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
Saturday, March 31. 2007
An old southern Baptist country preacher had a teenage son, and it was getting time the boy should give some thought to choosing a profession.
Like many young men, the boy didn't really know what he wanted to do, and he didn't seem too concerned about it.
One day, while the boy was away at school, his father decided to try an experiment. He went into the boy's room and placed on his study table four objects:
"I'll just hide behind the door," the old preacher said to himself, "and when he comes home from school this afternoon, I'll see which object he picks up. If it's the Bible, he's going to be a preacher like me, and what a blessing that would be! If he picks up the dollar, he's going to be a businessman, and that would be okay, too. But if he picks up the bottle, he's going to be a no-good drunkard, and, Lord, what a shame that would be! And worst of all, if he picks up that magazine he's gonna be a skirt-chasin' bum."
The old man waited anxiously, and soon heard his son's footsteps as he entered the house whistling and headed for his room. The boy tossed his books on the bed, and as he turned to leave the room he spotted the objects on the table.
With curiosity in his eye, he walked over to inspect them. Finally, he picked up the Bible and placed it under his arm. He picked up the silver dollar and dropped it into his pocket. He uncorked the bottle and took a big drink while he admired this month's Centerfold.
"Lord have mercy," the old preacher muttered in disgust, "he's gonna be a Congressman."
(h/t, Alpha Patriot)
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:27 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
"Tolerance" is a one-way street. How about plain good manners? Michelle on the chocolate Jesus
Evita sending Bill out to raise money. A sign that she is worried. Who is running? And one rhetorical question: How come Rudy gets all sorts of attacks this week for answering a question by saying that perhaps his wife might attend a Cabinet meeting on a topic of special interest to her - while Bill Clinton ran as "two presidents for the price of one"? Hillary attended meetings whenever she wanted.
Breaking into houses at night and killing women and children. The US Army pays a visit to Omar's Baghdad home.
Nice example of justice in Texas. Ace. A bad day for the little Mrs.
Image: Photo of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival (thanks, reader)
Talked with a friend last night who had just returned from Africa, and who spent ten days at Singita's Ebony Lodge in South Africa's huge Kruger National Park.
It sounds like a trip of a lifetime, and Singita's lodges (each with a small number of guest suites) sound like the most comfortable places in Africa with service which silently anticipated their every want. They even had his favorite cigars in a humidor waiting for him on arrival.
They got to the lodge by chartering a plane from Johannesberg, which he described as becoming a lawless, white-hating and frightening city. The famous Saxon Hotel is surrounded by walls, barbed wire, with dogs on patrol and armed guards.
We may be fated to watch this amazing country deteriorate into a third world country.
If you didn't take the time to listen to this short speech by Evan Kayet, do it. He is smart. He gets it.
I have promised to buy dinner for all of my lib friends who will listen to it.
Friday, March 30. 2007
Or are they letting Tehran overplay their hand? "Bearded Mullah speak with forked tongue", as Tangled Web put it.
Another greenie hypocrite. Unbelieveable. Travolta. Find me a prominent greenie spokesperson who walks the walk. Just one.
Pius Xll - The Nazi Pope? Not quite.
What is an enemy? A political enemy, that is. SC&A. Too long, but good.
Circuit City on a downwards slide.
Internet commerce growing fast in China. Dinocrat. Can a totalitarian state maintain itself if it has internet access?
"The ten questions I want to ask Al Gore." John Hawkins. It's about the same as our ten.
We have always opposed corn ethanol as a fuel. We fully support corn ethanol in whiskey. Corn ethanol is pure pork, but it won't work. Synthstuff explains, if you aren't already convinced.
A cottage in Truro. Just wonderful. Sippican Cottage.
EU eliminates Islamic terrrorism, overnight. Gates of Vienna. Why didn't we think of that?
Largest tax hike in history. Details at Flopping. But why? On general principles?
Africa to Mugabe: "Love ya, dude." No wonder Africa is hopeless.
Blogs. I recently read (I forget where) that only around 300,000 people regularly follow politically-oriented blogs. I have no way to confirm the accuracy of that number. Are we a politically-oriented blog? I don't know: kinda-sorta. The size of the market is small, and therefore even the biggest blogs are limited in their ability to grow readership. It's a matter of people's interest as much as anything else. One can only envy the porn and NASCAR sites for the level of interest they attract. I mention this because Kim du Toit has an interesting piece on the stats of American internet access. Around 30% of Americans have no interest in internet access, according to a study. (That must be the 30% of Americans who don't read Maggie's Farm daily.)
Image: Maker's Mark advt. via Mr. Free Market, who I doubt is a bourbon drinker but who has a good eye for ads.
As an amateur-expert on charities, here's a very interesting one which is worth looking at: Kiva - Loans that change lives. Their concept is right, because every little new business has a ripple effect that magnifies and spreads wealth.
The NYT's Kristoff video report (quite remarkable) on Kiva is here.
Posted by Opie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:18 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Why is the overfishing of sharks leading to a serious decrease in scallops on the East coast? Explained here.
I think shark fishing is stupid anyway. What's the point? People chum for them, catch them, kill them, take a photo, and throw the thing overboard. Not sporting, not manly. People - not the government - should decide to quit it.
Image: A Sea Scallop, the source of those big "scallops" at the fish market.
The Feinstein Scandal is the biggest we've seen in a long time. We are looking at billions in an obvious conflict-of-interest case - and all that has happened is that she resigned from a subcommittee after she got caught.
Will the magic "D" after her name protect her? If she were an "R", how big would this story be?
20 I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the state, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party, generally.
21 This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.
22 The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.
23 Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind, (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight,) the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
From his Farewell Address
From a piece by Fred Sanders on George Washington Carver:
It might be homespun but it works for me.
The "surge" isn't so much a surge in force as it is a tactical change towards aggressive neigborhood policing, with the theory that effective policing will embolden the good guys to get on our side, so we can leave Iraq to the Iraqis. Problem is that everything the Dems and the media are doing works to undermine that effort. Villainous has a good summary piece: Killing the Surge
LaShawn Barber, one of our favorites, is planning to give up her blog. Read the link to learn why (hint: It's about God).
Biological Fantasies: A few basic immutable facts about human nature from Dr. Sanity, who sounds like she is on the exact same page as our Dr. Bliss.
Captain Ed thinks Tehran blew it. I think that depends on whether their purpose is international or internal politics. An attack would bolster a possibly shaky government.
Chrysler for sale again. Drudge
New Gov Spitzer (a Dem) gets 100 more charter schools in NY.
The "six passengers formerly known as the Flying Imams" Powerline
Image: a 1948 Ford 8N on Maggie's Farm - had the year wrong at first. Runs like a top after a few months in the tractor hospital.
Thursday, March 29. 2007
I am Your Teenage Prayer
Take a look at me baby
(the rest of the lyrics on continuation page below)
These ad-libbed nonsense lines are from a Basement Tape session with The Band, in the Big Pink's garage (photo). Dylan paid for the house, and had them all on salary for a while, to have people to play with when he felt like coming down from his house, wife, dogs, and kids in Woodstock. After a while, The Band decided to make their own first recording, which was mind-bogglingly good. In fact, all of their stuff holds up darn well.
Continue reading "Thursday Free Advt. for Bob"
I still cannot believe that a military Brit prisoner would speak these words:
"Obviously we trespassed into their waters," Turney said. "They were very friendly and very hospitable, very thoughtful, nice people. They explained to us why we've been arrested. There was no harm, no aggression."
Meanwhile, incomprehensibly, Pelosi refuses to support the Brits.
Have you paid your taxes yet?!?!
18 million illegal aliens are depending on you
We missed this report, by Paul Hollrah from The New Media Journal:
Continue reading ""Say what, Barrack?""
It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?
George Washington, Farewell Address
The newest Jib Jab. Not their best.
"If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing."
Photo located on continuation page below (for work purposes).
Continue reading "The fun, new airport security check-in procedure"
Posted by Gwynnie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 10:06 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
To My Fellow Immigrants. Kohlmayer, in the NY Sun
Clinton pays $400,000 for the Vilsak endorsement. Who is Vilsak again?
Dems inching away from free trade. Very bad idea, but it has cheap populist emotion behind it.
The DC scandal that was never reported. Gateway. Why not reported? That little "D" after your names comes in handy sometimes. It's a free pass.
Dog performs Heimlich on owner.
Arterial stents aren't much good, new study says.
Sad tales of foreclosures of subprime loans. NYT. Unfortunately, wishful thinking doesn't pay bills.
The Tort Tax. How much do trial lawyers cost the average American annually? About $9000. Never yet Melted.
The Hillary poll. I am surprised that it is so negative.
Are we at war with Iran? A cold war, at the least, ever since they took our embassy staff hostage during Carter.
World's tallest man gets married. BBC
A fine rant about the decay of American education. "Shame on us for allowing this to happen". S,C&A
Mugabe just won't quit. But it's OK - to create a socialist paradise, you have to crack a few heads.
The Envy Patrol at the NYT is always on the job: "The top 10% of Americans collected 48.5% of all reported income in 2005."
Since neither wealth nor income are zero sum games (although the NYT tends to make it sound otherwise - as if money were an Easter Egg hunt), I see no reason why anyone should care - other than envy. And besides, the top 10% pays most of the taxes, too, for the benefit of the rest of us.
My feeling is this: If I had the talent, drive, and personality traits to be a Hollywood star, a major league pitcher, a sought-after CEO, a genius investor, a clever entrepreneur, a neurosurgeon, or a Wall Street lawyer - or the luck to be a fortunate heir - I'd get a big kick out of it. But it's not all that bad a thing to be a regular American. In fact, it's the best thing to be on earth.
Wednesday, March 28. 2007
Poverty, "relative poverty", and opportunity. Clearly as long as you define poverty as the lowest 10% of income, you will always have darn close to 10% poverty, right?
Stumbling and Mumbling points out that the above logic is in error. Providing benefits to bring everyone up to 61% of the median income would solve that statistical issue by eliminating the bottom. Of course, the disincentives to work provided by those benefits, and the disincentives to work which would be required via taxes, would make everyone far poorer in the end.
Take a look at his piece, and read the comments. The problem, of course, lies in not defining poverty by standard of living.
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