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
Thursday, December 8. 2011
Mead to college students: How to ruin your life
Brilliant rant from the Prof. The more he writes, the better he gets. He accuses colleges of educational malpractice.
No basements, but you can hang your lobster pots from the porch
A dying Hitchens on his cancer treatments
Professor: ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ Promotes Bullying
Aw, Rudolph is asking for it, isn't he?
Harry Morgan wasn’t a star and didn’t need to be. In “M-A-S-H,” ‘’Dragnet” and so many other TV shows and movies, the veteran character actor proved as indispensable as any marquee name.
What If Tim Tebow Were a Muslim?
Ben Shapiro: Where Have Our Cojones Gone?
We always point out here that the modern school wants boys to act like little girls
Six Tips for Writing the perfect piece of Hate Mail
In the belly of the beast: The only Conservative at a dinner party
Been there, done that. Gotta relax and have a sense of humor
Moscow is full of Russians. That is unusual.
Most Western cities are packed with immigrant foreigners
Harsanyi: Obama vs. Capitalism
"Capitalism" isn't a theory. It's just what people do when they are left alone to do what comes naturally - like sex. Rush was hilarious on the topic yesterday, pointing out to the Prez that capitalist enterprise made his suits, his million-dollar buses, his bulletproof limos, his Blackberry, his airplanes, his vacation houses, his Wall St campaign funds, etc etc.
And via Driscoll:
Free markets have booms and busts. Socialism only has chronic busts.
Obama Promises to Save the Middle Class by Enslaving It - Nothing says middle-class triumph like more regulation, unionism, cronyism and endless spending.
City Journal: The Regulatory Thicket
Tracked: Dec 08, 07:06
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Agree wholeheartedly w/ Shapiro's column on bullying.
One institution that shares in this guilt is the Christian Church. I can't speak to all denominations or persuasions, but the evangelical churches in the US (many conservative low churches) are very keen to geld their men. In my observations it has been going on since the early 20th C.
Not surprisingly, women outnumber men in these churches, and the retention rate for young people growing up is about 1/3. Sunday School, vacation Bible school, youth groups, youth retreats, Christian rock-music festivals...haven't had an impact on this number.
i have no idea what is going on in the member churches of the World Council of Churches, but if you'd appreciate a headscratcher moment, search [ sinister sites St John's ] and look at the decor added since 1992.
Evangelical churches, especially the Southern Baptist churches withdrew from preaching the gospel and turned to sappy sermons instead of preaching from the Bible.
Men are drawn to churches that preach hard Biblical doctrine not lets be nice and all get along doctrine. Men are drawn to churches that preach have a drink, don't be drunk rather than don't ever have a drink. Men are drawn to churches that preach from the Bible not from some soap opera televised that week. Men are drawn to challenges not to tea parties.
Speaking of floating homes....
Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls of all ages!!
Allow me to introduce you to the Cosmic Muffin!!
"Cosmic Muffin" is a converted Boeing 307 Stratoliner which was the first pressurized airliner ever built. The 307 is based on the B-17 fuselage. This particular conversion aircraft was owned by Howard Hughes.
If you look around the web, there are a lot of really interesting floating homes/houses and even homes built on old/used hopper barges. If you think about it, the largest undeveloped bit of real estate on Earth are the oceans blue. :>)
I have a friend who owns a 45' house boat near St. Louis on the Mississippi. With a 15' beam, it is a very comfortable home for two. We've visited him several times and really love the whole approach.
Calling Fort Hood Massacre 'Workplace Violence
Yes and we call war kinetic conversation and terrorism man made disasters....honest - we've lost our collective minds. What are we afraid of with this PC nonsense? We're going to hurt the collective consciousness of all Muslims everywhere? Well too friggin' bad.
Damn that annoys the hell out of me.
Professor: ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’
The link is broken, but I read this yesterday - the good Professor has to get a life - seriously.
No offense to Dr. Bliss or any of our friendly Field Hand shrinks (assuming there are more anyway), but you guys really need to get hold of people like this and beat some verbal sense into them.
Here is Professor Giuliani's background. Notice anything unusual?
He is an Ed School prof. While there are Ed School profs who actually instruct prospective teachers on what works and doesn't work in teaching students, there are a substantial proportion of Ed School profs who waste their students' time presenting "facts" that are actually theories that have never been tested by reality.
The only professors of mine which I regarded with contempt taught in the Ed School.
It is very fitting that the only "managerial" experience Obama had before becoming President was to chair the Annenberg Challenge. He was in charge of doling out funds for research on improving public schools in Chicago. Schools which had been blessed with Annenberg-funded projects performed no better than schools that got no such funding. Typical of education research and typical of Obama.
Regarding Rudolph: I always thought Rudolph's story was the epitome of anti-bullying. I was the object of bullying myself in school -- smallish, glasses, high academics and low athletics, loved the library and not four-square or football. Rudolph appealed to me greatly.
Obama v Capitalism: Obama is a friend of license (sexual irresponsibility, subsidizing laziness, pillage the rich) but not of liberty. Free-exchange economies are built on liberty and he fears and despises this.
Capitalism is the accummulation of resources for production. In itself, capitalism is not automatically free nor productive. The Soviet Union had a lot of capital but produced poorly with it. And the term "capitalism" itself is, I think, Marx's insult to free exchange.
Just wanted to register my sadness at Christopher Hitchen's illness. He really did have a way with words. Sadly, he will soon be missed.
I will forward that Hitchens' piece to those of my circle who give medical treatment to the gravely, even mortally, ill. A very chilling and thought provoking article. He can write, no doubt about that.
It's not that Tebow engages in PDR's. And it's not that we're at war with Islam.
It's that Islam is at war with us.
The article by the conservative businesswoman about being the only conservative at a recent dinner party struck a nerve with me. One tries to keep one's head in a situation like that but it's difficult. When I was young, my Dad used to organize our dinner table conversation on confrontational discussions to help us learn to handle this sort of thing. His first discussion point was that you [or me as the case may be] can always stop the bullying in its tracks by asking that the attacker define his terms. Many times this will back the bully off the subject entirely, but this, after all, is what debating teams do regularly. when they encounter another team -- how they start the debate by laying the ground rules. And it's a great way to clear the decks for something worthwhile to occur.
There is a blog online called Betsy's Page. Betsy is a charter school Civics teacher, who trains her students to debate, and gives up her own time on weekends to go with them to debate similar groups from other schools. I think she is doing an excellent job of training her young students to be successful business people with successful lives, and I am convinced that few if any conventional secondary school teachers would bother to do this. Because it is work.
Of course, it results in a valuable skillset for the students who participate. And it gives them worthwhile skills for the great game of life. But many of today's teachers wouldn't want to do this because it cuts into their off-time.
But I say ... yay Betsy. There should be more like you.
Re: Ben Shapiro, "Where Have Our Cojones Gone?" - this is why I'm still active in Scouting years after my son graduated. Boy need to go out in the woods with axes and saws and knives and fires. And when they get cut or burned or fall on a rock, we don't dull all the knives and dig out all the rocks and make them wear elbow pads and helmets. We toss them a First Aid kit and teach them how to use it, and then tell them "The next time you need it, it'll be in your Patrol Box. Let us know when you run out of Band-Aids and we'll get you some more."
Boys - hell, people - need to be taught a) their problems are their problems to solve, not their parents/the government, and b) here's how to solve problems.
In regard to Gerhard Weinberg's Marshal lecture, it seems to generate as many myths as it accurately dispels. For instance, his attempt to refute the German Generals who blame Hitler for refusing to retreat.
In the first place, the German commanders generally credit Hitler's "no retreat" order with saving their army during the first Russian winter. Second, Weinberg makes no reference to those instances which counter his thesis. Among other times, Hitler demanded no retreat in three very significant battles: Stalingrad, which lost him an army; North Africa, which not only lost him an army but huge reinforcements shoved in after it was obvious he held a losing hand; Normandy, which cost him a great defeat, and which would have cost him an army had Eisenhower allowed Patton to close the Falaise Gap.
There's a great deal of bilge in Weinberg's lecture, caused by the judicious selection of facts and mis-attribution of responsibilities.