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.
Some folks have got to be worried right now. Pline. And Jeff nails it:
"With few exceptions, I don’t think many of them actually believe this story. But what such allegations provide for, however hypothetical and farfetched they turn out to be (and NSA oversight is some of the tightest in the country), is an ethos of romanticism, intrigue, and—for those hoping to experience or recapture that heady counterculture ethos—heroism, in precisely the mode of the antiheroes who peopled the political dramas of the early 70s, from 3 Days of the Condor and Parallax View to All the President’s Men and The Candidate."
China's economy set to surpass that of Britain. Samiz.
The NSA: The "big" NYT story is unravelling. Am Thinker. Where is the outrage about the NSA leaks? Max Boot (woops- they are Dems - what happens to Senators when they leak top secret intel? Jail, perhaps? I would just love to be running against those guys right now, but my job is better.). It's insanity: Willisms - and I agree.
Christmas defended. Yes, Virginia, the Founding Fathers did celebrate Christmas. And how! With parties, booze, and dancing. They were not barbarians. They did love life, they trusted in God, and they wanted freedom from State Power and viewed government as a necessary evil, and not as a free lunch. God Bless those brave, optimistic patriots who risked their lives and their sacred honor, and who continue to inspire us today.
"Please note that this Bank is installing new Drive-through tellermachines enabling customers to withdraw cash without leaving their vehicles. Customers usingthis new facility are requested to use the procedures outlined below when accessing their accounts. After months of careful research, MALE & FEMALE procedures have been developed. Please follow the appropriate steps for your gender."
1. Drive up to the cash machine.2. Put down your car window.3. Insert card into machine and enter PIN.4. Enter amount of cash required and withdraw.5. Retrieve card, cash and receipt.6. Put window up.7. Drive off. *********************************************************** FEMALE PROCEDURE: 1. Drive up to cash machine.2. Reverse and back up the required amount to align car window with the machine. 3. Set parking brake, put the window down. 4. Find handbag, remove all contents onto passenger seat to locate card. 5. Tell person on cell phone you will call them back and hang up. 6. Attempt to insert card into machine. 7. Open car door to allow easier access to machine due to its excessive distance from the car. 8. Insert card. 9. Re-insert card the right way. 10. Dig through handbag to find diary with your PIN written on the inside back page. 11. Enter PIN. 12. Press cancel and re-enter correct PIN. 13. Enter amount of cash required. 14. Check makeup in rear view mirror. 15. Retrieve cash and receipt. 16. Empty handbag again to locate wallet and place cash inside. 17. Write debit amount in check register and place receipt in back of checkbook. 18. Re-check makeup. 19. Drive forward 2 feet. 20. Reverse back to cash machine. 21. Retrieve card. 22. Re-empty hand bag, locate card holder, and place card into the slot provided. 23. Give dirty look to irate male driver waiting behind you. 24. Restart stalled engine and pull off. 25. Redial person on cell phone. 26. Drive for 2 to 3 miles. 27. Release Parking Brake.
Metaphor, analogy, imagery, and the like, not only make it easier to learn something - often they are what we know (shadows in the cave). The picture of that Neils Bohr atom comes to mind, like a mini solar system: that picture is a visual analogy, bearing no resemblance to a real atom. It is tough to integrate anything new without a metaphor to carry it into the brain. Jesus spoke in parables for the same reason. The below excerpt is from a piece by Hudson at The Ornery American:
"The very pervasiveness of this strange way humans have of explaining concepts to one another should lead us to question why metaphor is so prevalent in our communication. Why should the conflation, for example, of roses and cheeks in the same sentence conjure up images of cherubic children with the healthy pink pallor of youth? What do lemons have to do with defective cars? I believe that the answer to these questions may have its roots in the fundamental nature of human learning.
Nobel prize-winning neurobiologist Eric Kandel has shown that memory and learning are tied to structural changes in the connections between neurons that form the functional units of the brain. Essentially, whenever we learn something new there are new connections made in the brain, and those connections are what allow us to think about the new knowledge we have acquired. It is safe to say that any bit of knowledge that we have - whether it is knowledge about how lemons taste or what the color yellow looks like, or even how it feels to be in love- this knowledge must be reflected in the physical structure of the brain."
If you can concentrate at this hectic time of year, read entire.
As we have said on these pages in the past, presidential politics is open warfare, and has been at least since Watergate, when a fine President with some personal flaws (as they all have) was brought down for essentially trivial reasons which did not justify undoing an election. In fact, if Nixon had only had the balls to say, in the beginning, "We screwed up," the whole thing would have blown away in a few weeks.
I believe in the concept of "loyal opposition." I thought it was wrong to go after Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton in the vicious, disrepectful, and blood-thirsty ways in which they were hounded - always searching for the scandal that would either destroy them or handcuff them. (Nobody bothered going after Carter except for the attack rabbit. Bush Sr. took a lot of gratuitous hits from the press, but the opposition did not seem determined to destroy him.)
With GW, as with Reagan, we see the opposition, with their leftist bedfellows in the press, frothing at the mouth. Let's see how many trumped-up and invented "scandals" Bush has endured: 1. He really lost Florida. 2. He really lost Ohio. 3. He caused Abu Graib. 4. He lied about Iraq so his friends could make oil money. 5. He caused Katrina to kill blacks. 6. He spies on innocent Americans. How many have I missed?
These are all calculated, opportunistic, and dishonest assaults, hoping to cause damage or to draw enough blood to attract the sharks. It's the wrong thing to do, and the "concern" is as transparently feigned and phony as can be. These president guys mean well for the country. They are normal humans, but they mean well (insofar as any politicans mean well, anyway).
I am no lawyer, but I have read the legal analyses of the NSA thing. My conclusion is that if the NSA and the CIA were not secretly monitoring foreign calls to potential terrorists, that might be cause for impeachment. That would be a true scandal. Given how easy it is to be on American soil, and how easy it is to become a citizen (far too easy for this amazing privilege, if you ask me), our spooks had better be looking for them and watching them, because there are guys out there who want nothing more than to kill you and me.
How quickly we sink into our decadent complacency.
Layout boats fool ducks. Here's the new one, on Saturday on Long Island Sound, surrounded by Bluebill decoys. You just lie down in it and hope a big wave doesn't drown you. You tow it out and anchor it. Another boat has the dog, etc. (Click Continuation Page below to see photo of Harley)
After today, in the northern hemisphere the daylight begins to lengthen. The ancient astronomers had it all figured out - the bottom of the year, after which re-birth begins: "between the woods and frozen lake, the darkest evening of the year."The precursor of Christmas festivities: Saturnalia. And, symbolically, a great place to put Christmas, regardless of whether Christ was actually born in April, because the themes of birth and re-birth, and the coming of the light, run strong and deep in the human soul.
"The President is not the Enemy", by Ed Koch. For rabid Dems, he is the enemy. Bush is at war with the bad guys, and the Dems are at war with Bush. Feeling powerless makes immature people feel mean and angry, and pushes them towards hysterical extremes. Please tell me, Dem readers of Maggie's, of whom there are plenty - why no focus on the real enemy?
Iraq vote pushes Iraq in Islamist direction. Too bad, but it's their country. CSM
To find out what this is all about, click the ALiyah Diary Category at upper left and scroll through.
12-9-05: To Jerusalem, and not yet back. In Jer, cafe Tmol Shilshom (the day before yesterday) sitting in Yehuda Amichai's corner, around 5. Today, after an early a.m. bike ride, bad spill, bent rear wheel, I collect myself, limping a bit like an old 'rthitic farmer feeling the rain coming on. Deliver my bike to Pablo to repair, check email at Ilan's, hop the bus to TA to give lecture at Geha hospital, one of the largest Psychiatric hospitals in Israel. As usual, I am on the wrong bus, but relying on the goodness of strangers, the bus driver in this case, I am redirected at the Azraeli Twin Towers, to catch the Petah Tivka (Hope's Opening) bus to Geha. Talked about dream interpretation, a paper I wrote some two years ago, unpublished, in which I build on Erikson's idea that dreams are dreamt at a certain moment in a person's life, sometimes embracing an era's dilemmas, and we can explore this fruitfully, using both latent and manifest content (the space, the time in the dream, the physicality of it and its sensuality). I give examples of a child's dream, a young adult, older adult, followed by dreams in different phases of psychoanalysis, including an elegant end phase summary dream. Well, to begin, Gil Zaltzman, new head of child psychiatry, does the usual nice introduction, then adds that I am an oleh hadash. First quiet clapping, then across the auditorium of some 60 faculty, the applause continues. At the end, applause again. And good questions, very good, making me think harder on the paper. They ask me to stay for lunch to talk more. The two administrative assistants attend the talk and thank me.
Found it amusing when I pushed the autotranslation button on Google for this French recipe for boeuf bourguignon. Given that the translation is mechanical, it is actually comprehensible, mostly. Wasn't sure what 1 cup of flour soup meant, or 100 gms. of plugs. Translating boeuf to ox is curious. Or maybe they really mean 1 kg. of ox. Hard to find that hereabouts. And can I assume that purpose of the "grass of Provence" is to enhance the appetite? (grass is mixed herbs, plugs are lardons)
How near is legal polygamy? If done right, it could be a good deal for guys. I can see 4 or 5 beautiful young women, all working at lucrative executive jobs and "fulfilling themselves" in the modern way, while I hunt and fish all day, and blog, read, stop by the gym and maybe Starbucks afterwards to read the papers, have my nails done, take naps, have a few beers, do some online trading, and conserve my strength for the arduous evenings of husbandly duty. I might let them rotate cooking me dinner. This could be good. I'm ready, plus it's Biblically OK. Old Testament, anyway: only losers have just one. Monogamy is monotony. Pre-nups for all though, gals, and tuitions for any kiddies are not my problem. We will all be very modern and progressive. Kurtz in Wkly Std.
"The Democratic Party have contrived to get themselves into a situation where bad news from Iraq is good for them and good news from Iraq is bad for them. And as there's a lot more good news than bad these days, that puts them, politically, in a tough spot -- even with a fawning media that, faced with Kerry and Murtha talking what in any objective sense is drivel, decline to call for the men with white coats but instead nod solemnly and wonder whether Bush is living "in a bubble."
One day Iraq will be a G7 member hosting the Olympics in the world's No. 1 luxury vacation resort of Fallujah, and the Defeaticrat Party will still be running around screaming it's a quagmire. It's not just that Iraq is going better than expected, but that it's a huge success that's being very deftly managed..."
Religious Left Marches in Protest of Budget Cuts. But I thought religion and politics shouldn't mix? No, no, I see, I got it wrong. I misunderstood. I was being a bit too literal. Collectivist Christians good; individualist Christians bad. Now do I get it?
What I would say to these marchers is "DONATE." It's that time of year. Donate the $ you wish the city had taken from you, to the city govt or to your favorite charity. That's what Red Staters do. That's what caring people do.
When it's voluntary, it means much more, and is far more satisfying.