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, July 29. 2016
This seems to apply mainly to real beans, shelly beans, and not string beans. Raw Lima Beans are toxic also from a different toxin.
Where did that middle-class term "parenting" come from? And is gardening a useful metaphor for raising kids?
Our approach was to try to set good examples in every way, to make parental praise rare and valuable and parental disapproval painful, to forbid TV with rare exceptions, to indulge their interests, to expose the kids to as many experiences and opportunities as we could and try to prevent them from being killed or maimed while allowing enough space for initiative, adventure, and failure. We had no better ideas than those.
I have always agreed with her idea that ideal child-rearing takes place within an extended family, but that is difficult for most people these days.
Excellent, as always with Friedman. Educational. h/t Driscoll at Insty.
Origins of the Moon Walk (with great dancing)
Christianity: Personal sin and "social sins"
I started giving quizzes to my juniors and seniors. I gave them a ten-question American history test...
Federal Appeals Court Rejects Protections For Gay People Under Existing Civil Rights Law
I still do not get why there are special laws for special people
Two separate indicators of climate change suggest that there is a risk of substantial cooling from 2017 onward.
Boudreaux on free trade
Unequal Convention Coverage By Networks
Most vulgar presidential candidate was Bill Clinton, not Trump
Dem convention Fascist and Racist
Hillary Clinton Begins Building Her Coalition - The Democratic nominee for United States president made a play for progressives, moderates, and Independents alike during her address in Philadelphia on Thursday night.
That is not from The Onion
Gen. Mattis: “I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you,
Thursday, July 28. 2016
Cool comment on Z-man's My Problem With Atheists: "Atheism is so boring that even Zman can’t make it interesting."
If you leave out the Indigo Snake of the southern US, which can appear black under some lighting conditions, we are down to two species: The Blacksnake (aka Black Rat Snake, aka Western Rat Snake,aka Pilot Black Snake, etc, as in photo) and the skinny Black Racer.
During my years tramping and working outdoors, I have seen plenty of both. I have seen 6' Blacksnakes sunning on ledges on a warm April day on Cape Cod. It is a bit startling to encounter one, at first, because of their daunting size. The fat Blacksnakes like to be near water, and climb trees sometimes. You are more likely to see a Racer racing away on a grassy woodland edge if you have sharp Indian Eyes.
I love to see and identify snakes in the wild. I do not pick them up anymore to say hello as I did when younger. It just annoys the heck out of a snake and they snap at you and pee on you. You cannot catch a Black Racer. Like greased lightning.
Are you old enough to remember when articles were written about whether a critter was "beneficial" or a "pest"? Nobody writes like that anymore in an era where humans are considered the greatest pest in nature.
Seen any black snakes lately?
Sit Down, Science. We Need to Talk, He begins:
Science is fetishized only by people who do not know science.
Image: Yesterday was early Mondrian, today late (c 1922)
Vegans Rip Doughnut Shop for Expecting Employees To Be Able To Eat Doughnuts
Robot Builds Brick House Four Times Faster Than Humans
Animal Rights Groups Are Freaking Out Over Horse Population Control Methods
Luke's Best Chance: One Man's Fight for His Autistic Son
The average college student spends only a small portion of the day focused on education-related activities.
The tragic likelihood that trans men are being deprived of their reproductive rights
Little Green Lies: Why Electric Cars Won’t Save the Environment
Free speech is vital to human flourishing, but it’s in a decade-long slump
In hindsight, it’s clear that Clinton’s presidency temporarily interrupted the party’s long-term leftward march
How the Clintons Got Rich Selling Influence While Decrying Greed
Bill Clinton Earned $2.7 Million In Speaking Fees AFTER Hillary Announced Candidacy
What else would you do?
TRUMP Just Got Hillary to Admit Her Email Scandal Was National Security Issue
With the Clintons, people just begin to feel all scandaled out and stop paying attention
Gov. Pence said the press would be doing half of Mrs. Clinton’s work for her
Another Day, Another Allahu Akbar
Great idea: Make Muslims lifeguards in Germany
Merkel admits EU is being RAVAGED BY TERROR but says Germany should welcome MORE refugees
Taken by reader this week on Long Island Sound
Wednesday, July 27. 2016
Like most other bugs, their "adult" reproductive phases are usually brief - a week or two. However, their time as eggs, larvae (in this case, caterpillars), and pupae varies depending on species and climate.
Some even migrate (eg Monarchs) and some, like Mourning Cloaks, (photo) hibernate, which is why you sometimes see them fully-fledged on the first warm days of Spring. Tough buggers, live on tree sap.
How Long Do Butterflies Live?
An encouragement to our many fitness-interested readers: For the past few months people have been asking me whether I have lost weight.
Quite the contrary. I look like I have lost but thus far actually have been able to gain 6 lbs in 4 months by forcing myself to eat more than my normal, and to keep that pace up I am doing this: a meat or egg sandwich for lunch, a banana for morning snack, a 20 or 30-gm protein smoothie for after-work-out breakfast, and my usual American supper of a carb, meat, and a vegetable or two. Small portions, no seconds. My genius trainer wants me to gain another 4 at about 1 lb/month. He says my gain has been in bone and muscle. Most of my several lbs of disgusting middle-age abdominal pudge has evaporated which probably means a net gain of almost 8 lbs of bone, gristle, and muscle. And grit too which weighs nothing, has no substance, but matters a lot. Anyway, not bad at all for only 14 months' dedicated and fairly intense effort usually 6 days/wk for about an hour.
With pushing the lifting, plus cardio and heavy calisthenics, the most an average person can gain in muscle/bone is optimistically 1 lb/month. That can only be done by pushing the weights constantly. Fat loss is quicker: a healthy dietary weight loss should be limited to 1-2 lbs/wk except in a temporary regime. In other words, it's far easier to lose fat than to gain strength and fitness. You can lose fat just by sitting and sleeping with a low-carb diet.
In another 6 months I should be in reasonably good condition, and it will be time to move in the direction of a more maintenance-oriented program for the indefinite future. I do not need to do multiple reps of 300 lb deadlifts - just upping the reps of 200 lbs is fine with me. I do not have a muscular build, more ectomorphic - a runner's build. Mesomorphic is the ideal multi-purpose athletic physique, but that's genes.
Mrs. BD says she'll need to buy me a new head to match my semi-buffish youthful body. That's fine with me as long as it comes with a brain that doesn't worry so much about stuff the way my current one does.
Image: Early Mondrian (1909)
Wolves and mankind
Apex predators are necessary for a healthy ecosystem. An excess of ungulates is destructive to natural balance. But if a pack is destroying your herd of sheep, shoot 'em, or get some guard dogs. German Shepherds were bred to protect livestock from wolves.
Protect wolves or hunt them? Western states are in the crosshairs
I dare you to touch the water
Is Mondrian Art or Decor?
Study Finds Sharp Increase in Marijuana Exposure Among Colorado Children
Anthony Watts had a painful divorce
10 jobs that A.I. and chatbots are poised to eventually replace
“The single age with the greatest number of offenders from the perspective of law enforcement was age 14.”
Jewish Students Single Largest Target of Systematic Suppression of Civil Rights at American Universities
"All I know is that the good old gentlemanly conservatism that I have adhered to since my introduction to Hayek and Mises 40 years ago is dead."
It's not dead. It just doesn't win elections in most places. Never did. Few voters study Hayek, or even Milton Friedman.
Because America is run by a religious cult that rewrites history to suit the current fads, it’s easy to get history wrong...
Bill O’Reilly on America’s Race Problem
America has no race problem other than the ones always ginned up in election years. America does have a problem with its dysfunctional underclasses, white and black, urban and rural. Definitely more white but blacks more violent. Maybe it's a problem, maybe it's just normal.
Politics in an age of celebrity
'Hillary's America' documentary cracks top 10 at box office
Mrs. BD and her parents liked it. I like D'Souza, but I did not want to see it. Did garden work instead and had a beer or two.
Julian Assange: 'A lot more material' coming on US elections
Who cares who Deep Throat is? Whoever it is, they done good. The story is the content
We are very far from a politics of ideological purity and high character.
Some political figures unsurprisingly think that politicians should be considered role models.
How Hillary Clinton dangerously misjudged our political moment
It's because she lives in a bubble. She doesn't even drive a car.
Trump is a funny-hair fascist, a bigot, an idiot, a narcissist, a misogynist, a Hitler, and wants to start a world war. Oh, a racist too.
Mrs. Clinton v. Mr. Clinton - Bill Clinton’s 1992 Democratic agenda sounded downright Paul Ryanish.
Bernie Sanders Delegates Stage Mass Walkout, Promising to Leave Democratic Party
Just like George Will
Pandering to the illegal vote
It's Clinton's World, and Sanders Just Lives in It
In fact, it is the wealthy Liberal elite's world - today's ruling class - and we all just live in it and try to cope. They control our politics, our economy, their crony businesses, and they design our education and our medical care.
The Clintons and Their Corruptocrats - In Hillary’s term at State, wealthy crooks, influence-seekers and tyrannical governments rushed to donate millions to the Clinton Foundation, its spin-offs, Bill Clinton personally or vague combinations of all/any of them. Figuring large on the donor list, Australia's taxpayers
AMERICA’S ECONOMY IS CARTELIZED, CORRUPT, AND ANTI-COMPETITIVE
Wikileaks reveals apparent sale of presidential appointments by DNC
Palestinian Flags Outnumber American Flags at Democratic National Convention
Father Jacques Hamel, Martyr
On our breakfast table high in the Sierras
Tuesday, July 26. 2016
Brought to mind by Am. Digest
Unless you have a nice big greenhouse (which I would have if I were rich), growing backyard tomatoes north of Zone 7 is a waste of time, money, and effort. If you calculate the value of those things, your tomatoes come out to over $20/lb depending on how you value your time. I value mine highly, because life is short and my Wanna-Do List is long.
Still, most people do tomatoes anyway. We do it because for 5 or, with luck, 6 weeks we get to pick and eat truly delicious tomatoes. Farmer's Market tomatoes are mediocre, and supermarket tomatoes are terrible. Nothing to do with health - just flavor and juiciness.
Two of my sisters in Massachusetts quit tomatoes years ago. Not worth the effort, and they both have such active and busy professional, social, and athletic lives that they have no time for relatively-unrewarding pursuits. Sensible priorities. Let others grow them. Division of labor.
So I am the stupid one. It is late July, and I have harvested just a single cherry tomato. Chipmunks ate the other two that ripened thus far. The plants themselves are large and lush and laden with swelling greenies. Fried green tomatoes? I do like them.
When I consider the illusion or delusion of the imaginary productivity of some things I do such as hunting, gardening, and fishing I am forced to conclude that the only thing that would be truly cost-effective might be shooting and storing a couple of backyard Bambis in the freezer. (I maybe could add fruit tree gardening to that short list because it is close to effortless, but store fruit is cheap and excellent and I don't like fruit anyway except maybe ripe pears, and peach jam.)
Every other activity belongs in the "hobby" category. That is tomatoes - it's fun to eat home-grown and to pretend it's a worthwhile accomplishment but "It is illogical, Captain".
Homo economicus is just a sliver of human nature once survival is assured. Most of us do lots of things that feel good but make no logical sense. With our free time we rarely calculate cost-effectiveness or opportunity cost. Editing Maggie's Farm might be a prime example...but your readership is our thin reward.
Photo is Fried Green Tomatoes.
I would like to see Stockman and Kudlow in a Trump administration.
It's a case of organized gentrification. Upscale pubs replace discount stores, and the place becomes safe at night. A more organic gentrification is going on right now in NYC in Hell's Kitchen. As in NYC's East Village, the pioneers are the young looking for affordable living quarters.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:53 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Hillary Corrupts Everything: The DNC Story
"Instead it should be asking, What did Hillary Clinton know and when did she know it?"
"I had to wonder whether this article from Qualitative Inquiry wasn’t a Sokal-style hoax..."
Embattled dean retires after unrelenting protests
And this is in the USA, not a totalitarian state
Life in Kalispell
About The Guardian: How To Lose Money In Very Large Quantities
Citing Alleged Threats, FL Democrat Seeks to Ban ‘Hillary’s America’; Claims ‘Democrat Lives Matter’
While we were all watching the GOP convention, Humana dropped out of most Obamacare markets
The Public Pension Problem: It's Much Worse Than It Appears
Happy Birthday, Dodd-Frank Law -- Now Please Kill It
Hindus for Donald Trump
Union Leaders Throw Their Backs Out Trying to Oppose Trump - How can construction bosses oppose a construction tycoon?
Paul Krugman’s Bubble - The New York Times columnist should leave the Upper West Side once in a while.
Refugee Jihad Spreads in Germany - Why the recent wave of attacks is only the beginning.
How Israel’s Air Force Dominates the Sky
Not Combat Ready: U.S. Marine Corps
Turkey-Russia Pact Threatens Western Interestsin the Middle East
" The most amusing economic news in recent years was when a senior Chinese official basically explained that the welfare state in Europe makes people lazy."
Ten years after last Lebanon war, Israel warns next one will be far worse
Erdogan’s Self-Serving Purge Has Gone Too Far
Good fun. You can buy them online
A few more below the fold -
Continue reading "Garage door covers"
Monday, July 25. 2016
Impressive take-off by the stunning 737 at the 2016 Farnborough Air Show. I am eager to fly in one of these new airplanes - especially if we have enough miles to bump up to biz class.
FOX is no Republican megaphone. Just ask Mrs. BD, who almost threw a string bean at the TV last night.
DNC Wikileaks hack outs Hillary shill at Washington Post
Meet the Press Panel Gushes Over Dem Convention, No Mocking Hillary!
Dissenters to the Groupthink afraid to show it
I do not think that anybody views Mrs. Bill Clinton as a truthful person, or as a person of good moral character. Those things are not required of politicians, and certainly not expected of the Clintons. However, she did tell the truth yesterday: "I often feel like there’s the Hillary standard and then there’s the standard for everybody else."
Free Inquiry vs. Social Justice at Brown University
Our Greatest Enemy: Optimism - Why optimistic groupthink is a threat to humanity
NASA: Global Warming Observations Need a Further 19% UPWARD Adjustment
They want to change past numbers TO FIT THEIR MODELS
John Kerry says air conditioner and refrigerator chemicals are as threatening to human life as ISIS
Why Do the Police Shoot Unarmed Suspects?
Chris Matthews: Using Big-City Names is Racist 'Coded Language' - Is anything NOT racist to these guys?
Psychodynamics of Obama's and Hillary's 'White Guilt Forever' Conversation
Tim Kaine’s Islamist Ties
Tim Kaine: The Jokes Just Write Themselves
McAuliffe To Circumvent VA Supreme Court Ruling On Felon Voter Rights, Will Issue 200,000 Clemency Grants
Leaked Emails Show DNC Officials Planned Anti-Trump Protests
Leaked DNC Emails Confirm Democrats Rigged Primary, Reveal Extensive Media Collusion
Check Your Amnesia, Dude: On the Vox Generation of Punditry
Trump Policy Will Unravel Traditional Neocons - Trump's divergence from the conventional Republican platform is generating indignant punditry from neocons and neoliberals alike
Is America Ready for a Disruptive President?
Trump's Speech Signalled the End of an Era for the GOP
Trump Is Right about Crime - The media rushes to downplay the post-Ferguson shooting and homicide surge—and its effect on black lives.
Kristof tried to prove Trump a racist. Proves he is not
Conrad Black: The genius of Donald Trump
Wikileaks: What the DNC Really Thinks About Latinos -
Why Can’t Hillary Stop Fudging the Truth? Email-gate is only the latest instance in a 25-year habit of dissembling.
What the DNC Really Thinks About Latinos - See more at:
What the DNC Really Thinks About Latinos - See more at:
The Real Reason for Obama’s Cuba Breakthrough
Brexit is already proving to be a huge victory for global free trade
Angela Merkel to face new backlash over open door immigration policy after new German attack by Syrian refugee
Why Would the BBC Scrub 'Ali' From Munich Shooter's Name?
Sunday, July 24. 2016
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