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
Wednesday, August 31. 2005
Nervy pilot: Air Force One drops to 2900 feet to view hurricane damage, here.
And from around the world (from Opie, back from Alaska):
Where is the compassion?
I have searched high and low but perhaps I haven't read enough newspapers. Can anyone tell Maggie's Farm what the world is saying about America's present tragedy? I remember France among others telling us how we did not give enough aid when the tsunami hit Asia, but where are they now? I suppose the world feels Americans can take care of themselves. And we can, but wouldn't it be nice to have a little compassion for those folks who have lost everything including their lives.
The following International papers and what their headlines are today:
The front page in the Herald Tribune is Baghdad:
Le Monde: headline is Baghdad with New Orleans running second: Le Monde.fr : A la Une
The Guardian UK: headline Baghdad with New Orleans running second:
Eureka! Der Spiegel has the outlook:"When a tsunami hit South Asia in December, the world mobilized to help and aid poured in. Now that parts of America are underwater, the US is handling the relief work virtually alone. What is going on? By Jody K. Biehl in Berlin more...
You Got To Be More Than Street-wise
Some of the reports of looting and lawlessness in New Orleans have been quite shocking: police officers joining in the looting, an entire Walmart ransacked and all the guns stolen, gangs of armed men roaming the streets, officers getting shot by looters, prison riots, citizens breaking into jewelry shops, pharmacies, clothing retailers and the like directly in front of watching police and national guardsmen.
This activity is no doubt fueled in part by New Orleans' already very high crime rate, which has risen in the last several years despite rapid decreases in almost all other major U.S. cities (as this article reported just two weeks ago, also here). Not coincidentally, New Orleans also has only 3.14 officers per 1,000 residents, half of what Washington D.C. has and less than most big cities, and those relatively few officers have had to deal with uncooperative, suspicious citizens and even charges of police brutality when attempting to carry out their highly dangerous jobs. As the foremost priorities for the city are rescuing stranded residents and plugging the massive breaches in the levees, it looks as though this situation may deteriorate further.
Katrina, and Politics
Floods are mythic things. They all refer back to Noah, and they all refer to apocalytic events in general, whether personal or widespread. I received some hypersensitive comments about the Dylanologist's photo post last night, but let me inform you: Dylan's song Down in the Flood is DEAD serious and not a lark. Songs and poetry are more serious than prose. We lowly prose-writers must never forget that.
The hate-Bush Jihad is politicizing the storm all around the wacko blogosphere, and yesterday German politicians joined the chorus of blaming Bush for hurricanes - seriously. And now the well-known expert climatologist RFK Jr. On Monday, we posted our satire, before the flooding began and when everything seemed OK there, which seems a bit insensitive in the current context. At the same time, the politicization of a storm is not only deplorable, it's a lie.
I kind of hate to interject this at this moment, but the Left justifies lying, because they believe they are historically right and morally superior, so the ends justify the means. People like RFK Jr aren't stupid, just unwise - they are clever and corrupted by arrogance. Most ordinary politicians are motivated by pure self-interest - money, perks, acceptance, stature, fame, favors, power, ego-building, and chicks in the Georgetown bars (sorry to state the truth, Chris "Little Tom" Dodd, Teddy and Gig-John...does not apply to my old college buddy Jerry Nadler) - those apply to the familiar smiley-face corrupt sad souls everyone easily sees and understands and accepts as one more dumb part of life in their towns, states and federal reps, and keeps a safe distance from the contamination, to protect their souls. Until they need contracts or favors...
But the Elite Left runs on deeper motives, and are therefore more insidious and dangerous than the average everyday conniving, mercenary political jerks that would use their poor mother or even their dog or kids for manipulative advantage, if they only could. Why? because the Lefty politicos think they have been anointed to save the world - not just their lowly selves and their pointless lives. They want to save you! But you don't want to be saved by them, do you? And one thing politicans know is that if you repeat a lie often enough, it will enter the ethos. Believe me on that, if on nothing else.
Anyway, having completed this highly therapeutic rant, the truth is that hurricanes appear in cycles - and we are in one. Rick Moran has already rightfully blown his top over this.
The best site I have found for New Orleans updates is the Times-Picayune's breaking news log, here. With hundreds, if not thousands, of people still stranded in flooded homes, attics and rooftops across the city, rescue boats were bypassing the dead to reach the living, Mayor C. Ray Nagin said. Nola.com: NewsFlash - Crisis grows as New Orleans looted, flooded . And who knew that Katrina's rains hit Palm Beach and Miami?
Instapundit today lists some good places to donate money. Let's all step up to the plate, and do the right thing, as we did with the tsunami - altho this is nothing compared to that, it's bad enough.
(Photo: Mount Ararat and Mount Ururtu, from the website named)
Sunday evening, Long Island Sound, looking for stripers and blues.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:34 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
God Banned from US Air Force
So who is your co-pilot now, fly-boys? The ACLU? You will not believe this. What weenies let this happen? Never give in to the Moonbats because it will only encourage them.
How California Destroyed Rambo
and anyone else who tries to govern a wacko state. Good, serious piece by Judis at New Republic.
Just when everyone relaxed on Monday night, figuring New Orleans had been spared the brunt of the storm, we started to see the high water rising. You don't need me to bring this news, but surely it is scarey to think you're out of trouble, and then begin to notice the water coming up. Can you really blame these people for not believing the government? It's clear to me that the USA, and the Red Cross, are on the job.
How does Norm find this stuff?
Check this out - Word Count - which has now ranked the top 88,000 most commonly-used words in English. My only problem with it is that it lists plurals, verb forms, etc. separately from their roots. "Shotgun" is number 12559, and "chagrin" is number 25703. Thanks, Norm at Normblog.
Coffee good for your health: Here
Sheehan antics backfiring, here:http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/8/30/163939.shtml
Tuesday, August 30. 2005
Crash on the levee, mama, water's gonna overflow
Swamp's gonna rise, no boat's gonna row
Well you can train on down to William's Point, you can bust your feet, you can rock this joint, but hey, ain't you gonna miss your best friend now
Gonna have to find yourself another best friend somehow
Well the high tide's a risin', mama don't you let me down,
Pack up your suitcase, mama don't you make a sound
Well it's sugar for sugar, salt for salt, you go down in the flood, gonna be your fault
Oh, mama, ain't you gonna miss your best friend now, you're gonna have to find yourself another best friend somehow...
Re our piece on translating Petrarch posted yesterday, a reader sent in this quote from the Hebrew poet H. Bialek: "Reading poetry in translation is like kissing your mother, through a veil."
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 09:21 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
A rhetorical question, born of frustration: Why does it seem as if we members of Western, Northern European Civilization are required to "tolerate" and understand and empathise with those from different traditions and cultures and world views, when the same is never demanded of them?
The new Scorsese Dylan movie No Direction Home
The two-CD set is out today, and the film will be released on DVD on Sept. 20, and shown on American Masters on PBS on Sept 26 and 27.
From Pareles' review in the NYT today:
Read entire interesting review here. (Photo of Dylan in 1961 by Steven Fenergian, PBS, in the NYT piece.)
Murdoch does China, and blows it. Even though he tried to play ball with their police state dictatorship: Click here: TIME.com: Testing Beijing's Limits -- Sep. 05, 2005 -- Page 1
The Monitor has no cat, no coat, inside the cannons. Still cool.
Free San Francisco. Let 'em go. Miller at TCS.
Monday, August 29. 2005
New Orleans dodged the bullet, and why it is all Bush's fault
It will be a mess, but nothing like the most dire fears/predictions. Unfortunately, that means that, next time, people will be tempted to discount the warnings. The TV is still hyping things, but that's just to keep you watching to sell you soap. Storm now Cat 3 and fading fast.
In the meantime, I notice that every paranoid wacko and malevolent jerk is busy blaming Bush for the hurricane.
I am not one of those wackos, but personally, it seems simple to me that Bush and his oil and Halliburton friends created the hurricane with their hurricane-generating machine on a top-secret oil rig in the Caribbean to damage refineries and oil ports in Louisiana to raise the price of oil so they and their Saudi accomplices can get rich. That's all obvious, right? So why did they miss their target? Hmmm, the story gets even deeper and darker...Maybe Rove had a plan...nothing is by accident, right? Maybe Rove and Co. aimed the hurricane towards New Orleans for a quick jump in oil futures, which they shorted in advance, but had the hurricane trained to dodge east into Gulfport at the last minute, after they collected their winnings. That must be the explanation. And it explains why Bush stayed at his ranch sipping French chardonnay and flirting with the lovely, sexy, Rove-controlled Cindy "Sheehan" - he knew in advance it would miss New Orleans. It all becomes clear now. Another head-fake from the demonic Rove, just like the correct early exit polls in the election, proven to have been designed by Rove to make the Democratic electorate complacent and to get out the fraudulent Nazi Republican vote. Still, once again Rove lied and people died in Katrina. Same old story.
Update: Got an email asking why I said "Rove-controlled Cindy "Sheehan."" Clear as day. She's the worst advertisement for the Dems they could possibly have. Everything makes perfect sense, if you only know how to look at it. Why "Sheehan" in quotes? Not sure it is safe to explain, with the Bushes running this police state we are in.
Update: Got another email asking me to explain the Ben and Jerry's connection with "Sheehan" and Rove, and to further elucidate the above. Heck, it makes all the sense in the world for the Nazi Repubs to be money-laundering funds through Ben and Jerry's to make her PR organization look authentically Lefty. Very clever to use the time-honored Ice Cream Tactic, perfected by Stalin in his annual Free Ice Cream for the People (but not for Jews) Holiday. It throws the press off the scent as they foolishly lick their Cherry Garcia cones and thus are distracted from the Real Story that is right in front of them. If those two pot-addled Vermont hippies were truly Left, they never would have charged money for their ice cream (produced at the expense of suffering, oppressed slave cows with only minimal voting rights, even in supposedly "enlightened" Vermont). Boycott Ben and Jerrys - tools of Rove and the Fascist Bush and the capitalist Bush-Saudi-Israel-Halliburton cabal. Free ice-cream (also, free health care, housing, food, sex, beer, gas, and SUVs) for the Masses, NOW! And you wonder why Cindy won't leave Crawford? She has a thing with GW. Obvious. What else would keep someone on a sidewalk in Crawford but true love? Cindy - Crawford...now you get it. See how it works? Just connect the dots. And don't believe those news photos, obviously doctored by Rove and his accomplices in the mainstream media to make her look like an aardvark. She is artful in the way she tries to disguise it by trying to sound anti-Bush. They have met already, remember, but she tries to keep that a secret - now you know why. It all adds up. It's a no-brainer.
Update: A thoughtful reader agrees, and points out that Laura Bush hasn't been seen for weeks. Somebody says they think they saw Laura sunning herself in the nude on the upper deck of George Soros' 120' yacht in Nantucket Harbor (anchored right off of Gigolo John's wife's mansion's beachfront) through their binoculars. That's all the proof I need. Hey, GW - call what you're doing "clearing brush" on the ranch, or polishing the doorknob, or whatever you want to call it, but the little wifey is having her fun too.
Update: Yes, yes. It is true. "Gigolo John" is John Kerry's nickname on Nantucket, among the locals. "Gig-John" for short. (As in "Aw, sh-t, here comes that arrogant f-ing a-hole no-tip Gig-John again for another skim chai latte.") Gig-John would be President today, if Rove hadn't changed the votes with his electronic voting machine controller, located offshore on a top-secret oil rig in the Caribbean, adjacent to the top-secret hurricane generator. And still the right-wing New York Times refuses to put a reporter on the story.
From James Bowman's The Myth of Control in The New Criterion:
Sail a 12-Metre
Does this sound good?
12metre.com on St. Maarten has five retired 12 meters, and they run several races per day. Yes, they have professional crews, but you can go too and they will put you to work.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:25 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Is this a war? Illegals bring down chopper in Calif. Balloon Juice.
The Methodist Church tries the PR and advertising route. I am afraid they have it backwards.
Michael Yon: Gates of Fire. A gripping and terrifying report from the battlefield.
Mehan considers St. Thomas More (thanks, Prof. Bainbridge)
Mike Adams considers perversity at his university
Why union members are leaving the Dems. Right Thinking
How Pres. Ford banned assassinations by the CIA. (Will no-one rid me of this meddlesome Chavez?)
Studies prove men smarter than women. Duh. Woops, sorry sorry sorry, it must only be in England.
Time for new ideas for the Dems - not better marketing. Determined marketing didn't work for the Edsel, and it won't work for appeasement, pacifism, redistribution economics, contempt for tradition, hatred for the US, and moral relativism. Kinsley quoted in the Hasset article:
In Praise of Hitchins by Simon
Sunday, August 28. 2005
Worst Case Scenarios for Storm
From Stratfor.com, an excellent intelligence source which has sent out a Red Alert:
To read the rest, you need to sign on their site. Some of their stuff is free, but it's copywrited.
Crash On The Levee (Down In The Flood)
Hurricane Katrina has now strengthened to an extremely powerful category 5 storm with 175 mph winds, making it one of the strongest storms ever to threaten landfall on the United States. The storm's pressure of 907 millibars is lower than any storm other than the 1935 "Labor Day" hurricane that devastated Florida (though that storm was considerably smaller and more compact than Katrina). The only really comparable hurricane is Hurricane Camille, which caused massive damage to the Gulf Coast back in 1969. Check out post-Camille photos here, and note how the satellite images of that storm correspond to those of Katrina.
Models are predicting the storm to track almost directly over New Orleans, a city that is located below sea level and which keeps the waters at bay only by a system of pumps and levees. A direct hit from a category 5 storm could potentially flood the entire city, in addition to the severe wind damage that can be expected from such a storm. Stormtrack has a discussion of potential damage here - this sounds downright scary. Probably a good idea to pack up your suitcase if you're a New Orleans resident - this could be the meanest flood anybody's ever seen.
(Note: Hurricane Gilbert, which struck the Yucatan in 1988, had the lowest recorded pressure of any system in the Atlantic Basin, with 888 mb, but the above link only refers to hurricanes that made landfall in the U.S. Some typhoons in the Pacific have had even lower barometric pressure.)
Bono, Karma, Grace, Nihilism, and Christianity
One of Dr. Bob's best. A few selections from Grace 4 U2:
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly, never be conceited. Repay no-one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the eyes of all. If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." No, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thisty, give him drink; for by doing so you will heap burning coals upon his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Paul's Letter to the Romans, 12: 9-21
Photo: The Church of Christ, Congregational. Norfolk, CT
Friday, August 26. 2005
We reported on the death of Rick's black lab Buzz last week, a reformed felon (Buzz, not Rick, well...hmmm, um) who was a hunting machine. The good news is that Parker has just joined Rick's household.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 08:17 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
The Latin Beat
Daniel from Venezuela News comments on this latest entry in Venezuelan politics and it is interesting to read what he thinks as he has been covering Chavez since the beginning:Venezuela News And ViewsVenezuela News And Views
If interested in learning more on the presidential problems inherent in Latin American politics check out:Journal of Democracy Latin American Presidencies Interrupted by Arturo Valenzuela , Professor of government and the director of the Center for Latin American Studies at Georgetown University. This piece is an excellent summary of the past presidential catastrophes in Latin America and why the system is flawed.
And of course, we wouldn't be Maggie's Farm if we did not post the truly funny and hysterical Cubans and Venezuelans who let all hell break loose when commenting on their favorite Dictator Fidel:Sundries: Bring Me The Head of Hugo Chavez!
CAFTA isn't the only way to promote business in Central America. MUNDO MAYA: the way to travel with a conscience is to promote preservation:
Future of Photography: Don't miss this piece in the NY Sun if you dig pictures and cameras.
Malkin's Update on MSM's lies and fables, here.
UN tries to hassle UK over expulsion of terror supporters. Hey, UN, take a hike. The UN is a joke. Thanks, Samizdata.
Rick Moran on the future of information, blogs, media, etc. Plus some good insight into the thinking of a serious blogger.
Why do we like to hire illegals? Eric says it's because it's the old-fashioned way. I tend to agree. Here.
NY Games is fairly cool. You missed yesterday's game, but these are worth following for serious gamers who will get off the computer and into the game world.
Gasoline prices: Check this graph of gas prices adjusted for inflation, and quit whining. A nation of babies. Anyway, haven't the Left and the enviros been longing for higher gas prices? They should be happy. But have you seen this graph in the news?
The relationship between wealth and welfare states. Interesting discussion.
Meme: A popular blog-world word. It's a cool word: it means a cultural gene; an idea or thought which is transmitted culturally, but has come to be used as an idea or thought that is transmitted widely. The basic meaning is more valuable, I think. Another aspect of a meme is its self-replicating ability, like a virus.
Sick of Cindy: This gal was a loony tune before her son was killed, and enough is enough.
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