Friday, August 26, 2016

August 26 Link Log

After four hours in the blazing sun this morning, I do have enough cash to eat, although not well, so I'm wrapping this one up and hitting the grocery store. Categories: Animals, Baltimore, Book, Cancer Survivors, Constitutional Rights, Economy, Food, Fun, Gardening, Marketing, Obamacare, Phenology Link, Politics, and, regretfully, not Zazzle...


Dog pictures.

Baltimore Update 

A point not made in the article linked below: If the troubled city of Baltimore wants to achieve peace through lower population density, then air surveillance, which adds noise and air pollution and reduces the quality of life, might be a useful strategy. If they want people to continue to live and work Just no. Maryland has used (helicopter) surveillance in public parks, in the past, and here I stand to testify that even if they were monitoring the scene of a recent unsolved murder, nobody wants their walk in the woods to be spoiled by a helicopter roaring overhead every ten minutes.


The late William F. Buckley Jr has a new posthumous collection coming out soon. It's to be called A Torch Kept Lit, a collection of his memorial eulogies:

Cancer Survivors 

No, the extremely cute baby isn't one. The father is. Voting for #NovaSkye will help her parents meet their expenses. As usual with these "vote for the cutest picture" things, people can visit the site and vote once a day. (This link is likely to reappear in different categories, in the next few weeks, to remind different readers to vote for Nova.

Constitutional Rights 

Y'know, people who make a responsible decision not to use firearms, as it might be because we're not great marksmen and feel less likely to harm innocent bystanders when we choose knives or tasers, appreciate the responsible firearms owners of these United States for the important role they play in protecting our lives. The people who wail about gun control, actually...


Tim Worstall presents an economic argument for simplifying welfare handouts by simply handing people money rather than food stamps, fuel assistance, vouchers for this or that. He does admit that there "might be problems with this plan":

Here's my comment, in case you don't see it...using the "old" Internet convention where asterisks on either side of a word show where the emphasis falls.

The problem with this plan is that there are three distinct categories of poor people in the U.S.: addicts, mentally "disabled" people, and people who are willing and able to work and/or actively working but not being paid enough. As a member of the third category, I *definitely* feel more need for cash (and recognition!) than for the crummy handouts. On the other hand I also know addicts who feel a need to avoid handling cash; one relative who's a recovering alcoholic has a closer relative of his buy him gift cards for everything so he can't buy booze! Huge government programs seem doomed to lump us all together.

For myself...I'm a writer, and regard odd jobs as the real-life experience that feeds my writing. No corporation is going to hire me, but few ever did--I'm accustomed to working short gigs for small businesses and individuals, and prefer that. What I want government to do is focus on making sure I get paid when I *work*, first. Then, in my personal case that would give me a few hundred thousand US$, but if I still needed money I'd want government to give me a fair chance to set up some kind of low-investment venture--I refuse to take food stamps however hungry I get, but I'd take a pencil stand!

And what about recognizing that even if addicts did outnumber struggling artists, small businesses, working parents, and part-time hourly-wage workers (which I doubt), they're a separate category of poor people and can be helped, if at all, in a completely different way than those of us who simply need money.


I'm stepping away from this Washington Times discussion for blood pressure reasons. (I'm not normally hypertensive, but I've been living on coffee for two weeks while an alleged payment allegedly clears.) I'm sharing the link because I have, seriously, heard an able-bodied food stamp dependent say, "But talking to social workers is work! Hard work! You wouldn't do it!" (That is, technically, true. I would, however, dance barefoot on the grave of a social worker.)


Interesting version of pineapple upside-down cake, with several alternatives. To make this gluten-free, use the cake mix shown below. It says "vanilla," but if you use pineapple juice for the liquid and applesauce for the oil (plenty of butter will soak in from the topping), you'll get a fruity pineapple cake.

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix, 19-ounce (Pack of 4)



Dan Lewis shares fun facts about Minneapolis:


Did you plant your corn, beans, and squash together this year? If not, here's why you might want to consider it next year:


I'd hoped it was only a marketing mistake that was causing me to flag The Heritage Foundation as spam. No such. This long respected organization has employed some deeply disturbed people. How can Daren Bakst blather about any kind of legislation "creating" something that's existed for at least ten years, some say twenty, and that's already well over 90% approved by Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and foreigners alike? (How can he? Well, how do you read the expression on that face?) Everybody already wants GMO labels that are clear and easy to read, Bakst. Wake up!

But cheers to fellow GMO/glyphosate/gluten-intolerant people! Kellogg's and Campbell's are on board. Our next Twitter-target is Smucker's. I've never been a heavy consumer of jam, and used not to like Jif peanut butter because it was more sugary than good old JFG, but y'know what? I tried some Jif last week, and it tasted like peanuts, not like a Reese's Cup. So I just located them, @smuckers , on Twitter and Tweeted about how I'd like to see that Jif was GMO/glyphosate-free. I mean, the fact that I didn't get sick shows that the Jif I ate was, but I'd like the company to verify that that's a policy. Join the Twitter campaign, Gentle Readers--it's free, it's easy, it's safe, it's fun, and it appears to be working.


Should every for-profit company market itself in connection with a favorite charity? Andrew Heikkila is echoing what a lot of Real Twits are recommending for Twitter. The Advertising Age is over. A lot of baby-boomers are Bobos who believe we should spend money in socially responsible ways...

The official charity of this web site is the Adventist Disaster Relief Agency, chosen by Grandma Bonnie Peters, who is an active Seventh-Day Adventist, and endorsed by me because they do a lot of good. On Amazon I have one Smile account dedicated to ADRA and one dedicated to Ozarque's official charity, which was Heifer International.


Is this our future? "Nationalized" medical care? (Warning: seems to be behaving badly on this computer, slowing down everything else.)

Phenology Links 

Virginia swelters in yet another day with 90-degree heat and 90-percent humidity. "Proof of global warming," say left-wingers whose brains are obviously feeling the heat. Not quite. It's proof of a longer than average hot season, similar to the ones we had in, was it 1978? 1979? One year when the Scott County schools, not yet air-conditioned, debated postponing the first week of classes because the heat hadn't broken on schedule in mid-August. (It seemed to me then, and now, that children don't suffer as much from heat as adults do; a few older people had died of heatstroke that August too, but I just bounced in and out of water and enjoyed the summer.) That it's measurably much worse in Virginia's cities than in Virginia's rural areas is proof of local warming. Proof of global warming would be documentation that temperatures had been steadily rising all over the world, over twenty or fifty years. That may in fact be happening, but we don't know yet. Here's a report from a corner of the United States in which this has been a cool summer:


Scott Adams tracks the election:

...and Ryan Miller explains further why the Clinton campaign argument Adams cites is dead wrong. This Michigan student is sooo right. Actually, he's uttering thoughts I had as a young student...but here they're nice and terse, blog-post-length, whereas when I was his age I thought the only way to make this point would be to write a massive historical study like Thomas Sowell's Cultures Series, which I wasn't old enough to write. The point: people who think primarily in terms of individual freedom (or individual salvation, at the church college I attended) aren't haters; people who think primarily in terms of groups, and setting up "programs" and "policies" and "agendas" for groups, are at least co-dependents with hate. Ryan Miller should go far.

(Amazon wants to show you volume one of the Cultures Series, but the link should take you to the page for the three-volume set.)

I'm no fan of Sally Kohn's, but I find myself in agreement with her: the totalitarian quality of Sharia law is radically "Progressive," by any standard that still defines "progress" as movement toward socialism. If those who want a totalitarian government can't get people, in practice, to worship "Humanity" or the government itself, as it seems they can't, then an intolerant, totalitarian religion is the next best thing for them.