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
Thursday, July 27. 2006
Wednesday, July 26. 2006
In the CSM
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:17 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
From an important essay at Brussels Journal, From Citizen to Subject:The Rule of Experts and the Rise of Trans-National Anti-Democrats:
The world is in turmoil. We stand at the brink of a regional war in the mideast. Gas prices have doubled; the stock market gyrates and fluctuates at even a whiff of trouble. Apocalypse looms; contagion and misery rear their ugly heads daily. Seas rise up in anger and consume whole villages; the earth shakes and groans under the weight of its jostling billions.
What can a person do?
Why, get dressed up in a metal bikini and pose for pictures, of course; and post them all at:
Saving the universe, one Marriott Function Room at a time.
Joe on the Trilemma and Thomas Jefferson:
Whole thing here. Good comments.
Hurricanes: The problem is people building and living too close to the coast. Duh. NYT At Maggie's Farm, we oppose any new Federally-subsidized flood insurance. It's stupid: we subsidize people to live in flood zones, then have to pay to rescue them from floods and hurricanes and to rebuild in the same place. Only govt could be that dumb. But it's not their money, is it?
Could be some truth to this, from piece in The Guardian:
The more I think about it, the more I suspect that they wanted to create a little border scuffle as a diversion from Iran, and did not count on a strong reaction from an Israel who was feeling cornered and beseiged - and fed up with the fact that, with every concession, their enemies just move closer.
I'll sign it, but. The debate about "signing statments." Opinion in the NY Sun
No free lunch. Either permit drilling, or pay more for Arab and Venezuelan gas, and quit complaining. Wyoming protests new drilling on federal lands.
Africa. The failure of the Doha Round means a dead end has been reached, for now. Publius. Africa needs agricultural markets, but the world doesn't want them to have them.
Biodiesel in Europe.
Illegals get better deals with state colleges than Americans. No wonder they come. Can my kids do the same at the University of Guadalajara?
In Kenneth Koch's Modern (1800-present) English Poetry class, the biweekly assignment was to produce a plausible imitation - but not a satire - of the poet in question.
It was a good way to try to get into the head and the rhythms and the images of a poet. Some were easy: Whitman, Eliot. Some were very difficult: Stevens, Yeats.
I see Auden imagined a world in which poets were so much in demand that they required apprentices to help out:
Whole piece here.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:56 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, July 25. 2006
This automobile-carrier is in deep trouble off Alaska.
Gwynnie asks whether GM has any submarines available.
Everyone on board should hike out to starboard.
Humbug unveils photos (see photo on
Furthermore, Humbug has performed a series of SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTS which prove that it is impossible to get to the moon with a rocket.
And, by the way, didn't Coke taste much better in those glass bottles? Coming dripping out of an ice cooler in front of a gas station? Coke from a can is like wine from a paper cup.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 07:59 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
The below came in over the transom. I think I have seen it before:
After every flight, Qantas pilots fill out a form called a gripe sheet, which conveys to the mechanics, problems encountered with the aircraft during the flight that need repair or correction. The mechanics read and correct the problem, and then respond in writing on the lower half of the form what remedial action was taken, and the pilot reviews the gripe sheets before the next flight.
Never let it be said that ground crews and engineers lack a sense of humour. Here are some actual logged maintenance complaints and problems as submitted by Qantas pilots and the solution recorded by maintenance engineers.
By the way, Qantas is the only major airline that has never had an accident.
(P = the Problem logged by the pilot.)
Continue reading "Qantas Gripe Sheets"
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 06:57 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Who never had a dalliance with Marxism as a youth, before understanding human nature and basic economics? Stumbling and Mumbling remembers Ted Grant. The comments are excellent.
Homeowner kills intruder with .50 cal muzzle loader. How did he have time to load that thing?
Some fine Mary Chapin Carpenter lyrics at Villainous.
Case apologizes for AOL-Time Warner merger.
Good grief. Listen to these quotes re Rice's visit:
"The Americans want a new Middle East devoid of jihad, resistance, liberation, martyrdom, retaliation and dignity. These are all terms that disturb the Americans.
"They want to see a Middle East full of Arab presidents, monarchs and princes who serve as slaves for their American masters," Afaneh said.
More in the Jerusalem Post
Neighborhoods begging for a Whole Foods. We have one, and I do not see what's so great about it.
Dead IRANIAN soliders being flown home from Lebanon. Big surprise there.
Why I love the Lebanese: they are party people. From those that I have known, I'd have to agree. Big Pharoah
The Bronco cheerleaders cheered the troops last week.
Europe doesn't want to talk about Eurabia. Why not? It is real. Augean
Q: What’s the difference between a Northern fairytale and a Southern fairy tale?
A: A Northern fairy tale begins “Once upon a time…”
A Southern fairy tale begins “‘Ya’ll ain’t gonna believe this s**t…”
Monday, July 24. 2006
Dr. Lee needs more refrigerator magnets to make this Humvee fully and properly protected and dressed. (Yes, it's for real.) Request is a shout-out via Iowahawk, but the Doc's site with his APO address is here.
I will send him one that says "Did you remember to take your Prozac today?", another with a snake that says "Repti-vite - for happy reptiles," and an AAA magnet which could come in very handy in Iraq. That's all I can spare. I will send a Ducks Unlimited sticker, but magnets is what they need for full protection.
Rove is behind Leftist anti-Semitism. LGF. Rove is not a human - he is The Devil, incarnate: a multi-tentacled evil monster. Spends a lot of his time blogging too, with one of those tentacles, under pseudonyms, in his spare time - no doubt.
What is Liberal-Left pacifism all about, and is it any different than defeatism? I have always viewed it as a sort of knee-jerk anti-Americanism; an unhealthy death wish. Why is the battle in Lebanon termed a "crisis"? Why is a cease-fire "urgent" here, and not in Darfur? Paul at Powerline suggests that the notion of war by the clock is a mental compromise between pacifism and the unwillingness to totally abandon the idea of self-defence. One quote:
Read the whole thing.
Update: And for more truth on the subject, you can hear it from the horse's mouth - Tom Hayden - via HH. And yes, may I say it again: I didn't leave the Dems; the Dems left me.
Update: And the NYT predictably adopts the Syrian view of the world. Blue Crab. God forbid they adopt an American view of the world, which would not be cool or fashionable.
Raven likes to do weights, as do many
On the other hand, we can always use someone on the farm who can lift an engine block out of a car singlehandedly. Or carry a sick cow back to the barn. Maybe Miss Muscles should give The Farm a jingle.
I find this look slightly scarey. And, no, that's not Raven.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:30 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
This quote in Ecological Economics reinforces what people like Rush have been saying for years: The radical enviros - unlike the rational conservationists like all of us at Maggie's Farm - want to run the world, just like the Jihadists. We hate people who want to run the world. Indeed, we hate anyone who wants to run our lives. Does that make us permanent rebellious adolescents? Dreams of power always wear benevolent masks these days: it's the fashion. In the good old days of Atilla, such window-dressing wasn't necessary.
Their solution to these crises? Let them run the world.
Why diplomacy isn't always constructive: Ahmadinejad on Sunday: "We are not fighting so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you." Who? Me? (from Atlas)
An Airbus whistle-blower in deep trouble in Austria. LAT
Judson Laipply does the Evolution of Dance. YouTube
Brits expected to welcome 45,000 criminals. That would be lovely. Tangled Web. (Isn't that what Botany Bay was for?) In other psychotic Brit news, Galloway glorifies Hezbollah. Gateway. I think they need to add Thorazine to their drinking water - or to their beer. This is not my homeland that I know and love.
A conversation with Milton and Rose Friedman. This is too good. Betsy
Maps of the IDF incursions into Lebanon. Belmont
Ben Stein: Israel is too restrained.
Repubs lag among Latinos. Why?
Bolton has proven himself better than advertised. Why oppose his nomination?
Sunday, July 23. 2006
Hezbollah is, indeed, a state-within-a-state. It's an odd situation - but everything is odd in the Middle East. From a short, to-the-point piece at Samizdata:
From another point of view, The People's Cube offers some Progressive Solutions to the Middle East.
Saturday, July 22. 2006
He was in DC for a while, then in
Meanwhile, I need to keep up with the dylanology.
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:36 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Cockroaches and Hezbollah. Shape of Days
Google is going gangbusters. The guys are not going to relax.
Autism - chic. It is not fun, or chic, for the parents. Spiked
Thousands march in England against Israel. Mind you, this is in a country where you are not allowed to shoot burglars in your own house. Meanwhile Iran declares that it has taken control of the battle. Duh.
Different kinds of taxes. Interesting to consider, but, in the end, you are going to be taxed. It's the price of civilization, but part of it is the price of imperfect democracy. I like flat tax.
Doubts about Israeli damage estimates. They will need to get in there with boots and tanks.
Tough guy movies, at The Shelf
Should the UN be able to tax YOU? Gimme a break. Who are they, to me? I did not elect them. Brussels Journal
One of our favorite movies of all
As amateur hosta collectors, we gotta get this one. How cool is that? Almost looks like rhubarb.
Wayside has it. Red October.
July 20,2006 Burial
For certain events there should not be a first time. Today, it happened, my first military burial. A twenty-seven year old boy from Ra’anana, killed yesterday in Lebanon, Major Benjy Hillman, married three weeks ago, is buried by 1245 pm.
Jewish burials are fast: within 24 hours, unless Shabbat intervenes. Benjy was of Egoz unit, “Walnut,” perhaps a variation of the idea of Sabra: tough on the outside, sweet and tender within. Some years ago, the Egoz boys were considered knuckle-draggers: tough and not too bright. Now, they are tough and bright. We crossed into Southern Lebanon, finding hidden bunkers filled with munitions that cannot be seen by air. After several thousand rockets shot into Israel, some 30 dead and many more injured in the last week, after aerial bombings preceded by leaflets warning civilians to leave certain areas, after minimal let-up in rockets, we sent in troops. Benjy led his men. After his wedding, he was given two months leave with his bride. But his unit was called up, he said he had to go with his men. The Pirke Avot (I believe) says that a newly wedded man should not be called up for military duty --- unless it is for the sake fo the people of Israel. When the Biblical General Barak was selecting men to fight against the charioteers of Sysra, he asked anyone who had any reason not to fight, to step back. Benjy Hillman stepped forward.
Here is what I saw and heard. The military cemetary of Ra’anana is on the main back road, abutting the neighboring moshav. It is not evident at first. Today, the train of people and cars made it evident. At 9 am my neighbor, whose son is in another crack unit, Nachshon, told me that he had heard the funeral was set; the family had just been told; the announcement would soon be public. I asked if this were someonne I knew -- I felt an internal tug against going. Ira simply suggested I should go if I had never seen a military burial.
Thousands were there on a day brilliantly clear, with birds singing (their form of territorial battle). On this hot day, two breezes came through, the first warm, the second refreshing and noisome; trees are moved. 1230 it was to start and by 1235 the cemetary was packed, the flag-draped simple casket being pulled out of the military jeep by buddies from Egoz, brown-bereted, a red emblem on its brim; a walnut tree epaulet.
Continue reading "Aliyah Diary: A Burial"