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, April 30. 2007
A Thompson-Condi ticket? Hoho. Why not? I kinda like it.
Big Brother arrives in Orwell's UK. One camera per 14 people. Do the Brits know how sick this is? Why don't they try for one-on-one cameras, like the book? If I were David Cameron, I would run on removing them all, re-arming the citizenry, eliminating immigration, and tossing the EU into the smoking pit of hell... and using all the money they would save to build a decent Royal Navy.
And, speaking of the UK, can you believe they let the EU tell them what to do with their garbage? Complete weenies. We threw the Brits out of here because they put a tax on tea.
Melamine? In China, they've been putting it into things for years.
Woops. You won't see any corrections in the newspapers, but apparently there is no gender pay gap. That's the end of playing that victim card. Find another.
Are doctors slaves? I enjoy it everytime someone asks this question about the Federal Government:
But, speaking of women, according to the UN Human Rights Commission, Israeli women are the most oppressed. Why? They don't do military services in tanks. Which is worse, the EU or the UN? Get rid of both of these jokers.
Photo: Gwynnie claims to have taken this photo at his bird feeder, but I view it as a powerful argument in favor of global warming, wherever he took it. There is nothing at all wrong with wet tee-shirts, as long as you aren't a Mullah or an Imam or whatever. Not to worry. She will put her burkha on later.
Many of our younger friends, and my colleagues at the firm, spent the week before last visiting colleges with their high-school age kids. Ambitious kids often aspire to our venerable, prestigious Ivy League colleges, but the Ivies do not have the space for all of the smart, curious, motivated and talented kids who apply.
These days, you need a hook. A very big hook, if you have the misfortune to be a white male with 1600 SATs.
Why? Because nowadays, the most competitive colleges "construct" a class. They don't simply take the kids they like; they take the best applicant from each of a large number of columns. The best violinist, the best oboeist, the best squash player, the best quarterback, the best legacy applicants, the kids of the biggest donors, the one who won the most international math tournaments, etc. Plus their prospecting for ultra-talented kids is world-wide now: Just look at the names on Ivy tennis, soccer, or fencing teams - globalization at work. They might have a category for smart, well-rounded kids, but they keep that secret.
Fortunately, in America there are tons of equally good alternatives for kids who would like to excel, many which have not become commie propaganda mills yet, and many of which are far less expensive. In education, you do not get what you pay for, you get what you can take in.
In our firm, we have associates from all sorts of colleges and from all sorts of top 20 law schools. We realize that it's a big world out there, and that it's not like my day, when having an Ivy pedigree seemed like a social and professional requirement (and admission was less selective). Those days are gone, and it might be for the best, but I am not sure. I prefer values to brains, assuming the brains are adequate.
Editor's Note: A reader sent in this photo of Harvard's University Hall, taken on a college visit with a child a week ago.
I finally read this idiotic piece which has been going around, Why Women Hate Hillary. I read it to make sure I wasn't missing something meaningful.
The author's point seems to be that Hillary isn't female, so she is an extension of the patriarchy. But what got me was this quote:
"Humanizing institutions"? What? Institutions are always out for themselves. So just tell me this - Which do you really want? A Mommy, or a Daddy, or a husband? And, whichever you want, why the heck would you look to government to fill that role? This is one of the most immature things I have read in a while.
The author wants a Mommy, I think.
New York's 115 year-old Claremont Stables is closing.
Seeing those fine-looking riders on their fine-looking mounts has always been part of the charm of the Park, and the many miles of riding trails are excellent.
Posted by Opie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 09:33 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Sandy Koufax is drafted, and out of retirement. Haaretz. Lefties are special people.
Taxes as % of GDP, by country.
To whom do the Dems wish to surrender in Iraq? Kudlow says it's to Al Quaida.
Martian warming update. Synthstuff
If Social Security is such a good deal, why do they have to make it mandatory?
For me, politeness is a sine qua non of civilization.
Robert A. Heinlein
Niall Ferguson discusses Nassim Taleb's new book, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, in The Telegraph.
The piece echoes some of the themes in Dr. Bliss' Virginia Tech and the Fantasy of Safety.
Quote from Ferguson:
Read the whole thing.
Sunday, April 29. 2007
Faux scandals. They may be faux, but it's relentless, dishonest, and damaging - and designed to create a general impression of sleaze. Powerline. I distrust people who seek power. I trust people who seek money far more.
The Cow Fart Chronicles. And Rightly So. On Maggie's Farm, we just stick a cow cork in there, to save Mother Gaia. Just don't walk behind one of those cows. We haven't tried it on the bulls, but if you'd like to help save Gaia, please come on up to Maggie's Farm and volunteer to stick a cork in a bull's behind.
Instead of a Gideon Bible...Blair
Biofuels will ruin the earth. Moonbattery. It reverses the hundreds of years trend towards lower carbon, higher hydrogen fuels. We've been saying that, but nobody listens!!! Except our loyal readers, most of whom seem to have some genuine conservation interests - as we do.
Lawrence Wright on Al Quaida, speaking at Princeton yesterday. Interesting (or we wouldn't post it). Tigerhawk
A person who refuses to admit that she is plain nuts. She needs to be sensible and wear normal tin foil protection like everybody else. (h/t, Jules, who thinks her approach might be an improvement over tin foil hats. I prefer my tin foil hat - that is me in the photo on the left - which has thus far successfully protected me from Government Mind Rays. Jules wears one of those, as do John Hinderaker. Larry Kudlow, Michelle Malkin and George Bush - and so do I whenever I go outdoors. I have constructed a similar thing for my privates, to protect my seed from government intrusion. If I could only find a girlfriend who would understand my concerns...)
The Other Side. Opie sent us this trailer from the Tribeca Film Festival. The film is about immigration.
I tend to agree with The Barrister in his post yesterday than Ben Bernanke is slowing the American economy unnecessarily.
Thursday night a week ago the Bird Dog, Mrs. BD, and the youngest BD schlepped into NYC to see La Traviata at the New York City Opera (half the price of the Met next door, and just as enjoyable unless you need to see the world stars). The performance was wonderful, as always, and the guy singing Germond, my favorite role in the opera, was perfect.
But that's not my story. Because we arrived a bit too late to grab a spot in the Lincoln Center parking, we parked in a regular parking garage a few blocks away.
As we were waiting in line to pick up the car and to pay the parking fee around 11 pm, we observed a minor altercation. A lady in her 40s began yelling at the attendant that she would not pay the bill, and the mainly Spanish-speaking attendant was calmly trying to calm her down in halting English.
As the story became clear, they had just driven down into the parking garage, been issued the garage ticket and the rate for three day's parking ($270) and immediately decided not to stay because it was too expensive. But having already been given their garage ticket, they had to pay the one-hour minimum or the attendant would get into trouble. That was the problem.
In the not-new red Nissan sedan were her husband, and a lady who looked like her sister and two kids around 10-12 years old squeezed into the back. The car had Pennsylvania plates.
The attendant says "Missy, please sign this. It says you not pay, then you go."
"I am signing nothing. Just let us out of here."
It went on like that. The t-shirted husband seemed tired and uncomfortable, and was silent. The kids in the back looked mortified.
A dapper fellow standing next to me in the line approached the sister while the shouting is happening, and told her where they could park the car less expensively than in the prime neighborhood of the Upper West Side. She was appreciative, but had no idea how to get to where he suggested, which was far downtown along 11th or 12 Ave.
What had occurred was clear. This family had driven in to NYC from PA for a celebratory long weekend in the big city at the end of the school vacation. They arrived late, were doing it on a tight budget, and had a hotel without a garage.
I said to the sister "Why don't you just sign the paper, and find another place to park?" She finally does that, despite her sister's shouting "Don't you dare sign that. They can come after you."
Finally the wife took the wheel and managed to get the car out of the garage, and the line began moving again.
I felt so sad for them, doing their best to take on an adventure, but uprepared to handle the costs and complexities of New York City. Like a bird that can't fly, fallen out of a nest. I hope their little vacation got better after that, because I can't bear the thought that it didn't.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:29 | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)
I love Pot Roast.
When I was in school, we called it Mystery Meat. It came out grey, dry, and tough. They served it with brown gravy. It was terrible. If done right, Pot Roast is fit for a king. Here's how I am making it this weekend:
A big hunk of beef
Salt and pepper the beef, then brown in butter, then throw into a pot with the above ingredients. You can throw in some beef bouillon if you want, and a few good shots of hot sauce. Low simmer, covered, for 5-6 hours, or put in the oven, covered, at 350 for 5-6 hours. Crock pot probably works well too. Turn the meat when you remember. When almost done, throw in a couple of jars of button mushrooms, or lightly sauteed mushrooms of any variety, if you prefer. The beef, when sliced in 1/2" slices, should easily crumble with a fork - no knife needed.
Serve with mashed potatoes or wide noodles, and salad. The sauce from the pot, with the root vegetables, is the key. Once evenings begin to get warm, it will be too late to make this variety of rib-stickin', soul-satisfyin', sleep-inducin' Dad's home cookin'.
The capture of Abd al-Hadi, the planner of the 2005 London bombings, was finally announced last week. But how did the MSM approach the story? Driscoll. I hope we extracted every piece of information from his disgusting brain.
I missed this piece which indicates that Cho was diagnosed with Autism when the family moved to the US. That puts things in a different light. He could not communicate with anyone, including his family.
When I think about autism in adults, I think of Arthur "Boo" Radley (as played by Robert Duvall in the remarkable 1962 movie) - a rare example of a movie which was better than the book.
The reader who sent the link notes that this April happens to be National Autism Awareness Month.
He was also kind enough to send in this turn of this 1920s (?) photo, which includes the building we posted. (The building on the left, on Royal St.)
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 07:26 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, April 28. 2007
Another person who needs to wake up. The guy is single-handedly slowing the American economy. His fear of inflation, as a newbie, is ridiculous at this time. Out-of-control inflation is not a current problem.
We are driving below the speed limit, and he is putting on the brakes. Probably worrying about his long-term reputation as a tough guy, but he is hurting everybody, and especially marginal homeowners. Not that our economy is doing poorly - it is fine - but he is fighting the last war, and not dealing with the present.
He is the best horse the Dems have in their stable. I hope they wake up to him. Dark horse? Smart guy, impressive, normal, and not as full of it as the others. Not programmed, and not overly phony.
Obama is the current hero of the "anybody but Hillary" Dems. But Obama is going nowhere, especially after the "debate" last night when he hemmed and hawed about the theoretical question about what to do after Jihadists destroyed Chicago and Dallas. "Get international support" or whatever he tried to say. (It cannot be very comforting to the people of Illinois and Texas that France, China, Russia and Germany are needed to defend them.) Hello! The guy is another empty suit, an educated fool and does not deserve serious consideration.
I am sure he is a nice guy, but if he were white, he'd be another Dennis Kucinich. Newness, platitudes, "anybody but Hillary", and skin color are the only sources of his appeal.
Savvy Dems should take a look at Richardson. He has the common touch, and he is real, relatively speaking.
I do not think everyone in Iran takes the Mullahs seriously. The Iranians aren't stupid, and they have strong Western sympathies. Good people, and many of them quite worldly, educated, and sophisticated, but with a populist government from hell. With a decent election, they could be like Turkey in a minute, and applying for membership in NATO and the EU.
Their people want to join the real world, but they have been outvoted by the peasants. That's democracy, assuming their votes are legit, which one might reasonably doubt. I like the Iranians, but their leaders are insane.
"I am not a hero." Read the rest.
What a bunch of mind-numbed morons. Michelle. No wonder the hedgies prefer Dartmouth kids: we think more normal, and we reject PC.
More stuff later today, but the Missus and I are going for a morning ride on this lovely spring day to try to tire these winter-weary horses. We plan to do a Pony Express-style morning, to try to remind all of our dumb beasts about what we expect from them. A morning grapefruit and a Bloody Mary or two, and then canter or gallop the piss out of them on the trails, fallen-tree jumps, deep mud, and all, until they listen and obey.
You have to deal with them with an "attitude," at this time of the year: I have been known to jump off and slug a horse in the face, a useful technique that I learned long ago from an Irish trainer. It makes an impression, if you don't break your wrist.
There is nothing as fine as a Saturday morning ride on pea-brained, wacked-out Hunters in the early spring in Yankeeland. Battle them back into submission and obedience, if you have the heart. We will bring some of the pups to follow us, and wear them out too.
A goal for a Saturday: tired horses, tired dogs, and a tired wifie taking a nap. Then light a fire in the library, gather the pups around, pour a double Scotch, and catch up on the blog readin' and writin,' and find the Dutch Courage to approach the paperwork mountain.
A late casual dinner with pals, I see on the calendar. Perfect. And then Nirvana: a nightcap, beddie and bookie.
I call it a balanced life. You have to build it the way you want it. In America, you can. Church tomorrow morning.
Photo: the Missus in our ring, on Ben.
Gee, I hope they are nice to these terrorists, and don't torture them or do anything mean, unkind or insensitive. Offer them social workers? Or maybe they should just release them to the UK, where they can go on Welfare and plot to deliver the coup de grace to Britain? Or to Gitmo-By-The Sea, where they can watch TV, lift weights, grow fat, work on their tans, and study Koran?
Story at Dino.
High taxes raise poverty rates. A look at Rhode Island, by Anchor Rising. Indeed. You either drive productive people away, or you tax people into poverty - so the govt can rescue them! My opinion: Help and encourage everyone to build wealth, and let them keep it and pass it down. That is the way to build a free people. Government dependency is not freedom - it is plantation life.
A primary school in Amsterdam will no longer discuss farms. Guess why?
Al Gore said this (from Michelle):
Huh? Does he mean that we can dance our way our of our Warmening denial?
Department of Irony: MIT Dean of Admissions resigns after being caught faking her resume.
The carbon offset scandal. Ace
Bruce Kesler has atty Bob Bauer asking why news corporations should have broader free speech rights than any other corporation. Quote:
When you try to limit political speech, you open many cans of many worms.
Charming photo confiscated from Stumbling and Mumbling for the greater good.
Our tiny Yankee pal is around in both summer and winter. Often, in winter, he is the only bird you will encounter in the woods, searching for bug larvae in bark and rotten wood. You can read about our Chickadee here at CLO. Their springtime song - pheee-beeee - is a sweet delight. Photo by Gwynnie, yesterday:
Friday, April 27. 2007
This just isn't fair. I have skin color, but it's sort-of a blotchy pale unhealthy-looking thing with freckles and pimples and stuff. Not my fault. Too bad the photo-shopper couldn't spell "defusing."
This is not by our Roger, but it is Roger-quality:
Re gun control, read this at Confederate Yankee.
What makes it especially amusing is that it sounds like Gen. Petraeus' plan in Baghdad.
I would be all in favor of rounding up every illegal gun in Boston (where I had an attempted mugging but ran faster than they did) and NYC (where I've been mugged, and also robbed twice). Both times by evil young crims with handguns of certainly doubtful legality.
Of course, knives would have worked almost as well, since my Kung Fu is a little rusty, and drug-crazed sociopathic teens make me deeply uneasy.
Sometime, when I feel like exposing the true depths of my stupidity, I'll post the story of how I gave the guy a subway token, two crumpled one dollar bills, and a pocketful of change, when I had a $1300 wad in my back pocket.
As I reflect back, maybe I need a whole post on my victimhood!!!
America is still producing some real men.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:57 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
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