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
Monday, January 7. 2019
Does manual labor boost happiness? The neurochemistry of working with your hands.
Is Netflix in Trouble?
Wind turbines are neither clean nor green and they provide zero global energy. We urgently need to stop the ecological posturing and invest in gas and nuclear
GREEN WEENIE OF THE WEEK: NUCLEAR WAR WILL SAVE US!
Krugman: The Economics of Soaking the Rich - What does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez know about tax policy? A lot.
Using ‘anti-racism’ to avoid teaching students proper English
Here’s The Dancing Women We Should Be Talking About
Trump's 2018 Deregulatory Effort: 3,367 Rules, 68,082 Pages
Democrats lay impeachment trap, but will the president step into it?
Trump To Europe: You're Vassals And I Don't Care
I Bet You Thought Those Riots In France Were Over
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Netflix: I cancelled my subscription when they hired Susan Rice and Obama.
Riots in France: What I'd like to know is are the Muslims still burning cars every weekend in France. Apparently the French Government made it illegal for the media to report on that.
Does manual labor boost happiness? The neurochemistry of working with your hands.
All I know is that I am pleased when I can make a house or auto repair by myself.
I make stuff, mostly of wood, and have done so for many years. It started as a way to get things done that I couldn't afford to pay someone else to do - or the job was too small to attract the interest of a professional. I now make all sorts of things, including furniture, turned items, kids toys, etc. My wife is also handy but focuses more on sewing, knitting, and craft sorts of things.
Crawford says it very well in his book:
“The satisfactions of manifesting oneself concretely in the world through manual competence have been known to make a man quiet and easy. They seem to relieve him of the felt need to offer chattering interpretations of himself to vindicate his worth. He can simply point: the building stands, the car now runs, the lights are on. Boasting is what a boy does, because he has no real effect in the world. But the tradesman must reckon with the infallible judgment of reality, where one’s failures or shortcomings cannot be interpreted away. His well-founded pride is far from the gratuitous “self-esteem” that educators would impart to students, as though by magic.”
― Matthew B. Crawford, Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work
Interesting to see too that our mental health is generally improved by these handi activities.
+1 So why have high schools done away with shop classes?
Eliminating shop classes was part of the "everyone needs to go to college" movement in secondary education. Which doesn't exactly indicate that all educational "reform" is an improvement over what was there previously.
As if we don't need skilled electricians, plumbers or carpenters, or ordinary Joes who perform such work on their homes.
I never took a shop class in high school or in junior high, but in junior high we had some practice in making 3-D drawings of wood objects. Such 3-D practice is useful not only for future carpenters, but also for future engineers, scientists or mathematicians.
Plus - those things had a significant liability component. Look at how playgrounds have been 'rendered safe' in the last 30 years or so - eliminating anything deemed hazardous.
All it takes is the mention of 'lawyer' and 'liability' if Johnny or Joanie hurts themselves and schools look REALLY hard at whether something should be kept or discarded.
Good point. I once was a substitute teacher in a middle school shop class where the teacher had been removed pending investigation into an accident a student had with a machine in the class. I will never forget the teacher's name: Steelhammer. What a name for an IA/shop teacher.
This is so true. My day job is in the 'knowledge business' (data systems administration), but my 'man cave' is my garage full of tools, which functions as a workshop. There is a sense of satisfaction from doing a mechanical, electrical or carpentry project.
My wife who works an administrative job at a university seems to get more satisfaction from experimenting with new cooking projects. Indeed her Xmas list usually had new kitchen items.
So true. I should have mentioned that my woodworking and my wife's sewing and such are hobbies for us. Much like you I've got a day job that pays the bills. Though I've been thinking about 'retiring' to my hobby full time.
I got tired of being a freelance textbook editor (freelance because publishing companies have no shortage of editors under fifty and no desire for old experience editors who aren’t thrilled at the latest “innovations” in paedagogy) and started a handyman business. I make the same or more money, get exercise and fresh air instead of staring at a computer all day, and yes, I am extremely satisfied when I fix something for a customer—their eyes light up. Much more satisfying than writing another batch of standardized test questions.
We considered cancelling our Netflix after I read they gave so much money to the bastard Obama's. Don't watch regular TV or other cable things. Do watch mostly foreign series and movies so I don't know the foreign actors political beliefs, totally left I'm sure. Don't want to give money to the Hollywood crowd. Did go see Clint Eastwood's movie. If Netflix pushes more far left crap I'm sure we will end our membership with them.
Re: British food nannies.
"Calorie limits will be imposed on thousands of foods sold in supermarkets and restaurants in a bid to combat obesity,"
Think about the incredible stupidity of this regulation. In order to prevent "some" minority of people from becoming obese ALL the people must eat less. These are the same people and the same thinking that brings you gun control; regulate guns for everyone to prevent a tiny minority of criminals from committing homicide. Who could have possibly though that this was a good idea???
Geeeee. I'd gotten the impression that all English food was pretty much tasteless.
Krugman continues to prove he is nothing more than a Democratic shill, advocating for massive control of the economy by the government and thereby slow to non-existent economic growth. How did this guy win a Nobel Prize?
How did this guy win a Nobel Prize? By advocating for massive control of the economy by the government and thereby slow to non-existent economic growth.
At least Krugman won the Nobel for some reason, however spurious. Obama won it for no reason at all, as explained recently by the Nobel Secretary:
Ah, Paullie "The Beard" Krugman. I don't believe a word he uses.
Krugman hasn't been right about ANYTHING and, in fact, has been completely WRONG about everything, for many, many years.
For a very specific and, I would argue, esoteric area of Economics. Wiki says: Krugman was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his contributions to New Trade Theory and New Economic Geography. The Prize Committee cited Krugman's work explaining the patterns of international trade and the geographic distribution of economic activity, by examining the effects of economies of scale and of consumer preferences for diverse goods and services.
He has since used this to justify his status as an expert on all matters of economics; falsely if you ask me. He's very much a shill for Democrats and their policies - not an objective and disinterested expert.
Must be run by former Dem pols. They seem to like deficit spending on a massive scale.
To be sure, the products they are buying will have value long after the money is spent, the question is, will they be valuable enough to pay down the debt?
OTOH, they can just start raising taxes subscribers' rates when the debt comes due.
Krugman is the deer caught in perpetual headlights...does he ever get it right. Netflix and Hulu were ejected due to their stupid political moves.
All I know is that when I am down in my wood shop, cutting or sanding or finishing, I am generally happy. When I am upstairs glaring at my laptop, yelling at the stupidity of Man, I am not. Think I will close my computer and go make that corner cupboard I have been thinkin of.
There is no 'impeachment' trap. Trump holds all the cards, plus the Rs just gained MORE seats in the Senate. There is no impeachment without the Senate. End of story.
How does Trump hold the cards? He can declassify everything whenever he wants. And that will prove that the Democrats and bad Rs set up Trump...using the FBI/DOJ and other agencies.
Go for it, Pelosi, and see what you get.
I didn't know Krugman (former Enron adviser) was doing satire now. It was pretty good. Seriously, when you're trying to push Cortez as being "articulate" you've jumped the shark. Like, I'm serious.