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, May 31. 2007
"Not since I was 16 have I wanted so badly to be on my own."
Powerline's Scott Johnson, in response to Hillary Clinton's statement this week: "It's time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few and for the few, time to reject the idea of an "on your own" society and to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity. I prefer a "we're all in it together" society."
How is that as a contrast to the earlier QQQ today from our hero Maggie Thatcher in 1980?
Al Gore flunked out of Vanderbilt Divinity School, then dropped out of Vanderbilt Law School.
I didn't know those facts.
He ain't qualified to either preach to, or lecture at me. By the way, how did he do in Physics 101?
"It is not the State that creates a healthy society. When the State grows too powerful people feel they count for less and less. The State drains society, not only of its wealth but also of initiative, of energy, the will to improve and innovate as well as to preserve what is best. Our aim is to let people feel that they count for more and more."
Margaret Thatcher (h/t, Samizdata)
Fascinating video via Ace. One guy says that the impetus for the anti-amnesty storm, from all sides of the political spectrum, is the unspoken motive of "it's cultural". It is partly cultural, for sure, which is why we often term it an "invasion."
On the other hand, the amnesty bill is purely politically-driven. With black votes securely on the Dem plantation, everybody wants to pander to the (present and future) Mexican vote, which is now of sufficient size to determine elections.
Since we're on the subject of dams this week, the Johnstown Flood was 118 years ago, today. The dam broke.
"You have given everything to me.
"What Can I Do For You," from 1980's Saved, the second of Dylan's three Christian-content albums, and the least well regarded despite the presence of several excellent songs. Here's a youtube from a 1980 performance in Toronto.
A propos of the post of the WSJ article yesterday about the Greenies who want to get rid of the Klamath River dams, here is a photo essay of what one of those dam projects, the Boyle Dam, has done to the Klamath river. It isn't pretty. Photo below of the Boyle Dam.
Microsoft launches Virtual 3D New York City. Flares
If Liberals want to imitate Europe, here are some ideas worth imitating: Lowering taxes
They will believe anything in Russia. Man, that is dumb.
Do not eat any food from China, Part 5. Or any food in China.
What is the ideal climate for the earth? Damn good point, from yet another skeptical scientist with the big picture in mind. Blue Crab. Sometimes I think the whole world is insane.
Ferdinand the Bull and other children's books, and Iraq. Excellent piece from neoneo.
Academic moonbattery isn't as bad as you might think. RWN.
Sharpen up your message, Fred. Powerline
What are people's images of God? Interesting, and not what you might think.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 06:13 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, May 30. 2007
Ardent Greenies find fault with every power source except solar panels, which are trivial. In the end, I think they want us to live in the stone age. On Maggie's Farm, of course, we have our own mini-fusion reactor in the basement which provides all of our power needs along with an endless source of truly hot water. It is entirely safe, designed by Arnie, our brilliant tractor-repair guy, constructed from old cast-iron tractor parts, and any dangerous radiation is fully contained by solid hardwood planks. The cracks are secured with duct tape, and all is painted with a coat of lead paint, just to be extra-safe.
But Greenies hate nuclear, and I don't know why - France gets 70% of their power from nuke plants. Greenies don't like windmills. They hate oil, gas, and coal - and wood. They make laws (Belgium) that you cannot cook on a grill. In today's article in the WSJ, they want to tear down the Klamath River hydroelectric dams. Fine - but propose a non-frivolous alternative and don't play childish fantasy games like telling me to change my lightbulbs or to plant a tree. A quote from the article:
Hey, Arnold - 80%? Pretty to think so, but it will never happen. The whole piece is subscription-only in the WSJ.
Played hookie from work today with a couple of Maggie's Farmers and friends. It's getting late in the spring season here for trout. This is our ultra-secret ultra private trout stream in CT.
The old story is you tell the wife that you're taking the day off to do some things with friends. She asks, slightly annoyed by the irresponsibility, what you're doing. You reply, "Well, we're going over to the Indian casino, and I hope you don't mind our acting foolish once in a while." She says "OK, I do not approve, but have fun and don't come home drunk." Then you sneak off and do what you really want - trout fishing.
Why are my photos today blue-tinged and out of focus? I need to get this camera fixed.
MIT prof Alex Byrne takes on the subject of meta-ethics in the Boston Review. Byrne is of the view that moral law is built into the structure of nature itself (which I would hear translated as "the Creator made it that way"). One quote:
Is pleading "nature" a cop-out, or profound? The piece is a heck of a good summary of the current and past basic thinking about meta-ethics, but you have to put your Thinking Cap on before reading.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:50 | Comments (11) | Trackbacks (0)
“…go figure out who is trying to kill you and who is actually trying to save your foolish ass.”
The Anchoress, to Rosie O'Donnell
The same old tired politics of greed, envy, resentment, and whining emerge once again from multi-millionaire, private-jet-addicted Mrs. Clinton. Does she have a single middle-class friend? Or a single real friend? I doubt it.
Well, she knows first-hand that the distribution of riches and power aren't "fair." She got them purely by exploiting - and putting up with - a hideous marriage. However, she does not realize that most people seek neither riches nor power, but seek just freedom from government burden and government interference to build their own lives according to their own lights. She must imagine that everybody is like her: hungry, greedy, angry, empty, and unfulfilled. It's a psychodrama.
It has always been darkly amusing to me that the most redistributionist of our politicians are always the greediest and the most worshipping of personal wealth: see Edwards, Kerry, Kennedy, Soros, Clinton, Reid, Pelosi, etc etc. There is a level at which taxes no longer effect your daily life, and are just another minor expense.
No doubt her advisors told her that this could be a winning theme, plus a distraction from her Iraq vote.
Although this theme stands in opposition to the hearty and healthy red-blooded American themes of opportunity, risk, adventure, and the freedom to chose your own path through life, pursuing whatever heart and conscience decide - and living with the consequences - I guess her pollsters have concluded that there are voters out there who are mad that somebody else has more toys than they do. This is a truly infantile, negative, and mean-spirited appeal to the lowest and least admirable aspects of human nature.
Editor's note: Blue Crab calls it a fresh new exciting idea for America - socialism.
Can personality change? Well, it depends on how you define "personality" and on how you define "change."
Certainly manner of behavior and attitudes can change over time as people adapt and "grow," but the deep foundations of personality are genetically hard-wired (we term that "temperament"), along with the first few layers above that (which we often think of using concepts like "character structure" or "constellations of unconscious assumptions/fantasies about people, one's self, and the world"), are highly resistant to alteration - which is where psychoanalysis comes in.
That question was asked in the context of two movies at PsyBlog, who took the trouble to review the best of the psychology blogs: Part 1 and Part 2. (h/t, Neurophilosophy.) I am going to check them all out.
I am not aware of any dedicated psychoanalytic blogs. There should be at least one, but analysts tend not to be compulsive talkers and, when they write, it is always too long-winded and jargon-packed for the average ADD reader. The shrinks on our blogroll are more politically-driven than focused on the art and science of the analytic therapies.
The subject of the study and handsome Mockingbird, whose songs have fooled many a beginner birder, comes up because of this nifty story about one from Attack Machine. They are remarkable mimics.
The Mockingbird, (Mimus polyglottos), once a Southern bird, is now found across the US and into southern Canada. His repertoire of over 200 songs - copies of the songs and calls of other species - caused him once to be caged as the American nightingale.
The family of Mimic Thrushes also includes thrashers and the catbird. All are fond of tangles, shrubs and borders.
Many of our Mockingbirds in New England overwinter here, and occasionally visit the bird feeder, but they do not seem to like seeds very much.
You can read more about them here.
Tuesday, May 29. 2007
If you are white, you have one on your back, filled with goodies. David Thompson. There is a germ of truth in this racist nonsense, though: people from the same subcultures have more in common, which makes trust - or detecting reason for distrust - easier. Nothing to do with race, though. There is no "black culture" and no "white culture."
She seems to want the USA to be one big happy kibbutz, or collective, or whatever, and is quite clear that she does not approve of the "on your own" society. I don't know about her ancestors, but mine came here precisely to live in the fresh air of an "on your own" place.
Posted by The Chairman in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 19:28 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
I guess there are people - even in America - who value some things more highly than the freedom of the individual mind, soul and spirit. It's a shame.
Greenpeace: Lost whales as a good source of renewable oil.
Don't go to the beach. The sand can make you sick. Science Daily
Whose jobs are the illegals taking? Coyote says "nobody's"
Are CEOs underpaid? The Prof has the link.
Britain has become a fascist state. Tangled Web. Not to worry, Brits. It's for your own good.
Pictogames. Make games out of your photos. This actually looks kind of fun.
Yesterday, Chavez closed another independent TV station. Gateway. It gives me the creeps that the American Left supports this. As Tammy Bruce says: "...that pesky tyrannical authoritarianism is a hallmark of "socialist revolution" folks. Always has been, always will be."
I am saying nothing about Cindy Sheehan.
How the government is going to tax your Social Security checks. Viking.
Is "dyslexia" a euphemism for "not too smart"? Daily Mail
At the Supreme Court: interesting Seattle case on the use of race for public school admissions.
Czech President and tennis fanatic Klaus is the only world leader who has been bestowed the honor of being named an Honorary Member of Maggie's Farm.
Our wisdom in that selection is further reinforced by his May 18th speech discussing his reservations about the EU. One quote:
More of his speech at EU Referendum/
Candidate for Best Brief Casual Essay of the Year: Power to the Experts! A solution to the problem of political ignorance?
Ilya Somin at Volokh takes on the paternalistic/fascist notion that our lives should be designed and regulated by experts. I wish I had written it, because Ilya does a great job of ripping the notion to shreds.
Read the whole thing. My opinion, as you might imagine as a Maggie's Farm contributor, is that common sense beats expertise nine out of ten times; that character beats intelligence nine out of ten times, that too many people have the mental disease of wanting to control people they don't even know, and that regular folks like me - "the masses" - are much smarter than the experts think, and quite capable of making our own choices.
Monday, May 28. 2007
Our blog: Predictably and amusingly, lots of search hits on our Box Turtle post for "farm p*rn" and "animal p*rn." If we wanted hundreds of thousands instead of our elite thousands of discriminating readers, farm p*orn would surely be the way to go because there are clearly tons of still-closeted bestiality fans out there. Unpredictably but also amusingly, I see lots of hits on "Removing Pachysandra." At Maggie's Farm, one must admit, you never know what you might find. We are pleased that our Brit blog pal Theo named us his "Best Blog in the Known Universe" - or something like that - for the week. Thanks, Theo. You have exquisite taste in both blogs and women. And how was the sailing in Newport, I hear you asking. Wonderful, but we didn't win. Deservedly so. A fairly good strategy for the breezy but shifting conditions, but our tactics didn't work out and, in one race, we fouled another boat at the windward mark. Fouled them badly, but unintentionally, and put a nice ding in their fiberglass in addition to annoying their crew quite a bit in doing so to the point of using unsavory language. We were coming on too fast, and had little room to maneuver. We apologized profusely after that race, and bought them boat drinks.
Let's chat. Dems meet with Muslim Brotherhood.
Activist Cash. Where does the money come from? Look it up here.
The UK becomes more Orwellian. Small Drowned Baby Polar Bears
Gag me with a spoon. The life of Bill and Hillary. These two are what my friend would term "rude, crude, and socially unacceptable."
Soft drinks bad for your health? Somebody tell Mayor Bloomberg.
Rachel Carson. A bad person? Moonbattery. True, she was a pioneer enviro-hysteric, but she was right that DDT was harmful to animals, especially those higher on the food chain. But if not for DDT, we would still have malaria in New England. In 1900 it was a major public health problem up here. It is not a tropical disease.
Be very afraid of "Big Recreation." And quit using your grill, too.
A town that told the food Nazis where to stick their transfats.
Why infant morbidity rates in the US are higher than in other countries - we spend too much money. Right Thinking. Never take a statistic at face value.
People are too stupid for democracy. An old argument in new clothes. Cafe Hayek
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