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, May 24. 2005
It's May 24 once again, and all of us here at Maggie's Farm would like take a moment to acknowledge the birthday of the man seen at right. Happy 64th Bob! May you stay forever young.
Dance, White Guy, Dance - Video - thanks, AnkleBitingPundit.
The Death of the Environmental Movement announced by environmentalists. In Bidinotto Blog.
Does the Int. Red Cross Hate the US? In WJS
The End of the Repub Revolution? It does look like it. It's tough to get much done in DC. In Intellectual Conservative.
Language and the Left. Zide suggests changing the language of the Left, to make it more innocuous. No - dont consider changing the ideas which have been unchanged since 1930. Watch for new keywords to appear.
Monday, May 23. 2005
Sex Ed in Olde Massachusetts
From Right Thinking, in his usual direct, refined style: As much as I often disagree with the social conservative movement, if the facts here are as they state them, this is one of the most offensive things I’ve ever seen. Not so much because of the content, but because someone thought that this was appropriate material to distribute at a high school. These same people, of course, would go apeshit if anyone dared to mention God or Jesus in a class, but see nothing wrong with explain to teenagers how to piss on each other, and give a list of clubs where they can go for sex. This should be national news. Can you imagine the outcry from the New York Times if a teacher had given out anti-gay material in a class? This is just despicable. Sex education is one thing. This doesn’t just cross a line, it demolishes it.
Will you ever find this story, if accurate, in the MSM? No, because the Left loves this stuff. You figure out why. Read the piece.
Yale Finally Boots God from Campus. View from 1776 has the story. Hey Yale, that's, like, really progressive, like, advanced, Dudes. Forget the past - Yale is really hip and cool now. Like finally catching up with Cuba. Like wow, man. I want to go to Yale - its Very Groovy. Can you dig it?
Alabama Christian Coalition - Did they use gambling $ to defeat gambling initiatives? It's only fair - everyone has to reveal their sources of $. If true, shameful and embarassing. Everyone is a hypocrite but, jeez.
James Watt was one of the favorite "demons" of the Reagan administration, but what Bill Moyers has done to him in his retirement is beyond shameful. When will that Moyers Generation retire? They are lost in the past. Powerline has the truth, as usual.
Dem Party on the Skids, from a Liberal in Recovery
I am past gloating about the success of the conservative movement, and I am not worried about the effects of the Dems being a long-term minority party. After all, the Repubs were in the wilderness for over 40 years, and during much of that time, a TV political debate consisted of two Dems with different views.
Their problem, as I have pontificated here before, is that they have painted themselves into a Left-flavored, anti-military, morally-relativistic, elitist, anti-religion, anti-tradition, big govt, and reactionary corner, a corner from which vantage point the past seems large, and the future small. And the Lefty flavoring has become so pronounced that their candidates are reluctant to voice their vision openly, because it's a losing vision nationally. They are out in the ozone, breathing very thin air.
That secret vision, as best I can tell, is to shape the US into something like France, or Sweden, or the old Soviet Union - or something like that. That's fairly crazy. However, their seeming delight in undermining traditional institutions and cultural icons is what seems to tick people off the most - no respect for the cultural, religious and historical foundations of the country that have served us so well, with the countless blessings that make us the role model and desired destination of the world, whether they admit it or not.
No doubt a way will be found for the Dems to dump this antiquated Marxist baggage over time and to regain some power. There is no doubt that powerlessness does not become them. Sooner or later, they will get on the right side of history - or fake it. Or, more likely, the Repubs will blow it.
This is especially relevant at a time when those nations which took the left fork in the road are scrambling desperately to change direction to get back on the highway to freedom from stifling, overbearingly maternalistic governments "that know what is best for us" - the very thing we had a revolution to get rid of. Who knows, maybe they did know best, but that was not the point. Americans would rather make their own mistakes than forfeit their power to politicans - a class of humans for whom they have little respect.
Patrick Hynes has written a piece called The Nostalgia Party which I think captures the pickle the Dems find themselves in (from corner to pickle - yes, I see it - this isn't literature). He reviews an American Prospect symposium called "Tax and Spend! The Case for Big Government," and provides a series of excerpts from presenters, for example:
Jack P. Shonkoff insists an expansive federal government is necessary to raising healthy kids.
Since when are families obsolete?
Robert Kuttner proposes a bizarro "Ownership Society" in which the government owns almost everything.
Russia and China already tried that. It wasn't pretty.
And Paul Starr opines that government rationed freedom is the only means by which to obtain true liberty.
Note that last line. Scarey. Where have we heard that kind of double-think before? This is not a joke, folks. From all of this, you might imagine that Liberals believe that the country is in deep trouble, if not in an emergency, rather than being the wealthiest, most powerful, most charitable, most Christian and most free country in the world - with the highest social mobility too. Hynes concludes:
The modern liberal movement, as characterized by the American Prospect's big government symposium, has devolved into a reactionary and unimaginative faction pining for the glory days of the early and mid 20th Century when government expansion was all the rage and "the future" was happening now in the old
But on top of recommending pessimistic ideas, there is considerable evidence the dreamy left is also just plain wrong. Consider
Of course. Wise observers knew it at the time - Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty" was a vote-buying scam perpetrated on a generous and naive nation, and nothing more. The goal of eliminating poverty remains a good one - but how? Anyway, read the whole thing at TechCentral.
1995 John Deere, Model 8650
We moved tractors to Mondays. Monday is the day we all need a little traction to get rolling.
This big boy provides more than a little.
I'd like to try pulling a few stumps with this one. Man, this is a serious tooth-puller. Almost too big for Yankee-land farms. Put a chain around the house and move it over there!
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 06:04 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, May 22. 2005
But concerning the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do love all the brethren thoughout Macedonia. But we exhort you, brothers, to do so more and more, to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we charged you, so that you may command the respect of outsiders, and be dependent on nobody.
From Paul's (chastising but encouraging) Letter to the Thessalonians, 4:9
This is a re-post:
James Twitchell on Higher Ed, Inc:
I guess it's true what employers in the business world have been complaining about - that a degree from a non-elite college is roughly equivalent to a high-school diploma, unless you do a rigorous major like physics or computer science. What Twitchell's piece adds to the discussion is the role of economics in the degradation of the degree. The saddest thing of all is that people are getting scammed by this selling of credentials that used to mean something. Read here.
Also - Name that campus in the photo. First correct emailed answer wins a Maggie's Farm tractor t-shirt, when they come in.
Saturday, May 21. 2005
Criticism from Readers
Keep 'em coming. We will try not to be hypersensitive or defensive. Much as we enjoy compliments, they really do us no good at all. (But keep them coming too.)
Yes, we can go overboard and be stupid and provocative sometimes. And yes, sometimes the transitions in our "essays" are lame. And yes and no, we are a hodge-podge, but so is life. And yes, we do like guns. And lots of other things, including dogs and marshes full of birds and this whole amazing Creation. And yes, we can be edgy - some of us, anyway. Edgy is OK, as is curmudgeonly, but cranky is something we'd like to avoid - if we can. Too much Cuba? Sorry. There is just something about Cuba that we like.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 06:21 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Boston Radio station WRKO replaces a Newsweek program with a Pundit Review program. Via New England Repub.
Dean falling flat as Dem spokesman? Party seems to be distancing themselves from the Vermont self-impressed hothead. Pardon me, Vermont. He was raised on Park Avenue and in the Hamptons. In Captains Quarters.
Linda Foley is in hiding? KnoxNews has the story. As Bird Dog says, public figures have to watch what they say - it can go around the world in hours.
VDH new piece - "Our Two Front Struggle." Just read it. It's tough to summarize.
Friday, May 20. 2005
The Collapse of the Soviet Union
Austin Bay has posted Part 2 of Tom Nichol's "Reform to Collapse in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, 1988-1991". Nichols is a Prof. at the Naval War College. The piece is not short, quite detailed, and a fascinating look at the recent past. Here.
Want another Pepsi?
Powerline's update here. Curt Jester highlights a new Pepsi product. - for the Michael Moore Generation - thanks, Michelle. And Hugh Hewitt is staying on the story. I admit to feeling badly for Nooyi for writing a speech that she probably thought was cute and hip, but was stupid at the least. Pepsico is doubtless crossing their Frito-stained fingers and praying that this just goes away in the next news cycle. The power that blogs have acquired is mind-boggling. Public figures will take note - if you say it, be ready to defend it - if it's stupid, wrong, or propaganda, it could get noticed.
The End of Innocence
The battle over the judiciary, after all of these years, represents the willingness of the Repubs to quit being loveable, and begin taking the reins. About time. Right or wrong, someone has to govern, and that means leading with authority and confidence as the other guys did for 40 years.
Steyn has the story. It is about how corruption works well in politics - plus scaring the poor darn voters - plus voter apathy. A spineless country, addicted to dependency and weakness. What happened to their spirit, dignity, and self-respect? The entire country is becoming a comical Molson advertisement, eh?
Why Islamic Terrorism? The Yankee View.
We have posted on this subject numerous times, and doubtless will again. But I have to highlight the simple truth. If America is mostly still passionate about political and economic freedom, freedom of religion, the dignity of the individual, freedom of opportunity and freedom of self-expression, then think of the Jihadists and Terrorists ("Insurgents", to the NYT) and Islamofascists as being at least as passionate about imposing Islam, Sharia Law, the subjugation of females, and the elimination of Jews, on the planet Earth. That is what it is about. Period. It is a culture war and the enemy, in their pathetic ignorance of the world, actually believes that they can prevail - with Allah's help, of course.
That cannot happen, and it will never happen. I relink this LGF piece. If it is important to be "understanding," then understand it. If it is important to be "tolerant" - forget it. Watch the video, too. Guess what? - We're on the right side....unless you have abandoned all sense of right and wrong at all, and would have wanted to also be "tolerant and understanding" of Adolf Hitler and his followers - after all, they had "feelings" too, not to mention a valid gripe about the Treaty of Versailles which screwed Germany in a humiliating manner.
But that doesn't matter - up here in rugged Yankeeland, where we try to live according to a stern self-imposed code, we do not entertain excuses. Take it or leave it: Excuses are for babies, and emotion-based "explanations" are for teen-agers. Make a mistake, and pay the price. Very simple and easy for anyone to understand. Even me.
The Western world has recently confronted totalitarian fascist movements, led by the defunct Third Reich, and again by the defunct Soviet Union, and those are thankfully in the dust-bin of history.
Once again, we are reminded of the old saw that "freedom isn't free." Don't Tread on Me.
(Colonial "Culpepper" flag thanks to Dave's Flag Site)
Today brings a ray of hope into the hearts of the Cubans. Is Fidel letting his guard down or will the Assembly be another propaganda ploy?
WHAT IS THE ASSEMBLY TO PROMOTE CIVIL SOCIETY IN CUBA?
Paxety Pages : Friday could be a turning point in Cuba's history.
Americans and Europeans condemn Castro's illegal incarceration of dissidents and their poor treatment.European Union Condemns Trials, Sentencing of Cuban Dissidents - US Department of State :
Washington -- "The European Union (EU) has condemned the recent trials and sentencing of 13 more Cuban human rights activists and journalists, who the 25-nation bloc said were arrested "while peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, opinion, association, and assembly.Three of the Cuban dissidents were convicted May 5 of contempt for authority, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, and were sentenced to up to five years in prison. Another 10 dissidents, who had been arrested more than two years ago, were given sentences of up to seven years in prison.Castro's regime ordered a crackdown on dissent in March 2003 that resulted in the 75 dissidents being sentenced to prison terms of up to 28 years."
If you would like to see what Cuba looks like today after 4 decades of Fidel in power click here.NEWS
Italy this Summer?
The strikes have already begun, just in time for tourist season. From Travelwire: "The unions are supposed to maintain a minimum level of service even on strike days, but this legal requirement is not always enforced in practice. The British Embassy in Rome has issued a warning that in addition to planned strikes there was also a risk of unannounced wild-cat stoppages by transportation workers in cities across Italy." Link.
Posted by Opie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 06:54 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
We have a number of Cuba-loving readers - but not in the Hollywood political sense. I mean folks who love the island and the people of Cuba, but who hate the Bearded One, Fidelito, and what he has done to the island. However, despite Fidel, the spirit of these wonderful people endures and will rise again and blossom after he is gone.
It is much easier and more common than I realized for Americans to visit Cuba now, via Mexico, but many do not wish to subsidize Fidel by adding their dollars to his economy. On the other hand, the people need money.
Too bad more Cubans don't have internet service. Fidelito would be gone in a flash, and I am sure he knows that. But may the "Sugar Cane" Revolution come soon, very soon, to Cuba. Cuba Libre! Personally, I can't wait to visit. My grampa loved Cuba.
In the meantime, there will be a taste of Havana in New York - Brooklyn specifically - this summer. Habana Outpost Food & Market.
Ann Coulter reviews Michael Isikoff's record of getting his reportage into print, and the results are distressingly predictable:
When ace reporter Michael Isikoff had the scoop of the decade, a thoroughly sourced story about the president of the United States having an affair with an intern and then pressuring her to lie about it under oath, Newsweek decided not to run the story. Matt Drudge scooped Newsweek, followed by The Washington Post.
Read the rest of her examples, and you'll get the picture.
"Remove Christians from society"? Perhaps the ACLU might wish to reconsider their wording? Honestly, this is Nazi-sounding language, regardless of the merits of the case. Story from Right Thinking here.
One thing Canada and the US have in common: A desperate, hysterical, berserko, lying and dying Left. From Belmont Club: What characterizes much of the Left today as exemplified by behavior from George Galloway to Paul Martin is the increasing necessity to maintain their position By Any Means Necessary. While that is dangerous and infuriating, it is a reliable indicator that they have lost control of the system. Things just aren't working the way they used to. And that, despite everything, is cause for hope.
Dying but, alas, not quite dead. Sorry, Canada. You got what you wanted yesterday.
Star Wars is Anti-Bush Propaganda? Lucas says yes, sort-of. Gimme a break.
Thursday, May 19. 2005
Four US Nationals Reported Jailed in Guadalajara
Four American citizens were arrested by Mexican military officials yesterday after being caught crossing the border into Mexico in a remote rural area. According to military officials, the four surrendered to an armed Mexican border patrol force without resistance, and are now in the custody of Guadalajara police.
According to the brief military report, the four white males claimed that they were from Minnesota, and were seeking to relocate to Mexico for "fun and sun and work" in Tijuana. They did not have American passports or Mexican work permits.
Entering Mexico without proper documentation, and bypassing offical entry zones, is illegal and punishable by incarceration. It is government policy to provide strict enforcement of the national borders to prevent illegal immigration into Mexico.
The four have not been permitted to communicate with the press or with attorneys. There has been no date assigned for any hearing regarding their status at this time, and the police have thus far refused to release their names or to comment on their condition.
The accuracy of this report has been confimed by neither the Newsweek staff nor by Al Jazeera News Service.