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, June 27. 2006
Dr. Helen on "Desperate for friends?" Are we becoming a friendless society? I doubt that this is anything new.
Transvestite gangs terrorizing New Orleans stores. Did they get the idea from Monty Python skits?
Garrison Keillor is "the shock jock of wholesomeness."? Sam Anderson in Slate. But does his comfy schtick reflect the real Gary? Doubt it. Now Jackie Mason is a guy whose schtick is very close to his real self.
Why Hillary can't win. Hawkins - h/t, Alpha. And may I take this opportunity to ask the obvious question to our feminist friends: What has this lady ever done, other than marry a successful man - and leverage that celebrity? Aw, who cares? But that's what they would be saying if she were a Repub.
Palestinians threaten chem and bio attacks. Claim they made them. Right - and they invented the automatic camel milker too. LGF
Dem poll numbers slipping. Am. Spectator
Michelle's update on pieces on the NYT's treason. Scroll up - she has more.
A .357 Smith and Wesson goes berserk in an Ohio Mall.
Cottontail rabbits endangered in New England. Not in my neighborhood, they aren't.
Who ever heard of this Glenn Reynolds guy? Well, his remark on Bill Keller's defense of the Times was pretty smart (h/t, Just one minute):
Correct. It is a people's freedom, making blogs possible - the mini-me pamphleteers and Tom Paines of our time. But if lowly blogger posted classified material, me suspects lowly blogger might be receiving friendly visit from Mr. FBI.
Nouns! The top 25 most commonly-used nouns, in order of use: time, person, year, way, day, thing, man, world, life, hand, part, child, eye, woman, place, work, week, case, point, government, company, number, group, problem, fact. (h/t to someone, but I forget who). It says a lot about what we think and write about.
Vietnam again? Wait a minute...the Tet Offensive had the enemy on their knees. But who knew? Not Walter Cronkite. The MSM lost that war, not the USA. Powerline refers to the "calcified" brains of the MSM, stuck in the past. Jack Kelly on Vietnam, Dan Rather, the MSM, Vietnam, etc.
"...And this was the failing of détente: it drew its inspiration more from a sense of democratic weakness than of totalitarian strength. It was a form of disguised retreat, carried forward in a rapture of exalted dissimulation by persons whose assumption was that the American people would not face reality.” [emphasis added]
Daniel Patrick Moynihan (in A Dangerous Place)
Monday, June 26. 2006
Add his voice, as you read:
If I said to you, "I have a great idea for a business. I'll open a whole new type of coffee shop. Instead of charging 60 cents for coffee I'll charge $2.50, $3.50, $4.50, and $5.50.
"The bean is in your head!!! I know burnt!!!
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:14 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
SELF-ESTEEM, n. An erroneous appraisement.
CARTESIAN, adj. Relating to Descartes, a famous philosopher, author of the celebrated dictum, Cogito ergo sum — whereby he was pleased to suppose he demonstrated the reality of human existence. The dictum might be improved, however, thus: Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum — “I think that I think, therefore I think that I am;” as close an approach to certainty as any philosopher has yet made.
Those are two from Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary, from Middlebrow, who has a good piece, with good links, on Bierce.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:49 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:27 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
The media jihad against the US: Atlas takes a look. Volokh considers the legal implications - can the Times be prosecuted? Peter King wants the NYT prosecuted: Ace discusses. Just One Minute takes a closer look at Bill Keller's explanatory letter.
An interesting future for the Townhall website: A center for centrist Repubs. Daily Pundit
The WMDs - Lib. Leanings agrees that nothing that is found will make any difference.
Who is a liberal and who is a conservative? It isn't obvious. Auster takes a look.
What nation has the third largest population? The USA. We will hit 300,000,000 this fall, and the baby that tips us over the number will be Hispanic. Rhymes with Right
A quote from a speech by Dem strategist George Lakoff from 2002, trying to explain the conservative worldview. Interesting that he neglects the subject of freedom entirely. Squaring the Boston Globe dug this up:
The Downy Woodpecker comes to mind today because they have a nest outside my front door, in a hole in a big old sugar maple, and the endless and almost annoying, rhythmic squeak squeak squeak of the hungry babies sounds exactly like a bad fan belt.
Found across the entire US and most of Canada, these cute little bug-eaters are far more common than the Hairy Woodpecker, its big brother, and is non-migratory.
More about the Downy here, at CLO. Photo borrowed from CLO.
Perhaps, if you understood me, I misspoke.
Sunday, June 25. 2006
Another good blog bites the dust. New England Repub - RIP. Running a blog is real work.
Life under siege in the New Orleans swamp: Open Democracy. No-one with any sense would live there.
100 Brit soccer fans held by police in Stuttgart. Haha. Not politically correct. Sounds like Dartmouth.
Saturday, June 24. 2006
I don't know what the New York Times is thinking, but I suspect it feeds their vanity to imagine that they are being valiant journalists by publishing the methods we use to track down terrorists. Legal methods, mind you.
If I had the time, I would post more on this - but for the moment, I just have to say that this behavior is treasonous and contemptible, not to mention dangerous. Not to mention provocative: are they hoping the Justice Dept will charge them with something, to boost shrinking sales?
Like adolescents, you might almost think that they keep testing the limits. Then, when they get into trouble, imagine what they will scream? "Fascism, freedom of the press, Bush=Nixon=Hitler=my mean parents who grounded me, etc."
A classic 1960s Leftist maneuver was to "expose oppression" by pushing the limits and breaking laws until somebody was forced to react. Then you get to be a martyred hero of the Revolution!
"Like wow, really cool, dude. Let's smoke one more and go protest something, and maybe get us arrested or else pick up some groovy chicks, and buy us some groovy love beads and a bottle or two of Mateus, and bring the hippy chicks back to our pad and light the herbal candles. Far out, man. We have a plan! And we might get lucky. I hope they shave their legs or I'll barf, dude. Hey, slow down man - come on, and pass me that joint. And yo, hey - is there any pizza or ice cream or beer left from last night? Shoot, now I think I need a nap before we go to protest. Let's get arrested later, OK, man? Ban the Bomb, or Ban Bush or whatever - just don't ban the bong! Dig ya later."
God forbid, if we have another 9-11, the NYT will quickly exchange their love beads and pot for their grown-up suit and Scotch, and be the first to complain that no-one connected the dots. If I were Gonzales, I'd be on them likes flies on horse poop. Can you imagine this sort of thing during WW2? Would they have published that we broke the Enigma code?
Editor Update: I see the Anchoress has had the same thought. She summarizes other reactions to the NYT's treachery. I added a few sentences to this piece. Some readers ought to take a moment to forward this post to the Times' Public Editor, so they might have the chance to get into reality before they go to jail.
He got me thinking so much about McGuffins that I know I'll order an Egg McGuffin for breakfast next time. Will I get handed an empty wrapper for $1.99?
Who remembers the theft in Psycho?
Diana West's Deluded America in the Wash. Times echoes our Run Away post this week (scroll down). I notice Powerline thought this was good, too. A quote:
Read the whole thing.
Goddess of the murmuring courts,
Ezra Loomis Pound (1885-1972) was indeed an eccentric, self-obsessed, difficult person who died a recluse after finally being released, after many years, from St. Elizabeth's Psychiatric Center in Washington. A rebel without a cause. He had been deemed a traitor to the US during WW2. But who knew he was an expert fencer, and W.B. Yeat's fencing coach? Or that he was William Carlos William's college pal at Penn? I didn't. He has always been more influential than read. An "imagist" poet, his definition of the literary image remains the best: "an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time." Bob Dylan learned story-telling from Woody Guthrie, and "imagism" from Rimbaud, Pound, William Carlos Williams,T.S.Eliot, and the old-time bluesmen like Robert Johnson...not putting him in that Pantheon, but he has music, too.
1967 photo from here.
Rackham (1886-1939) is considered the greatest illustrator of all time, illustrating Alice in Wonderland, Grimm's Fairy Tales, Peter Pan, and much more. This is Siegfried and Brunhilde from his Das Rheingold illustrations.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:00 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, June 23. 2006
Just stopped by the neighbors while doing yard work in the twilight and lamplight. They are having a teen party. I said: "If you don't turn that music UP, I am going to call the cops."
The Mom said: "We are lucky to have you as a neighbor." Call me Mr. Rogers (who I did love - how could you not?).
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 20:55 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Lieut. Watada refuses deployment. This is a very serious matter, of course. The Lieut. surely would not be pleased when his team refused his orders on the battlefield. And he will not be pleased with the consequences of disobedience - just like any job, but in this case, more severe.
If this guy is so much smarter and wiser than his commanders, then why is he not a professor at West Point?
"Obedience to lawful authority is the foundation of manly character." - Gen. Robert E. Lee
War is a very good way to separate the men from the boys.
Professional boxing used to be a sport. I guess it's become an exhibition of sorts now, like The Harlem Globetrotters or wrestling. But it used to matter. It doesn't anymore.
We like violence just fine, that's not the problem. Children playing Grand Theft Auto by the forty hour weekload wouldn't wince at gloved hands and open cuts. It's simply collapsed under its own weight. The spectacle itself became subordinate to the machinations of the promoters.
The urge to look at your fellow man and declare: "I can lick you," or to choose a champion in your stead smolders unabated. It is an elemental male imperative. And such urges do not long go unsated. If boxers won't do it anymore, we'll do it ourselves, many young males say. Anyone that has listened to their children in a garage band knows we'll do it ourselves is a two edged sword. But it points to something missing, something essential; a need unmet.
Here's the last time professional boxing really mattered; please, do not tell me about Mike Tyson: A Tribute to Muhammad Ali. (video and music)
And don't misunderstand; it was Joe Frazier that had the heart.
A sporting breed? Historically known as the "Water Dog," the Poodle is a product of Germany and the lowlands, where the poodle's assistance with duck trapping and duck hunting were essential. They were also very effective at fetching ducks from the marshes when they were in the moult. They love marshes and love to get wet and muddy, but do not love deep water and are not born swimmers, so when they chase something in the water, they often look as if they are about to drown. "Poodle" comes from German puddle, for good reason. Call them "Puddle Dogs."
The only challenge in training this brainy breed is the fact that they are more intelligent than most humans.
Some are natural pointers; all can be trained to be effective retrievers. Since they are hypo-allergenic, they are becoming more popular as field dogs for the allergy-prone, and some breeders specialize in this.
New Zapper may abort migraine attacks. Migraine is said to afflict one out of eight. This could be a good thing.
Sabine Herold: Pejman hopes she will be the one to save France.
Daily Kos rips into The New Republic. Many people posted on this yesterday. Apparently TNR isn't following the Party Line, as defined by Kos. Very strange.
Do all Moslems hope for an East-West apocalyptic conflict? Ace thinks so. And is not pleased.
Raphael at the Met. The NY Sun is deeply critical of the structure of the show, but says go, anyway.
Voodoo economics is working again. Tax cuts dramatically reducing Fed deficit. Alpha Patriot
Iraq govt offers insurgents a deal: this is interesting, at Captain Ed
Never go for a walk without those poles. The new exercise craze. CSM. They used to call them "walking sticks," and sometimes, "canes."
When in doubt, don't.
Thursday, June 22. 2006
"I once held her in my arms,
"I Threw It All Away," off 1969's Nashville Skyline. An unreleased studio version recorded the following year with a much more natural singing style than found on that record can be downloaded at the link here.
Honestly, I have had it with Islam. I no longer entirely trust the existence of a "moderate Islam," and the wise VDH agrees. (On the other hand, there seem to be millions of Iraquis who want freedom and democracy, so I don't know.)
But my real issue today is why do the Dems keep pushing on this "Run away" theme? (Why do they always want to run away? Since they are Leftist in orientation, I can understand them wanting to bend over for the tender mercies of the glorious (ex-)Soviet Union or the charming, humane and sensitive Mao - but for these Jihadists? What do they see in them?)
I guess it's a reflex for them - but I'd hate to have them as my band of brothers at Agincourt, or Poitiers, or the Battle of the Bulge. Or, God forbid, by my side in the Israeli Army. Or Lexington and Concord - they would invite the Brits in for tea. Wizbang has the latest farce today - thank goodness for the sense of Lieberman, one of the few Dems who understands what is going on.
Why run away like a frightened bunny, when you have a chance to scoop up a few thousand Jihadists, and to create a sane, free country in the heart of the Middle East? It seems like a no-brainer to me, and it could change the world in a very positive way. Yes, they will kill some Americans as they hide behind their women and children, and they will set off bombs forever, like the Palestinians - but we will kill lots more of them. And our guys don't want to run away - they want to stand and fight.
Running from a bunch of gangs of stone-age religious-fanatic sociopaths who want to kill us and to destroy Western Civilization is just not the American way. The buffoon Murtha has been totally discredited here at Powerline, and Kerry - he still thinks he is in Vietnam and lives in a one-man time-warp.
As linked below in Dr. Sanity's exasperated post, where are the Dems when we have a chance to wipe out a major outpost of Jihad? Where is their spirit, where is their determination to protect...and what is with this scared bunny rabbit deal? All it does is to encourage them, as Somalia did when Clinton ran like a scared rabbit, and Madeleine Albright tried her "We're nice" approach (which Saddam, Osama, Kim Sung Il, Iran, Hamas, etc interpreted as weakness and fear).
Lastly, what is this solicitude about "bring our boys home"? These guys are professional soldiers, trained and paid to fight, eager to use their craft, eager to confront danger, and tough and deadly. If they kill a few civilians by mistake, that's too bad - but I forgive them. War is hell, and we could be carpet-bombing Fallujah if we wanted to: instead, we have been trying the friendly, slow, surgical approach (which no other nation on the planet would even bother with, except the Brits).
They can come home when their job is done, but all they will do is sit around their base camp bored, and take classes and practice while waiting for the next chance to use their abilities: they aren't social workers. (Well, the National Guard guys volunteered too, and seem to have their heart in their work, but I know it's not their career.) God bless 'em all, and God protect them all.
Editor's Note: It isn't like The Barrister to post such intemperate pieces, such as many other blogs do. Pure rants and tantrums, however therapeutic, are beneath the dignity of Maggie's Farm, and add little to the discussion. I modified it, but I still do not like the tone.
So we did find hundreds of chemical WMDs in Iraq, BUT....
- they aren't new
...and so it goes on. The US is always wrong. Oh, and there are no terrorists in Iraq.