"The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men." ~ Samuel Adams
Where I live, at the 46th Parallel in Michigan, the sun rose this morning at 5:44. It will set at 9:29 tonight. We will have close to 16 hours of daylight today. It’s the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, and up here, where we endure long dark winters, this is a day to celebrate.
Tomorrow our day will shorten by 12 seconds, which means little by little the daylight hours will dwindle, until December 21, when we’ll be able to see clearly without artificial aids for only about eight hours. The sun won’t rise until 8:09 AM on the day of the Winter Solstice and will be setting at 4:55 PM. So up here the longest day of the year is a big deal. [Read more]
Let me just say right off that when it comes to Homeland and border security, I'm all for it.
When it comes to appreciating how essential shipping is to the Great Lakes, I'm right at the head of the line.
When it comes to being in awe of the engineering feat that is the Soo Locks I am so in awe I can't stand it.
A judge has overruled Mayor Bloomberg's soda ban, calling it "arbitrary and capricious." So New York City's ban on large sugary beverages, meaning more than 16 oz. servings, is basically dead. This is a big win for Big Gulp Libertarianism, which derided the government soda ban as Nanny State tyranny, taking away individual's freedom to make their own rational choices. But you know what else is arbitrary, capricious, and erodes individual freedom of choice? Marketing. Every food package you will ever encounter was designed to limit the exercise of your free will. Selling someone else a 64-ounce cola may be a rational individual decision. [Read more]
The Harvard cheating scandal has ground to something like its conclusion, with somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 students being
suspended asked to withdraw. There's been a lot of discussion, from different perspectives, about student ethics, educational standards, and what the world is coming to. [Read more]
My high school physics teacher was a fraud. He claimed to have two PhDs, but had no graduate degree of any kind and as I understand it didn't even have a BA in physics. He left in a sudden flurry a couple of months before the end of my senior year.
At the easternmost edge of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where I live, the land is low. In the deep south it would be called the low country. Here it's called the cedar swamp. Where there isn't swamp there is rock, where thin sheaths of earth allow only the shallow-rooted trees to thrive--the quaking aspen, white birch and the Michigan cottonwood known as Balm-of-Gilead. The weed trees.
I used to be proud to invite people to contribute to dagblog. Whenever I met a writer, I would encourage them to share their work here. We're not the biggest blog in the sphere, but I would boast about the intelligence and civility of our discussions.
We still have plenty of those these days. I think that the interpersonal rancor has even declined. But the hostility and disrespect towards outsiders has grown. I do not feel comfortable inviting writers to contribute here anymore. [Read more]
Hey folks. As some of you may have noticed, dagblog has become somewhat sluggish in maturity. When she was brand new, she zipped along like a peppy new sports car. But over the years, she has filled out a bit. The server is groaning under the weight of some 8,777 blog posts and 96,105 comments, and dag's reaction time has slowed to a crawl. [Read more]
The grandkids are visiting and have been here for almost a week, so any attempts at writing even a semi-serious blog have been totally wasted efforts. I would much rather be with my darlings anyway, but in order to keep my standing as a weekly blog columnist (something only I, apparently, care about) I pulled this out of the cyber-drawer where it's been sitting for a while. If you weren't expecting much, this should do it for you. I'm off now. See you soon.
Hi folks. I left for vacation today to celebrate my fortieth birthday. I'll blog more about it when I have a chance. In the meantime, I have a request.
I haven't been following the threads today, but I still have had to field concerns and complaints via iPhone, which suggests that hostilities are still flaring at dagblog.
As a favor, or perhaps a birthday gift, I would like to ask you all to chill out. Please tone down your responses to one another and try to avoid the urge to lash out, no matter how much you think someone deserves a lashing.
Articleman and I and the other dagbloggers who are covering for me would be grateful. And I think we all could use a break.
Bob Dalrymple and his girlfriend, Kathy Neal, are leaving Michigan and heading for Colorado, because, Bob says, the economy's suffering, the winters in Michigan are too cold and it's time for adventure. He wants to go someplace warm. That's what he says. His two kids live in Colorado, but apparently they've neglected to tell him there's a reason crowds of retired Snowbirds aren't descending on the Centennial State. It's snowy and blustery and cold there in the winter!
Just wanted to give a shout-out here to Genghis for creating a great site and for keeping the lights on.
Kudos! Good Job! Congratulations!
I felt a small vibration around 9 AM this morning, like a big truck was near the building. My nearest coworker thought I was tapping my foot.
That was apparently the 3.6 quake that Dickday posted about.
Update: We heard it again this morning. The guy that parks right below my desk must have gotten a diesel.
A few minutes ago, around 2 PM, the building started seriously shaking and we all filed out and down to the sidewalks. Someone says it was 5.8 and the epicenter was Mineral VA. USGS says it was 5.9.
Update: Seems that USGS changed it back to 5.8. [Read more]
Dear readers and contributors,
First off, thank you for being part of the dagblog community. Or rather, thank you for being the dagblog community, for there is no community without you. Your eloquent writing, cogent arguments, passionate beliefs, and sharp wit has made dagblog a unique and (in our opinion) wonderful space in the blogosphere.
In any passionate community, there are bound to be strong ideological and personal differences. Our aim as moderators has been to protect and preserve the political debates while curbing the personal conflicts. Because so many of you have worked hard to respect these goals, we think that we have succeeded better than other comparable websites. [Read more]
I am sad to report that dagblog has been forced to dismiss a member of our team after years of faithful service.
You may not know TinyMCE by name, but she has served has our Rich Text Editor since 2008 when dagblog was founded. Every word that you have ever typed at dag has been tenderly processed and formatted by the indefatigable Tiny.
True, she sometimes garbled the font and impulsively inserted extra lines between paragraphs. And yes, her spellchecker never worked very well. But she did her job every day without complaint and kept dagblog humming. [Read more]