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.
"We have reached a point of diminishing returns in our public life. Hardly anything actually needs doing. We may in fact be past that point; not only does nothing much need doing, but we’d benefit if much of what has been done were to be undone. What useful work can I do with Windows 8 that I couldn’t do with XP?
Politicians make a living—a very grand living indeed at the higher levels—by saying there are things wrong that need fixing. Are there, though?"
Regarding the political side of the issue...I've noticed this for 30 or so years....something bad happens and "we must do something...we must pass a law" to ensure this never happens again. So we have DUI laws banning driving over 0.08 BAC (instead of 0.10 BAC) when the folks causing accidents and killing people have BACs at 0.15 or .21 or so. We must pass gun laws to "deal with" the tragic Navy Yard massacre, when apparently, a mentally ill man was ignored and untreated. Politicians, to be re-elected, need to say: "I did this." They can't say, "Things are wonderful, we live in a great country with great laws that work well. I golfed a lot (when I wasn't at cocktail parties), and didn't help pass a single law." To ensure, for example, that people walking their dogs in front of your house have doggy bags to pick up messes, or ensure that every fast food restaurant ensures, and reports in triplicate evidence of compliance, that all customers, identified by race, gender, and self-identified gender receive exactly the same number, quality, and weight of fries and salt, because all customers must be treated equally. Noone gets elected or reelected by not passing laws; they get elected by passing laws on issues YOU care about. So they oblige...and we get what we ask for.
Most of the time, the great ideas politicians have make it worse for someone to try and help someone else. Most of the time, both are worse off. But that's when they are actually trying to improve something.
Derbyshire mentions immigration. I don't disagree with him, but it occurs to me it I much more sinister. In this case, you hamper the enforcement of a law and when the things the law were supposed to address get worse, some say the law was "broken". The people who allowed and encouraged the law to be ignored are the ones who "broke" it - and we're supposed to trust them with fixing it?
I use XP and Cygwin,which makes it look like unix.
Also /bin/ed as my editor, which dates more or less back to the 1960s.
I no longer used punched cards. The machines are too difficult to maintain. I do have tens of thousands of punched cards in the basement, though, punched in many useful patterns, as Polypaks once advertised for used ROMS.
Check out the (Saturday) weekly Radio Derb at
It's always a treat.
You can find Radio Derb .mp3 files weekly over at the NRO site back to January 2006 (365 of them, total through today's at takimag), though for some you have to guess the file names constructed from the date.
I have them all, and a shell script to say "play radio derbs through 11:45 am") and it will find files that add up to playing until 11:45 without going over, and log them and not play them again until all 365 have been heard.