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, October 26. 2006
Australia's top Imam explains why women are the cause of rape. LGF.
I will grant him one point: sexy women do elicit erotic thoughts, and they know it, and they do enjoy that magical witchcraft.
But where is the Imam's expectation of civilized behavior on the part of Moslem gentlemen... or is that not part of modern Islam?
Image presented for scientific purposes only. Middle Eastern scholars claim that this sort of devilish thing is what is hiding under all of those burkhas.
Going around. Mark Foley's plan for his future: To turn over a
The media's plan for the remainder of the election season, from ABC: Betsy. It isn't funny.
France's support of genocide in Rwanda. What a screwed-up country. RTLC.
Latest from Jib Jab: The Great Sketch Experiment.
Hostility and paranoia in American Moslems. Moonbattery
Mitt Romney smacks down obnoxious, arrogant reporter. Good stuff. Sister T
Crime pays at the UN. Simon
The ACORN scandal, and the Foley: the hand of the evil one seems to be behind them all! Wizbang.
More details on the Real Foley story at Gay Patriot.
We looked at Soros here.
Steyn at the White House, with some stellar colleagues. Report via Powerline. The NYT is insane not to hire him - but they are insane.
This came in over the transom, but I see it referenced here:
FROM A RETIRED SDPD Officer now living in Pennsylvania:
Continue reading "Illegal Immigration"
The department store is the ancestor of the mall, and of WalMart. From a piece in Washington Monthly:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 06:35 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, October 25. 2006
Due to my work time schedule change, I will be posting at random times during the day for a while. Sorry, if you counted on my early AM posts.
Who needs government? The Czechs seem quite fine without one. Libertarians must love this story at TCS.
MSM uninterested in lefty vote fraud. Am. Thinker.
Caucasophobia - The Accepted Racism. Gates of Vienna
In my opinion, the Dem strategy is to distract from our booming economy, with anything they can think if: Michael Fox, Foley, Iraq - ANYTHING! It could work. Politpundit
Not nice. Even if you're very nice to Mr. Putin, he still insists on his interests. What a meanie. Am. Thinker. And what sort of idiot would expect otherwise?
Newsweek recants on the global cooling emergency. Remember? It was only a few years ago. The cause was air pollution.
The Krugman touch never fails. The Conspiracy to keep you poor and stupid
The appealing Mary Carey finds trivial cause to quit CA gubernatorial race. Why? Her Mom jumped off a building.
A blog we have somehow missed. NewsBusters.
Re veils, at Mr. Free market. A quote:
The new camera gift guide - it's all 10 megapixels now, even for point-and-shoot.
Isn't capitalism amazing?
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:47 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Today is the 50th Anniversary of the Hungarian Uprising against Soviet Communist oppression.
Gateway has a good remembrance, with a letter.
These three dudes are the modern masters of farce, absurdist and semi-black humor. They all have no trouble making fun of earnest silliness, and all of their humor is dead serious.
A friend turned me on to the Brit Tom Sharpe, who has never been afraid of political correctness. But I never knew about his Wilt series, which is on the way to me from Amazon at this moment. I had only read his two which were set in South Africa. The mental hospital staging a Zulu War as a therapeutic theater piece with the patients taking sides with real weapons is just unbelievable. But so are the people with the rubber suit fetishes.
Peter de Vries, a long-time editor at The New Yorker and Editor of Poetry magazine, and long-time resident of Westport, CT now, alas, dead, wrote a number of droll, warmly satirical novels, most of them about life in Fairfield County. He is the most religious atheist writer I can think of. Adultery, social climbing, book clubs, alcohol abuse, horny adolescents, existential crises, wonderful misfits, nouveau riches, do-gooders, old-time eccentric grouchy Yankees, wacky preachers, and hearty golfers are the grist for his mill. Favorite De Vries quotes: "Nostalgia isn't what it used to be," and "It is the final proof of God's omnipotence that he need not exist in order to save us." One more: "I was baptised, but it didn't take." Can you label this genre "comic seriousness"?
Carl Hiaasen - bio here - prize-winning Florida journalist and co-songwriter with the late lamented Warren Zevon, has a feel for the dark side of South Florida culture (is there a bright side?) which he illuminates with such characters as Skink, the one-eyed ex-Florida governor who lives in the swamp, eats only road kill, and trusts only vets for medical help. My favorites are Skin Tight, Double Whammy, and Tourist Season.
When asked by Parliament members why be believed so much in America, Tony Blair said:
"A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in, and how many want out."
Tuesday, October 24. 2006
The results of Australia's gun confiscation and oppressive gun laws: NOTHING... except people can no longer defend themselves.
Some truth about the stem-cell issue. Yes, of course it is being demagogued. What isn't? Here's the science. Shrinkwrapped
Hamilton College, post-Churchill, is seeking some sanity. Inside Higher Ed
Voter ID in Missouri. Quote from a piece in Opinion Journal:
Moose are taking over Yankee-land. A conservation success, but a serious driving hazard. Hunting them is a bit like shooting a Holstein cow in a field. You make sure to kill them near a road: they are heavy.
Are you scared yet? Quoted via Junk Science:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:38 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
The challenge of being politically conservative is that one seeks political power to reduce, or devolve, power to the people and to their localities.
In the famous words of Bill Buckley, "The job of conservatives was to stand athwart history, yelling, stop."
It seems to be almost impossible to do, practically. And in democratic systems, everything is about the politically practical. It's accidentally built into the DNA of the system, (although giant American federal bureaucracies handing out money and rules never was intended - or even envisioned -by our founders who detested the giant European bureacracies and centralized state systems, as in France).
Not everyone respects that heritage of ours. This week, I heard a voter quoted on the radio "Bush is focused on Iraq, but what is he doing to take care of me?" We have all heard such statements, because that attitude is pervasive, and, I believe, enormously destructive.
So how do conservatives hold on to power when the population has been trained for two or three generations of Left-tinged rule to reflexively expect "government to fix it" - whatever it may be?
There is only one way: to fill the nation with vigorous, optimistic, freedom-oriented, inspiring, courageous talk about the American way of life and the opportunities available to everyone to go out there and try to build whatever life they envision. Reagan knew how to do that. Bush has not the talent, nor the taste, for dramatic rhetoric - and neither did his dad.
The subject comes up because of two blog pieces over the past week addressing the "totalitarian" impulses of the Left. We have often written on that topic at Maggie's Farm.
Sisu from a piece titled "Simply an affirmation of naked power":
Dr. Sanity, from a piece entitled "The Political Left and their Totalitarian Dreams":
I do believe that the Left has totalitarian dreams - a morally lost person can decide that the ends can justify the means if he cares about the "common good," and is certain that he's right. That is referring to the Left: I do not believe that all Dems have similar dreams, but I do think that they almost always favor policies which expand the federal state and its power - always for the "common good", mind you.
C.S Lewis, as quoted by Samizdata:
Power, unlike money, is a zero-sum game. Every incremental increase in federal governmment power and authority over our lives is at the price of a bit of individual and local power and autonomy. And with that price goes a bit of the human spirit and a bit of what makes America unique in the world.
The appropriate age for marriage is eighteen for girls and thirty seven for men.
Monday, October 23. 2006
Why do champagne bubbles follow little chains of bubbles upwards, instead of randomly bubbling? That question has finally been answered, just in time for holiday season. They follow little fibers of dirt and dust. Live Science. Yes, Veuve Clicquot is the official champagne of Maggie's Farm: time to stock up for Halloween.
Men imagine that women are flirting with them, when they aren't. Damn, no wonder I always screw it up. Villainous Company
Are we ready for a Mormon leader of the Senate? Of course. Why not? But did you know that Harry Reid is a Mormon?
Socially-responsible warfare? Only the Brits could come up with that notion. Jawa. I like the idea of recyclable, lead-free bullets.
Obedient German drivers: Blair
Religious bias in the law? Must Catholic organizations provide abortion services on their medical plans? NY Sun
Welfare reform hasn't preserved the family. That makes it a failure? LA Times. It got people to become independent and proud of themselves. That is success. No govt program will get people to marry.
Grammar back in educational fashion? Let's hope so. Althouse. Not that we write complete sentences here - we use telegram style.
The truth about activism, from a piece at Classical Values:
There are two phrases which drive me nuts. One is "root causes," and the other is "The common good."
Expensive consultants have advised the Dems that "the common good" might be a good theme for them. They even imagine that wrapping themselves in a virtuous, John Stuart Mill-sounding cloak could help bring Christians on board.
After all, who is against "the common good"? But there are many ways of looking at the common good. I know what the Dems mean by it: they want to increase dependency on the Federal govt, and therefore on them.
In fact, our Bird Dog wrote on this subject one week ago: Is a nation a family? We can expect more of this "It takes a village" stuff over the next two years, I believe.
As Hillary Clinton now-famously said in 2004: "We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that (tax relief) short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."
From a piece by Zoll in The Christian Post (h/t, News for Christians):
The whole thing here.
Nancy Pelosi said this, re the chance she will end up as Speaker (h/t, Driscoll):
"The gavel of the speaker of the House is in the hands of special interests, and now it will be in the hands of America's children."
More insanity from Britain: criminal charges for an error in voluntary recycling. Tangled Web. Good grief. This in a country where cops cannot chase a thief, because the thief might fall down and hurt himself, but dropping an envelope into the container of plastics - that's a Crime Against Humanity!
Doubling the width of the Panama Canal. Publius
A Soros connection behind the Foley outing? Jawa
Riot Season in France to begin with a parade. Gateway
The terrorism-welfare connection, in Europe. Instapundit. Makes sense: if you have a job, you don't have time to burn cars.
Jeff's excellent temper tantrum: Yes, we know the feeling.
More bones found at ground zero. Bare Knuckle. Not to be insensitive, but you have to wonder - did Rove put them there?
Captain Ed on the Calame "apology" for publishing the NSA secrets:
Michelle extracts these morals from that whole story:
Can facts have any impact on the tragedy of Chronic BDS? (Bush Derangement Syndrome). Doubtful. Willisms notes:
The truth shall set ye free, but first it shall make ye miserable.
Soren Kirkegaard (h/t, Stumbling)
Sunday, October 22. 2006
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 21:32 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Que balas! The campaign against Chavez.
Canadians try burning weed in Afghanistan. Soldiers feel effects. Sandmonkey
Re the BEEB, Sunday Mail quoted by Powerline:
It was the day that a host of BBC executives and star presenters admitted what critics have been telling them for years: the BBC is dominated by trendy, Left-leaning liberals who are biased against Christianity and in favour of multiculturalism.
Scrap The Constitution! It makes it too hard to turn us into France. Am Spectator. Good grief. They never quit.
Cindy Sheehan paid by the Kerry campaign? Would not surprise me. Driscoll
Quote from David Brooks, via Althouse:
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:03 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Is this contrived, or is it a good idea? A list of the 100 things I want to do before I get too old or die (without impossible fantasies like conducting the New York Symphony, or having some beers with Bob Dylan, or hunting grouse with PJ O'Rourke, or owning a pied a terre in Manhattan, or owning my own G IV, or spending the night with Sharon Stone).
I do have a list of the 7 places I wish to visit or re-visit, next: Scotland for grouse shooting and whiskey tasting, Turkey, Alaska for ptarmigan hunting and to see the tundra, Wales, Sicily, Tuscany, Patagonia for fishing.
But a life-time To-Do list? Probably a good idea for someone like me. If it's not on my list, I never get to it.
So I will add this to my To-Do list: "Make a lifetime To-Do list."
I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours.
Image: Yes, that is Sharon. Meant to do an image of a Red Grouse, but liked this better.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 07:33 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Editor's Note: This is one of a series of occasional reports from our friend Nathan, who is "making aliyah" this year. For more info about this, and for past postings, click the Aliyah Diary category. I have to say that I am both amused and pleased to see Nathan getting comfortable with firearms. Most Jewish, urban psychoanalysts are not - and that is fact, not stereotype.
Aliyah, October 21
Continue reading "Aliyah Diary: Stopping Power"