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
Tuesday, March 29. 2005
Toni Bentley reviews two new books on Balanchine:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 06:30 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
"As men, we are all equal in the presence of death."
Monday, March 28. 2005
The New Tour
Guess everyone wants to hear Merle. I heard the NYC shows were sold out on the first day. Click here: bobdylan.com
(Looks like a big day for photos on ye olde blog.)
Posted by The Dylanologist in The Song and Dance Man at 16:23
The below is from Click here: INDC Journal :
Movie Review: "Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag"
"Watching this movie at an IMAX is one of the most amazing things that I've ever seen on a screen. The visuals and sound are so astounding (and the low-level flying so, well, low) that I consistently had to remind myself that it wasn't CGI. Absolutely spectacular. And worth far more than the $8 ticket."
Thanks for the heads up, INDC.
Posted by Opie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:00 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
"The blogosphere is under attack. For three weeks, bloggers have battled the Federal Election Commission, seeking exemption from campaign finance laws that would effectively regulate political speech on the Web. How did it come to this?" Click here: FrontPage magazine.com :: Pewgate: The Battle of the Blogosphere by Richard Poe
Posted by The Barrister in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 15:29 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
The End of Democracy?
Fr. Neuhaus assembled the book on this famous 1996 debate on judicial activism, which included most of the wise conservatives in the US. From the description: "American conservatism's most ferocious internecine controversy in years erupted when the journal First Things published a symposium on "the judicial usurpation of politics," exploring the daring question "whether we have reached or are reaching the point where conscientious citizens can no longer give moral assent to the existing regime." A far-flung debate ensued, engaging scores of contestants in countless journals and newspapers." Click here: Amazon.com: Books: The End of Democracy...
Posted by Bird Dog in Politics at 12:53 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Travel with Brains
Travel around the Med with VDH. Does that sound good enough?
Click here: VDH's Private Papers:: Join us for the Turning Points of History Cruise, October 19-31, 2005
I'm already packing, even tho I've been there before.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:15
Powell's new book reveals shocking steroid use in White House:
"Top Cabinet officials are up in arms about the allegations of widespread steroid use made by former Secretary of State Colin Powell in his new political tell-all Pumped." Read entire:Click here: The Onion
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 12:01 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
A New Member of The Farm
In his misguided, deeply neurotic determination to develop Maggie's Farm as an essential general-interest blog with tens of thousands of hits per day, Bird Dog persuaded me to give this a try. He and my husband have hunted the Maine marshes together each fall for over twenty years. His advice: "Occasional posts, mostly shrink-related but anything that interests you is fair game. Keep it short and sweet with max one or two ideas per post, but you can let it rip once in a while if the spirit moves you." I'll try to stick to that, but I don't take direction well.
I am a native Bostonian, a mother of four, a New York-trained Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst working at a teaching hospital in Boston. We have a fourth-generation country place in New Hampshire where we now just raise Black Angus and keep a couple of riding horses and a couple of aged, useless but loveable retired horses and, yes, you are quite perceptive - Dr. Joy Bliss isn't my real name. Thank God. But I was born cheerful, despite being a life-long Red Sox fan. I can ride and jump and I can shoot and fish; I can sail and I can handle any boat up to 50 feet - sail or power; my golf handicap is lower than yours but it's a boring addiction for bored people; I can serve a tennis ball that will wipe the snot off your nose; I can smack the hell out of a softball or out of any little creep that bothers me. I am a Yankee gal. But piano is my main love, second only to my anonymous hubbie and our granite-ribbed Yankee Congregationalist family heritage. The big fella makes the big bucks and I get to follow my heart in the world of medicine. A good deal. And that's enough about me. Woops- I forgot - Bird Dog wants me to list my favorite adult beverage: Laphroaig up, with two Prozacs ...just kidding about the Prozacs...a double Laphroaig with the hubbie while the kids are away at boarding school.
OK. My first blog. We all have known "hypomanic" people, without labelling them as such. It is treatable, but often doesn't need to be. We don't need to label every variant of humanity a "disease," but it's too late for this one, since the NYT has got a hold of it : Click here: The New York Times > Health > Mental Health & Behavior > Hypomanic? Absolutely. But Oh So Productive!
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in Psychology, and Dr. Bliss at 10:31
I'm not surprised the authorities are having trouble finding Al Quaida's web sites and email arrangements. Heck, I still can't find even Maggie's Farm blog on Google. Hunt for Zarqawi's Webmasters
Always tasteless and always funny: "At this very moment, the Christian right continues their relentless assault on Roe v. Wade by praying and singing their little Jesus songs outside brave Michael's home. The line between Christian and Islamic Fundamentalism has never been more blurred than it is right now." YES! Die with Dignity! DIE! DIE!!!!
How are sex offenders different from other criminals, from the standpoint of recidivism? Are they really worse? I don't know. Why not track all felons? Better idea - let's track everyone. After all, most of us are unarrested felons.
FEC and blogs: Regulation of free speech is bad enough, but possible regulation of speech in blogs would be totalitarian. Prof B is on the case: Click here: ProfessorBainbridge.com: The Business of Blogging
Posted by The News Junkie in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 08:38 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Microjets for the middle class - I need one or two of these: "Travel in "very small jets" operating outside traditional commercial airline rules is expected to explode in coming years and is already causing congestion at some small airports." Click here: MSNBC - Affordable personal jets closer than you think
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 07:00 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Lucette Lugano re her mother's stroke:
"That is when I realized that the stroke had not robbed Edith of her charm. Or her fundamental humanity. I glimpse the same charm and the same humanity in Terri Schiavo--though the advocates of the culture of death have sought to rob her of both." Read entire: Click here: OpinionJournal - Taste
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 06:45 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Millions is that sweet rarity: a film about religious faith and miracles that's very much down-to-earth. "Millions (2005) Finally a movie adults and kids will enjoy without having to be exposed to smash them up, kill them all, syrupy boy meets girl, or girl overcomes cancer, blindness and wins Olympic Gold and admittance to Harvard. Seems these pics are being made by everyone except Americans these days.
Posted by Opie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 06:43 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Pat Caddell said on TV Saturday that we should not believe the ABC poll about the Schivao case, and he was quite angry about the probably deliberate distortions in the polling method. The euthanasia issue is morally and spiritually complex and treacherous in many ways, of course. (Courts and politics are trivial aspects of the discussion - it is about religion, or at least about spiritual beliefs.) And we are dealing with euthanasia at this point, not Terri.
Andrew Sullivan believes, for example, that it's all about insane Christians and that courts are the bottom line, if they are not God. He's very smart, but who believes that courts are that smart? Terri is the dying martyr .Then there's Frank Rich, the arch-materialist ranter - odd for an ex-theater critic - for whom all of this is a religous scam:The God Racket, From DeMille to DeLay
Peggy Noonan does a great job of explaining the pro-life view on euthanasia: Peggy Noonan and Steyn does too, drawing on a Canadian case: "Like other statist politicians, Mr. Trudeau . . . either didn't see, or resented, that right and wrong are only reflected by the laws, not determined by them. That's how I feel about the Terri Schiavo case. I'm neither a Floridian nor a lawyer, and, for all I know, it may be legal under Florida law for the state to order her to be starved to death. But it is still wrong." No compelling reason to kill Terri Schiavo
There is a debate here which is too deep, and too real, to be left to politicians and courts. I hesitate to compare it to the national debate on slavery, but it could be one of those defining debates that symbolically reflect our national view of existence. And, don't forget, the mainly religious opposition to slavery was based on the idea that Africans have souls. Last week, there was a well-reported case in the Netherlands or Denmark about a later-term abortion of a baby because he had a cleft lip, and the parents wanted a "perfect" kid. Let's have a national debate on euthanasia, which that case clearly was, and its limits, if any. Because this is about values and emotion and belief, not law. And I ask you - Why does this pan out to a left and right issue? Put your replies in "comments," OK?
Addendum: got a few emails noting that the links do not work on this bit - will try to fix.
Posted by Bird Dog in Religion at 06:00 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Quotidian Quotable Quote
"When everyone says you're drunk, you'd better sit down."
Old Irish saying
Sunday, March 27. 2005
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 05:01
Saturday, March 26. 2005
Saturday Verse: Poe
I stand amid the roar
from A Dream within a Dream by Edgar Allen Poe. Read entire: Click here: E. A. Poe Society of Baltimore
Posted by Bird Dog in Saturday Verse at 06:10
Friday, March 25. 2005
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice "Eli, Eli, la'ma sabach-tha'ni?" that is, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" And some of the bystanders hearing it said "That man is calling Elijah." And one of them at once ran and brought a sponge, filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink. But the others said "Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him." And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and gave up his spirit.
Quotidian Quotable Quote
"We spend all our lives killin time, but, in the end, time kills us."
Bob Dylan as "Jack Fate", in the 2003 movie Masked and Anonymous (wonderful sound track) Click here: Amazon.com: DVD: Masked and Anonymous (2003)
Thursday, March 24. 2005
The Schiavo Death Watch
Like Doc Higgins in a prior post, I hate this case. It should never have gotten to this point and, as the Doc said, this poor lady died years ago. It's the Karen Quinlan story all over again. The politics makes it much uglier. The Repubs look like opportunistic vultures, and the Dems begin to look like the Party of Death, with abortion and Terri. Haven't I always said that politicians are crowd manipulators and dream twisters? As Kissinger said, "90% of politicians give the other 10% a bad name." It is a disgusting spectacle, filled with yellow journalism, and the whole thing is sad as hell.
The entire story is complicated by the fact that Terri Schiavo doesn't look dead, even though she's long gone. It is called a "coma vigil" in medicine. Most people with her degree of brain destruction are on respirators and totally unresponsive.
The truth is that, as the Dems seem to be willing to acknowledge, a "person" is not a body - a person is the heart and soul and spirit of a person. The body is just a vessel - a fact which everyone who has performed surgery, including me, many times - knows well. The body is a complicated hunk of meat and bone and guts which miraculously works pretty well, most of the time.
But the trouble is that we've seen that concept abused over history, haven't we? It has seemed easy, over history, for people to decide that a Moslem, a Jew, an African, an unborn baby, a grievously ill person, or an American, has no real soul and is just a disposable biological unit like a laboratory rat. To Al Quaida, we are "the other" - we are Terri Schiavos to them as the Jews were to Stalin and Hitler. There is a path to the de-humanization culture - the soul-less culture - the death culture - that we must not take. And it is "reason" and science - not religion - that beckons us, in Western Civilization, down that ugly, "Brave New World," "rationalist" path.
So the subject is complex. However, note to world: If I end up like that, please be merciful and let me go to complete my journey through this world. There. It's official. It is written on a blog!
My cynical take on what is going on is that, with Iraq wrapped up, the press needed a new hot topic, and the Michael Jackson trial just didn't do it, because no-one cared. They found a new hot drama, and the lens-lice put on clean shirts and new Gucci neckties and lined up for the cameras. But the real subject and the real debate is about the sanctity of God-given life, and Terri, through her extended departure of soul and body, has given us the gift of raising this issue in public.
May her soul rest in peace.
Posted by Bird Dog in Medical at 21:35 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Male, Female, Other
How advanced and sophisticated they are over there in Providence. Surely a beacon of reason and hope in a wayward world. An applicant tells me their application form has a part that says:
I must admit I am intrigued by the "Other" category, but in a way that I do not respect in myself, a sort of morbid curiosity, I suppose. The thing that brings people to side shows. At least it doesn't ask "Gender Preference." Heck, who wouldn't want to be a guy? It's not so bad to be one. Or am I hopelessly outdated?
Posted by The Barrister in Education at 12:00 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Chavez means well
Parts of Venezuela's new Penal Code...Why do Leftist governments always do stuff like this? It's a rhetorical question. We know why - they want to do GOOD FOR PEOPLE, so the ends justify the means - right? It's OK to do bad to individual people if you claim that you want to do good for the abstract "the people" - right? Or at least you can get a good run for your money - literally- until someone gets rid of you by coup, bomb, bullet or, occasionally, ballot.
“Anyone who offends with his words or in writing or in any other way disrespects the President of the Republic or whomever is fulfilling his duties will be punished with prison of 6 to 30 months if the offense is serious and half of that if it is light. The term will be increased by a third if the offense is made publicly.”
“Anyone who by his words or acts offends in any way the honor, reputation or decorum of a member of the National Assembly or any other civil servant, will be punished in the following way, if the action is made in his presence and is motivated by his responsibilities…”
“Anyone who communicating with various people, together or separate, would have charged any individual with a responsibility which may expose him to public scorn or hate, or an offense to his honor or reputation, will be punished with prison of one to three years…if the crime were committed in a public document or writings (blogs?), drawings or exposed to the public, the penalty will be from two to four years…”
Hope they won't come up here and track me down. Read the piece: Click here: The Devil's Excrement
Posted by Bird Dog in Politics at 10:12 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
"The sky is falling, so we must shoot the dog." Bird Dog has always been fond of claiming that global warming is the only thing that can save New England from the coming ice age, or at least delay it, in the interest of maintaining our property values. There is no market for land buried under a mile-thick glacier. So it's nice to see someone else, namely The Ornery American, cast a jaundiced eye on global warming:
"If you want a perfect example of this, look at the Kyoto Protocols. The consensus among serious scientists is that the Kyoto Protocols, even if they were completely implemented, would not have any serious effect on global warming for the next century.Yet they insist that we should adopt and obey the protocols with all the force of law that international treaties have. Why? Because it will show that we take the problem seriously. Because it's a first step. Because it's the Right Thing. In other words, we should blindly obey even though we know that it's pointless. "
Posted by Bird Dog in Natural History and Conservation at 07:16 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
The Laconic Yankee Farmer Speaks
That damn password crap you give me. Daughter visiting up from Worcester for Easter and she showed me how. Man does she find it amusing that her old dad is a blogger on her old 6 year old Dell machine on my phone line. To me, plain embarassing to put myself out there like I was someone important. Not that anyone is. We have been ass over elbow up here making sugar in the Northeast Kingdom. Not a God-dang New Yorker to be seen, so that's something good. Smoke pouring out of the shack's chimney. Sap flowing like a son of a b. A good year for maple which as I say is a damn bad year for income. Working for nothin'. That's the Vermont way. We could go 5000 gallons, maybe more. Not all Grade A. I prefer the lower grades, got more substance. But a good vintage, you know. What else? Haven't seen a bear yet but I'm waiting to use that bear-heart recipe. Figure it might build me up. I don't like to complain but my bum knee is a ---ing pain. ---ing Korea. A hell-hole. And don't tell me to go to that VA, Dog, or anywhere else. They'll want to give me a stainless steel knee etc. and I'd be laid up for 6 mos. which a farmer cannot do. Plus there is no ----ing way anyone is taking a saw to my legs. OK, time to bring the coffee down to the boys. Is that enough for you this week, Dog?
Posted by The Farmer at 07:14
Hey Main-Stream Media - I know you're listening out there - quit it with this "insurgents" word. You know as well as I do that these are 90% foreigners who snuck into Iraq to defeat freedom and to humiliate America. Only the MSM and Ward Churchill believe they are noble rebels. It's quite simple - the word is TERRORISTS. Or, if you prefer, ANTI-DEMOCRATIC FOREIGN TERRORISTS. Got it?
Posted by The Chairman in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 07:12 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
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