak Italian is because the Tuscans took over. Mrs. BD: "How does this country function? Nobody works hard or pays their taxes ("We prefer cash"), and everybody looks great and seems happy. And they love their untrained, ill-behaved dogs." Yeah, their dogs are terrible, untrained menaces but they all have them. They might love dogs, but they do not have a clue how to train one for a use or for civilization. All on leashes.
12:28 One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?"
12:29 Jesus answered, "The first is, 'Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one;
12:30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.'
12:31 The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
12:32 Then the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that 'he is one, and besides him there is no other';
12:33 and 'to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,' and 'to love one's neighbor as oneself,' --this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."
12:34 When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." After that no one dared to ask him any question.
Saturday, October 30. 2021
Tuesday, October 26. 2021
Inverness has several shops which sell waxed jackets. They sell models that are more for working purposes rather than the more style-oriented ones available in the US. If any place in the world is right for a Barbour or similar brands, it is Scotland.
Gore-tex made waxed clothing obsolete, more or less, but people still like it. What is not widely-known is that Gore-Tex, over time, loses its waterproofing effect and you have to replace the item. Waxed cotton and waxed canvas can be re-proofed. I have waxed canvas Filson hunting pants, waxed canvas hunting brush chaps, a Barbour, maybe something else too. Damn things are heavy to wear compared to Gore Tex.
If these things get too dirty or muddy on the outside, you just brush then off or hose it off with cold water. But what about when the lining gets sweaty and smelly? Ideally it won't because of the other stuff you are wearing, but if you want to clean it out, how?
I read up on the topic. The only way to do it that protects the wax is to hose down the lining with cold water. No soap, etc - just cold water. Let it soak, then hose it again and let it air-dry. That's all you can do until the jacket needs re-proofing, at which time the company cleans the lining too.
Whether you want to view pull-ups as weight-lfting or as a calisthenic, it is a strength-builder for the entire upper body. The problem is that many middle-aged people have trouble doing reps without assistance. Does assistance really help over time?
A couple of years ago we had a one-month push-up challenge, and it worked for those who kept with it daily. The goal was 100 push-ups/day by the end of the month (not 100 at once, but 100 daily). Turned out that it was quite do-able with good results even for push-up beginners - and for women. Their reps got longer, and their muscles got tougher.
There are a couple of women I see in the gym doing 20 pull-up reps. They look fit, but neither muscular nor skinny.
A 60-day 100 pull-up challenge might work too, but I do not know how to begin it for those who cannot do a single one.
Monday, October 25. 2021
I had one rummaging around in my shrubs recently (American Red Squirrel), and had not seen one here for years. Cute little guys, not often seen on the ground or away from good-sized conifer stands.
There is a Eurasian Red Squirrel too.
Sunday, October 24. 2021
Job 38:1-7, (34-41)
38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind:
38:2 "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
38:3 Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me.
38:4 "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.
38:5 Who determined its measurements--surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?
38:6 On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone
38:7 when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?
38:34 "Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, so that a flood of waters may cover you?
38:35 Can you send forth lightnings, so that they may go and say to you, 'Here we are'?
38:36 Who has put wisdom in the inward parts, or given understanding to the mind?
38:37 Who has the wisdom to number the clouds? Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,
38:38 when the dust runs into a mass and the clods cling together?
38:39 "Can you hunt the prey for the lion, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
38:40 when they crouch in their dens, or lie in wait in their covert?
38:41 Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry to God, and wander about for lack of food?
Friday, October 22. 2021
Wednesday, October 20. 2021
They don't have adult donuts anyway
What happens when our sun dies?
Emerging mRNA technology proved excellent for COVID vaccines. BioNTech’s founders preview what that could mean for cancer and other mysteries.
OU wants to hire a 'social justice' math professor. The University of Oklahoma wants to hire an assistant professor that has a 'culturally responsive and sustaining mathematics pedagogy.'
What's with that word pedagogy these days?
Fire has always been part of CA, like quakes. A natural risk.
Manchin Rejects Centerpiece Of Biden's Climate Agenda... Which Progressive Dems Insist On
Does anybody imagine that US "climate policy" would have any effect?
And the media said he was a retard
Speaking of racists like Jefferson, apparently St. RBG was one too.
New Information About U.S. Capitol Police Shooting Of Unarmed Ashli Babbitt
Sen. Cruz on where to send illegals: The new ports would be located in places such as Napa Valley, California; Greenwich, Connecticut; Rehoboth Beach, Delaware; and North Hero, Vermont.
Notorious Haitian Gang Demands $17 Million Ransom For Kidnapped Missionaries
Haiti is a hopeless island
Tuesday, October 19. 2021