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
Saturday, April 30. 2005
The NYT Utters the G word
Too bad that it takes the power of miracles to move the souls of doubters and unbelievers. Isn't mere existence enough? But in this case, the amazing Ivory Bill:
"It's huge and beautiful. "A whacking big bird," Roger Tory Peterson wrote, nearly two feet long with a three-foot wingspan, black and white with a streak of red on the male's pterodactyl crest and a fearsome glint in its yellow eyes. To see an ivory-bill left people thunderstruck; their exclamations inspired its nickname: the Lord God bird.
It's alive. The word miracle is overused, but what else explains the survival in the 21st century of an animal considered lost to history so long ago? The ivory-bill was mourned as a mythologized victim of intense predation and habitat loss, of hunters and collectors, of the leveling of millions of acres of Southern forests into pulp and sawdust. Somehow it has endured."
Gen. Peter Pace
GENERAL PETER PACE
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff [now nominated to be Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff]Extemporaneous Remarks as delivered at theUSS HUE CITY’S 11th Annual Memorial Service marking the 35th Anniversary of the Battle for Hué
Mayport, Florida 2 February 2003
Continue reading ""
And now, Big Master, I'm broken and bent and twisted and scarred,
from The Song of the Wage-Slave, by Robert Service. Read entire: Click here: RPO -- Robert W. Service : The Song of the Wage-slave
Friday, April 29. 2005
Good sample - the music itself - of recent and not-so-recent live performances. Best ones: Hank Williams' Cant Get you Off of my Mind and Po Lazarus from 1961. Plus they have Hazel.
Word to the wise: if you don't know what Dylan is, you'll never know until you hear the live stuff. Even then, you won't know what he is.
Gwynnie Responds to The Barrister
with the following lyrics from God Shaped Hole, by Plumb
"Every point of view has another angle
And every angle has its merit
But all comes down to faith
Thats the way I see it
You can say that love is not divine and
You can say that life is not eternal
"All we have is know"
But I don't believe it
There's a God-shaped hole in all of us
And the restless soul is searching
There's a God-shaped hole in all of us
And it's a void only he can fill
Does the world seem gray with empty longing
Wearing every shade of cynical
And do you ever feel that
There is something missing?
That's my point of view... "
Video of Ivory Bill
If you aren't into God's nature, you don't understand what a big deal this is. We posted the news yesterday AM. For the video - Click here: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/video/qt/woodpecker.mov
Of course, Scrapple-Man has to put in his two cents.
News Junkie Posting
After these months, I am still trying to self-define my role on Maggie's Farm. We're not a Hot News blog, and I cannot compete with Instapundit - how does he find the time to provide the service he does? Does he have a team of elves? Must be. Plus all the hot tips he receives via email. As for Taranto, I assume it's a full-time job. Some good gig - getting paid to surf the web. For the time being, I will just march on, and see where the path leads. To fame, riches, and chicks, no doubt - or why bother?
And speaking of gaining fame, riches, and fillies, the photo is of triple-crown winner Secretariat in 1973 - see piece below, on the bottom of the pile. I know Bird Dog saw him once in the flesh, retired, at stud like The News Junkie, and happily grazing at Keeneland.
Of course there are millions of them around. They tend not to be "the sky is falling" hysterics, nor do they equate capitalism with rape of the land. Socialist nations have been far worse.
Jonah Goldberg: "The truth is that nobody is anti-environment. I have lots and lots of conservative friends and colleagues. I go to many of the most sinister right-wing meetings and parties. I've simply never heard anybody say they want to hurt the environment. No matter how many pave-the-planet jokes conservatives tell to annoy liberals, the truth is none of them really wants to." Read entire.
TCS: "Semper Infantilis"
" In its April 25 edition,
"In promoting this type of recruiting effort," Bamburger writes, "our government apparently realizes what advertisers and marketers have known for years -- teens are fertile ground for influence because they still are at a point in life where impulse can overrule rational thought. So it's not a leap to worry that our children also might be unduly and dangerously swayed in these times by a call to patriotism. It's not a stretch to imagine that when they sign on the dotted line for boot camp, our children have focused more on the well-cut uniforms and group camaraderie and not on the long-term, and possibly deadly, consequences of even a short stint in the military."
Calls to patriotism! Camaraderie! Well-cut uniforms! Oogah-boogah-boogah! Such starry dreck too well deserved the Rath of Cron."
Scott's Paean to Zell Miller
Scott at Powerline loves Zell. Us too.
Cash in at Denny's (unless you're white)
The ongoing Denny's scam.
New Sisyphus takes the subject on, and I could not agree more:
"We understand that freedom of speech is painful to liberals. We know what you're going through, having had to live through the era when you controlled the public debate and no dissenting voices to liberal orthodoxy were allowed into the hallowed halls of CBS News or the New York Times. Hate speech codes are nothing more and nothing less than an attempt to criminalize one's political opponents and should be resisted by all who care for liberty, be they right or left." Read entire wise, lawyerly, thoughtful piece.
Story making the rounds. Thanks, Michelle.
Designer Babies in Englistan
This is what happens when you abandon your moral compass for the noble principle of "whatever works."
The Death of Canada
by Austin Bay - a funny piece which might be prophetic (thanks Instapundit):
"Oil-producing Alberta might join the United States and instantly find common political ground with Alaska, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma. Canada's struggling Atlantic provinces might find statehood economically attractive and extend the New England coastline. A rump Canada consisting of "Greater Ontario" -- with remaining provinces as appendages -- might keep the maple-leaf flag aloft. As for poor, isolated Newfoundland: Would Great Britain like to reacquire a North American colony?" Read entire.
Steyn Applauds Multiculturalism
The great movie buff loves multiculturalism in the movies.
A piece on prolific writers, featuring Alexander McCall Smith, author of the wonderful #1 Ladies Detective Agency series. Apparently writing too much can saturate your market, and writing too little will send readers away. Wish I had that dilemma.
If we have any frozen cells, I will place my bets on Secretariat. This will be great fun for the Kentucky horse country.
Thursday, April 28. 2005
Thanks to Michelle Malkin and Powerline, Gwynnie would like us to reflect upon the following official quotes, all by Democrat leaders deploring the filibuster in judicial nominations. Gwynnie would also like us to reflect upon the fact that they are completely consistent with the positions of the speakers today:
"It is not the role of the Senate to obstruct the process and prevent numbers of highly qualified nominees from even being given the opportunity for a vote on the Senate floor." Sen. Barbara Boxer, Congressional Record, May 14, 1997
"I find it simply baffling that a senator would vote against even voting on a judicial nomination." Sen. Tom Daschle, Congressional Record, October 5, 1999
"Let's bring their nominations up, debate them if necessary, and vote them up or down." Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Congressional Record, September 11, 1997
"I respectfully suggest that everyone who is nominated is entitled to have a shot, to have a hearing and to have a shot to be heard on the floor and have a vote on the floor. . . .It is not appropriate not to have hearings on them, not bring them to the floor and not to allow a vote." Sen. Joe Biden, Congressional Record, March 19, 1997
“If, after 150 days languishing on the Executive Calendar that name has not been called for a vote, it should be. Vote the person up or down.” Sen. Dick Durbin, Congressional Record, September 28, 1998
“I do not believe that I as a member of the minority ought to have the right to absolutely stop something because I think it is wrong, that that is rule by minority.” Sen. Tom Harkin, Congressional Record, January 5, 1995
"The Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court said: 'Some current nominees have been waiting a considerable time for a Senate Judiciary Committee vote or a final floor vote ... The Senate is surely under no obligation to confirm any particular nominee, but after the necessary time for inquiry, it should vote him up or vote him down.' Which is exactly what I would like.” Sen. Pat Leahy, Congressional Record, March 7, 2000
Question: Why are these statements consistent with the apparent opposite statements being made by the same persons today?
Answer: Because they are Liberals. Liberalism is at its very core a sincere desire to get into a position of power to do good things for people who are unable accomplish (or even attempt to accomplish) those good things for themselves. That nice statement contains four underlying assumptions
Any questions so far? Remember; it’s superior knowledge or understanding vs. ignorance or apathy. When these concepts are put into practice, what one principle must necessarily fall by the wayside? Well, it’s democracy, of course. The power of the Liberal to do good things must be maintained – at all costs. If the masses can be persuaded, so much the better, but if not, they must be overruled. Gwynnie remembers a law professor at a highly regarded university who was utterly horrified at a student’s impertinent suggestion that the state legislatures convene a Constitutional Convention as they have a right to do under Article V. He said, “can you imagine what the PEOPLE might DO to the decades of protections added to the Constitution by the courts?”
No, the American people clearly cannot by trusted to act in the manner the elite want them to, which is why Liberals are passionate about power, not democracy. All the statements made above by Boxer, Daschle, Feinstein, Biden, Durbin, Harkin, Leahy, and the New York Times , although couched in democratic terms, have nothing to do with any notion of moral or ethical principle, or democracy; the statements are about their own personal power and control. In that light, saying that a Democrat filibuster is good and a Republican filibuster is bad are completely consistent. It’s not about principle; it’s about WINNING!
How easy it is to forget that the heart of democracy is a willingness to lose, to accept the control of the majority, and to come back fighting in the next election. The Democrats are attacking the very foundation of democracy.
Never knew how this was done. Here is Super Servant 3 entering Newport, RI with a precious cargo of sailboats as the boating season begins up here in New England. This ship is essentially a mobile dry dock - submerges to load.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:38 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Bird of the Year
For birders, a VERY BIG DEAL, and very heartening. The Ivory-bill, long believed extinct, likes the swamps of the deep south. The definite ID of one on the Arkansas border with La. is wonderful.
I hadn't heard about the new medical dummies until I saw it in The New Yorker. I have to say that I think it's a wonderful thing, mainly for medical emergencies. There is nothing wrong with American medical education - best in the world - but the fact is that when you graduate, and it's your first night covering a NYC emergency room as an intern, you do see things you've never seen before, and you don't have time to think.
I'll never forget one night in my first month when I was the only medical intern on duty in the ER. I had 17 patients in there. One acute MI who coded and didn't make it, one respiratory failure who didn't make it, a rule-out MI who didn't have one (we didn't do the enzymes then), a bad asthmatic who finally did well, a total-body disintegration from a nursing home, a drunk with acute pancreatitis, a diabetic with an acute hyperglycemia who we got under control but later died of aspiration pneumonia, various gomers here and there trying to either die or to fall off their gurneys ("Gomers go to ground", remember House of God? Good book), an arrhythmia or two - can't remember, an upper GI bleed vomiting blood, and who knows what else. With time to think, I could have taken care of any one of them fine. After a year of that, everything became routine.
In the ER, it's about rapid, accurate diagnosis. What is surgical, what is medical, and what can wait. Diagnosis is easy in books, tough in real life. Not only do I wish I had had a week to be challenged by one of these new dummies, I wouldn't even mind it now, even though it's been decades since I've done ER work. I've heard that aviation simulators can almost give pilots heart attacks, so I'm sure that a few hours with the dummy would be quite an adventure. Worth paying for.
Read the piece about medical simulation. Written with The New Yorker's usual craftsmanship.
What's the matter with me
Dylan, from Watching the River Flow
Wednesday, April 27. 2005
Pray for Laura
First Tony Snow, now Laura Ingraham. Tough year for a couple of my favorite people. You Go Girl!
Air America Fires a Gun!
We covered the Air America Follies last week, but now they have really pooped in their pants. And who knew extreme leftys had guns to shoot? Are they legally registered?
Can You Believe This?
A North Carolina college course:
"One text required in Christensen's 9/11 course holds that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States were orchestrated and carried out by U.S. government elites. The course teaches that the official story about Sept. 11 is the result of "government involvement in the cover-up."
The attacks were used by neo-conservatives in the Bush administration, acting on behalf of pro-Israel Zionists, as "a catalyst for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the attack on civil liberties in the United States," according to the course's syllabus." Read entire.
Against the "Ownership Society"
There is an argument against the Bush idea. I do not agree that we need less, not more, ownership, but Kuttner does make the case as well as it can be made for the role of government in everything. Guess you could call it the "Dependency Society":
"...in reality, America’s long tradition as a society of owners has been substantially the result of activist government -- making social investments, taking regulatory initiatives, and shielding individuals from economic risks beyond their personal control. Today’s conservative program for an ownership society, by contrast, transfers hazards back to individuals at a time when people are already bearing increased risks. Bush has done us a favor by putting this idea in play. It invites us to devise a program for a true ownership society, built on broadened social investment. Reclaiming a proud tradition, we could broaden America’s middle class by once again expanding education and homeownership, resuming the march toward secure retirement income and health care, and raising the real incomes on which a middle class depends." Read entire.
Leaves of Grass
150th Anniversary of Leaves of Grass. A good time for a Whitman-fest at the Virginia Quarterly Review. They are a subscription site, but many of the articles are free online.
From the intro by Ted Gennoway:
There's a manuscript in the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia that I consider the most important single sheet of paper in American literary history. It doesn't look like anything so grandiose. In fact, it looks like little more than a scrap of paper with a few scrawled lines. There are words scratched out here and there in the penciled script, alternate words tried out, question marks inserted over uncertain choices, but the words could hardly be more significant:
Dylan and Lousiana
A piece from 2002, but an interesting review of his fondness for New Orleans.
I agree with Barone that you would think the Taliban had come to town, if you go by the headlines. It seems to me that it's all political scare tactics. When Dems like Clinton used Christian moral arguments to support a goal, no-one complained. When Repubs do the same, it's suddenly creeping theocracy.
Politicans tend to use "situational ethics". They want to win elections and keep their jobs. So if they apply religious moral principles, even if only as window-dressing, voters ought to be at least a bit pleased - not fearful. The real issue is that the Left is ticked off about the 23% evangelical voters who don't see the world their way, but they don't know how to deal with it and become shrill and hysterical and throw a tantrum. The message is that it's OK to appeal to unions, or the AARP, or the ACLU, or the NAACP, etc., but it's not OK to appeal to the views of voters who go to church. But 70% of voters go to church, believing or hoping that there is more to life than self-interest and materialism.
"The real question is whether strong religious belief is on the rise in America and the world. Fifty years ago, secular liberals were confident that education, urbanization and science would lead people to renounce religion. That seems to have happened, if you confine your gaze to Europe, Canada and American university faculty clubs.
But this movement has not been as benign as expected: The secular faiths of fascism and communism destroyed millions of lives before they were extinguished.
America has not moved in the expected direction. In fact, just the opposite. Economist Robert Fogel's "The Fourth Great Awakening" argues that we've been in the midst of a religious revival since the 1950s, in which, as in previous revivals, "the evangelical churches represented the leading edge of an ideological and political response to accumulated technological and social changes that undermined the received culture." " Read entire.
And an amusing piece on the subect that has been floating around the b-world by a Charlie Otto, via Borowitz Report:
Start the morning right. Click here for a non-stop NY to Tahiti vacation. Click here: NYC to Tahiti Nonstop
As reported here on the 21st, the antics on Wall Street continue to amuse and baffle Maggie's Farm. One often hears that "fiction is stranger than truth" but it's true we just can't make this sort of thing up. John Thain must have been sleeping through the meeting that created the merger between NYSE and Archipelago Holdings because how else could he think he wouldn't be chastised for bringing in his old firm? Honestly where is the smarts, John?
Langone, Mack and Druckenmiller also seem to be rubbing their hands together smelling a coup but I think this is going to get uglier as more and more people become involved. Clearly Mr. Thain must have thought the same thing or he would not have kept it under wraps until announcing it publicly. But New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is on the heels of anything that moves so it is highly unlikely that we have heard the last of this. Stay tuned to this channel for more on the "Boys from Downtown."
Tuesday, April 26. 2005
We have all heard about "Club cows," but this is ridiculous. Story here. AP photo. I like the way he is gallantly jumping over the net to congratulate the winner. But why does the other seem to be yielding the field in a fearful manner?
Gay Patriot is pleased to see CT dealing positively with the civil union issue. Why should gays be insulated from the trials and tribulations of legally committed relationships? Share the joy! I know that Maggie's is not of one mind on the matter, but I'm the Bird Dog in Chief. It ain't "marriage."
Street-Fighting in Iraq
An unclassified report from the field concerning small squad operations in Iraqi urban areas, with detailed tactical advice. Fascinating.
The Essential Rolling Stones
Hey you youth out there! Enough of that Jimi Hendrix stuff, and that semi-lame Jim Morrison. If you want to get familiar with the good stuff, the Brit blues guys really got a grip on white rockin blues. Too gritty and menacing to be pop. Despite the wonderful Yardbirds, the Stones take the cake. And they usually mix it up with some sweet ballads. As good as ZZ Top is, what would they be without the Stones?
As a lad, we heard the Stones before we latched onto the Beatles. Maybe it was just chance - we were the trendy bunch that used fake ID's to hit the hot NYC clubs during vacation, and it was our baby sisters who listened to the Beatles. Not that you could hear any of these guys in NY. (Soon, I will need to post my pop music essay.) LOVE The Beatles - everything they did in their very short, brilliant career. The Beatles were highly innovative pop, but the Stones rocked it nasty, which well-bred, mannerly kids got a big kick out of. Like the college kids today liking rap. At the time, we had not heard of Dylan yet - only the wierd granola folk-guitar kids had heard his first album - and we were all in love with Joanie Baez; we heard The Kingston Trio (Charlie on the MTA) and stuff like that as an alternative to the smarmy "greaser-pop" crap of the time (which I very much enjoy hearing now...once in a while..it's a bit one-dimensional). Motown didn't exist yet in our universe - that is another huge story. Still in love with Joanie's voice.
Gotta start with Out of Our Heads. The first Stones recording I heard. As I recall, I heard this before I ever heard Dylan. Man did it sound earthy and hard and real compared to the tripe on the radio, but I had never heard Muddy Waters or Howlin' Wolf or Robert Johnson. I would soon, and would finally become a Delta Blues fan. But they had studied those guys, and Chuck Berry too. Satisfaction, and The Last Time, and more good stuff.
Advance to 12X5, with the immortal Time is on My Side and It's All Over Now.
Like the Beatles, the Stones began with a lot of borrowed American songs but they used all that history as a foundation for their development and growth. It's still only 1965, but December's Children represents the real beginning of Jagger and Richard's song-writing. Get off Of My Cloud and Blue Turns to Grey. I understand that the Stones weren't fond of this album, but I was/am. It's an almost sentimental collection.
In 1966 came Aftermath, as the musicians took over from the businessmen. The UK version is much better than what I heard in my prep-school dorm in 1966. Think, Flight 505, the wonderful Under My Thumb. "Under my thumb, she's a siamese cat of a girl...."
On Between The Buttons - there are two versions of this album - the Stones came into their own, and began to claim their territory of blues-influenced edgy rock-pop. Ruby Tuesday was Beatle-ish, but Let's Spend the Night Together was fairly straight-forward Jagger & Richards. And it has Complicated, now used for TV ads. Relieved to know these guys aren't starving.
1969's Let It Bleed is my final Stones recommendation. Their masterpiece, with creepy stuff, druggy stuff, country stuff including my favorite Honky Tonk Women. Brian Jones died during this recording - I have no idea how Keith Richards has kept himself alive all these decadent years. Lucky. Same for Mick, I guess.
Since then we have had Jumpin Jack Flash and lots of other stuff, but this fine early stuff is what the Stones stand on today. Not one bit of this is old-fashioned.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 09:40 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (4)
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