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
Sunday, August 27. 2006
These guys need serious pruning, this winter. About 15' tall, but these are old-fashioned, and they bloom like crazy, with no care whatsoever.
These are very happy with full sun, but they do not require it. Half is enough, for most varieties. But some seem to desire sun, despite the labels, and others wilt.
I see a huge weed, though. A baby tree, pushing up through the bush. Missed it, somehow, but the photo makes it clear.
Its fate is sealed, at a time of our chosing. Gardening is war against wild nature. Nothing "green" about it. Most of gardening is plant-murder (aka "weeding").
"I'm tired and I want to go home." Max Mayfield to retire.
"Stem Cell hustle." Are they really that important, anyway? Town Hall/ Scientists always follow the money, because they live on grants.
Is Israel's deterrence damaged? Radlauer in JP Blog
Glaciers expanding....due to warming?
When reality doesn't fit your narrative... distort reality, of course. Ace via HH
Slightly peeved with the UN. Rick Moran
What is Cuba really like, these days? Babalu
Marrying a career woman seems like a bad idea. SDA
Anchoress likes men.
Saturday, August 26. 2006
Note to my other beloved Maggie's Farm contributors: If you want to work my side of the street, you must be prepared for Roger to bring it.
Editor: Maybe you have to be an older Yankee to remember that face: the masculine Mike Dukakis, in the Big Dig, finally paying off Tip O'Neill's bar bill.
You came to my door in the dawn and
sang; it angered me to be awakened
from sleep, and you went away
You came in the noon and asked for
water; it vexed me in my work, and
you were sent away with reproaches.
You came in the evening with your flaming torches.
You seemed to me like a terror and I
shut my door.
Now in the midnight I sit alone in my
lampless room and call you back
whom I turned away in insult.
About Tagore (1915-1941) here.
Goin' back to school? Writing for Maggie's Farm? How to structure your basic essay.
Nagin? Big-time loser tries to rebuild image by knocking down others. Very lame.
How good is Mark Steyn? Extremely good. Mark on one of our favorites, Alaistair
Travel with your pets. A growing trend. But I would say - leave them behind. Vacation is for humans. Every day is a vacation for a pet.
A day late with the morning after pill. Woops. Yesterday's news.
Are the details confusing from the Duke "rape" case? The NYT thinks so. I do not know.
Murtha lied. But everyone already knows that. Lib. Leanings.
Luttwak on why not to bomb Iran....yet. Not persuasive, in my opinion. Commentary
Friday, August 25. 2006
My Dear Generale Bird Dog,
Kudos for an excellent blog. I read it twice daily, before I brush my teeth in the morning, and before I go to bed with my most recent proletarian
Yes, the girls cheer me up. How would you like a visit from Hugo or Raul on your death bed? Would that cheer you up? No. Or old Mrs. Castro? With her old lady smell? And her Bible and rosary? God forbid!
You raise the level of discussion of the entire blogosphere, with wit, intelligence, and cultivation. And you keep my kind of people thinking, instead of stultifying in the coffin of dead ideas and dead theories. We leaders must be stimulated, but, alas, we cannot allow the People to get confused! Keep up the good work. You capitalists have such humor! I wish we could afford it.
But please, amigo - just three minor criticisms: Too many Jesus pictures - it reminds me of my blessed mother, God rest her soul. More babes instead, please, to distract us from the subject of age and death. And how come no baseball commentary? And, lastly, how come no stock tips? You Yanquis know the score, but my Swiss bankers were behind the S&P last year, not even including fees! And my hedge funds did great, but after fees, and after your terrible US short-term capital gains taxes, I hardly kept up with inflation! Sheesh. Thanks a ton, Hugo, Thesesa, Cindy, and Hillary, for the necessary introductions to your hedgie friends - I might as well have had a proletarian Vanguard tax-exempt fund! And my "pal" Georgie Soros can ---- me for his after-tax gains! He is a burro and a closet capitalist pig, masquerading as an internationalist socialist!
With warmest personal socialist regards from beautiful Cuba, (where the sunshine is from Fidel, the hurricanes are from Bush, the cigars are great, freedom is just a bourgeois indulgence, and the money is from, wait, where? Oh, there isn't any for them, but why do the People need money if they're happy? Free medical care from
PS. Still waiting for that next Viagra shipment from the States, the large WalMart package. I have left orders to leave it all in my coffin, just in case. Not to worry - Raul will send you the cigars via Mexico. Haha. Like Freud? Sometimes a good one is worth a Cuban cigar? Viva WalMart. The price is right.
PPS: Are you sure you can sneak me into Sloan-Kettering if I need to go? You have a certain connection? Are you sure they have priests there? It doesn't matter to me, but it matters to my beloved countrymen. I think I might need a good Jewish doctor, and all we have are these glorifed Russian nurses that call themselves "Dr.," and shake so much they give you the creeps. Rum and tequila. If they drink rum at breakfast, they settle down and seem OK, but it's not exactly New York medicine, and Raul says they are 40 years out of date, but what does he know? Their medicines expired in 1972, but its free! Heck, it's good enough for The Little People! But they are ignorant! Thank God! If they got the internets, we'd be SCREWED!
Thursday, August 24. 2006
Should the West decide that Iran has won? And then work from there? I don't know. What I do know is that fighting, while trying to "win hearts and minds," and trying to please the "international community" - whatever that is - does not work. You fight, and maybe make up after, but not during.
Or will Israel decide to take on Iran, mano a mano? Jerusalem Post
What do Canadian unions want? They want to try socialism again. It's "progressive"! Dust my broom. On the other hand, those who want to work and to do things - like doctors - have energy and drive and want to work and want more private opportunity. (aka freedom, h/t, Instap.)
The Lebanon ambulance hoax - exposed. Michelle
The end of easy credit. It's a good thing. First mortgages, then credit cards democratized credit, which had once been a preserve of the privileged. Viking
Auster smacks down Heather MacDonald, re God. Right - God is not to be confused with Santa Claus. It's a tempest in a teapot, of course, because who cares about Heather's religious beliefs? She's a fine essayist. A quote from Auster:
What do European Moslems believe? Who feeds them this crap? It's dangerous.
Natural selection at work. This is painful. FMFT
CT took pride is its Yankee lack of an income tax, until Weicker decided they needed one. It was a short-term fix, but a long term disaster. Zero growth since the tax.
Florida Commissioner says "get a gun." Some scream in horror, but it makes sense to me. Fire a shotgun over some bad guys' heads - or into their butts - and they run like hell and soil themselves in the process. They will not come back. They will bother unarmed persons in the future.
Maryland's Steele is giving the Dems fits. Blacks are supposed to say "Yowsa, Massa," and never think for themselves. And if they run off the plantation, Donna Brazile, their Simon Legree, will run them down with the baying hounds of the Party and bring them back, dead or in chains. Capn Ed
From the mouth of Mr. Sunshine, via Reuters:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:36 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Good fun. Never heard his voice before. The guy is a natural for radio.
The wild Autumn Clematis is in full bloom all around Maggie's Farm. The highly aggressive and fast-growing wild version lacks the fragrance of the cultivated variety, often called Sweet Autumn Clematis. This one, covering a fence, has a wild morning glory growing amongst it.
Another Duccio (b. 1255)
Don't believe Human Rights Watch any more. They have other agendas.
Sowell warns of Islamic fanatics with nukes. What is the world supposed to do about it?
The sale at Filson's ends soon.
Let Bush be Bush? Scott at Powerline.
As further proof that politicization of medical treatment has poor results, see the AIDS industry sucking up all the dollars (piece in Am Spectator):
Of all people, the LA Times defends WalMart against Dem demagoguery. Everybody likes WalMart. It's a dumb choice of scapegoat.
Maxed out Mama on the subject of men. A quote:
Read the whole thing - worth it.
Wednesday, August 23. 2006
I had a friend who went through a hell of a time with a pulmonary embolism (a very common life-threatening and commonly life-ending event in all ages) four days after a flight from Rome to New York. I would have thought that the stats were higher, but it appears that the occurrence of deep vein thrombosis (clot formation, in this case usually in the legs, which, when they get loose, are carried to the lungs) is only doubled during travel of four hours or more - whether car, plane, bus, etc.
The solution might be a baby aspirin, but best is to keep those legs moving a bit instead of sitting immobile for long trips. Get up, walk around, stop the car and walk in a circle, whatever. Or just twitch your legs restlessly the entire trip, as if you had ADHD. That will help prevent this terrible problem.
James Q. Wilson's The Moral Sense made plenty of sense to me: the notion that moral considerations are hard-wired parts of human nature. Harvard's Marc Hauser is working on the inborn "moral grammar," and he is interviewed here, in Am. Scientist. He even gets into the animal precursors of moral behavior:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 18:11 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Assistant Village Idiot, a blog which in temperament is quite similar to Maggie's Farm (as is YARGB), literally stole a chapter from my as yet unpublished book in their recent piece on "The Vice of Tolerance."
Read it. My comments:
"Tolerance" in its PC form is usually manifest as administrative or even legal threats against specific "intolerances," in a "thought police" format. Thus the moral authority of official "tolerance" is undone by its own intolerance and use of force of some kind. College campuses and large corporations are two places where such nonsense is rampant. I can guarantee you that if you hang a Confederate flag out of a dorm window, someone will come knocking, but a Hezbollah flag - no. Or it would be OK for a Moslem teacher to bring her Koran to school with her, but no Bible for the Christian teacher. So "tolerance" is a euphemism for selective intolerance, and is surely a vice, at at least a politically-motivated scam, of some sort.
How is it dishonest? Because there is no valid underlying principle. The charge of intolerance can be directed in any chosen direction: it can be directed towards someone expressing something, or it can be directed towards someone who is "insensitive" to someone who is "offended" by something, or it can be directed against the "offended" who is, by definition, "intolerant." For example:
This notion of "tolerance," seems to be a subset of a fashionable "tolerance ethic" which attempts to turn traditional ethics and judgements upside-down by glorifying the refusal to discriminate (judge) about much of anything: quality, morals, behavior, taste, manners, intelligence, fund of information, depth, maturity, curiosity, energy, thoughtfulness, right vs. wrong, good vs. evil, correct vs. incorrect, personality type, selfishness, humor, honor, refinement - all of the things that need to be assessed whenever we encounter another human and might need to deal with them in some way. Note that I refer to individual characteristics - classes of people are not in my vocabulary, because they mean nothing to me: gay, black, brown, white, old, young, ethnic, etc - I don't care much about those surface items. They are stupid and meaningless distinctions for most purposes.
AVI makes several good points, so you should read it all. One is that tolerance is a Christian virtue. No, not at all. (Everyone has a divine spark, but that doesn't mean that I want their spark near my life.) Another is the point that tolerance is a passive virtue - if it is a virtue. Indeed. It requires no behavior and no action, and, in fact, it is indistinguishable from indifference.
The list of things I will not tolerate in my life would be fun to write, but negative, and there would not be enough space here. The same goes for the list of things I welcome into my life, which would be more of a pleasure to write down. All I will say is that I will not tolerate enforced "tolerance," poor manners, arrogance, lying and manipulation, ignorance, and poor grammar (except on blogs, which are generally colloquial speech, dashed off in a spare moment).
Why Duccio today? I was in a Duccio mood.
Never, never jest in airports. No matter how droll you may be. Full of humorless SOBs.
Liberals do not reproduce, statistically. I could come up with all sorts of hypotheses to explain why, but I won't. But it makes a difference in voting projections. Opinion Journal
Government employee pensions. This will not be pleasing to tax-payers, and it explains why the toll-takers smile despite the crappy job they hold. Ankle Biter
Buchanan's book on immigration is # 1.
What do liberals mean when they say they want "progressive reforms"? Mickey Kaus responds to Josh Marshall, via Viking Pundit
When an armed person breaks into your house and is taking your kids and your stuff, the UN suggests phoning "the appropriate diplomatic channels," to file a complaint.
Good essay by Betsy on "How Dionne went wrong" in trying to understand why liberal is a dirty word these days.
"Does govt stupidity know any bounds?" No, of course not. That's why we aren't progressive/socialists. Excellent examples at Volokh: they will ruin your day, because we pay for this crap.
Update on Dr. Bob's ongoing photo-essay of the construction of the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Good stuff.
Mandatory voting? Horrible idea. Will never happen. Who wants people voting who don't know and don't care anyway? Ornstein proposes mandatory voting.
Tuesday, August 22. 2006
Browning will continue to produce Winchester models, now that Winchester is defunct. That is pretty good news. Alphecca.
14% of Brits favor immigration. Is anyone listening? Sounds like the US. Tangled Web
A fresh look at Mother Courage and Brecht. Horsefeathers.
Greenland may be turning green again. It was, during Viking times. Cramer looks at the Greenland data.
Everybody wants their color in the history books. How mature is that? I call it feel-good history, for babies. Ten Napel. Turns out they use fake wheelchair kids, too. Moonbattery demonstrates their diversity quotas - it's a world of non-history, same as in the Soviet Union: History as You Wished It. Easy to laugh, but it is insidious and destructive as heck.
Buddhist monks battle peacenik loonie Tamil Tiger supporters. What a world! David Warren
Jihad and the battle of the womb. View from the Right Hey, babe, let's do one for Allah.
Cassandra at Villainous Company finds some reason for hope in the essay of an America-appreciating Brit.
Did you read Shelby Steele's op-ed piece today? Our readers ought never miss a latest Steele, here, via Conspiracy
Galaxies collide, separating dark from "normal" matter. Science Daily
Re-posted from May, 2006
In 2006, who cares about a dumb subject like skin color except academics, panderers, race-pimps, and lefty loonys? Our society has moved way past it, fortunately.
Nowadays, we care about what is in people's minds and characters - and especially in their behavior.
And nowadays, the whole world wants to learn about Western Civilization and culture - except for a few Jihadists and a few radical feminists.
Thus I am in perfect agreement with Scott's piece on Dartmouth President Wright, which probably applies to many if not most colleges today - a quote:
Exactly. The effort to replace the usual ideals of morality, nobility, intelligence, curiosity with the new age ideal of "diversity" continues apace. If Wright had said "We have smarter, or kinder, or more moral, or more athletic, or better-rounded, or more specialized, or more artistic kids" - I'd be fine with it. The logical disconnect is to replace traits of individual character and personal achievement with purely genetic, happenstance, mass traits - it is as dumb as saying "We have a taller student body, or more blue eyes than ever before."
If Dartmouth wants true ethnic diversity, (as opposed to surface skin color), I suggest the following - woops - too late - Yale already got these guys:
Or why not go all the way - intergalactic: this guy can play chess like a demon - "Let the Wookie win." He hates to lose, but his bad breath made his SATs ungradeable. A shoe-in for defense. What team? Any team, but if I were Athletic Director, I'd make him a center in roundball: including his hair, he is about 7'8" and he is not a "pet" alien and his fouling tactics could take your head off and dunk it through the basket:
President Wright needs to be informed that kids do not pay for college to undergo a diversity program: they go to learn about math, literature, Locke and Botticelli - and to drink beer and to have fun before they are forced to grow up.
Image on top: a Benetton ad from the 1980s. Many of their ads were quite enjoyable. But however lovely the surface might be, it's what's underneath that counts. Race is a scam - people are people,
I do not post often enough, so I am grateful that Bird Dog keeps me on the Soros-sponsored payroll.
Our worthy and self-sacrificing editor emailed this piece to me from Stumbling and Mumbling, a pleasantly cantankerous economics-oriented Brit blog. Apparently the Brit NHS has a euphemistically-named "National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence," (does that sound like something out of Brave New World?)whose job is to decide what treatments the government will pay for with your tax dollars. They try to apply cost-benefit analysis to your problem.
Of course, such a process necessarily politicizes medical treatment by making every treatment, and every disease, a political football, with the loudest voices and the squeakiest wheels and the most pathetic stories winning out. And also turns every person into an expense item on a spread sheet, thus making it cost effective for everyone to die promptly without burdening their neighbors, at the precise moment when they cease to generate tax revenue. Citizens become, in essence, farm animals on a government plantation.
The potentially-fatal flaw in democracy is that people can vote themselves "free" stuff, because there is no end to that childish wish. But with each "freebie," there is a loss of autonomy, of self-reliance, of adulthood, and of freedom.
American patients are accustomed to have their problems insulated from government cost-benefit committees. They are accustomed to freedom, which can cost a bit more. And if they require low-cost or free care, they can go to any clinic they want, almost everywhere in the US. I work in one, for nothing, in Providence, one day a week, and have done so for 20 years - but you have to prove that you are poor. You may not take advantage of our good intentions. And if you sue us, you can, should, and will, go to hell.
Well, that was a digression from the point at Stumbling that I wished to highlight. He noted that no other government "programs" are subjected to cost-benefit analysis, except for medical treatments.
Now, you just have to wonder, why might that be?
I have faith that, in general, Americans will never sell their freedoms for a bowl of lentils.
South African women prefer shopping to sex. This piece invites any number of clever comments, but I will restrain myself.
The UN is a "dangerous charade," says View from 1776
There is a new domain, called "dot travel." Here's a good new one: search.travel
Megayacht fans can follow the movements of their favorites. (Chris says he saw the 162' jet-drive Mystique in CT this week - one heck of a machine.) Yachtspotters.com. Only the internets could make such a fun, harmless hobby possible. Links are the thing.
For a generation, Dems have sought to reduce American power, says Lib. Leanings, and I agree. But towards what purpose?
A serious hurricane shortage this year. Caused by Global Warming? Or did Bush and Rove decide to turn off their secret hurricane-generating machine, which is hidden on a CIA oil rig somewhere in the West Indies or the Gulf of Mexico, before the fall elections?
Bush claims Dems do not understand threats to US, as the fall campaign season approaches. I think they do - it's just that they need an issue to try to push.
Dumb idea. A World Trade Center Memorial Museum. What for? Oh well, it will only cost about a billion.