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
Monday, July 25. 2005
Donald Trump may be a slippery self-promoting egomaniac, or he may be an inspired, self-made franchise (but not a self-made man, since his dad had a real estate empire too). Whatever Trump is or isn't, he knows real estate, and he can be articulate. So when he says the proposed UN renovation is a boondoggle, I would tend to believe him. (No offense to CT's Chris Burnham, a good fellow but not a real estate guy.) Story in NY Sun.
Brewton on Islam and the First Amendment
One of Tom's best essays, which precisely captures the dilemma of liberal democracies when facing a threat which is both internal and external. Samples:
"We are taking over."
Surely this sort of statement presents a challenge to British PC "tolerance":
"We don't need to fight. We are taking over!" ["Abdullah," a Muslim watch-mender and evangelist] said. "We are here to bring civilization to the West.
Read entire by Cella at TCS.
New York, Bloomberg, and A Play
Spent the past two days banging around NYC, like a tourist, with visitors from California (who headed off last night to Brazil to tour that famous tourist trap, the Amazon River). All I can do is to offer kudos to Mayor Bloomberg. His polls indicate plenty of people agree (although his assertion that NY will not profile for terrorists is either ridiculous or disingenuous - I hope the latter). I thought Guiliani had done a good job with my favorite American city, but NY now looks and feels as wonderful as it did when I was a kid. NYC requires a world-class manager - not a politician - and that is what it has. There are millions of people on the streets til late at night, happy-looking cops walking their beats instead of prowling in cars, young familes and packed open-air restaurants everywhere, and a feeling of safety and festivity which is pure delight in a place that saw some bad times in recent history. The parks, large, medium, and small - are the most striking change. Rather than being filled with dog and human feces, drug addicts, criminals, winos, and the occasional dead person, with dead plantings and menacing vibes, they all look immaculate, with healthy lawns, musicians, tasteful plantings, great looking people, and a welcoming and civilized atmosphere. My poor shot of the eastern edge of Union Square Park here reminds me of what that park was like in the 1970s when I lived nearby on University Place, when you would cross the street to avoid getting near it. Now it is everything - and more - than Olmstead could have imagined. Interestingly, four of New York's ten most popular restaurants are now in the recently-abandoned Union Square area.
Union Square is just a block from the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute, where on Sat night we saw the world premiere of Patrick Feigelson's one-act play "World Premiere." Patrick is pals with our California friends, and now Patrick and the French playwright David Valayre have just completed translating their "Edellstein" into English, a dark drama set in German-occupied Paris. We wish them good luck with that play.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 06:10 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
It's summer up here, so I'm a bit behind on my job. If you've seen all of this, please forgive me:
Gimme a break. NYC won't use racial profiling to check subways. Huh? Right Thinking. That is the stupidest thng I have ever heard. And now there is an anti-search movement in NYC: Confed. Yankee. What jerks. So walk.
Guantanamo soliders complain to Ted about his comments. No comment from Ted.
Excellent point from Sean Hannity: Whatever "fight" there will be over Roberts will be the purposes of fund-raising for the Dems and Dem-allies, not substance. So true.
Robert's humor in most recent decision, upholding a car search, in NYT:
"Sometimes," Judge Roberts wrote in yesterday's dissent, "a car being driven by an unlicensed driver, with no registration and stolen tags, really does belong to the driver's friend, and sometimes dogs do eat homework, but in neither case is it reasonable to insist on checking out the story before taking other appropriate action."
A legal take on how Roberts will effect the court. From Damnum.
Infantile - but a principal orders removal of Bush portrait from classroom in NY. What a nut. Hey, Long Island, wake up!
Inside North Korea: Stories from those who have escaped, in Open Democracy: Click here: A gulag with nukes: inside North Korea Jasper Becker - openDemocracy
An interesting take on L'affaire Rove, with comments on the flaws of syllogistic logic, at Libertarian Leanings
Bloggers, be careful, if your employer doesn't like what you have to open your oatmeal-hole about. Daily Bus. Review - woops - gotta re-find that link.
Steyn on the supreme court:
"The Democrats drew exactly the wrong lesson from their chad fever. If the case teaches anything, it's the importance of winning at the ballot box, which you do by promoting clear ideas confidently stated. The Dems prefer to leave it to the Divine Right of Judges. You might too if you believed in gay marriage and partial-birth abortion, but, simply as a matter of practical politics, it's disastrous for the party. Poor sad Richard Cohen, unabletomoveon.org after five years, is a fine emblem for the Democrats: Ask not for whom the chad hangs, it hangs for thee." Whole thing is amusing - read entire.
Free Market Fairy Tales on a non-PC roll in the UK:
I suppose that you, like me, have spent the last week being nice to Muslims. It must be a bit unsettling for the poor buggers – dozens of middle-class white people grinning inanely at them instead of completely ignoring them as usual. But you do feel the need to make some effort, if only to mentally project the message that “It’s OK, we understand that you’re not all fanatical suicide bombers … although actually that bloke over there does look a bit iffy”.
Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of 'touching' a man's heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it.
Sunday, July 24. 2005
Saturday, July 23. 2005
The three most enraging news items of today (thus far)
1. Big Pharoah has more details on the Egypt terrorism. Thanks, Instapundit. Our condolences to the Egyptian victims of the latest madness. But, to add to the tragedy is this comment:
That is pure apologizing for terror, and the purest Grade A BS too. Surely he is well aware that he is spouting the latest Al Quaida talking-points - the latest propaganda excuse for the current Jihad, which he doubtless knows preceded the Iraq war.
2. Terrorists aimed shoulder-fired rocket at US military aircraft one month ago - in Oklahoma. Details as released by military in NIN.
3. 9-11 was intended to be much bigger, including the UK too. Jihad Watch
From Samuel Pepys IX
July 21, 2005
Friday, July 22. 2005
Judge Roberts attacked for wardrobe
And his family, too. I guess it's hard to find fault with this ultimate serious, un-hip, straight-arrow guy. Of course, if he wore black t-shirts and were a party animal, his wife dressed like John Dean's wife, and his kids wore ghetto garb, that would be a problem too. Moral of the story: You can never win when someone is determined to find fault. Michelle has the story. And Captain Ed has the sarcasm.
Hey, you Anti-War,
These two boys being hung, for homosexuality, in Iran. One under 18 - not that age matters. Is that a "civilization" anyone wants to respect? Sorry for the graphic reality, but real is real.
Let's find a limit to "multiculturalism", OK? Let's start having the self-respect to make some moral judgements, and quit with the anthropology. Relativism isn't cool anymore. Maybe it was hip in the 60s, but now it's a discarded old intellectual fashion. Never forget that only Christianity-based, individual-respecting Western Civilization could have invented Anthropology in the first place, not to mention free-thinking, not to mention relativism. This is Barbarism, and Evil too. Photo from Gay and Right, via Sullivan.
The Met's Own Mona Lisa
Recently acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art for about 45 million, this 11"X8" Duccio, c. 1300, Madonna and Child, is one of the most dramatic and important acquisitions by the Met in decades.
Calvin Tompkins explains why, in The New Yorker. A sample: "We are at the beginning of what we think of as Western art; elements of the Byzantine style still linger—in the gold background, the Virgin’s boneless and elongated fingers, and the child’s unchildlike features—but the colors of their clothing are so miraculously preserved, and the sense of human interaction is so convincing, that the two figures seem to exist in a real space, and in real time."
And he covers the interesting provenance of the painting.
(Sorry - you cannot go and see it - it's undergoing minor renovations right now but will be back on display "soon".) Note the ancient candle burn-marks on the frame - they will remain.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:56 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Two from Chrenkoff: Terrorists target gays, and Miss Universe is in trouble with her feminine wardrobe, in Canada (piece below the above)
Sowell notes the abuse of words emerging in the anti-Roberts trumped-up silliness, at Town Hall.
The Canada-Washington State bad-guy tunnel, with photos, here
ACLU wins another one, against the EVIL EVIL Boy Scouts. This is not your father's ACLU - this is an ACLU which hates American tradition - a destroyer of culture and cultural traditions. It has been co-opted by the Left for years. Here is the Stop the ACLU website: Click here: Stop the ACLU - Beating the ACLU With Their Own Sickle and Hammer
American Thinker notes one more reason Dems can't hit Roberts too hard - he is Catholic, and the RC vote matters to them. So Chuckie and Ted will just make enough fuss to throw some meat to the Daily Kos readers, and it will be over.
The always interesting Bradley writes about "The Hip Hop Sellout" at Acton Inst.
Thursday, July 21. 2005
In London - here.
Of course, in London you cannot call them "terrorists", which is insensitive and prejudicial to our Jihadist brethren. (Laura I. had great fun with that last nite on the radio.) Here's their strategy: Force Britain to clamp down on Moslems, thus further radicalizing the Moslems towards the goal of the British - or European - Caliphate. Simple, and straight out of the playbook of the 1960s American Left - force the cops and the govt to deal with you, and then complain about oppression. It's like a cancer that feeds on chemotherapy.
Thus the only treatment is the scalpel. Interesting that these four didn't feel in the mood for death - too bad they didn't. This kind of warrior does not deserve British justice, which is not designed for the likes of them. Brit justice is designed for wayward Brits, not for alien soldiers bent on destroying the country, including its judicial system. What did the Brits do with Nazi spies and infiltrators? I am fairly sure they were a bit rough on them.
So... let's not worry about whether crackdowns radicalize Moslems - let's just hope England and Europe wake up. No more of this return to "business as usual." This is not about criminal justice. It used to be called "war."
Thanks to Morning Coffee blog - it is Dunkin Donuts around here. Rarely Starbucks.
The Dylanologist: Our own Samuel Pepys: July 20, 2005:
The Anti-Jihad Left
Their numbers are growing, but not fast enough. Are they possibly realizing that a successful Jihad will get the Left nowhere? Fascinating set of statements at "Unite Against Terror," including Hitchins, Iraq The Model, and other notable "progressives."
Three Excellent Bits
1. Steyn: "...you can't assimilate with a nullity - which is what multiculturalism is.So, if Islamist extremism is the genie you're trying to put back in the bottle, it doesn't help to have smashed the bottle."
2. Goldberg at Town Hall: "Britishness, for all its faults, was once seen around the world as a distinctly valuable and admirable quality. Decency, respect for law, intelligence without so much bloody abstraction, propriety, manners: These were the attributes invariably attributed to the Brits. Since Powell's speech, however, the British have turned their backs on all of that. Their popular culture is vastly more coarse than America's. Worse, they have seized the kingdom's leading institutions and scraped out the best traditions and customs like so many tumors."
3. Thompson Redux: Life After the Left, on FrontPage: I realized there was nothing at all “amazing” about the Left’s non-chalance toward the Iraqi vote. It was way too late for astonishment.These were the same people who scorned Ronald Reagan for daring to call the totalitarian gulag state of Lenin and Stalin an evil empire.
I FEEL SO MUCH SAFER NOW IN NY
Why is it the NYT always feels a need to point out to every terrorist living here and abroad where they could strike next? It seems that in this day, when all Americans must put their national security concerns first, an article should not be published until after the problem has been addressed and rectified. But then, I am just a suburbanite watching the world blow itself up from afar. Another discovery I have made about myself and I am sure I will get a lot of grief for it but I don't really care is that I am guilty of racial profiling; I would rather be wrong about thinking someone looks like they could blow up a bus and have to apologize than having to pray for their victims. In this century, the rules are changing the way the game of life is played. From the NYT:
How the media helped Kerry lose - by mistake - Opinion JOurnal
Feds encourage illegals to get mortgages...huh? Newsmax
It has been some time since we last posted on the Venezuelan crisis but Chavez is such a clown that it takes time to sieve through his messes. From Venezuela News and Views:
Continue reading "Latin Beat: Chavez, Rome and Carthage"
Good piece on multiculturalism and cultural assimilation in the US - Bainbridge
And Steyn - Our multiculturalism is the true suicide bomb
An excellent review of the history of the V1 buzz-bombs of WW2, with schematics, defensive strategies, and good detailed history of the V1 attacks on Britain.
When you're lost in the rain in Juarez
Now if you see Saint Annie
from Dylan, Just Like Tom Thumb Blues, on Highway 61 Revisited
Wednesday, July 20. 2005
Post-SCOTUS Syndrome: A Little Quiet on the Blog Front
Either the conservative bloggers are nursing celebratory hangovers, or they are just having the joyful feeling of hope. And there's more - American Spectator: