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
Wednesday, February 21. 2007
No one has a right to happiness.
How would you like to be running Duke's PR office these days?
LaShawn has the details. Of course, the conduct of officials and the profs is the real story here. I will quote one of LaShawn's excellent commenters, one Batyah:
Coyote took the time to take a close look at some of the findings of the McKinsey report on the cost of American medical care. One quote:
Tuesday, February 20. 2007
ABC and Betty Ford are pleased to announce Britney "Uncle Fester" Spears has been added to the cast of the hit TV series "The Rehab Family."
The show was in danger of being cancelled, but four or five understudies for each character have been signed to long-term, multi-year contracts; and reports are that many of them are breeding! This assures us of years of family entertainment to come!
Tune in, any time, any place, to any medium, and see a new episode 24/7.
Rodham Clinton takes offence at Rebel flag. To us, it symbolizes the American rebel spirit, states' rights, and Federalism. Has nothing to do with promoting slavery. We oppose slavery, except for our own slaves (who work on this blog, and are mainly of the sort-of whitish persuasion, but with some Indian and Spanish and Italian mixed in), and God knows we believe skin color to be a big, irrelevant nothing. We happily discriminate on the basis of behavior - never on skin color or race or any of that BS.
Long may that proud flag wave for the positive things it represented... just like the Federal flag, which once flew over a slave nation, an Indian-abusing nation, an imperialist nation, etc. etc. blah blah blah evil country blah blah blah.
Woops. Did I just say that Israel was the greatest threat to world peace?
Giant mosque blocked in London.
Tiny houses the new fad? I doubt it. Althouse found the article in the NYT. Didn't we call these cabins?
Momentum shifting? Indepundit thinks so.
Cow farts a major threat to planet. I suggest free Beano for all cattle and other ungulates. And let's kill all the Aurochs. Oh, we already did? Great. Then let's kill all the buffalo. Oh, we already did that too? Gee, great.
10% of EU households contain no-one who works. Cool, dude. Very progressive. How do we get to 100%?
Cool blog: World Climate Report. Will add to our Science blogroll.
Legal persons and limited liability. Bainbridge
Murtha in command. Novak. I hate to ask it, but is he in command of his senses?
NYT terms illegal immigrant critics Klansmen. That's one way to sell a newspaper: insult the intelligence of all of your readers. Hey - is there a FREE Spanish edition?
New Orleans murders. Cops blame the schools. Nice try, cops.
1910. And it's for sale, too. Think about it. What sort of fiberglass bathtub does your boat club use?
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:31 | Comments (18) | Trackbacks (0)
Genetics of Autism advances. BBC. A cure? Never. But, like Down's, will it be a new reason for abortion? No doubt.
A piece of the HIV virus seems stable enough to base a vaccine on. Good news for gays who hate condoms.
From Tim Blair:
This oldie just came in over the transom:
Question 1:If you knew a woman who was pregnant, who had 8 kids already, three who were deaf, two who were blind, one mentally retarded - and she had syphilis, would you recommend that she have an abortion?
Read the next question before looking at the response for this one.
Continue reading "2 Questions"
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 10:19 | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (0)
Absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep.
What was wrong with that UNICEF Report that slammed the US? Shrinkwrapped takes a look at the report's assumptions.
And speaking of income inequalities, Sowell looked at the extremely high pays of some CEOs in January, in NRO
"Good freaking luck" to Harvard's new pres, says Coyote.
Scott admires Smokey Robinson as he turns 67. Love the guy.
Is Russia ready for democracy? Siberian Light quotes a guy who says No.
It's always interesting to ponder the cultural, economic, educational and psychological/characterological requirements for political freedom.
Monday, February 19. 2007
Adding to blogroll - better late than never: Daniel Drezner. Top of his blog today - a depressing piece on Pakistan.
She now says she wants an Iraq troop draw-down in 90 days. Thus she joins the "Victory Team" of Pelosi, Murtha, Schumer, Kerry, Kennedy, et al.
I believe that this is both unwise for the country and unwise politically. There are still people around who recall the final Vietnam debacle as a sort of political victory, and long to relive it. I do not believe that this attitude will fly today.
What is it all about? Politically, the Dems require a defeat in Iraq, and will do anything in their power to achieve it. A bloodbath in Iraq would be a Victory - a ticket to the White House.
And worry about Jihad later, comfortable in the knowledge that the press would go very gentle on any Dem war against Jihadist moves against the US. I can just see the NYT headlines now: "Dem International Muscularity Redefines the Party."
This came in over the transom:
A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be very liberal and was very much in favor of the redistribution of wealth. She was deeply ashamed that her father was a Republican, a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the lectures that she had participated in and the occasional chat with a professor, she felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his.
One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the addition of more government welfare programs. The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father. He responded by asking how she was doing in school. Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn't even have time for a boyfriend and didn't really have many college friends because she spent all her time studying.
76,000 Loonies to find out "you are too American."
Scroll down here for info on the new weight loss meds.
Steve Jobs beats up on teacher's unions. Fine, we know it's a scam. But I blame the parents first. Grade school teachers want to do their job well, like everyone else. But I do agree that unionization of a profession removes it from the "profession" category.
Today in Brooklyn, 1902.
Gun control doubles gun murders in the UK. Duh.
You don't get Yankee Magazine? Why not? (free advt)
It is true about the Brits.
Iran's obsession with the the Jews. The history of this nutty thing.
For women: A sex health quiz.
The Blackwater live eagle cam is up. The eagles have two eggs already. Ospreys not back north yet, of course.
Left rooting for defeat? They always do. We have said it many times. Wizbang says it better. Why do they hate this fine country, still with more freedom and more opportunity than anywhere else in the world? Is it a disease, or something?
A touching gift for the angry divorcee.
If you like old cars, do not miss this link from us, the other day. Drool with envy.
Image: A southern New England coast, yesterday
"The Marines." Weds. night, 9 Eastern, on PBS (!). For once, wish I had a TV. (thanks, Reader)
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 09:33 | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (0)
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 09:03 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
"When issues of public policy are discussed in the outward form of an argument, often the conclusions reached are predetermined by the assumptions and definitions inherent in a particular vision of social processes. Different visions, of course, have different assumptions, so it is not uncommon for people who follow different visions to find themselves in opposition to one another across a vast spectrum of unrelated issues. (This happens) in such disparate fields as law, foreign policy, the environment, racial policy, military defense, education, and many others. To a remarkable extent, however, empirical evidence is neither sought beforehand nor consulted after a policy has been instituted. Facts may be marshaled for a position already taken, but that is very different from systematically testing opposing theories by evidence. Momentous questions are dealt with essentially as conflicts of vision."
Thomas Sowell, from "Vision of the Anointed"
Botnet attacks in the past two days have again overwhelmed our servers at times. Sorry for the annoyance, but it ain't our fault.
We used to post interesting complaints from time to time, but the onslaught has been overwhelming. It's time for some praise, for relief. "We get letters..." as Mad Magazine used to say:
"A very hip blog, but not enough Buddhism." Allen Ginsberg
"I check it frequently." Thomas Brewton at View from 1776
"Maggie's is my favorite blog." G.K. Chesterton
"Les Aubes sont navrantes!" Arthur Rimbaud
"Maggie's Farm is a daily Ivy League education - and no exams." George W. Bush
"There is always a surprise on Maggie's Farm." Rocky Raccoon
"I envy your IQs." Albert Einstein
"Nice blog, but yo - where the cheesecake at?" Bill Clinton
"Eclectic but confusing. What are you all about, and why do you bother?" SL in Indianapolis
"This is your third and final notice. Your electric bill is past due." New England Light and Power
"You waste too much time with it, and you shouldn't have to edit everything - but I do enjoy reading Maggie's sometimes." My first wife
"What is a "blog"?" MR in Covington, KY
"I agree with you 100%" Rick Moran at RingWingNutHouse
"A very fine, refined, and unpredictable poetry selection. Love it." T.S. Eliot
"A bit centrist for my taste, but the blog opens my mind." Markos Jones ("Mr. Jones") at Daily Kos
"An essential once-a-year read." TC in Toronto
"An exemplar of the true American spirit." George Washington
"You are cybersluts who would sell your souls for a reader." JT, CIO, Interplanetary Industries, Ltd.
"You sure do know your tractors and your hotdish." Johan Johanssen in Minnesota
"Good Injun braves. Heap big hunters. Only blog in casino." Chief Sitting Bull
"Excellent New England bog, I mean brog, I mean - hey, pal, that's my drink!" Ted Kennedy
"Maggie's Farm has true grit." John Wayne
"Maggie's Farm 'gets it'." Frederick Hayek
"Most misunderappreciated politically centrist, intelligent, and groovy website in the Milky Way." Powerpine
"We put Maggie's on our blogroll, but it was like 'pity sex'." Balloon Juice
"You will be the first to die, filthy counter-revolutionary pigs." Lenin
"You will be next to die, filthy infidel pigs." Omar Muhammed el Rashid al Ramal, in London
"A bunch of f***ing goddam fascist counter-revolutionary pigs who I will have lined up and shot, you f***ing c***suckers." Hillary Clinton
"Maggie's makes me feel square and old-fashioned." Sigmund Freud
"A deep understanding of the challenges facing Western Civilization." Lionel Trilling
"The blog that knows the blues." Sonny Boy Williamson
"The blog that knows the Constitution." James Madison
" .............................. ." Instapundit
"Maggie's Farm has raised my ticket sales by getting my name out, so hurry and place your ads here now!" William Shakespeare
"Hey - that photo is the farmhouse I grew up in." David Burge, my hero, at IowaHawk
"Hey Bird Dog - I just stubbed my toe on the Spanish Steps. Owww. Ouchie." Ezra Pound
"Excellent taste in whine." Robert Parker (Parker rating for the 2006 Maggie's Farm: "32. Corked, overly-sweet, too much gunpowder, aftertastes of liver, diver duck and old owl. Past its prime, worn-out even though it was never any good. Drink now if a desperate alcoholic, or, if not, put down the drain immediately.")
"You lean a bit left, but you are otherwise quite likeable." John Ashcroft
"My sixth or seventh...or maybe eighth... I dunno... favorite blog." His Royal Highness Roger De Hauteville, King of Sicily (brevetted)
"If you were in Europe, you'd be in jail where you belong, writing your memoirs on fine French toilet paper." Jacques Chirac
"Les oiseaux - fantastique!" John J. Audubon
"God bless you all at Margie's Kitchen for your good work. I'd like to offer to name your Connecticut contributors 'Honorary Democrats.' Would that be something they might like? There would be a photo with Nancy Pelosi." Joe Lieberman
"Your blog is a good example of why we need to limit political speech in America. Free speech is one thing, but you make it clear why we need limits. Even roads have speed limits. Not everything needs to be said." John McCain
"What is all this hideous right-wing nonsense? Do you all really mean all this?" My sister in MA
"Hey Bird Dog, get away from my quail." Elvis Presley
Image: A 1950 Farmall Model C
I have been truant with our Fallacies for a while, but I figure I do them as much for myself as for our readers.
By posing, or implying, a false dilemma, you put the other guy off balance for a moment. Like most fallacies, it works because we, in the Western World, tend to give the other guy the benefit of the doubt and to assume his logical integrity. Wrong! He just might be working an agenda.
Always watch out for "either A or B" arguments. Examples:
1. A classic: "If the glove don't fit, you must acquit." Why? Aren't there other considerations? What if they weren't the same gloves? What if they shrunk from the blood? What if he didn't care whether they were a nice fit or not? He got the jury going, though - and the rhyme helped.
2. "You believe in choice? What are you, some sort of baby-killer?" You see how false dilemmas give the illusion of a sharply-divided reality. What can you say? "No, wait - I never killed a baby..." and you are on the defensive right away.
3. A famous Christian one: "Either Christ was the son of God, or he was a con-man or a loony." I worship Him, but not because of this false dilemma.
4. "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." This false dilemma tugs at one's guilt a little, until you see the trick that is being pulled. After all, what if there is nothing meaningful I can do about it? Or what if I don't care? Or what if I think it's a minor problem? Or what if managing my own life is all I can handle? Or what if saving the world just isn't my bag?
Image: The late, great defence lawyer Johnny Cochran.
Sunday, February 18. 2007
Filling in for the News Junkie today...
"The government is endogenous." A profound comment by Prof Bainbridge. We've been inching towards this kind of clarity, but the Prof arrived. The point being this: Why should govt be the problem solver, when it is no more rational, or even less rational, than the public? We would argue, far dumber, much more amoral - and power-hungry arrogant schmucks.
Ten Step Plan to becoming a dictator. (H/t, Reader). This guy figured it out.
The truce is over. Belmont Club. What truce? The Left has been pushing surrender forever. Surrender to what? To whatever.
Melanie Phillips takes a look at Iran's 27-year war on the west.
Does Russia want to re-start the Cold War? NY Sun. I doubt it. But they do want to be players on the world stage. It's such a dump of a country, I guess they need something to feel good about.
The stupidity of crowds. No Pasaran takes on the Greenie-Lefties. Our opinion: the Greenies are the "useful idiots" of the Left.
Catholic women's college obsessed with vaginas and sex. Is this "higher education"? Sounds like lower education to me.
Hate to quote Instapundit because everyone reads him anyway, but this blurb was too good. It captures a ton of insight:
Deval changed his mind. Sorry, MA. Now he wants more of your money. I guess he changed his mind...
Should the word "scrotum" appear in kids' library books? Why not? I thought they were already teaching the little ones gay and transexual pleasuring techniques in our progressive government schools. Scrotum definitely a sensitive area.
"Fusionism" is the notion of the merging of Libertariansim and Conservatism. Is it possible? I think so, as long as folks don't feel the compulsion to be completely consistent in their politics - but who is? TCS takes a look.
More on the subject of "We're all Welfare Queens" now. How pathetic have we become as a nation? Help used to be for the folks in trouble, but now it's for everybody, including the "greedy geezers," with the predictable weakening of the human spirit and the rise of whining as a life style and a voting style. There is no way back to good old study Manhood and Womanhood, once a majority is on the dole in some way - or expects to be.
Are we raising a generation of the dependent, passive, and spineless, like Europe? Not only a serf mentality, but a surrenderist mentality. I do not wish to imagine where this sort of future takes my descendants. People who won't take up a challenge, but collapse and give up? That ain't the American Way, nor is it the Anglo-Saxon way. Nor is it the Pilgrim way, where freedom under God was every family's goal, in the face of death. Pull up your socks and get to it and give it the old college try - come what will. And pray. That's our approach. Whether it works or not, fine. We will get by. Can't beat Touch of Gray. It has got it all over Woody's sappy "This land is your land..." Touch of Gray is the American middle-aged Song, and man, could that guy play a sweet guitar? Although we do have a natural weakness for the Maggie's Farm attitude - good for all ages.
The depressing graph is from a piece at Villainous.
Psalm 37, 1-18
1Do not fret because of the wicked; do not be envious of wrongdoers,
2for they will soon fade like the grass, and wither like the green herb.
3Trust in the Lord, and do good; so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.
4Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.
6He will make your vindication shine like the light, and the justice of your cause like the noonday.
7Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him; do not fret over those who prosper in their way, over those who carry out evil devices.
8Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath. Do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9For the wicked shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.
10Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look diligently for their place, they will not be there.
11But the meek shall inherit the land, and delight themselves in abundant prosperity.
12The wicked plot against the righteous, and gnash their teeth at them;
13but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that their day is coming.
14The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows to bring down the poor and needy, to kill those who walk uprightly;
15their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.
16Better is a little that the righteous person has than the abundance of many wicked.
17For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.
18The Lord knows the days of the blameless, and their heritage will abide forever.
Saturday, February 17. 2007
Our friend Synthstuff is home from a hard month of sailing in the Caribbean. How he found this Norwegian link I have no idea, but the story goes like this: Presumably Norwegian dude buys an old, run-down farm in Portugal, and eventually gets around to using a hacksaw to cut the padlocks to a big old abandoned barn on the property that had not been entered in 15 years.
If you like cars, scroll down to see what is in there.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 21:26 | Comments (22) | Trackback (1)
Let them eat cake? Excellent update at Drezner (h/t, Instap). Great example of what happens when you imagine that humans could be smarter than markets. Chavez never read Edmund Burke, obviously. Quote:
and here's the punchline: classic Left:
Whole thing here. You can't fool Mother Market, but you sure can crush "the people" if you want to.
Image by His Royal Highness Roger de Hauteville, King of Sicily, of course