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
Friday, December 19. 2014
The article begins:
Wednesday, December 17. 2014
Monday, December 15. 2014
Sunday, December 14. 2014
Despite the formality of the title, it's a very readable and persuasive book about our experiences of reality and the role of our local cultures in shaping our experience of reality.
Berger was on my mind because Pastor Keller had mentioned the idea of "relativizing the relativizers." I like that idea, because nobody can really think outside their own culture, and relativists and multiculturalists of all sorts tend not to be aware of how deeply Western and, indeed, parochial their views really are.
Anyway, that's a chapter from another book by Berger, A Rumor of Angels: Modern Society and the Rediscovery of the Supernatural. I have not read it, but I think I will.
Thursday, December 11. 2014
Americans should be pleased to know that the incidence of sexual assault (except in prisons) has been steadily in decline for many years. There is no epidemic and there is no rape culture in the US - indeed there is a strong Judeo-Christian anti-rape culture - but there are some individual sexual predators and rapists around, and there always will be. Here's a real rape culture:
and this one: Raping and Beheading the Faithful
Also interesting is that the incidence of violent sexual assault on campuses appears to be about half of that which occurs out in the real world. That is remarkable in some ways, considering that the campus today jams frequently-alcohol- or drug-intoxicated adolescent boys and girls too-close together in a generally sexually-disinhibited and hypersexualized atmosphere.
My view has always been this: if assaulted, sexually or otherwise, call the cops. It's a civic duty really, because odds are that the perp will strike again with someone else.
Best, most reasonable and comprehensive piece I've seen on the topic: The College Rape Overcorrection - Sexual assault on campus is a serious problem. But efforts to protect women from a putative epidemic of violence have led to misguided policies that infringe on the civil rights of men.
I am not sure why campus sexual assault is so often the focus of the media when sexual assault and violence of all sorts is far more frequent off campuses.
Related, Lena Dunham's Assault on Humanity
Saturday, December 6. 2014
Wednesday, December 3. 2014
Sunday, November 30. 2014
There is a book called Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back but it's about dealing with mental illness.
We have posted recently about firewood, green or dried.
Of course, it all depends on whether your fires are for pleasure, comfort, and ambience or for the BTUs. We have an old wood stove in the kitchen which provides tons of heat, but my fireplace in the den warms that little room up very effectively, to the point that I have to open the window.
Fireplaces do radiate heat, just much more ineffectively than stoves.
What wood to burn? Any wood is good. Some people are too afraid of burning fir and pine, but they are excellent, produce wonderful smells, and probably produce less chimney creosote than slower-burning hardwoods. However, if you keep a home fire burning as we do, you must have the chimney cleaned at least twice per winter, and ideally once per cord or two whatever the wood. Chimney fires are the reason so many churches and old houses have burned down in New England.
Generally speaking, the hotter the fire, the less creosote condensation in the chimney. Here you can read all about chimney creosote.
I have read that it takes a year to air-dry unsplit green wood, which can contain over 50% water when freshly cut (dry wood is around 25% water, depending on where you live). I burn green wood sometimes once I have a good bed of coals and don't want a blazing fire, but it certainly does not burn as hot as air-dried wood. I don't care because I am not reliant on wood for heat except when our power is down.
Here is some good firewood info from the Master Sweep.
Here are some good data about firewood
Info re the Franklin stove
Info re the Rumford Fireplace
Brick-lined chimneys? They are obsolete. Best thing is to line them with stovepipe.
Always bear in mind that every time you light a fire you are producing CO2, killing Gaia, and destroying the planet. Coal and oil, after all, are just very well-seasoned old wood. If you truly love Gaia, you would do without mechanized transport, or horses, or A/C, heat, and the internet.
Tuesday, November 25. 2014
I see no reason why black kids could not benefit from the same sorts of disciplines and expectations that were imposed on me. It did me good and yes, I did rebel in some minor ways.
Monday, November 24. 2014
Sunday, November 23. 2014
Seems fairly easy to do but unlikely to be done unless market forces force it.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:29 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, November 21. 2014
From The Truth about Evil by John Gray:
An impressive essay.
Tuesday, November 18. 2014
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
Sunday, November 16. 2014
The potato is a native American food, as American as turkey. Good for your soul. I suspect my Indian ancestors made their holiday mash with Moose or Elk milk and cream. This is my Mom's delicious Thanksgiving and Christmas recipe:
1. Boil potatoes (peeled or unpeeled - I prefer peeled) in water till they're tender (when you can stick a fork in and it comes right out).
Serve, if you must, with a side of steak, roast beef, turkey, pork chops, lamb chops, or roast chicken, and daintily drizzle a reduced jus of the meat on top of your potato piece de resistance.
Can make it the day before, and warm it up later.
Friday, November 14. 2014
Common Core–The Elites Did It:
Combine arrogance, money, fancy degrees, and a top-down attitude, and this is what you get: a one-size-fits-all central plan designed for the masses by our moral and intellectual superiors whether you want it or not.
Same general philosophy as Obamacare. Or this: Liberal Masterminds Demand National Food Policy. No, that's not from The Onion.
Monday, November 10. 2014
It doesn't need satire because it satirizes itself. But in the UK, the government is considering speech permits. That is not a joke. I think it must be mostly about not pissing off their Muslims.
Saturday, November 8. 2014
Not Asian-Americans, but Asians from Asia:
Tuesday, November 4. 2014
No, I am not talking about intelligent design and all that. Also, I understand that evolutionary theories (of which there are several) say nothing about "progress," just adaptation to current conditions. It's just that I find the science and the logic of it all puzzling.
So did the fine essayist Stephen Jay Gould. I enjoyed this, but had to read it twice: Challenges to Neo- Darwinism and Their Meaning for a Revised View of Human Consciousness
Thursday, October 30. 2014
I think the whole idea of federalizing lower education was a major error. From How the Common Core Went Wrong:
Wednesday, October 29. 2014
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