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
Wednesday, October 11. 2017
Swedish death cleaning is the morbid new way to de-clutter your life
Congress Should Investigate the Organic Scam. Consumers have been duped with fraudulently labeled foods.
Who cares? I avoid "organic"
Dalrymple: The Devil’s in the Diction - The vague terms that populate our political discourse encourage lazy and often deeply biased thinking.
Conservative student paper called ‘propaganda’ by professor who leads publications committee
Georgetown University’s school newspaper is teaming up with a national non-profit to tell the personal stories of students who have experienced bias-related incidents.
Georgetown is a hotbed of racism, genderism, and general oppression. Terrible place.
A peer-reviewed academic journal article defending colonialism was removed due to threats of violence against the editor just days before Columbus Day
Mira Sorvino, Rosanna Arquette, and Asia Argento Share Their Accounts of Harvey Weinstein's Sexual Assault and Harassment
Hinderaker already bored with the Weinstein story
Obama's $1.5 billion ego project
I hate these presidential libraries. Why doesn't some pres just hand over the papers to a history dept and call it a day? Why a monument? This is not Rome. These jackasses are not kings or gods.
French Public Workers in the Street Over Macron Reforms
When do they find time to work in France?
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Re; Weinstein story.
"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?"
Hollywood pedals evil and even satanic images and ideas so why would I be surprised at horrific behavior? I don't even know what this clown did and don't care. Is an enemy soldier and will pay both in this life and in eternity. Absent the saving grace of Christ he will burn.
Bird Dog: I hate these presidential libraries. Why doesn't some pres just hand over the papers to a history dept and call it a day? Why a monument?
"Many Presidential papers and records had been lost, destroyed, sold for profit, or ruined by poor storage conditions. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought a better alternative."
NEW Government Commission on re-establishing the military draft !
Good luck with this group--
I note Hillary Clinton has quickly joined the Great League of Shocked and Horrified Weinstein DeniersTM with her own statement of shock and horror over his manipulative antics with young women.
(Monica Lewinsky, Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones and Gennifer Flowers remain unavailable for comment.)
I have no problem with presidential libraries. I do not agree with the often practiced policy of locking up records and papers of our politicians for 50 years. As I understand it virtually everything that a politician does in his elected job is public record and belongs to "us" not him. How do they get away with this crime against the Republic? Some of the records about the JFK assassination are still hidden from the public. Why?
Remember—the mighty indigenous peoples of the Americas couldn’t even figure out the wheel. The WHEEL.
As noted in the article itself, they did figure out the wheel. However, without draft animals, the wheel had limited utility.
When Columbus arrived in the New World, the total number of indigenous Injuns in what is now North America was less than two million.
It's commonly accepted that there were five million just in the Aztec Empire c. 1500.
GoneWithTheWind: As I understand it virtually everything that a politician does in his elected job is public record and belongs to "us" not him.
That is largely correct. The Presidential Records Act of 1978 makes official presidential records public property and subject to preservation and regulation. There are provisions for restricting public access for up to twelve years.
There is nothing morbid about decluttering! If you love your children, do not leave a mess for them to clean after your death. And especially do not leave your porn, your naked photos of yourself, your sex diary, and your - equipment - for them to find.
I've long been a skeptic of the organic food thing, seeing it largely as a exploitative marketing scheme. The evidence continues to accumulate that not only are foods labeled organic not consistent with the established definition, but that there is no demonstrable health benefit from even legitimate organic foods.
But my wife continues to buy them and believes they are all the goodness they purport to be. In the interest of our marriage, and comity in our relationship, I keep my skepticism to myself. Organic foods on average are marked up 100% compared to the non-organic equivalents. This is a small price to pay for a happy marriage.
The idea has merit, but we can't really stop private donors from helping 'deitize' (if that can be a word) a former president.
It will be interesting to see Trump's presidential library probably built on the cheap with donations from small donors across the nation.
I expect they're available, but no one in the media wants to contact them.
The current US and Canadian territories did not have many inhabitants - depending on how one defines "many," but south of that there were millions. Older estimates were low, but more recently the numbers have been climbing. There are claims as high as 100,000,000. 5M of those would have been US/Canada.
They were primarily wiped out by diseases against which they had no defenses. 90 or even 95% of that 100,000,000. Horrifying. They also killed each other, sometimes in regular old wars over territory, but also to punish tribes who were cooperating with the Europeans and adopting their ways.
Ronald Reagan once said the nations of the world would co-operate against an invasion from Mars. History says he was wrong. Some groups would side with the Martians in order to gain advantage over their neighbors. That is what happened during the Crusades; that is what happened in the New World.
As to the wheel. They figured it out for use on a toy. I'm thinking that doesn't really count. The Incas get a pass- the wheel might not have been much use to them.
I don't see your suggestion being taken anytime soon. Can you imagine a simple and humble act such as this from Trump? Pfft. It'll be YUGE, the biggest, best presidential library EVER. 25ft. statue and the decor? Forget about it.
The higher estimates of pre-Columbian populations comes mostly from those very groups who think they stand to benefit from such an over estimation. Probably 25 million in the entire Americas but no one really knows and it could be much less.
In 1492 and for a few centuries after that Europeans had little to no defense to the same diseases. Most adult Europeans and adult immigrants were "survivors" of those diseases but those diseases killed about half of the children of Europeans and immigrants. So in the same 200-300 year period when old world diseases may have killed 5-10 million indigenous people in the new world it also killed 20-50 million immigrants in the new world. This is a point often overlooked in the discussion of these terrible diseases that we can now prevent with vaccinations. Europeans didn't have a "defense" against them but rather suffered them at younger ages and as adult survivors often had immunity against getting the same disease again.
"Some groups would side with the Martians in order to gain advantage over their neighbors."
I for one, welcome our new Martian overlords.
OneGuy: In 1492 and for a few centuries after that Europeans had little to no defense to the same diseases.
You weren't specific as to what diseases you are talking about, but genetic changes have been shown to have occurred in native populations due to epidemics associated with European contact. Death rates for diseases such as smallpox were considerably higher for native populations than for European immigrants.
See Lindo et al., A time transect of exomes from a Native American population before and after European contact, Nature Communications 2016.
The general feeling is that the epidemic was influenza, smallpox, or perhaps even some herpes virus, either alone or in combination that largely depopulated the North American continent between 1500 and 1610. Most, if not all of the Tribes and groups encountered in the English settlement period were secondarily primitive survivors of this epidemic.
However, all this occurred some 250 years or so before the development of the germ theory of disease. The was the age of the apocryphal statement about Elizabeth I, "She bathed once a month, whether she needed it or no." To assign blame for this as a deliberate act is to judge peoples by an incorrect standard. They had no practical means to avoid such an occurrence, nor even a theoretical construct to suggest that precautions might be necessary.
For wheels to be useful, you need roads (or wide-open spaces) and draft animals. Still, the Mormons trekked west pulling many of their own 2-wheel carts.
"Death rates for diseases such as smallpox were considerably higher for native populations than for European immigrants."
True but for very obvious reasons and not for genetic reasons. When a immigrant population had an epidemic some and often most adults had acquired immunity in childhood and were healthy enough to help take care of the sick. When Natives experienced an epidemic adults didn't have any immunity and would be as sick or sicker than the children. With no one to hunt, cook, feed and care for them more of them succumbed to the disease. Also the Indians depended on superstition and questionable herbal medicine which of course was ineffective. Many 17th century disease killed because diarrhea and vomiting would cause death due to dehydration. For many immigrants sick from these diseases simply good care to replace lost fluids would save their life.
GoneWithTheWind: True but for very obvious reasons and not for genetic reasons.
While there were many factors involved, including cultural, the evidence suggests a genetic difference as well. See Lindo et al., A time transect of exomes from a Native American population before and after European contact, Nature Communications 2016. Other studies have shown genetic changes in Europeans due to historical epidemics, such as the Black Plague. See, for instance, Laayouni et al., Convergent evolution in European and Rroma populations reveals pressure exerted by plague on Toll-like receptors, PNAS 2013.
As a young woman, visited a local senior who had organized her life. Under every piece of furniture was the name of the offspring who would inherit same.
Similar deal with my mother: some years before her death, she had my sister and I mutually decide who got what. Didn't prevent some grousing after her death, but made things a lot smoother.