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
Friday, September 30. 2005
Enjoying a nice illegal Commie Cuban and a nice triple scotch tonight, windows open to the cool colonial Connecticut September evening and the wonderful cricket chorus and the occasional bullfrog croak from down in our marsh along the Farmington River, and checking out random blogs while the splendid she-who-must-be-obeyed is working on the elegant evening repast while watching dumb Fox news and sipping a few lady-like chardonnays in the kitchen. Stumbled onto a highly mediocre blog (not because of content - because of quality) and I found these assertions:
Yikes - Bush is attacking our very "ground." And aw, gee, not those dang "obscene profits" again. Try running a business sometime, cousin blogger, and ride a bike to work. The above is a quote from a blog in the Flappy Bird category, which means that it receives a fair amount of attention but is far from a star blog. Neither are we - yet. Up-and-coming, with a readership IQ I would be willing to put up against any other blog's. Notice the "marshall"? No, I will not make the effort to refute the statements. Too boring. Sounds kind of like a govt union employee of some sort, no? A teacher who cannot spell, angry about being evaluated? Feels entitled to a free lunch? I am not surprised that there are benighted humans out there who are so fearful and so distressed. I only want to tell them that it will be OK - no-one will take away your baby-bottle. Even the evil, evil Bush. Unemployment has never been this low in our lifetime, and the admin. doesn't even talk about it. Their PR stinks - right now, there is not a functional soul in American who wants to work who is not working at something. That is a wonderful thing - work is a blessing, and no honest work is ignoble. But I will offer one thought: Bush's legacy will be the Court. It is hard as hell to move the US govt. in any direction, and correcting our renegade courts may be all he can really do to make a lasting difference. (Is anything more important than our Constitution?) Plus getting rid of a bunch of fascist jihadists whose religious mission is to kill us all. How bad is that? Go ahead, read the blog I quoted, just to get a sense of how some Americans feel, however irrational and unfounded and sad their emotion may be. I wish they would read us. They would feel much better. But they won't. Ahh, I hear the dinner bell. Pavlov's Dog cometh on four furry feet and with salivating jowls.
Update: Great dinner, of course. Just chatted with our vet on the phone. He and his wife have been in Louisiana for the past ten days, taking care of lost and abandoned animals. What a great country we live in, in which even the animals receive our concern and effort.
News from Mars at Paxety
Chicken Korma, 1805
Who knew? Samiz.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:52 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Live news requires special care, and needs to be done by calm, skeptical people. But does that sell soap? Rick considers the hysterical, unprofessional, and deeply flawed Katrina coverage, which has been taken to task many times. Sad thing is - that dopey and plain wrong coverage went world-wide and made LA, and the US, look like idiots. No-one reads the corrections - the first impressions stick, however wrong they may have been.
Leftists in the CIA
It's more about where their loyalties lie, than their politics. Front Page: Click here: FrontPage magazine.com :: CIA Renegades by Steven Plaut
And speaking of Horowitz's Center for the Study of Popular Culture, he's running a Restoration Weekend at The Breakers at the end of Oct. Looks good. Wish I could go.
Sociology: An academic discipline or a political movement?
An entire academic discipline has been taken over by "the revolution." But we all knew that already, right? It's a joke, but also a damn shame. From Wagner's piece at HNN:
Read entire: Click here: Is Sociology Stuck in the 60s?
Bush needs to be taken to the woodshed
No doubt. Apparently his lousy polls are due to losing conservative support. He never had much liberal support to lose, did he? Hoagland at WaPo: Click here: A President in Need of a Blunt Friend
Gandhi and Hitler
Norm Geras' piece on non-violent resistance has attracted quite a bit of blog interest. Which Norm does deserve, but hasn't it always been clear that non-violence only works in Anglo-Saxon-derived cultures where conscience and Judeo-Christian religious ideals are embedded in both culture and government? Norm's piece here.
Wild cards: Baseball headed for an interesting weekend.
Canada's military "woefully unprepared" for terror - or anything. SDA
Teaching in Inner City Schools - not fun. Edn Wonks
How to beat your wife: Instructions on how, by a Spanish Imam. LGF
More on fisheries, and the success of IFQs. Env. Economics
Supreme Court will take on spending limits. Lonely Centrist
Polygamy in the Netherlands. Ah yes, the Vanguard of Societal Evolution, eh?
Zarquawi: "This war sucks." Iowahawk
How do we get around without getting lost? Cognitive Daily
The War on Israel is just the Lesser Jihad. Jihad Watch
Conservatives getting fed up with Bush. Nyhan
Samuelson: Are capitalism and democracy really so perfectly compatible? Click here: Capitalism vs. Democracy - Newsweek Business - MSNBC.com
Exodus, freedom, truth, and Dylan. Real Meal Ministries
Olasky on Katrina winners and losers. Click here: Townhall.com :: Columns :: Three winners, three losers by Marvin Olasky
Eric takes on the 10 Commandments: Graven Images?
NYT Letters to the Editor: Stix does a little study. Click here: Bush League: Letters Page Politics at the New York Times
Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities, because it is the quality that guarantees all others.
Thursday, September 29. 2005
Anti-War, or Pro-War?
Hitchins on the "anti-war movement:"
Please read entire.
The Int'l Freedom Center
On our blog, we are sometimes so far ahead of the news cycle that it can look like we're behind it. We wrote the death certificate for the IFC a week ago, when Hillary opposed it. FYI, here is/was their website. What the site will not tell you is what they really wanted to do.
A Rational Canadian Editorial
A defense of the USA, and a critique of Canada, From The Ottowa Citizen, via View from 1776, re NO:
The National Review turns 50
Excellent piece in Claremont Inst., by Uhlmann, reviewing the past 50 years of the conservative movement, and especially the role of William F. Buckley, now 80:
Fishing for a fishing license in NY
So -- Gwynnie thought she'd like to pursue some Fall troutses in the Empire State, and was not surprised to see that its Dept. of Environmental Protection protects its fishes by making it impossible to get a license!
Their newly announced on-line internet program D.E.C.A.L.S. purports to offer on-line licensing, but you can't use the system unless you have used it before! [How to you get on a train that doesn't stop?]
But wait! You can get a license by mail if you print out the application and (b) show your on-line D.E.C.A.L.S. number you obtained in (a) above AND (c) pay by credit card - no checks or cash! [How do you send money by mail using an application without blanks for a credit card number?]
So, off she goes to use the old method of visiting the nearest NYS town hall -- wonder what the unusable internet site cost NYS residents?
Posted by Gwynnie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 09:08 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
More on the Moonbats
From Investor's Business Daily, as quoted at Federalist Patriot:
"The media have pushed the idea that the demonstration this weekend at the White House was an 'anti-war' gathering. What they didn't say was who was behind it... For the record, the lead organizer [was] ANSWER, which the media routinely refer to as an 'antiwar group.' It is nothing of the sort. In fact, ANSWER is a front group for the Stalinist Workers World Party. And any group that qualifies for that epithet in front of its name deserves special scrutiny, since Josef Stalin was responsible for the murder of as many as 25 million human beings... So why do communists—particularly those who march under Stalin's flag—get different treatment? And why do thousands of average people feel comfortable marching arm in arm with them? It's a puzzle. After all, according to the 'Black Book of Communism' —a widely cited and respected compendium of communism's crimes in the 20th century—communist regimes murdered as many as 100 million people over the last century. That's quite a record. Indeed, all the century's great mass murders—Mao Zedong (65 million), Stalin (25 million), Hitler (21 million), Pol Pot (2 million)—were communists or socialists. Yet many well-meaning people who marched this weekend perhaps didn't know all this. Or perhaps they don't mind having their cause besmirched by people who aren't really anti-war at all, but anti-America, anti-West, anti-freedom and anti-capitalist... Maybe it proves the old adage: Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas." —Investor's Business Daily
Jeff Harrell enters retail Hell
We all sometimes feel like we just want to buy something, do we not? Usually an impulse best resisted, but what the heck. Harrell's piece is funny and familiar.
Bush just can't win
Now he's too engaged with the storm mess. Just goes to show you can always criticize anyone, anytime, if you want to. Sensible Mom. I agree. Fact is, I think the press just wants to see some emotion, Clinton-style ("my empathy is bigger than your empathy"), rather than manly effectiveness.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 08:10 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
The Old Doc asked me to jot down some thoughts about his post on Transgender. His post was pretty good for an off-the-cuff piece, and I can't do much better, but I can say more.
But let me first explain that the psychoanalytic view of the world is a strange and highly skeptical one: we rarely take unexamined thoughts and feelings and actions about important matters at face value, but rather regard them as surface data. Like oil geologists, we survey the terrain not because we value hills, but because of the clues they offer about what lies beneath. In AA they like to say that "Feelings aren't facts," and that is the truth.
Therefore we are inclined to view thoughts and feelings people have about their bodies and their sexuality as just that - thoughts and feelings, not facts, until demonstrated otherwise. Same as their thoughts and feelings about their mothers, or their jobs, spouses, or money, or anything else that matters. For example, I have seen patients who thought they were gay, and weren't, just as often as I have seen patients who refused to admit that they preferred guys. The Old Doc is right - people's feelings about what they are is always a muddle, and especially in adolescence. This is why analysts are always reluctant to label anyone: to stick with the geology metaphors, when there is a rattling of teacups in the cupboard, we want to know whether it's a mouse running around, or an earthquake in the neighborhood. Plain "rattling teacups" doesn't do it for us.
As a consequence of our skepticism about accepting thoughts, feelings, and fantasies at face value, we naturally also are skeptical about behavior. We know that people often do not know why they do what they do, even though they may offer a ready explanation. People are great at rationalizing and justifying things they do for irrational or hidden motives of which they are often unaware.
So, given all of that, just a few disjointed points:
First, the idea of how we feel and think of ourselves, and the melding of "female" and "male" identities, were discussed at length by Freud, as the Old Doc recalls, and is nothing new. However, most analysts would tend to regard a person's viewing themselves as another sex as a surface sign of what we call an identity disturbance.
Second, the idea of how we think of ourselves (not for the moment talking about partner choice) is sculpted by culture: it is not a "something" independent of culture. For example, the Whites at Harvard showed in their cross-cultural studies that man and woman roles are related to the economy (hunter-gatherer vs. agricultural in the "simplest" societies, with, as I recall, more gender differentiation in the hunter gatherer societies.
Third, Bettelheim's book, Symbolic Wounds, demonstrated the yearning by men across cultures for the power of the woman's body: ie. Bettelheim showed that there is male "womb envy" as there may be female "penis envy." (These refer to usually unconscious thoughts and feelings and fantasies.) He described various male pubertal rites across cultures of symbolic "menarche" including subcision or circumcision at time of puberty. In US cultures, this is more often seen as ear or nose piercing by boys, and the like. The phenomenon of "couvade" among some American Indians (male hysterical pregnancy at the time of the woman's pregnancy) was culturally institutionalized in some Indian cultures.
Continue reading "A few thoughts about "Transgender," etc."
VT needs a Repub to run against Sanders for Senate: Am. Spectator
DeLay's statement, here.
Anglican leadership in Iraq slaughtered.
Why I am still a Republican, by Robert George
Is Cindy a media whore, a star-f-er, or just a "liar," as McCain says
Real reason NO Police Chief resigned? RRWH has info. (Who would live there?)
At No Oil, A Marine comments on the peaceniks.
Propaganda in the classroom. Protein Wisdom
Calif - important referendum on union dues and politics. CSM
FEMA's Brown testifies, gets roasted by congresspeople trying to evade their own resp.
Junior Gotti out on bail - Curtis Sliwa watchful
Dick Morris: Hillary doesn't know which way to turn.
How Zarquawi hijacked the insurgency. Austin Bay
Downward mobility tough on male health.
The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.
Wednesday, September 28. 2005
VDH on University Presidents:
Read entire. Thanks for the tip, Instapundit
Two problems with Airplanes
News Flash: airplanes linked to global warming. I guess we never thought of that one before:
Dymphna on Air Safety: "It's all for show". Read this before your next flight. My links aren't working: Click here: Gates of Vienna: It’s All for Show
Doris Goodwin Returns
In this edition of the Atlantic, Mallon writes on Doris Goodwin and her reentry into historical biography. Everybody has made mistakes, and Ms. Goodwin is no different but I still think she is one of the best Presidential historians we have today.
"E pur si muovo"
Galileo's famous sotto voce words regarding the nature of the solar system, following his conviction by the Inquisition. One of our thoughtful readers (well, they all seem to be a cut above) suggests that the so-called "Scopes II" trial in PA might be better regarded as a "Galileo II."
Steyn: US out of UN?
Hard headed, strong stuff from Steyn:
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