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, March 31. 2005
Re Schiavo, by Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob reluctantly offers a humble, Christian, medically-sophisticated essay on the case:
Maybe a bit of rationality will enter the picture. Isn't intent an aspect of determining guilt? These stories remind me of that girl who was suspended for tylenol - it violated the zero tolerance for drugs policy.
DEBKAfile, which may have sources deep in Isreali intelligence, has a fascinating article on the wealth shipped to Palestine by naive western countries and kept by Arafat. Gwynnie thinks it explains more about what is happening in Palestine today than anything else she has read.
Americans Recover Arafat’s plundered hoard
"A part of Yasser Arafat’s secret hoard - $4 bn - has been documented and accounted for in a painstaking project undertaken by Nigel Roberts, the World Bank’s country director for the West Bank, and Palestinian finance minister Salam Fayyad. They have obtained partial information about another $1-2bn and found a further three to four billion invested on Arafat’s behalf by two individuals, his chief financial adviser Mohammed Rashid, and Palestinian-born international tycoon Samer Khoury.
This was reported exclusively by DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s exclusive sources for the first time in DNW Issue 197 on March 11.
”You can stop going around with your hat in your hand,” a stern US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice told Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) at the London conference on Palestinian reforms earlier this month. “You have all the money you need to transform the economic situation in the Palestinian Authority.”
She told Abbas to go back to Ramallah and assume immediate control of the Palestinian Investment Fund (PIF) where the bulk of Arafat’s money was stashed, or forget about receiving a single aid dollar from international donors.
. . . .
Abu Mazen was sent off from London to start selling off these assets to finance urgent projects for his impoverished people. He was warned that the $350 million pledged the Palestinians would be transferred only when it was matched by income from the sale of PIF properties – a dollar-for-dollar deal. The World Bank has projects ready to go. Roberts cited a $1bn plan to create 50,000 jobs in the Gaza Strip.
Back in Ramallah, Abu Mazen ran into his first major obstruction to divestment: Prime minister Ahmed Quriea (Abu Ala), who by withholding his signature has the power to block any Palestinian Authority measure, accused Abbas of surrendering to US-British dictates and opening the door for them to take over Palestinian funds. Then, most of the 11 PIF board members resigned or are about to do so, further disabling the fund’s operations.
. . . .
Abu Mazen’s close allies warn him, according to DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s Palestinian sources, that without control of the PIF, he will never be more than a figurehead.
His rivals have come to the same conclusion and are all now chasing after the billion-dollar fund hoping to lay hands on the wherewithal for buying a following. They are racing all the harder with the approach of the next Palestinian ballots – the April 28 municipal election and the July 17 parliamentary vote. A hefty cash campaign chest can promise victory. It can also buy the undying loyalty of all or some of the endemically corrupt Palestinian security and intelligence services. Conversely, candidates strapped for funds may as well give up.
Control of the PIF will also buy political control within Abu Mazen’s unruly and divided Fatah party. At the same time, some central party figures warn that the gold rush could destroy the Fatah from within."
To read the whole piece, click here: http://www.debka.org/article.php?aid=1002
Books, plus Robert Lowell
This is a great site and a fabulous source for commentary, book reviews and the like. There is a great column on Robert Lowell and his letters. However they only make a few of the articles available online. The Art Forum is equally chock-full of interesting stuff. Paul Mariani wrote the book Lost Puritan: the Life of Robert Lowell and states "If Lowell as historian was our Gibbon and our younger Pound, he was also our wild Shelley, and Hart Crane, and -- at the last--our Lear: grizzled, fallen, and -- in that wounded state -- most noble and most heartbreaking
The male Wood Duck is the most flamboyant and exotic looking bird in North America. They have just returned here, where I live - saw a few on Sunday afternoon. It's getting late to put out nest boxes, but not too late quite yet. Assuming you have water - streams or ponds or marshy lakes. Their growing population relies on human intervention, because dopey humans cut down the dead trees they like to nest in.
Well done, Blogosphere
Investor's Business Daily Headline yesterday "Campaign for Campaign Finance Reform was a Fraud." With enough blog buzz, the truth finally enters the MSM, and the job is done. See prior postings on Pewgate. Don't wait for the NYT, tho. They're still waiting for the triumph of international socialism, via the UN, or whatever their dream is.
Anti-missile systems on commercial jets
Am I in denial because I am not afraid? Maybe it's Bush that makes me comfortable these days...."While there can be no doubt that portable SAMs represent a very real threat to civilian aircraft and that the cited solutions would all be more or less effective counters, JREW believes that the current drive towards wide-scale use of such equipment may falter in the face of cost and infrastructure considerations." Click here: Executive Overview: Jane's Radar and Electronic Warfare Systems
The Pope's Tube
"Pope getting nutrition from tube in nose." Here we go again? I think not. He has been a wonderful Pope. Click here: My Way News
Can't believe I lost the link, but I somehow did. About how Nazi war criminals were convicted of the war crime of starving prisoners in the concentration camps. Starvation was the main cause of death in the camps. Guess it's OK to do now? What am I missing?
A very funny and pointed discussion of wine and wine snobbery - Caleefornia vs. Islamic Republic of France. Caleefornia apparently ain't got no terroir: Click here: Reason: Critique of Pure Riesling: Wine snobbery in the age of globalization
Can you say "schadenfreude" ? "For the second straight year, New York University (NYU) topped Harvard as the number one “dream college,” according to the Princeton Review’s annual “College Hopes & Worries Survey,” released on Wednesday. " Click here: The Harvard Crimson Online :: News But why not...NYC is the best. Cambridge is podunk.
Something is burning, baby, hear what I say.
We've reached the edge of the road, baby, where the pasture begins,
Dylan, from Something's Burning, Baby
Wednesday, March 30. 2005
Internet and the UN
How would you like the UN to regulate and control the internet?
"....The ITU, a United Nations agency, would like to change that. "The whole world is looking for a better solution for Internet governance, unwilling to maintain the current situation,..."
What is wrong with "the current situation"? That it isn't "regulated" by an international body? It seems to be fairly wonderful now, and I would hate to see the great UN "improve" things. Thanks, Instapundit. Read piece: Click here: The U.N. thinks about tomorrow's cyberspace | Newsmakers | CNET News.com
Race for the Bottom at the NYT
OK, who will win - Dowd or Krugman? You were quite right, Opie, to point out Krugman's apparent break from reality today. Hindrocket does a heck of a job on him - wonder if he'll show up at work tomorrow.
"We're not the first to this party, but, hey, it's never too late to pile on Paul Krugman. Rightwing Nuthouse says that Krugman's latest column in the New York Times is evidence that he has "gone stark, raving mad." I won't go that far; let's just say that Krugman has abandoned any claim to be taken seriously." Click here: Power Line: March 2005 Archives I will renew my subscription to the NYT when they hire either Steyn or Hindrocket.
Roger Scruton on Conservatism
A worthwhile reprise of a very wise piece, a past "Best Essay" candidate:
"I was brought up at a time when half the English people voted Conservative at national elections and almost all English intellectuals regarded the term “conservative” as a term of abuse. To be a conservative, I was told, was to be on the side of age against youth, the past against the future, authority against innovation, the “structures” against spontaneity and life. It was enough to understand this, to recognize that one had no choice, as a free-thinking intellectual, save to reject conservatism. The choice remaining was between reform and revolution. Do we improve society bit by bit, or do we rub it out and start again? On the whole my contemporaries favored the second option, and it was when witnessing what this meant, in May 1968 in Paris, that I discovered my vocation."
Welcome, Dr. Bliss
A long-time friend, Joy Bliss MD, has generously agreed to be our resident shrink - thank God - we need one here on the Farm. She is "The Analyst." She introduced herself, at my request, on the blog a day or two ago ("A New Member of the Farm"), and I've already gotten a couple of email requests for her phone number. For dates, not for shrink help. Plus the obnoxious but relevant question "Can she cook?" Please!...and no, she cannot cook worth a damn, in my experience, anyway. But she knows her way around Scotch whiskey. (Sorry Joy - can you handle the truth?) And - minor detail - she is married and unavailable, so quit it with those emails, please. Everyone wants a woman who can handle firearms.
I just reviewed her post for tomorrow on the subject of evil, and it is good. Too long, but good. She will be a great addition to the Farm - I promise.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:25 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Good fun to take a few minutes during lunch to explore this site: Click here: BBC - Science & Nature - Leonardo - Explore Leonardo's Studio
Excellent review by Whitford, covering the art world, esp. the world of art-talkers: "Artists clamour for attention. So do some art historians. If the four who wrote this book were to spend more time looking than reading, their work might have been of more use." Click here: Art: Art Since 1900: Modernism, Antimodernism, Postmodernism - Sunday Times - Times Online
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:00 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Amazon.com: Books: Hedge Fund Mistress. Yes, that's right . The "Barbarians" are back. Check out the latest in the world of Big money. Must be a reason all of these books have titles like Liar's Poker, The Predators Ball: The Inside Story of Drexel Burnham and the Rise of the Junk Bond Raiders, and Monkey Business: Swinging Through the Wall Street Jungle.
Deception and Self-Deception
Robert Samuelson: "We are a nation of closet welfare junkies, which helps explain why we can't have an honest debate about Social Security. Social Security and Medicare are our biggest welfare programs, but because Americans regard "welfare" as shameful, we've found other labels for them. We call them "social insurance" or "entitlements." Anything but welfare. Democrats and Republicans alike embrace the deception. No one wants to upset older voters. Well, if you can't call something by its real name, you can't discuss it honestly." Read entire: Click here: Welfare Junkies (washingtonpost.com)
Buffet to testify in AIG mess: Click here: Buffett to face questions in AIG probe - report - Insurance - Financial Services - Earnings - SEC
Liberman vs. Shays: New England elected reps disagree on feeding tube: Click here: NewsMax.com: Inside Cover Story
Kudlow: "Writing in the New York Sun last week, George Weigel tells us that "Embracing suffering is a concept alien to us. And yet suffering embraced in obedience to God's will is at the center of Christianity....The Christ of the Gospels reaches out and embraces suffering as his destiny, his vocation-- and is vindicated in that self-sacrifice on Easter." Click here: Kudlow's Money Politic$: Terri Schiavo's Easter
"Medicare is even more a fiscal mess than Social Security. And of all government programs, it's the one most urgently in need of ownership-society ideas." Click here: Today in Investor's Business Daily stock analysis and business news
This must be the Great Horowitz at work: "TALLAHASSEE — Republicans on the House Choice and Innovation Committee voted along party lines Tuesday to pass a bill that aims to stamp out “leftist totalitarianism” by “dictator professors” in the classrooms of Florida’s universities." Click here: The Independent Florida Alligator I'd hate to be the rep who voted in favor of teaching "Leftist totalitarianism" as an endorsed view. A great example from NJ: Click here: FrontPage magazine.com :: Furr the Love of Communism by Jessica Havery
Excellent blog - thanks Instapundit: Click here: The Immigration Blog
"The greatest virtue is humility, and the shortest route to humility is through humiliation."
Tuesday, March 29. 2005
I have been wondering who those monks were who have been on TV all week. Thanks, reader, for forwarding this to us. Monks are a good thing. Interesting story: Click here: Tampabay: Friars at Schindlers' side felt own loss
College Faculty Leftists
Hey Howard Kurtz - do you call this news? "College faculties, long assumed to be a liberal bastion, lean further to the left than even the most conspiratorial conservatives might have imagined, a new study says."
Why? Either they are much smarter than the rest of us, or it's because they went to school in the 60s, got tenured academic jobs, never dealt with the adult world, and never grew up.
Wine and Cancer
As a red wine afficionado, I am happy to provide this cheery news to the "Wine Drinking Community." Cheers! Click here: BIO.COM: Biotechnology Pharmaceutical Therapeutics, Vaccines, Diagnostics, Discovery - Biotech, Pharma, Biomedical
Rebecca MacKinnon on the new relationship between information and the public - she seems to be trying to explain the new reality to journalists. What many such articles underemphasize is that professional journalists provide most of the fodder on which blogs feed. Bloggers have day jobs. The big thing that is new is distribution and diversity of opinion, not fact-finding, except in exceptional cases (eg Rathergate, Pewgate, etc.)
"....this has led to a loss of sovereignty in the press. What I mean by that is simply a loss of exclusive control. Areas that once were under the domain of the journalist are now not exclusively under the domain of the journalist. You are not the boss anymore. What you say is not the law." Click here: The Nation | Article | Blogging, Journalism and Credibility | Rebecca MacKinnon
Another view, from the Crimson:
Thanks for the heads up, Powerline: "Besides being disabled, Schiavo and I have something important in common, that is, someone attempted to terminate my life by removing my endotracheal tube during resuscitation in my first hour of life. This was a quality-of-life decision: I was simply taking too long to breathe on my own, and the person who pulled the tube believed I would be severely disabled if I lived, since lack of oxygen causes cerebral palsy" Read: Click here: The Harvard Crimson Online :: Opinion
More Lens Lice Show Up
And now Jesse Jackson weighs in, urging saving Terri...how did it take him so long?: Click here: My Way News
Click here: Gabriela Mistral "I Am Not Alone" In light of the Schiavo case, I think it appropriate to read Mistral's poem. We read about the bickering and the partisanship of the nation and now the warning that the "moral" right could cause assassinations (is Paul Krugman kidding? The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: What's Going On? ) It is time to say a prayer and let her go to a world where everyone can get along.
We believe nuclear energy is a no-brainer: safe, and a freebie from nature. It's just a matter of time before it becomes our major source. I'm not askeered of it - got a mini-reactor in the basement. The family glows in the dark, but that saves $ on flashlights, and it's great for Halloween.
Read entire: Investor's Business Daily stock analysis and business news
The Euristan Press, Dem Dirty Trix, and other topics
Nice review by Boyles on how the condescending Euristanians view us: "Practically speaking, modern secularism in Europe is forced de-Christianization in favor of humanism's new convictions" Click here: Denis Boyles on EuroPress on National Review Online
From Hinderaker on those "talking point memos" about Schiavo: "What, then, was the evidence for the claim that it was created and distributed by Republicans? As far as the public record shows: There is none. On the contrary, the only published report identifying the purveyors of the memo on March 17 states that they were Democrats. The New York Times reported on March 22:
A wise piece from the Vatican a month ago, about the limits of Medicine: "VATICAN CITY - Vatican officials on Thursday decried what they called a "religion of health" in affluent societies and held out Roman Catholic Pope John Paul's stoic suffering as an antidote to the mentality that modern medicine must cure all. " Click here: Vatican Officials Decry 'Religion of Health'
Steyn one year ago, prescient as ever: "Last year, I had a long talk with a ‘senior EU official’ and I was amazed at the way, quite unprompted, he used the phrase ‘Europe’s post-Christian future’, presuming that I would agree with him that this was a condition to aspire to. Europe’s quite post-Christian enough, and most of the horrors of our time came about through the most prominent expressions of its post-Christian state, Nazism and Communism. And yet faith in secularism is indestructible." Click here: Topical Take
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