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, January 27. 2006
David Warren has the same take on things that we do down here:
Sounds familiar. Who is picking up the tab for all of these state-castrated souls? Read his entire thoughtful piece.
He is 7' and 323 lbs. He is "the beast from the east" and he is the Heavyweight Champion of the World.
A bird flu vaccine produced at Univ. of Pittsburgh. That is very good news and a big deal.
How can computer-generated animation convey emotion accurately? You have to study the human face: Cog. Daily
If you have not already, check Michelle today on two things: Harry Byrd's support for Alito, and Kerry's considering using the filibuster.
Scott takes a look at the Return of the Rosenbergs. Hey - these folks were criminal spies.
A cool science/philosophy site: Edge. H/T, Instap.
Ken Blackwell in Ohio: Malanga in City Journal. Malanga is always excellent. Quote:
We don't believe in saints at Maggie's Farm, but we do love Dylan and Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy was a progressive Republican with more interests and ideas than he knew what to do with. He was always concerned about the power of industrial monopolies and "trusts," and always genuinely concerned about the farmer and the factory worker at a time when you would have to have been heartless not to be.
Here's Teddy's voice, with a speech on Social and Industrial Justice, 1912.
Recent tragic deaths of children in New York City have resulted in a massive pointing of fingers where? At the City. Not at the parents. Blame the poor social worker who is probably doing her best to juggle and salvage all of the hopelessly dysfunctional homes she has on her roster - as if anyone could, regardless of the numbers of social workers. Even one social worker per family couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together.
Is it realistic to expect a city government to be 100% effectively in loco parentis, with a population of 8 million? I don't think so. NYC has an enormous and very professional department of social services. And yet the press seems to approach it that way: anytime anything goes wrong in this world, it's a government failure. But these deaths are, in fact, not signs of government failure as much as they are signs of family failure.
Blaming government for everything that goes wrong in this world reveals a deeply dependent attitude towards government - it reveals the immature fantasy that government could make life nice and safe for everyone, if it only wanted to. As if it were a perfect parent, or God. But even God doesn't make everything nice and safe, does he?
I don't mean to be nihilistic here, and not hard-hearted - just realistic. Being alive is intrinsically risky: most years, 43,000 American adults die in cars, and 2500 kids. No matter what efforts are made, hurricanes will come, mines will cave in, people will get sick, planes and cars will crash, families will unravel, and bad people will do destructive things. (And trial lawyers will bring law suits, claiming that if we had crystal balls, the event could have been prevented.)
Stories of kid's deaths and murders are heart-breaking, especially when there are two-year waiting lists for adoption. If people can't handle kids, or life, the caring thing to do is to give the kids to someone who can, and who longs for the responsibility and the chance to give love and care and protection. Those are things that even a perfect government could not provide.
Gelinas at City Journal wrote about the deaths here: Why Didn't anybody save Nixmary?
This turn-of-the-century Austrian artist has millions of admirers of his emotionally intense work. There is now a major show of his work at the Neue Galerie, which specializes in Austrian and German art (86th St. and 5th Ave., NYC).
This is his "The Artist's Wife."
Both Schiele and his wife died young in the flu pandemic of 1918. His bio here.
More of his work here.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:00 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
I promised, a while ago, to do something on the Dark Side of God. But it is a tricky, teacherous path to walk, and I am surely not the person to blog on the subject. The Christian's God may be a God of love, but love is not a simple matter, is it? A God of love is no cuddly thing. Life isn't Sunday School, either. Nor did C.S. Lewis select the giant lion Aslan, to depict a divinity, casually.
So I will refer you to this site, with a weighty piece on the Dark Side of God, by Nysse at the Luther Seminary. Be forewarned - he does refer to the "cheap, trivial Grace so often proferred in our midst." Sadly, the site will not permit me to cut and paste some quotes. Powerful stuff for those who are interested.
Modern art is what happens when painters stop looking at girls and persuade themselves that they have a better idea.
Thursday, January 26. 2006
"There's a long-distance train rolling through the rain, tears on the letter I write.
Eric asks "What is news?" He wonders why the Canada elections and the border war with Mexico aren't considered news by the MSM.
And, after reading Gwynnie's post below, I have to wonder why the NYT is not subject to McCain-Feingold. If blogs are theoretically subject to them, then why isn't an overtly partisan dog-training tool like the NYT? At least blogs don't kill trees to be published. We posted our last rant on the subject, "Cancelling the NYT," in Sept. We'd be on their case more often, but it's just too easy. Give us a harder target.
More two-faced political advocacy from the house organ of the DNC. The NYT is not “biased toward” liberalism and the Democrats, it is their intellectual core, an active participant; it has long since eschewed trying to report news – it prefers to try to create news!
New York Times deplores use of the filibuster in editorial, "Time to Retire the Filibuster," January 1, 1995:
New York Times demands use of the filibuster in editorial, “Senators in Need of a Spine” January 26, 2006:
Ya can't make this stuff up.
Monkey police: Live Science
Google turns to the Dark Side: Blogcritics
Canada: Tory minority in Canada is for the best, says Cap'n Ed. And is "Canadian Military" an oxymoron? TCS And more on Canada: The Harper Derangement Disorder is rapidly developing - you won't believe the quotes: Belmont.
Hillary: To know her seems to be to dislike her. Maybe the Dems should take a pointer from Bill, and find someone else to love. She'll end up filling Ted Kennedy's shoes for the rest of her life, or for as long as New York puts up with her. Goldberg at LAT on Hillary's downslide:
The great Brit disgrace: The National Health. Tangled Web. Thank God we never went for that here in the US. Politicized medicine has got to be one of the worst ideas possible.
If what Loftus said last night on the excellent John Bachelor Show on ABC radio is true, this could be the The Story of the Year. Tapes of Saddam discussing WMDs, how he fooled the inspectors, what countries are helping him, etc. Loftus is hyping the unveiling of this info, in February. Why wait?
Howard Dean & Co. may need to get ready for a rapid "adjustment." Should be interesting, especially if this intelligence is real, of course. But Loftus claims that a US intelligence agency has confirmed that it is Saddam speaking, and has confirmed the meeting dates on the tapes - but I will be a sceptic for now.
While chuckling over The Barrister's post yesterday about spying, I arrived at a mini-epiphany: those goofy but loveable entertainers Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh are right: the American Left really does hate America.
And the Democratic Party follows their lead just like a pig on a leash. I hate to admit it, because I like the idea of a two-party system, with each holding the other to account, but both loving their country and what it stands for. That ain't what we have now.
So, for amusement, next I Googled "anti-war" and some variants therof and saw what popped up. Please sample some of these to see where the current anti-war movement is coming from. Talk about living in the past!
Now I do not mean to smear anyone with serious and principled misgivings about the War on Terror, or the liberation of the Middle East, with Communist intentions. But I think these sorts of people on the links are where the rhetoric, the talking-points, and the attitudes are coming from: Vietnam and a wish for the defeat of the US, just like The Barrister's character with the tin-foil hat. Too bad they're too young to remember World War 2, or are willfully forgetting it.
Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons, and you will find that it is to the soul what the water-bath is to the body.
Wednesday, January 25. 2006
Dang. The reporters I call won't write up my evidence that he did. I figured they'd be suckers for my story. They say I have evidence, not proof. They worry about proof when we are in a Class Struggle? And didn't Jesus teach his socialist revolutionaries "What is proof?"
I did hear some tap-tap-tap on the phone a few months ago, but it turned out to be a water leak from the gutter but it was suspiciously aimed at my keyboard and f-ed it up. Then I had some computer problems, and that should be a sure sign of secret government hacker intrusions, so it's very possible they were into my email, but the only emails I get are "Naughty Farm Girls" and my favorite "Fat Girls get Frisky" etc which I hope Bush and those CIA boys enjoyed. I know the dog was barking very loud the other night to warn me the FBI was going through the garbage, and it could have been raccoons - but you never really know for sure, do you?
But I wish I could show that he spied on me. I could go on TV, be famous, write a book, get lots of chicks - or at least one chick maybe (even if she doesn't shave her armpits), and be a Hero of The Movement, like Kerry or Jerry Rubin. Oh, that was 30 years ago? What's it called now? It's all over? And you say chicks prefer military guys nowadays... aw sh-t. Am I too old to sign up?
Hey Dude, please spy on me. I am definitely a certified beer-powered anti-Establishment Revolutionary and a walking talking danger to capitalism - wanta see my disability card? Not working and getting my share is my heroic personal revolt against The System. I would have even voted for McGovern but I was drunk that day. I am so totally supporting Osama's People's Socialist Revolution in Iraq and Afghanistan against the Capitalist System. So listen to me now, Mr. CIA Agent: Viva Che; Make Love not War; Impeach
If the government won't spy on me after saying all that, what can I do to be groovy?
"Domestic spying"? A phrase borrowed from the Nixon era. I do not believe anyone who claims they have been spied on. Pure narcissism. The Globe loves to write stuff like that.
Canadian Border Guards run away!!! Too funny. Maybe Harper will correct the weeniness in Canada. RTLC. Funny coincidence: Harper wants to increase Canadian tourism from the US. I guess a gun works better than a passport.
The Border War with Mexico. It is happening. Moonbattery
Is 12 years enough for reporters who reveal national security secrets? YARGB. I'd prefer banishment - why should we pay their room and board? And more on the press...since when do laws not apply to them? Lib. Leanings
Repubs should quit worrying about Hillary. Why do they worry, anyway? Cap'n Ed. Repubs should worry more about living up to their stated ideals.
The Joel Stein Follies. Pline
Michelle corrects the Ben Franklin misquote that had been going around. Thanks. Was gonna do it myself.
The "curious rise of anti-religious hysteria," from Furedi at Spiked
Religion of peace: Brit Moslems to boycott Holocaust events. Am Future
Well, duh. More from the piece:
Exactly right. Hard-wired. Read the whole thing. Once upon a time, every grandmother in the world knew all of this.
Bernard-Henri Levy's new book. He is an interesting and colorful French intellectual and psychoanalyst who considers himself to be "anti-anti-American." The book, his 30th, aspires to follow in de Toqueville's footsteps.
Quoted from the New York Magazine review:
Like many French writers, he may have a tendency to imagine that he is smarter than he is - but I would not put de Toqueville in that category. It's worth a minute to read entire review here.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:00 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Rows and floes of angel hair
From Joni Mitchell's Both Sides, Now. You only need to write one song like that in your life.
But this piece is about changing cloud cover, and how it effects heat balance on the earth. It seems to be a changeable thing. Scientists don't understand clouds very well.
People today are still living off the table scraps of the sixties. They are still being passed around - the music and the ideas.
Tuesday, January 24. 2006
A remarkable piece by Michael Mandelbaum in Foreign Policy. Opening quote:
I highly recommend the entire piece.
Balance on the Court matters now, but it didn't with Ginsburg. Reason looks at the news, then and now.
The Blackberry case. NY Sun
Why are the once-optimistic Dems floundering again? McIntyre at RCP
Wolfowitz isn't getting it done at the World Bank. Financial Times
Clinic assists doctor's suicide. BBC
A fine TR (therapeutic rant) on American education. View from 1776
Confed. Yank on Hillary, blacks, Repubs and Dems. And Shelby Steele.
NYT argues against Alito in bad faith and dishonestly. P'line
Bloomberg wants NYC to go into the cigarette business big-time. NYSun. Why doesn't NYC simply build a cigarette factory of its own?
This is a real email. The bold highlights are mine. Don't you just love their sensitive concern with "hate"? And don't you just love the idea of reporting speech to campus security? If I find this email offensive, or the SJP offensive, to whom do I report that emotion? I find this creepy, and wonder whether such tender solicitude (aka fear-enforced speech-control) would be shown to Ann Coulter, or George Bush, for that matter. For maximum effect, read out loud with a German accent. Achtung:
Members of the Georgetown University Community,
It's called "Deer Hunters." A quick AV download. Worth it. DeerHunter.wmv
A wonderful Manitoba hunting camp on Lake Winnipegosis, last October. A place that the Maggie's Farm workers love. And the people there, too. The CTV election news report here.