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, January 31. 2015
Pic above from Old Gas Stations
A day with Chef Daniel Boulud
Dog shelters running out of dogs
“Middle School Reading Lists 100 Years Ago vs. Today Show How Far American Educational Standards Have Declined”
Students assigned to erect new porn genre at Carnegie Mellon, grades based on arousal
It is hard to look at this data and see anything but a positive story, but apparently the New York Times and the rest of the media only see tragedy.
ALMOST HALF OF U.S. HOUSEHOLDS CAN’T SAVE, SPEND ALL OF THEIR INCOME
Illinois’ New Republican Governor Just Declared War On Government Unions
Thanks Obamacare: This Is What Americans Spent The Most Money On In Q4
The GOP’s Long Love Affair With Schmucks - Why Republicans fall in love with inexperienced, no-hope candidates every four years.
Mitt did the right thing. Jeb will not be nominated either: Jeb Bush Fails Common Core Test
Amusing, re global warming crisis
The Hack That Warmed the World - Europe’s carbon-trading market was supposed to be capitalism’s solution to global warming. Instead, it became a playground for gangsters, international crime syndicates, and even two-bit crooks -- who stole hundreds of millions of dollars in pollution credits.
Douthat: Does Political Correctness Work?
Krauthammer: Do We Really Mean ‘Never Again’?
ISIL’s Rise in Libya - The country’s descent into chaos is getting harder for the United States to ignore.
Good essay on the future of eastern Europe
Friday, January 30. 2015
But since you already stocked up on batteries, ice-melter, snow shovels, bread, milk, beer, spinach, and eggs for last week's Blizzard of the Century, you'll probably be all set.
Rod McKuen, mega-selling poet and performer, dies at 81
Dartmouth College Banning Possession and Consumption of Hard Liquor
No One Knows How to Stop Campus Alcohol Abuse - It's hard to put much faith in Dartmouth's ban on hard liquor.
Alcohol has been part of higher ed since universities were invented in 1088. Bunch of youths without enough to do.
The blizzard of 1899 - on film
For your heart, maybe
Set an example, Al
End the Boondoggle - Even Greens Can See the Folly of Biofuels
Building Toward Another Mortgage Meltdown - In the name of ‘affordable’ loans, the White House is creating the conditions for a replay of the housing disaster
Obama’s Allowing More Drilling, But It’s Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be
The American epidemic of hate-hoaxing
Real Middle-Class Economics - What the people need is regulatory relief.
Reagan’s OMB head: Wealth inequality is a problem
Multicultural Meltdown in the UK
France's False Choice - Can liberal societies come to terms with religious illiberalism?
White House unhinged over Netanyahu speech
YouTube flooded with terror content - With 300 hours of material uploaded every minute, Google says screening for jihadi videos impossible
Thursday, January 29. 2015
I am astounded that there are still people, even family members of mine, who truly believe government is here to do good things. I've ceased to be fooled by that illusion.
Today's photo is shown to help promote multicultural understanding
CUNY: Don’t Call Students ‘Mr., Mrs. or Ms.’ Because That’s Maybe Disrespectful - Don't do anything that someone could find offensive!
A book: Building the Workingman's Paradise: The Design of American Company Towns by Margaret Crawford
Medical conferences feel like funerals. Here’s why.
The Sorry State of 'Good Samaritan' Laws - Whether you can safely help a stranger during a crisis largely depends on where you live.
Claiming E-Cigarettes Kill, California Legislator Pushes Vaping Ban - Mark Leno's bill would prohibit vaping everywhere smoking is prohibited.
California Might Replace Gas Sales Tax With Mileage Tax
Awakening to the damage done by teachers' unions
Watch Obama Refer to Himself 133 Times in a 33-Minute Speech
Can the Media Please Stop Quoting Bill Nye as a Science Expert
Greek Socialists to Send Lump of Coal to the EU?
Europe's Real Resistance: The truth is that the Europeans do not really care about the Palestinians, only about destroying Israel.
Wednesday, January 28. 2015
The meaning is entirely symbolic. If Greece quits or is tossed out of the
When they lived at home, I'd try to convince my less intrepid boys to do the same thing, to no avail (some of us have that entrepreneurial gene, others don't). As much as I enjoy the effort of digging and spending time outside, I was pleased to see younger folk scrambling for a buck. I paid them $30 and they cleared the walk and driveway in about 40 minutes. I don't even have to listen to people complain that I didn't pay minimum wage. Though if I'm ever up for public office this may haunt me as I didn't pay their taxes.
What really surprised me was they asked for my phone number, in case they get another snow day they can call to ask if I need to be shoveled. After checking with their parents, I agreed to give them the house number. Norman Rockwell is not dead, no matter how much our politicians try to kill his vision of our nation.
Pic from old pics of Cape Cod Snow
The first official biography of TS Eliot, covering his life up to The Waste Land, is both compelling and revelatory
From The Blizzard of Oz:
70 years later, Hitchcock’s Holocaust footage airs
How the seven dwarfs of Auschwitz fell under the spell of Dr Death: The hideous experiments carried out by Nazi Josef Mengele on seven trusting brothers and sisters
Why Science Is Anti-Antioxidant Supplements
Small driveway with turntable
Apple posts blowout quarter, will ship Watch in April
In Index of Economic Freedom, U.S. Is 12th Freest Economy
Estate Taxes Are Indeed Immoral
Mankiw: Why did employment grow by about 3 million in 2014? Here is the answer.
Insty: "Despite their superficial attachment to multiculturalism, our elites don’t really want to think of other cultures as, you know, thinking differently, for fear that it might somehow be racist to take that into account."
"People make an enormous mistake if they underestimate the potential of
Profs on Paris Attacks: Je Suis NOT Charlie!
Is Greece already seeing some fiscal collapse?
DANIEL HANNAN: What's the Eurocrats' real fear? Greece quits and thrives
Is Greece already seeing some fiscal collapse?
Tuesday, January 27. 2015
From lefty Jonathan Chait: How the language police are perverting liberalism
Wasn't even a storm, much less a blizzard - just an ordinary New England winter snow dump. No ferocious winds, no 2-3 feet of snow. No big deal, a nice treat for the ski areas but a bummer for those with flights planned.
I had supposed that the weather wasn't being over-hyped this time. Fooled again: Millions hunker down as Northeast storm was downgraded to "snowy day".
Who do you blame for all the stormophobia these days? Drudge? Weather Channel? What?
The pols over-hype these things so they won't be caught being wrong. The news over-hypes them so you will keep your TV and radio turned on. Of course it does make sense to try to keep drivers off the roads for a few hours with big snows so the plows can do their work efficiently.
The driving is fine out there this morning. Everybody without a government job is going to work this morning.
Good grief, Charlie Brown.
Now, on to morning links -
Check out KFC’s latest food abomination, the “Double Down Dog”
Sounds pretty good to me
The power and importance of the ruthless consumer – ‘they make poor men rich and rich men poor’
In free markets, the consumers hold all the cards. They can buy - or not.
When Artists Fear their Audience - On campus, students now stand up for censorship.
Scouts too Evil for CA Judiciary
MIT professor sparks culture war by saying feminism attacks ‘nerds’
Davos’s Destructive Elites - “None of us is as dumb as all of us.”
Scott Walker—Conservatives’ Consensus Choice?
Old white party is in trouble. Good
What, exactly, is Hillary Clinton’s strategy to get voters excited about her candidacy?
The lack of penis seems to be her main selling point - plus her husband's name
‘Sex Slave’ Claims Bill Clinton Visited Epstein’s ‘Orgy Island’
Duh. Wild horses couldn't keep him away
The real story is not complicated
Jonathan Gruber Faces Questions About ‘Phantom Billing’ and Tax Reporting
Obama Films Anti-Oil Drilling Video–From a Jet
Atomic Scientists Say Humanity Is Closest to Destruction Since 1984
Obama, the Committed Income-Redistributionist (Though the Media Swore He Was No Such Thing!) Now Expressly Going After the Middle Class' Education Savings to Shower Money on His Constituents
Death test' could predict chance of dying within 30 days
Why only 30?
BBC branded ´mad´ by critics after refusing to call Paris killers ´terrorists´
NYT: Muslim Criminals in France Turn to Terrorism Because They Feel Dissed; White People at Fault
New Saudi King Named In 9/11 Suits
Obama’s National Field Director Running Anti-Netanyahu Election Campaign
Monday, January 26. 2015
What? It's winter, and it's snowing. Why the hysteria? Of course it's inconvenient but it is lovely and great fun for kids.
Hey - stock up on terlet paper and canned goods! NYC grocery stores cleaned out. Sheesh. Where do these weenies come from? If you run low on caviar, go to a restaurant.
I wasn't angry at all, Dr. Dean, but that comment did annoy me. Saw the movie last night with friends. It was ok, not a great film by any means from a film or drama standpoint, repetitive, I thought, but certainly exciting at times. Cowboys and Indians, on steroids. I have heard from those in the know that it does capture the reality of what Fallujah was like so they did have some good advisers on set. Urban combat in a hostile and sneaky environment in which nobody can be trusted except your buddies.
The film is not about politics at all. It's just about a certain kind of warfare through one man's eyes. Sultan said this: "Hollywood tried to “Vietnamize” Iraq in the popular imagination. American Sniper shows they failed." Well, I dunno. We won in Vietnam, then we gave it away. We sort-of won in Iraq, but they couldn't keep it without us. A lot of these crazy, unstable places in the world are tar babies. Is it worth it? You tell me.
I would have been interested in what Kyle's PTSD was about, but I didn't read the book. It would have been good to include more about sniper rifles, windage, distance shooting, etc. Perhaps what I left thinking about most was that these servicemen in the movie, SEALS, Marines, etc. - the sharp end of the spear - do not so much do heroism as they do a professional risky job for which they are highly-trained in body, mind, heart, and soul. Yes, I think that feeling of professionalism and trust in buddies is accurate, and is what most stuck with me.
Don't be surprised if Maggie's servers go down tonight or tomorrow. If so, it will be because of the wind, not the snow. It's the wind that breaks things with a Nor'easter.
Website of note: Chateau Heartiste
Insane Archery Skills
50 years of No Satisfaction
The connections in autistic brains are idiosyncratic and individualized
Are women more emotional than men?
Hmmm, let me think. Well, maybe, sometimes, yeah. Am I allowed to think that?
Egyptian President El-Sisi Becomes First President to Visit Church on Coptic Christmas
Princeton editor-in-chief calls out hypersensitive, politically correct peers
Annals of climate change: Great Lakes need more icebreakers
Obama’s Free Stuff Army
Why Don’t Lawmakers Want to Update the Tax Code?
NSA Details Chinese Cyber Theft of F-35, Military Secrets
A conspicuous failure of U.S. foreign policy in Syria
Sunday, January 25. 2015
Saturday, January 24. 2015
Is your car’s engine noise a lie?
Traveling to Europe is about to get a whole lot cheaper
It’s Earnings Season—–So Here Come The Crooks, Led By Alcoa
The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think
“Struggling Mom” Showcased in Obama’s SOTU Address is Dem Staffer & Has Introduced Obama at Campaign Rallies
Goldberg: "The “Life of Julia” was nothing more than an argument for the federal government to replace the functions once performed by family and community. "
British Feminists: ‘Degrading Sex Acts Are Empowering’
Whew. She must be really, really smart. Wonder what department she is in. Moonbat Studies?
Two examples of how ‘competition breeds competence’
I Thought I'd Get an Elite Education - Unfortunately, the university I attended fell far short of my hopes and expectations.
MIT Climate Scientist: Global Warming Believers a ‘Cult’
Climate change falling so far off the public radar, a major polling house didn’t even bother asking about it this year
Massaging the Message: In a complete inversion of reality, the Charlie Hebdo massacre story is morphing into a parable about how difficult it is to be a Muslim in the West
Is your car’s engine noise a lie?
Friday, January 23. 2015
Photo above from 44 Amazing NYC Places That Actually Still Exist (h/t Althouse)
Here's a site of interest: Invisible Serfs Collar
Ten Ways Men Oppress Women with Their Everyday Behavior - Manspreading and manslamming are just the beginning!
Reviving Blue Collar Work: How to Start a Career in the Trades
Vaccine deniers stick together. And now they’re ruining things for everyone
BPA is not toxic
Europe’s $100 Billion Green Energy Mistake
We’ve Reached Peak Feminism
Kill Me Now: NBC News Just Launched NBCBLK
So the rest of NBC is for white folks?
A Billionaire Lectures Serfs In Davos: "America's Lifestyle Expectations Are Far Too High"
Qaradawi Organization Wants Worldwide Blasphemy Law
French Philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy Denounces ‘Delirium of Anti-Zionism’ Before UN General Assembly
U.S. Commander: Russian Support to Ukrainian Separatists Has ‘Doubled’ - Kremlin ignoring terms of ceasefire agreement
Counterinsurgency: The West’s record in fighting modern insurgents from the Cold War era to the age of globalisation is characterised by multiple political reverses.
Graph below via Ace
Thursday, January 22. 2015
John Boyd’s Roll Call: Do You Want to Be Someone or Do Something?
NYC's Doctors Riot
New SAT, New Problems - The questions, particularly those in the math sections, could put certain students at a disadvantage.
“American Sniper” — a Rorschach test separating the wheat from the chaff
Gov. Scott Walker: Obama Now A ‘Lame Duck President’
Watch This Pentagon Official Literally Joke About Lowering Standards for Women in Combat
NY Times Magazine forced to admit that Megyn Kelly might be great at her job
Sisi’s Brave New Egypt?
Tom Friedman: "The bullying often works to silence critics of Islamic extremism. ... They cause governments, writers and experts to walk on eggshells.”
Israeli TV shows ‘Iranian missile’ that ‘can reach far beyond Europe’
Playing a Double Game in the Fight Against AQAP - In Yemen, the world’s most dangerous jihadi group is both the government’s enemy and its ally of convenience.
What Jon Stewart Didn’t Ask Jimmy Carter
Wednesday, January 21. 2015
Inside a Porsche engine assembly plant (vid)
NASA discovers 8 new dangerous near Earth asteroids
George Washington had a parrot that he disliked.
The Ik people
Vanderbilt Administration Silenced Me at Pro-Islam Rally
Journalism professor opposes free speech.
Government regulation vs. regulation by market forces and consumer-regulators
Americans Deserve a Fair Shot. Government Should Get Out of the Way.
Obama Calls for $320 Billion in New Taxes
Obama’s State of the Union: “Death is a tax loophole”
The Big Chill: The Battle for Central Europe
Obama’s State of the Union: “Death is a tax loophole” - See more at: http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=55945#sthash.lj9aK8lK.dpuf
Tuesday, January 20. 2015
A number of people, mostly born-and-bred New Yawkers, have recently been suggesting to me that New York is in decline. With Mayor Bill, I have a hard time refuting this. On the other hand, their 'evidence' is a host of articles and commentary about the closing of this deli or that dry cleaner, some other diner, or the changing cultural makeup of some community which they'd prefer never change.
"That deli was iconic, how horrible!" "Landlords forced them out by raising rents!" Oh the horror! To me, New York is cool because it doesn't stay the same.
Face it, who wants it to stay the same? Sure I love Carnegie Deli and Katz'. If they closed tomorrow, sad as I'd be, something else would come along. Jack Dempsey's was gone long before I arrived in 1985, should I regret it's passing (I'm sure many did)? Though I haven't been in McSorley's since our hike last fall, and only to use their restroom, I admit I'd fight tooth and nail to keep it open...though probably not. Better to have one last beer and let the past go, if I must.
Bond's is a great example of the idea that New York is improving rather than getting worse. I've eaten at Bond 45 a few times. The food is good, though I consider it comfort food. Still, for a business or friendly lunch in the heart of Times Square it's good to know there is a reliable and reasonable place to eat.
Even so, isn't it lamentable that Bond's is gone? Sort've. I mean, the clothing store and "international casino" are long gone. So is the concert venue, which was iconic because of The Clash in 1981. Well, really iconic because those 'greedy' concert promoters sought to fill overwhelming demand to see a red-hot band (everyone won in that transaction, if I remember correctly...fans like my brother-in-law got to say they 'were there', promoters made some good coin, Bond's made a pretty penny, and The Clash got their cut and made a name for themselves - wait, where was the "greed" again?)
I am reminded of a fellow at a recent event I attended for my alma mater, Syracuse University. This schmuck, after hearing of all the very positive changes the university was implementing, stood up and asked "But what are you doing to preserve traditions, places, and buildings from my past?" The chancellor gave a good, pat answer. As we walked out, I commented to my wife "I don't think that question has any meaning to me. I wonder how someone who graduated in 1880 would feel if he walked the campus today? Would he wish it looked and felt exactly the way it did in 1880, or are students better having things which suit them in this day and age?"
I love standing on campus, making note of the changes, and then commenting about what I did in that building, or how I used to sled down that hill, or how we once sneaked chickens into Bird Library (a feat unlikely to ever be duplicated). The past is the past, and keeping a building around simply because it's always been there isn't a winning idea anymore than it is for me to continue to wish I could still be on the Quad throwing a football.
Progress is painful, especially on our emotional ties to the past. But progress is a net positive, and we shouldn't simply let the past get in the way of progress. Even if it is because of some 'greedy' landlord in a city that epitomizes (or used to) progress. I like the fact I saw several games in the old Yankee Stadium or even Shea Stadium. But the new stadiums are still a great place to see a game, regardless of their limited history.
5 things Steve Jobs said Apple would never do - and Apple is doing
An Actual Letter Ayn Rand Wrote To An Actual Teenage Girl
This just in: cakes, cookies, doughnuts and pizza popular with kids
Related, at Powerline:
Mitt the Insurgent
What Makes Hillary Clinton So Darn Likable?
A few conundrums about America
Marine Le Pen: France Was Attacked by Islamic Fundamentalism
Why Obama Can't Say 'Radical Islam'
From VDH's Untrue Truisms in the War on Terror
Monday, January 19. 2015
From Steyn's A Judenrein Europe:
Martin Luther King -- Under the Liberal Bus
A tour of a ballistic sub
John (Junior) Gotti on growing up son of mob boss John Gotti: memoir
Ten people killed, churches and non-Muslim-owned businesses attacked in Niger over Charlie Hebdo cartoons
How to get rid of Moose
Mommy has a penis
SECOND AMENDMENT NEWS: The Innovative Taurus Curve
Looks like a stapler
In Praise Of Price Discovery—–The Market Is Off Its Lithium:
Mastodon bones discovered in local family’s backyard
Joel Klein on the NYC School System: "The Most Complex Bureaucracy in America" - The former schools chancellor on the wisdom of shutting down "perpetual failure factories."
As the number of students going to law school drops dramatically, law
It's not news that socialism wants your primary relationship to be with the state
Professor quits because there are too many conservatives on campus
"GOVERNMENT” IS JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR THE THINGS THAT WE SCREW UP TOGETHER
Ted Cruz: Loose Cannon or Libertarian Reformer?
The Elephant in the Room: Unfunded Liability for State and Local Government Employees
California Spending Big to Halt School Reform Lawsuit Backed by Republicans and the ACLU
Rereading Regensburg - Questions that need to be asked about Islam were asked by Pope Benedict nearly ten years ago.
Jindal's Brilliant Take on Radical Islam
Aussie official: “Go fuck yourself you communist turd.”
Iran doesn’t hesitate to use a human pawn as nuclear negotiations go on
Meet the honor brigade, an organized campaign to silence debate on Islam
Christians Burned Alive: Where’s the Outrage?
Germany’s Anti-Islamist Movement PEGIDA Cancels Rally After ISIS Death Threats
Sunday, January 18. 2015
Good art opens vistas to the viewer that he or she wouldn’t ordinarily see or know are there. The new film American Sniper is great art, and we have Clint Eastwood to thank for it. For a nation in which so very, very few serve in the military and in combat, there is huge ignorance of the simple and essentially heroic motivations of our defenders and their sacrifices unimaginable to a civilian. Each and every serviceman experiences war in their own way, and each has a story that is unique. Most do not share that story with anyone or with more than a trusted few. I’ve probably seen as many “war movies” as anyone, and it is rare that the connections to a man’s service is served up so realistically to the audience. There are no John Waynes. There are individuals who stand tall when needed and meet their responsibilities at any cost. The theater was packed and entirely silent, not a person stirring in their seat. We filed out in silence, each person experiencing the film in their own way and thinking. How rare for a film to take the audience’s breath away. That’s art.
Saturday, January 17. 2015
Toon stolen from Am. Digest
Why fewer skyscrapers are a GOOD Sign for the United States
Colorized old photos
AI Has Arrived, and That Really Worries the World’s Brightest Minds
The Metaphorical War - Conceptual metaphors determine how we view the
the Republicans are finding it hard to reform Obamacare - See more at:
This is what the new U.S.-Cuba travel rules mean for Americans hoping to visit Cuba
Lessons For Winning Liberty In A World Of Statism
View from the left: Tea Party’s Constitution fraud: Why the
Obama to Senate Dems: ‘I’m going to play offense’
Cuba Is Hoping To Replace Venezuelan Oil With American Tourists
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