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, January 31. 2006
Unfortunately or fortunately, Bush lacks charisma. But he has other, better qualities. Two good takes on Bush's speech tonite: Althouse, and John at Powerline
No time to comment right now, but tons of detailed immigration polling data from Time/SRBI, here. It is the issue of the year, but the pols are too chicken to touch it.
Harper Lee. I didn't realize she was alive. She keeps a low profile, most of the time. NYT
Moho is still on the job. They drilled a hole almost to the earth's mantle. Very cool.
Is there a health care crisis? Merline at TCS looks at the numbers and asks "Is there a Recreation Crisis in the US?" A quote:
Two boys in Boston were playing baseball when one of them was attacked by a rabid dog. Thinking quickly, the other boy ripped a board off of a nearby fence, wedged it into the dog's collar and twisted it, breaking the dog's neck.
A newspaper reporter from the Boston Herald witnessed the incident and rushed over to interview the boy. The reporter began entering data into his laptop, beginning with the headline:
"Brave Young Red Sox Fan Saves Friend From Jaws Of Vicious Animal"
"But I'm not a Red Sox fan," the little fellow interjected.
"Sorry" replied the reporter. "But since we're in Boston, Mass, I just assumed you were." Hitting the delete key, the reporter began:
"John Kerry Fan Rescues Friend from Horrific Dog Attack"
"But I'm not a Kerry fan either," the boy responds.
The reporter says, "I assumed everybody in this state was either for Red Sox or Kerry or Kennedy. What team or person do you like? "
"I'm a Texas Ranger fan and I really like George W. Bush" the boy says. Hitting the delete key, the reporter begins again:
"Arrogant Little Conservative Prick Kills Beloved Family Pet."
The Sears Roebuck 1975 Catalog. Cafe Hayek
Math in California. It's not your father's math. RWN. Why do we pretend that everyone can learn everything? It is so obviously not true.
The "urban heat island" in NYC. NASA is studying it. Interesting phenomenon. ScienceDaily
The Fed budget looks bad. We always said that there should have been a temporary war tax. Freedom isn't free. It costs blood and treasure.
First Denmark, now Norway feels the Jihadist heat. Stand firm, Norsemen. Dinocrat. Moslems have to learn to take a joke - and to look at themselves: Classical Values has example, and links to more Moslem cartoons. Somehow I sense that Jihadists are lacking in a sense of humor. They need therapy.
Savings rate lowest since Depression. Not good.
Standing by its values: Notre Dame. Sensible Mom
Do not raise your hand in England schools? This is the sure sign of a decadent culture, in decline. Painful to watch. Moonbattery
Who is an Indian? Phin
Mexico has been invading the US illegally for many years. But without arms, without armies, and with only covert governmental support from Mexico. What kind of President wants its population to leave their country? The East Germans used to dig tunnels to get out, but Mexicans are digging tunnels to get into the US.
In recent years, their armed forces have been engaged in this invasion, behind the scenes. Thanks to the blogs, this quiet war is getting some attention. The MSM ignores it, due to psychotic political correctness or something like that. Kind of similar to the Moslem invansion of Europe.
My suggestion is that Mexico get its act together, and become a country people want to live in and stay in. Why can't they do that? No-one is stopping them, and the US does all it can to help them. They have natural resources, great beaches, good hunting, a big population of nice folks, religion, a work ethic - everything you need to make a proud, successful nation without trying to colonize the US. (We tried being colonies already, and we did not like it very much.)
Message to the invaders, and legal immigrants too from around the planet: Why not stay in your own country, and make it a better place? It's not like the 1920s anymore - there is a world economy and the internet, and we are all connected. Show some pride of homeland - some patriotism. You can do it. Everyone in the world who wants to breathe freedom and who wants to take the risk of economic opportunity and personal development and achievement instead of being weak dependents of a totalitarian or corrupt or socialist State, wants to come to the US. We only have room for a few of you brave good people, and it is a big loss for your home country to have the ambitious and most energetic folks walk away.
Why should the US and Australia be the only Meccas for those excellent, energetic people seeking such fine but difficult things? Be patriots, honor your own traditions, and fix your own place. We did it here. India is doing it, too, Vietnam, even Libya - of all places - among others. It is not easy. For us, it required a war or two or three, but we paid our dues. It is worth the effort.
Another classic versatile
What do setters do, and why are they called "setters"? They point in a crouching manner - "setting," and they will track, and retrieve too.
The Gordon Setter Club here.
If I wasn't Bob Dylan, I'd probably think that Bob Dylan has a lot of answers myself.
Monday, January 30. 2006
Not news, but the dumb pseudo-filibuster cum fund-raising effort went down fast. YARGB is right about that. Any press is better than no press, right? The DNC is desperate: According to Drudge tonite, They are broke. A good way to look like an out-of-touch fool but, as on Wall Street, there is always a bigger fool to buy what you are selling. What should be interesting is the next Supreme nominee. She will be female, and a lady too. I can't wait. Anyway, Alito is a done deal now - but he always was. Now he can go back to his usual habits of smoking pot and chasing babes at the strip clubs and driving drunk and getting off on Ecstasy. A tip to radical Leftist Dems: Save your bullets....aw, it's too late now. You used them already.
"Aslan isn't safe, but he is good." Hunter at Ornery American digs into the Narnia movie, with some praise and some serious critique: A Defanged, declawed Aslan
I know Ted Kennedy just gets riled up, but I can't believe he said this about Alito and asthma. Makes himself look like a total idiot. Alito's not a doctor. Not that Mass. cares. Wizbang
Cement is not a boring subject. Neither is this graph of world cement production, via Synthstuff.
Why Mommy is a Democrat. It's a book. How come it's not "Why Daddy is a Democrat"? Maybe because he isn't. Right Wing News
Bush supporters are all bigots. Science says so, so it must be true. Expose the Left (did the Political Teen grow up? My, my, my - how time flies.)
Is eBay fundamentally a fraudulent enterprise? The Prof wonders.
Very funny photo of "Mrs. Clinton" with soldier. Confed. Yank
Hamas: Pothole-fillers or Nazis? Front Page says Nazis. They sure sound like it.
At the request of Mr. Free Market, we bring you one of
They find their food by sight and by smell, and are most commonly seen coasting around on thermals, effortlessly searching for dead animals with their long wings at a marked dihedral. They like to nest on cliffs.
Identification: The Black Vulture of the American south is one similar species, and, because of its size, it could be confused with Golden Eagle at a distance.
Why "turkey"? It's not just because of the unfeathered head, but also because they resemble Wild Turkeys from a distance when seated on the ground as they hunker over a dead deer or road kill.
More about this vulture at the CLO site here. Image by Audubon.
View from the Left: Americans even dumber than Bush. Paul Craig Roberts. Yup, no doubt that's the problem with America: we let dumb conservatives vote. I haven't heard the suggestion yet for "thought-adjustment centers." Wait a minute - we already have those. They're called "public schools" and "colleges."
View from the Clitoris: Shere Hite on orgasming the world to peace. Haha. She doesn't mean it as satire, tho. She needs to get out more.
The Great Wall of Cuba. The ongoing fear of ideas, at Paxety
New polls on immigration: Instap. It's a major political issue, and both parties wish it would just go away. This is a fundamental problem with immigration anywhere: if you have too much of it, it intimidates the politicans and, the next thing you know, it isn't your country that you know and love anymore. That is a big problem for national unity and identity and shared purpose. And that is why we believe that would-be immigrants should stay home and fix their own place. A country is family - or should be. Japan understands that basic principle of human nature. More tomorrow.
Our cousin and brother-in-arms Mr. Free Market and friends enjoyed a good shoot. But I don't get the jays and magpies. Are they edible? Or is it the old "If it flies, it dies" approach to shooting? I could get on board with that. Robin ravioli with gibier sauce and black truffle? Jay on toast? Chickadee puree with leek sauce?
Valentine's dinner at Alto. $4400 for two, (but tip is included, and one would hope a little romance too, afterwards). $4400 is pocket change for us Maggie's Farm sharecroppers - we made a killing by shorting pumpkin futures in October.
Not all Dems are Moonbats. Obama sounds rational. Calif. Yank
Brit poll: Less abortions. RTLC
Who is standing up for Denmark in their refusal to be bullied my Moslems? Classical Values is, and so are we, for what it's worth. Stand firm, Vikings.
Euro and American relationships with Libya are normalizing. CSM. Proof, is it not, that if a Moslem country renounces aggression toward us, we'll leave them alone.
Who is the enemy of America? Bush, or the Jihadists? Patterico attempts to clarify this knotty question.
We posted "Stuck on 1968" yesterday. Today, Barone makes a similar point at TCS, "Stuck in the 70s".
Condi says we won't give $ aid to Hamas. Duh. However, we do give over 350 million of hard-earned taxpayer $ to Palestine annually. Where does that $ end up? And why should coal miners in West Virginia, and cops in Paducah, be giving their $ to Palestine when they have their own Christmas credit card bills to pay? Not to mention their bar tabs.
Heard Peter Noone (Herman of Herman's Hermits) interviewed on Mark Simone on WABC, Sat. nite. What a charming, unpretentious, and smart fellow. Among other things, he said that "Henry the Eighth" was a pub song that his grandfather was known for singing. He is a third-generation musician. And Peter is still on tour.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:26 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
The first time that this day hath been yet observed: and Mr. Mills made a most excellent sermon, upon “Lord forgive us our former iniquities;” speaking excellently of the justice of God in punishing men for the sins of their ancestors. Home, and John Goods comes, and after dinner I did pay him 30l. for my Lady, and after that Sir W. Pen and I into Moorfields and had a brave talk, it being a most pleasant day, and besides much discourse did please ourselves to see young Davis and Whitton, two of our clerks, going by us in the field, who we observe to take much pleasure together, and I did most often see them at play together. Back to the Old James in Bishopsgate Street, where Sir W. Batten and Sir Wm. Rider met him about business of the Trinity House. So I went home, and there understand that my mother is come home well from Brampton, and had a letter from my brother John, a very ingenious one, and he therein begs to have leave to come to town at the Coronacion. Then to my Lady Batten’s; where my wife and she are lately come back again from being abroad, and seeing of Cromwell, Ireton, and Bradshaw hanged and buried at Tyburn. Then I home.
From the wonderful Pepys Diary website. Who needed an office in those days? Business was conducted in the pubs, during strolls, and over supper. No Bloomberg machines. Plus, we stumbled today on the great Cromwell's "funeral". We warned you that Maggie's Farm had unpredictable stuff.
The frazzled Left would like to limit your free political speech, as was clear from Stalin's quote which we quoted in QQQ last week. Now that we no longer have a monolithic leftist media, they are getting very upset about diversity of ideas. However, the Left historically likes to limit available viewpoints. Bad idea, for a country full of thinking, imaginative people. Important piece by Anderson in Opinion Journal. Quotes:
Uh huh. Yup.
McCain wanted the goody-goody independent image. This is the price we pay for his goo-goo image.
For sure. The man speaks the truth.
That is what is called "advocacy." This advocacy is performed by the people Horowitz calls "the deep swimmers of the Left."
Read entire. Everyone, regardless of their politics, should be upset with what is happening. This is infringement of free political speech, and it is an insidious erosion of the Constitution. Repeal McCain-Feingold.
I reject your reality, and substitute my own.
Adam Savage (Host of Mythbusters & Visual Effects Creator)
Sunday, January 29. 2006
From Ralph Peters at NYPost Opinion:
Read the piece. She's changing all the rules, for the better.
Can you believe this? I guess I can. Naomi Wolf finds Christ. I should say that Christ found her. She was a very bitter, angry, destructive person, beloved of the man-hating feminists, but I guess divorce was tough. Can hardly blame the poor fellow who probably has to go out there and eat protein and try to grow his penis back. Now, she will be ostracized by the Moonbats.
Evil, evil Halliburton: No-one wants to buy their KBR subisidary, which isn't making any money in Iraq. Winding it all down.
I am fat. It is the restaurant's fault. Can't blame me: I just eat what they give me.
Recharge your cell phone by working out. There's a good idea. Engadget.
"Brea, buter en grienne tsiis is goed ingelsk." That is Frisian for "bread, butter and green cheese is good English". Frisian is said to be the mother tongue of English - but is English just Frisian? I guess so. A dialect of Frisian, with a bit of Latin and French added for flavoring.
Cockburn on Kristof's brothel issue. Hahaha
Pikeville wants its environment destroyed. Amazing. I know Pikeville. Good American coal town, with solid church-going people on their front porches in the evening, smoking and sipping coffee or beer in their undershirts while their wives are cleaning up in the kitchen, and saying Howdy to the folks passing by. Pronounced "pok-v'l."
Anti-Americanism at the Beeb. There has got to be a limit. YARGB. Hey, Beeb - we ain't all that bad, really. We're just your average blood-thirsty imperialist capitalist monsters who want to oppress the world with evil freedom and evil economic success and evil life opportunity. We are bad, aren't we?
France's D-Day Museum tried to go the way of the 9-11 Memorial. Got to keep an eye on the sneaky Moonbats. Moonbattery
The End of the Spear. HH recommends it. Will see it, and will bring Gwynnie.
Getting difficult to find dog on menus in China. What a shame. The sad loss of an iconic multi-cultural item. Like live monkey brain, which no doubt our kids eat in grammar school when they do their multi-cultural sensitivity section on China, immediately following their section on Tienanmen Square, no doubt. Am I a bit pissed off at China? Yes. Our growing handful of Chinese readers have abruptly disappeared. Why would they block a Farming Blog? Or am I paranoid? Yeah, I guess they probably just didn't enjoy Maggie's...
And where the heck are our Cuban readers? We love Cuba, hate Fidelito. Guess no-one there can afford a PC because it's a People's Paradise where everyone can be happy without being confused by information. Socialism has kept them a Third World country. Great free medical care, though, if you don't mind cockroaches, rats, and Russia-trained doctors: notice how many Americans go there for treatment? Exactly none, even though travel to Cuba by Americans is easy and often done these days. You just go via Mexico. They want dollars. As Fidel ages and dies, we should loosen up with Cuba. More connection with the US will help the next generation of Cubans, but I know the hard-ass Florida Cuban-American vote is important to the Repubs.
A book: Scotch and Toilet Water,
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 04:05 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. 22They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 23Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, 24and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” 25But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. 27They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.
Saturday, January 28. 2006
I have never thought that it made much sense to talk about "happiness."
For one, I do not know how to define it. For another, I suspect that joie de vivre is probably more of an inborn talent than something which can be sought. For another, I think people were made for work and responsibility and to find God - not for happiness. Self-respect is a tall enough order, in itself. And "self-esteem" is psychobabble: I have yet to meet the person who deserved it.
I still blame Jefferson for being a weeny and giving in by replacing the words "pursuit of property" with the vague and new-agey "pursuit of happiness." (Yes, that did happen.) I think that set a crazy standard for a life which is in many ways a vale of tears, confusing, mysterious, and an endless challenge.
It is much easier to talk about what doesn't make us happy, or makes us unhappy, or upset, angry, disappointed, fearful, or pained.
As our readers know, I rarely refer to pop, or especially "lite pop" psychology pieces, but this one on "Happiness Traps" by Baker in Prevention Magazine has been brought up by a couple of my patients in Boston. It is simple, clear, and practical.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:47 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
That was the "intellectual impresario" Brockman's highly-stimulating Question of the Year for 2005. Answers from a number of scientists and thinkers via The Edge website were compiled as a book. The Edge 2006 Annual Question is "What is your dangerous idea?"
My dangerous idea, or one of them, is "What if life is real?" Another is "What's for dinner?"
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:35 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
"The New York Times editorial page is like a Ouija board that has only three answers, no matter what the question. The answers are: higher taxes, more restrictions on political speech and stricter gun control."
Well, we believe than gun control means a steady aim. Got the idea from Mark Levin to check this out: Here are the folks who write those NYT editorials, with a bit about their backgrounds. If you care. A bunch of lard-asses, as a reader delicately observed.
Have I mentioned lately how much we like The Teaching Company? Check it out, if you aren't familiar with them. Great stuff, and a good alternative to Books on Tape if you spend time in the car. Sign up just to get their catalog - it's an interesting read in itself. This month, a piece on Michael Haydn. Michael? Yes, Joseph's brother, who frequently collaborated with Mozart. The Robert Greenberg music courses are spectacularly enjoyable, entertaining, and educational. But so is most of their stuff.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 04:36 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, January 27. 2006
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