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
Monday, September 25. 2006
This species of the Southern longleaf pine forests (which have been harvested almost to extinction and re-planted with faster-growing commercial pines) has been in the news recently (see Monday links below). It has been endangered since the 1970s because of habitat loss. I have never seen one, but haven't spent any time trying to.
They are one of a very few bird species which are found only in the US. As with other woodpecks like Downies and Hairies, the red cockade is usually not visible.
These birds have unusual breeding habits: they are "cooperative" breeders, and the males incubate the eggs. Read about them here at CLO, from which we borrowed the photo.
What can be learned from the news story? I think the message is that the Feds cannot expect American citizens to roll over every time a Federal bureaucracy decides they know what is best. However, it is one of the jobs of the Feds, for better or worse, to try to protect endangered species. These are Federal laws and, in this case, their enforcement threatens individual property rights, which Americans feel as strongly about - or more so - than they do about the Second Amendment.
So if the Feds want to do their job effectively, they need to approach such issues in a humble, friendly, cooperative, compromising manner. In DC, far from the piney woods of North Carolina, it is all too easy to feel the power, and to forget who pays their salaries and for whom they work.
To our visitors from City Journal:
We are pleased to have you visiting the Farm. Please check out our blog, while you are here. You might like our mix of topics, and you might want to bookmark us, and to visit the Farm regularly.
Gentlemen, start your chainsaw engines: NC homeowners at war against Feds seek to drive Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers from their neighborhoods. Am Thinker.
And speaking of birds, an Archaeopterix update. Science Daily
Why is Clinton so angry? It is quite clear why. I wish he could be a real man and simply tell the truth. And the truth, most likely, is that he did not see any political gain in going after Bin Ladin. It would have required taking a big political risk - aka leadership: being the leader of the free world requires more than craftiness and slyness. Captain Ed has the right view, I think.
Greenleaf, Idaho. Mayor wants every homeowner to be armed. They aren't, already?
Husock in City Journal takes a look at liberal housing policy. One quote:
He is absolutely right. People are not poor and neglectful because of skin color or neighborhood - they are poor or neglectful, or have kids but no husbands, or because they do not function well, or do not run their lives reasonably and responsibly. Occasionally, because of bad luck. And sometimes by choice.
The polluting habits of the Lear Jet liberals. Sad but true: jets far worse than cars.
How can you tell if a Latino is living near you? It's a short video.
Can you teach ballet without touching the student? Doubtful, but the Brit PC Police want them to try. Spiked.
Search engine market share: right-clicked from our pal at AlphaPatriot:
Sunday, September 24. 2006
Mix and match. Do it yourself post-modern Leftist dialectics, at No Pasaran.
Was in Nashville for the long weekend - found the big Home Depot, and of course the Outdoor World of Bass Pro Shops and Redhead. Saw Music Row twelve times, and passed by the Opry on I-40 about the same, but heard none of the music except from the speakers at the gas station and the hotel lobby. Do they have music in Nashville?
Something about the South: the wives go to Outdoor World with their hubbies. Overheard: "Honey, don't you think you want that same thing in the waterproof version? You could get wet and miserable out there, sweetie. It's only a little bit more. We can put it on the Mastercard." Will some feminazi shoot me if I say "The women are women and the men are
And we, at Maggie's Farm, love the Southern mentality, and the accents, too. And biscuits 'n gravy. We like to believe that the gravy provides a nice, smooth, healthy, slippery coating to those major arteries.
This photo of the Nashville Outdoor World was early in the morning, before they open. But, as with Cabelas, you always wonder why there are so many people INSIDE on a weekend when it's about being OUTDOORS. The parking lot fills up fast.
I know the answer: Guys love gear the way women love shoes.
Did they have anything I needed? No. Did I buy a few things? Yes. It's the American Way.
10A capable wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
Saturday, September 23. 2006
Re-posted from August 11, 2005
Interviewing Morons and Slackers - Hot Tips for Senior College Students, Plus the Glory of Maine
Pardon my rant, but I am fed up. I am heading to Northeast Harbor through Labor Day tomorrow, thank God, to play with my little Hinckley Picnic Boat which I paid (!) someone to drive up there from CT, do a little bluefishing and striper fishing, get my three lobster pots out, play a little or hopefully a lot of tennis, read twenty books, go to a bunch of nice cocktail parties, and bang around the woods with the kids and the grandkids, and do some minor bird-watching, but I have been forced to run through what seems like a hundred educated fools over the past few months, so let me blow off a little steam.
We hire lots of folks every year. All we care about is what you bring to the table. We do not care what sex, color, sexual preference, or anything else that you are (as long as you speak grammatical English including correct use of the subjunctive, which I am a stickler about, and can pass our own patented quick-essay-writing test which I instituted. We give you the topic, and you get 30 minutes to write the most penetrating and knowledgable essay you can. Your one chance to show us what you have under the hood - if we're impressed by it, you will have a great opportunity to prove yourself. If you cannot write adequately under pressure, you cannot think adequately under pressure). We'll also give you an IQ test, but none of those psychological tests. We don't even care where you went to school (provided you had meaningful competition to deal with. Third tier - sorry - we just don't have the time for you no matter how good you might be - you probably paid a lot of money for a second high-school-level education. Time is money, sorry to say, and we are beholden to unforgiving shareholders). We really just care about what you can offer us. We expect a lot, but if we get a lot, we'll compensate you well, and if we are disappointed, you'll be gone in a flash. Period. Everyone is on parole, guilty until proven innocent, useless until proven valuable. That's reality. Assume, at least for your first year or so, that your file will contain abundant negatives. You will deserve them, even if we like you a lot. We do it so we can dismiss you if we decide to, and to educate you, and to motivate you, and because you won't understand what you are doing for a while anyway.
Among the other "delights" of my job is the pleasure of interviewing - I decided this year to personally make final approval for employees for two of our our companies, for new hires mainly over $90,000, bonus not included. These are companies that we are trying to aggressively move forward, and need good people. For my own education, and to assess the cut of their jibs, I took on this chore. (I tend to be partial to quirky, brainy, awkward people who love detail but can readily cut to the core of things. I am repelled by smoothies and I like people who will stand up to me, respectfully, of course - I do not find ass-kissers or flatterers useful, but be warned, because many dumb employers love it. At least this is my feedback from my pal in HR, who speaks to me fearlessly since I depend on his judgement so much, and is my tennis partner at home.) This group included plenty of 2005 graduates, BAs, MBAs, and assorted other degrees. A word to the wise in HR: I hereby do not want to waste my time interviewing anyone who has not taken calculus, statistics, macro- and micro-economics, or pre-med biology, and probably chemistry and preferably a few physics courses.
Why? Because these are the only things left that are certain to demand intellectual rigor, and separate the men from the boys, as it were. I don't care about your grades, and I don't care what your major is - just show me you will tackle difficult things and that you have a problem-solving attitude. We can train you to do anything, if you arrive with the goods: IQ, discipline, strong sense of duty, enjoyment in taking on tough assignments, ability to use harsh criticism, and the right amount of ambition - not so much as to corrupt you, and not so little as to not be motivated. I could be missing some great hires, but I refuse to spend another five minutes of my life with a BS artist, basket-weaving major, "really nice guy" from Brown who can play squash. Nothing against squash. But got better things to do, like striper fishing. Well, I might seriously consider a Fly Fishing Major from Brown...do they have that major yet?
Later, Bird Dog. I am on vacation as of right now.
Time to return to the old duck camp in Manitoba, on Lake Winnepegosis - the lake with the name that sounds like a rare infectious disease.
Bird Dog, regrettably, will miss the trip this year, but Gwynnie will not. Boats gassed up and warmed up, and ready to go. No need to go out before daybreak - the ducks there like to sleep in. Weather is either Bluebird weather or sleeting in late September, but breakfast is coffee, scrambled eggs, home fries, bacon, toast, left-over steak from dinner, cereal, and fruit, and should suffice.
Plenty of ammo, apples, granola bars and water on board our duck boat. Let's go. Wait...I left my gun in the gun-room. Anybody got their camera? And hey, where's the dog at? And did we remember the radio? Where the heck are my gloves? I thought I threw them in my bag...
And my favorite, after you depart the dock: "Did anyone remember to grab the ammo?"
Friday, September 22. 2006
Were any other of our horsey readers there? I know one who was at the auction on Sept 16th. Sounds like it was good fun. Mostly weanlings, I guess, but others too. Some people in the East love Quarter Horses as trail horses but, these days, you have to go west to buy a good one. The Weavers are said to breed the best.
Originally bred for sprinting (quarter-mile) races in the Eastern US, their smaller size, maneuverability, lithe muscularity, delicate feet, and cow-sense made them the standard cowboy horse. They come in good colors, but the Grey and the Blue Roan are my favorites:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 07:14 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Wierd conspiracy theories could not exist without this handy fallacy, but it is one for which juries are often total suckers.
Argumetium ad ignorantium - "argument from ignorance", or "argument from incredulity", does not mean argument from stupidity - it means argument from a proposition which cannot be proven as fact, or from a proposition which cannot readily be disproven due to "ignorance" - eg lack of data.
The lack of certain evidence for, or against, something does not make it either untrue, or believeable. Nor does the lack of certain evidence for something make an alternative theory more likely to be true.
"It's hard to believe that a couple of terrorists knocked down the Trade Center, so it seems that Bush and the Israelis must have blown up the World Trade Center towers, and faked the TV images with the cooperation of TV news, so Bush could go into Iraq to get free oil to reward his rich friends. It's a huge conspiracy for the benefit of the Illuminati."
Prove that is wrong. It is amazingly easy to make propositions which are simple lies, or absurd, but difficult to prove wrong. Thus you raise doubt, which can appeal to the paranoid part of people.
Here's another: "Abe Lincoln greatly enjoyed his male friends and colleagues, so he probably was gay." Prove that isn't true.
"The authors of the Second Amendment could not have intended that Americans should be killing eachother by having guns to protect their homes, so we should ban guns." Well, name me one of those guy's families which had no guns in their homes, but it's a bit late to do a poll now, so you can assert anything you want, based on your bias. I'd bet every one of the Founders had many guns in their home.
Or, "Would my client, an experienced driver, forget to put n his parking brake? Impossible. My client deliberately declined to put on his parking brake, because he was afraid that the brake might fail on his '57 convertible Chevy, so he put it safely in "park" before it unfortunately, and tragically, but innocently, rolled down over all of those nice families at the beach."
Try to prove I am wrong on that. Doubt? He's a nice guy - your next-door neighbor - not a murderer or a manslaughterer. He just likes antique Chevys, like we all do.
Thursday, September 21. 2006
Aliyah, 9/9/06: A Wedding
After war, my first wedding.
Mordechai’s. And Sharona’s.
In Netanya, how to find the wedding emporium? Netanaya, the Nice of French emigres, most of whom but a generation removed from North African refugees -- Algeria, Tunisia, Morrocco. Escapees to La Patrie, home of laicite, they now escape Paristan to find refuge in Israel.
I fly in from the States the day of his wedding, cab to my Merkaz Klita apartment, drop off luggage, then seek out the wedding. But before I could get there, I will tell you of Mordechai. He, who calls me loudly, Akhi, “My Brother.”
He and I in Ulpan together for some six months. He made aliyah, because he is a Zionist, moved her to make a Jewish life, now needed a Jewish wife, an Israeli one. At one point, took a drag on a Gallouis, grimaced, then fiercely tossed it to the ground, never to smoke a French cigarette again. He is done with France.
Mordechai teases me. In France, his Jewish friends -- the Ashkenazi from Poland, Germany -- would tease Mordechai when he listened to Mizrachi tapes, the nasal singing from Morroco or Yemen. They accused him of being “almost an Arab,” and he responded, “You’re almost Jewish.” When I -- an Ashkenazi both Polish and German --worked at my Hebrew -- a throaty ayin or chet -- he would chide me, and I said that I was working at being almost Jewish.
He left home at seventeen, his parents had told him several times that they had never wanted children. Lived in the streets. He did guitar, Jimi Hendrix his lodestar. Taught guitar. Played with bands. Cut some discs. Also did sports, got into school, first for a masters in sociology, then to the Sorbonne for his Ph.D. in sociology of science. We discussed Yossi Ben David at the Hebrew University, Michael Polanyi at Chicago, and Thomas Kuhn, who died too young. Mordechai wanted to talk with me about his thesis, wanted it translated into English. But he insisted that we only speak Hebrew -- our common language, he insisted. This limited what I could discuss about sociology.
But it did not limit our friendship.
He loved Rutie, our ebulliant, lizard-booted Hebrew teacher. The boots with engraved silver tips and especially the embossed heels gave her a heel, a height, a touch of attitude which she thinks she needed. When in a feather, she would about crow, straining at her full five feet, insisting that she was closer to six feet. Born during the rainy season in a tent in the early ‘50’s, her parents refugees from Syria. Always in a rush, she explained, so she couldn’t wait for the hospital. She envied Bridgitte of France, for her perfect waist, understated grace. She adored Mordechai; wanted me to uncle him.
And Mordechai loved her.
Continue reading "Guest Author, Aliyah Diary: A Wedding"
Coulter thinks we are overdoing it with the moral purity thing:
Whole thing at Human Events online.
"I pulled out for San Anton',
"Lo and Behold," off The Basement Tapes, a collection of songs released in 1975 but recorded in the summer of 1967 (with the exception of some of the tracks by The Band, which, it later became known, were actually their own studio outtakes).
A Film Not by Ken Burns. Damn funny, whatever your skin color. You will never see a Ken Burns film the same way, again. Dr. Fingeroot is perfect, and the music is not only perfect, it is real good. YouTube at AlphaPatriot
Posted by The Chairman in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 08:07 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Churchill and Global Warming?
Steve Hayward of The Commons did a speech at the American Political Science Association recently, The Use and Abuse of Churchill in History. (Found it before Powerline linked it, but those guys are SCARY FAST.) Link to the whole speech here, but here is a quote:
This piece is a bit behind the news cycle, but what the heck. Breasts are interesting subjects which keep popping into the news: see Anchoress. More on "boobgate" at Protein. Boobgate is just too silly, and not worth commenting on at any length. (Ed: Basil does a great job with the subject today.)
But remember the fuss about that BabyTalk magazine cover last month? I thought it odd that many were upset by story about the mom breast-feeding her baby on the cover. Some termed the image "disgusting." Meanwhile, that magazine for new moms probably sat on a magazine rack five feet from a wide variety of porn magazines.
Why did anyone find that Baby Talk cover worthy of comment at all, much less negative comment? Can a society be puritanical and licentious at the same time? Well, why not?
We're not supposed to be reminded that breasts are for food? Nobody gets upset about using T&A to sell things (tits=hits, as the old blog expression goes), but something about using breasts to feed babies seemed to touch a nerve. Very strange, because feeding a baby is the most natural and beautiful thing in the world, or so we are told.
I figured that it bothered people because it's an animal function, and we aren't animals, are we?
The whole piece is here.
In my opinion, breasts are multi-purpose organs: breasts are for feeding babies; tits are for fun, bosoms are for comfort, and snuggling; and boobs are ART to look at. Guys look at boobs - always. We cannot control our eyeballs, which have little tiny minds of their own. And, dear lady readers, we love 'em all, regardless of size or shape. I know that you understand, ladies: you check us guys out in your own sneaky ways.
No workplace rules or social rules will ever prevent men from staring, or admiring, or glancing, or covertly appreciating. Guys are made to like them - and women are always interested in their own, too. No amount of PC will prevent this fun and intriguing male pastime.
But I think that it is an unusual guy - or an adolescent boy - who would find nursing mothers sexually titillating.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breast-feeding for a minimum of 12 months. Not only is it best for the baby, but it's best for the mom, too. Every month a mom breastfeeds, she reduces her risk of breast cancer. Moms with jobs find it challenging, unsurprisingly.
Image on top of blog: Picasso's Nursing Mother
For a t-rated, adolescent-type humor image, see continuation page for a gal for guys (or gals) who think they have it all.
Continue reading "Tempest in a B-Cup: Breasts, Bosoms, Boobs and Tits"
77% of Aussies think it is government's role to make them happy. That is the craziest thing I have read this year. Government? Hahahahaha. You'd think they could answer with something at least slightly less stupid, like their spouse, mistress, gigolo. Now their dog - that would make good sense as an answer. My suggestion: government to add Prozac and Grey Goose to the Aussie water supply, and, if that does not work, opium also. What, me worry?
Paul meets Agrippa: An inspiring mini-sermon from Middlebrow.
The NYT is advertising itself: Truth and Accuracy. They need another ad line: How about "The Dead-Tree Daily Kos"? Or, as an alternative, "All the News We Want You Morons to Know." Or "Pravda on the Hudson"?
The left loves Ahmadinejabbywobby. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. But wait. Ahamadinejobby doesn't like at least 50% of them. How many women of the Left have had sexual relations outside of marriage? He would kill them first. Betsy.
Moonbat update from Moonbattery: I pledge allegiance to the Mexican flag, and to the corrupt dump of a country for which it stands,... Also, Mayor Bloomberg wants to PAY YOU to go to the doctor. Dear Mayor B: NYC is lookin' real nice, but leave us ALONE already! We are grown-ups. Are you nuts?
How much does the Left hate Christians? Quite a lot. RWN
Enforcement of borders is what Americans want. It's our country. Just One Minute shows Kaus, getting it right.
The regrettable discrimination and double standards in our schools. Gal teachers can play, but not guy teachers. What the heck? RWHowler
NPR getting long in the tooth. What's the average age of their tax-subsidized listeners, anyway? And Squaring the Boston Globe is right - their men sound like they have no testicles and never played a sport. It's wierd, really.
The Scarecrow Syndrome. The dumbing down of education isn't an accident: it's an agenda. Just give the slow ones a diploma and tell them to get a job and to quit wasting the teachers' time. Here's the plan unfolding, in the UK. Samizdata.
Some farm workers are crapping in the field, on your organic spinach. Hey, it's organic, right? You want those poor oppressed farm workers to walk all the way to the toilet? That's cruel. Daily Pundit has it.
A quote from Coyote Blog:
Whole piece here.
Want to go hunting in Canadanistan? They should welcome our dollars, and our recreational tourism, right? Look at this BS. To add insult to injury - you need to print it out on 8X14. Who are they kidding? Do I look like a lawyer? Mr. Harper - please fix this travesty. Thanks, pal. All I am bringing is a damn 12 ga s/s for grouse. For heaven's sake!
Finally, we get a fence, not amnesty. I'd be surprised if the fence doesn't pass both houses. Poli. Honestly, I'd like amnesty for every wrong I have ever done, but no-one is offering that to me.
Wednesday, September 20. 2006
Mitchell gets it (quoted his piece in full, below, from Democracy Project). Our bold font:
Weds. Morning Links: Warning - This old Time Machine may bump and wobble as it advances at the speed of 60 seconds per minute
Bush speaks up for America at the UN. Quit the terror - we want peace. It's the right message. Comments in the NY Sun.
"They say that it's the institution..." Thinkin' about blaming it on "the system," at Asst Village Idiot. One quote:
Free Willy Nelson! Does this explain his politics? Protein
From the author of Path to 9-11, Cyrus Nowrasteh:
Whole piece at Ed Driscoll
Experts want to move the Mississippi to save New Orleans. Why not. What the heck? It's just water, right? NYT Science News
Wish I had written this, quoted from a piece by Malzahn in Spiegel Online:
Big Supermarket is Watching You. How stores study buying behavior to get you to buy more. Science News
My father asks for nothing. He was a ball gunner on a Liberator. Sippican
Dennis Prager interviews Howard Zinn. I won't quote from it, but you have to read it. Unbelievable. They let this bozo write textbooks? His knowledge of history seems so...um... incomplete. Or selective? Almost like he had an agenda or something?
And we feature yet another supposed historian with selective memory of what he learned in school. This is Rick Moran quoted from his piece on Juan Cole's comments on "Moslem sensibilities":
Don Surber makes the case FOR pork-barrel spending. Don - that argument is 100 years old, from the days when they didn't have so much of our money to play games with. It is ours, remember. We earned it. Your argument, Don, is that politicians are slimy jerks for whom the pork greases the wheels. I am sure that that is true.
To think like an Islamist, you have to take a time machine to the Dark Ages. Few of us can do this. Quote from a piece by Eric at Classical Values:
Image: That would be a Jersey Cow. A good looking, smaller, and manageable breed of dairy cattle. Read about their history here.
Tuesday, September 19. 2006
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Two hat-tips and three generous wags of the dog's tail to Dinocrat, who found this excellent piece by Spengler in Asia Times, entitled Jihad, The Lord's Supper, and Eternal Life. A quote:
Read the whole thing.
Image: Botticelli's very late work, Mystic Crucifixion
Read the rest, at Borowitz.