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 24. 2007
Bob Dylan is 66 today. Scott has a nice piece at Powerline.
For those who do not follow Bob's movements, his Never Ending Tour continues. The man works hard.
When the Deal Goes Down, at YouTube. What a voice! Or, should I say, what phrasing!
People are not annoyed because they are racist. They are annoyed because they are being invaded. The fact that this particular invasion is not lead by an army is irrelevant. Whole piece at WaPo here.
Nanny Mayor Proposes "A City that Really Cares" Initiative, Thousand-man NYPD Public Health Enforcement Unit (Satire)
SPECIAL TO THE NEW YORK TIMES. May 24, New York. New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a series of bold new initiatives to protect the health of New Yorkers today.
The Mayor's approval rating of 76% has been largely due to his efforts to safeguard city residents from tobacco smoke, trans fats, cars, guns, and other ills with which the ignorant masses are too stupid to deal with on their own. He seeks to build on this foundation with his ambitious new program, entitled "A City That Really Cares."
Highlights of his proposals, which the City Council is expected to accept with little debate, include the following:
1. Banning the sale or wearing of heels on women's shoes over 2" high.
Violators will meet a stiff fine of $250 per incident. One thousand police officers will be transferred to a new Public Health Unit of the NYPD to monitor compliance, with many more expected. This unit will have extensive rights to enter your home to check for tobacco smoke, trans fats, and safe TV use.
During his presentation, the Mayor emphasized his committment to health. In response to a question asking why he had not included a ban on sale of alcohol products, meat, candy, soda, junk food and and fried food, the Mayor replied "Now just hang on. This is only Phase One. As people get used to following good habits, we will introduce further steps in our "The City that Really Cares" program. So let's be constructive and positive, and work together in a stepwise fashion to guarantee good health for all New Yorkers."
Public health experts praised the Mayor's presentation. Dr. Harvey Weiss, Professor of Public Health at Columbia University and an advisor to Mayor Bloomberg, attended the press conference and stated "This is a wonderful beginning, but there is so much more we can do to help people."
"The people of New York need to understand that we really care, and we care enough to include significant enforcement in this program. We will get to butter, chicken fat, lard, eggs, meat, cheese, creme brule and ice cream as time goes on. Plus we are deeply concerned about cell phone usage, overly-tight lingerie, poorly-fitting shoes, and of course the crisis of noise pollution. We hope to submit requirements for noise-free jackhammers and garbage trucks in the near future."
"Health is too important to be left up to people."
I had never banged around Alexandria, Virginia until this past weekend. Since we have been touching on one of our pet hates, urban renewal, in Old Town Alexandria we have a perfect example of how the absence of urban renewal has make it possible to have a downtown that everyone wants to go to to shop, to eat, to hear music, to see galleries, to maybe meet a new girl- or boy-friend, and to hang out on the street or on the piers with an ice cream cone.
People like to go to places which are crowded, have a human scale, have some history and a touch of shabbiness or at least randomness. In other words, real places. Tiny Greenwich Village in NYC is crowded every night, but it cannot hold a candle to Georgetown for quaintness or size (but it has way better music). Why so many people seem to enjoy totally phony, manufactured places like Disney World is another topic for another day.
Wikipedia has a nice little piece on the town's history, which of course includes its history as a major American port, its slave trade, and its role as a supply center for the Civil War. Washington considered it to be his home town.
My lame photo, as usual, does no justice to what a hoppin' and pleasant place the Old Town is.
Wednesday, May 23. 2007
Image: Midwestern Lutheran in traditional costume
Does "fair trade" coffee do any good? Berndt at TCS doubts it. It's more of a "feel-good" deal.
Al Quaida in Lebanon. CSM. These guys say they will fight to the death of them all. More at Gateway. Meanwhile, the Taliban are having a tough go of it. It seems that the Brits killed all of their officers. Good show.
Snow in Colorado this week.
World CO2 emissions will grow 60% by 2030, and there isn't a damn thing anyone can do about it.
1/4 of American Moslem males would like to kill Americans. Of course, those are the numbers of those who will admit it. Contemplating that makes me uneasy around Moslems. The charted info is here. Maybe it's time to take a long hard look at our immigration policies...eh, Pres Bush?
Nobody told Mayor Mike that hybrids are worse for the environment, so he is going to mandate hybrid taxis. Damn the data - he "cares". Am I the only person who is sick of this sanctimonious guy? Yes, he runs the place, but does he have to "care" so much? It's not masculine. I am waiting for him to mandate rubbers when it rains.
When Reagan demolished RFK in debate. Like to see that video, but the Kennedys blocked its release.
Boehner applies bad language to the immigration bill. Somehow, I think he is not fully behind Bush on this one. And Senator Kyl not looking strong right now after pulling a fast one on Arizona voters. Surber. And let me say that I like Prof. Bainbridge a good deal, but I do not want him to preach the Good Samaritan parable to me in the context of immigration law: there's a word for that sort of argument. Eric has some interesting thoughts from Gingrich about immigration: he feels he was hoodwinked the last time he voted for reform. Not surprisingly, Bush's poll numbers crash whenever he brings up amnesty for illegal immigration. I'm glad he isn't poll-driven, but how far will he go to destroy his party?
News flash. Black kids from intact, religious families do best in school. LaShawn
Last week Illinois overwhelmingly rejected a state medical care proposal. This week, California overwhelmingly rejects "free" preschool. Is this a pattern?
The Nigerian Anglicans sending a mission to the US. The Nigerian Bishop's reply to the American Episcopal bishop is too funny.
More on how the greedy geezers soak us working stiffs. Viking. It is, indeed, the rich stealing from the poor.
Forcing lightbulb change is pathological. Thanks for saying so, Glenn.
The Palestinians are victims. Victims of the Arabs, who want nothing to do with them. Neoneo. There is a real bias against them in the Arab world. It's kinda funny that the only people who really try to help them are the Brits, the US, and Israel. They are in the "difficult to help" category.
A re-post from April, 2006.
I recently complained to our web Boy Genius Chris about all of the searches that our Maggie's Farm blog receives for Farm P*rn, but he says there is nothing to be done. To defeat that waste of time for the poor perverted bestiality-fans who are surely not looking for this blog, I posted last month, for their erotic delight, a stark nekked 1950 Farmall tractor, Model C. A dang nice one, too, in decent shape despite her age. That Farm P*rn post, with an "o" instead of the star, received lots of hits, but they didn't stay very long. Somehow, I do not think that they are our core readership. Either that, or they just aren't into tractors, like we are.
The Dylanologist advised me to use stars (*) when we want to say p*rn, or s*x, or things like that, to reduce the search machine links. However, today we unveil some true Country P*rn: M*ting Box Turtles. What is finer than a spr*ngtime r*mance, and p*ssionate, true-l*ve, reptilian am*re in a dewy morning meadow with a s*xy, hard-shelled but soft-hearted, fun-l*ving gal? "Mmmmm-Hmmm. A little to the left". "My left, or yours?" "Never mind."
In July or August, she will lay 4-6 eggs. The odds are overwhelming that not one of them will reach maturity, but with luck she will have 30-50 years of egg-laying, and maybe one or two of those 200 lifetime eggs will make it to adulthood, to replace herself and her true love in the great chain of being. It's a hard life: you not only have natural predators and the risks of hibernation, but you have to deal with dogs, lawn-mowers, and car tires.
Cool fact: Like some other turtles, Box Turtle females can contain sperm for a number of years so they can continue laying eggs without benefit of marriage or desire.
You can tell the males by the indented plastron: they are designed, very "intelligently," for l*ve. Bless their tiny reptilian hearts, deeply in l*ve and strongly committed, for the moment, at least. True love,
Thus said the great Carl Linnaeus, who is having his 300th birthday.
This video at Jawa is worth it, if only for the superb music. In America, even paranoid psychotics have free speech, but it is important to label it as such - as this video does.
Our editor Bird Dog has asked that
I pen a little comment on the so-called "immigration reform" bill currently on the Senate floor.
This bill, as written, will do two main things: (1) give permanent residency to almost all illegal aliens in the USA (a number estimated at anywhere from 12 to 20 million - no one knows) and (2) create a massive increase in LEGAL immigration with the "guest" (i.e. permanent) worker program. (Calling this an "illegal immigration" bill is highly misleading, as its true legacy would be a big increase in legal immigration from the new visa categories, and from all the relatives of these visa recipients who would become eligible for green cards.)
Now, 11 years ago, if anyone cares to think back, Congress was considering the report of an immigration committee headed up by the late Barbara Jordan (D-TX). Her sensible recommendations, borne out of seven years of studies and analysis, advocated a modest decrease in legal immigration. A Republican Congress rejected even this reasonable measure, reaffirming the core principle of US immigration policy of the last 40 years: always MORE, never mind who, how or why.
I think the biggest error many people make in approaching the issue is that they view it primarily in terms of morality, as though the issue were not mainly about the key questions of "who" and "how many" but vague notions of fairness and historical tradition - as though attitudes mattered more than actual consequences of policy. This approach, of course, is precisely what got us into this mess in the first place: the 1965 immigration bill, which inaugurated the current era of mass third-world immigration, was inspired in part by the Civil Rights act and attempted to apply egalitarian principles to immigration policy. Since then, every attempted "fix" to the broken system has only exacerbated the problem, since no one has questioned this approach to immigration policy, or even advanced a justification, apart from tired cliches, as for why we even still have a policy of large-scale immigration.
Immigration is not an "emotional" issue, as many in the press like to write, but a highly number-intensive one, susceptible to statistical analysis, economic number-crunching and all sorts of other useful tools. Fortunately, many smart people have done just these sorts of studies, and the results are out there for all to find (though rarely reported by the mainstream media).
As for the current bill - many other bloggers have provided excellent critiques, and I will not repeat them. Any real reform would have to do the following: (1) Severely restrict the number of legal immigrants (to 400k or below); (2) abolish family reunification; (3) amend the "birthright citizenship" clause in the 14th Amendment; (4) demand workplace enforcement; and (5) take seriously efforts at integration and assimilation for those we do admit. With that done, it would actually be possible to start reducing the illegal population through enforcement of existing laws.
Photo: Senators Mel Martinez, Lindsay Graham and Ted Kennedy amuse themselves at a press conference about their immigration bill last week.
Update: Michelle lists all of the freebies in the illegals' goody bag. Sweet.
I am hoping for a piece on the illegal immigration bill from The Dylanologist, who is well-versed in the subject. My own thoughts about the details are confused and incoherent despite my basic tendency to feel that folks should stay in their own homes and improve their countries rather than running away. Assuming people all over the world want to come to America for "opportunity" (aka filthy lucre), better to work in a manly or womanly manner to make your own country more like the USA. Nobody is sneaking across the border for political freedom.
Scott's (at Powerline) thoughts are not confused. I always agree with Scott: he is smarter than me. He prefers the status quo to the proposed bill, quoting Sowell's first piece on the subect.
"Does the Tooth Fairy believe in Atheists?" Joe Carter takes a look at the four varieties of atheism. My view is that every believer is part atheist, and that faith waxes and wanes. Perfect faith was even elusive, for a moment, for Christ on the cross.
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Is that the demand which got Jesus killed? It Takes a Church
Pastors have human flaws, are rarely Christ-like, and are frequently sinful in their actions. (h/t, Smart Christian). One commenter to that piece at An Authentic Life makes this excellent observation:
Tuesday, May 22. 2007
Ball of Fire. If you didn't hear this Algore satire, it's good. By the great Paul Shanklin. Link here.
Nations, ranked by obesity rates. Tiger Hawk. Hey! We're Number One! I guess there is plenty of hunger in America - an endless hunger for carbs.
Ant or grasshopper? If you aren't sure, take the spending habits survey. Ants win, of course.
Everybody loves Sarkozy now. Pajamas. They are lucky to have him. Can he be France's Maggie Thatcher? He has the chance.
How does illegal immigration harm American citizens' unskilled labor? It holds down wages. Dem Project
Everyone has linked ex-Dem Senator Bob Kerry's essay on how Iraq should be handled. Why? Because it is sensible.
Stalin as a "fine young criminal." Book review via A&L Daily. (h/t to one of our blog friends, but I forget who.)
Sacrificing fetuses in utero. No Left Turns
Thompson speaks. As usual, no BS, and no calculation.
Three ordinary lives in Baghdad. CSM. A good look.
Iran plans summer war campaign in Iraq to empower the Dems. Never Yet Melted. Sheesh - they are working hand-in-hand.
Edwards charges $55,000 to speak about poverty. That $ came out of your tuition check, parents.
Want Pat Buchanan's view of amnesty? National suicide, says Pat.
More on Hillary's nationalized babysitting proposal. Betsy. Would those babysitters be the same folks who work at the Post Office?
College boozing and heart problems. Time
Gotta record that macaca moment, says Kos.
From a Dr. Sanity piece on the greenies:
Kim du Toit imagines his singles ad, were he to find himself single:
Flares into Darkness on work, markets - and adult reality. Every young person should read this, and we wish we had written it. A quote:
Photo: Quaking Aspens in winter, from the Tree link earlier today.
LaShawn echoes what Dr. Bliss posted earlier today. She touches all of the bases. As our readers know, we are very concerned about black success in life here at Maggie's, and have sadly watched one costly government "program" after another, over decades, come a cropper by creating a dysfunctional subculture (which has had the dismal effect of nurturing a racism which no one wants to have, and which was well on the way to disappearing after the war). There is no government solution but, thankfully, blacks are doing better in life anyway. One quote from LaShawn:
In several writers' voices. Perfect Iowahawk.
Some very fine trees to look at on a Tuesday afternoon.
Posted by Opie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:16 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, May 21. 2007
Prof. B. likes Fred Thompson because he isn't a doodyhead. Fascinating photo to the right in honor of Fred, who
Parenting. The Dems plan a parenting conference. No Moms or Dads invited. Meanwhile, Hillary proposes a national Pre-K program. This might be characterized as nationalizing the babysitting industry. No doubt specialized training and certification will be required. It's like "Healthcare," right? Need the government brainiacs, because we are so stoooopid.
Another climatologist changes his tune. Tim Blair
Bored by the Wolfowitz story? A brief synopsis at Willisms gets directly to the point.
John Bolton vs. pompous Brit interviewer. Bolton is good.
News flash. George Washington had slaves.
Milton Friedman is poisoning your food. Worstall
Sweden update at Brussels Journal. A good graph too. A quote:
When government tries to micro-manage the economy. The corn ethanol mess.
Another live coelecanth. It is so cool.
We have said it at least ten times: Never eat anything from China. What we term "garbage," they term "food."
The Anchoress doesn't mind the immigration bill. It's a debate worth holding, but I don't think Congress will hold the debate.
Photo: Fun with body-painting in Key West. It is apparently impossible to take a photo in Key West without including some dissipated drunk in the background.
Best profound quote: "People are motivated by things which motivate them to action."
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:26 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Georgetown and "urban renewal." Yet another object lesson in how government experts destroy valuable stuff
I challenge anyone to name a quainter, cozier town than Georgetown (which also has 15-minute access to a city) - or one in which it is more difficult to park a car. It might be worth it to be a politician just to live there for a while. Georgetown beats Cambridge Mass. hands down as a place to live.
Every city in America which destroyed their 19th century factories, train stations, town houses etc. during the 70s government-funded frenzy for "urban renewal" is crying today.
Case in point, as our Dylanologist keeps reminding us, is Nashville which would be packed with pubs, shops, tourists, and million-dollar townhouses today if they had not bulldozed the old downtown to "modernize" it, to sterilize it, and to erase its history along with every human-scale building. So people go to the disgusting malls, which are, happily, a dying fad.
Like Bridgeport and Hartford, CT, the urban renewalist Stalin-inspired and highly-educated planning geniuses removed every reason a person might want to go, or to live, downtown. Only the backwater cities escaped that assault. Lucky for them. The supremely elegant and lovely Savannah, Georgia is my prime example, but we will do Alexandria, VA in a couple of days - same story but without the aristocratic flavor of Savannah.
God bless Jane Jacobs. I was fortunate to hear her speak once in New York on the subject of Harlem.
How am I going to prove that Al Gore doesn't know how to run an ice cream parlor, never mind a country - never mind a whole planet? How am I going to prove that someone that can't find billing records when they appear to be the most important thing in the world, is unlikely to be of use running the entire healthcare industry, where laying your hands on records in a timely fashion seems kind of important to the persons involved, as they point the physicians towards the correct limb to remove and so forth?
Roger de Hauteville, King of Sicily, from this Maggie's Farm piece with His Majesty's usual fine photoshopping.
The endless of pursuit of equality of education outcome from our loopy cousins across the pond - a quote from a good piece by Melanie Phillips:
Meanwhile back on Planet Seattle (from a good piece at Ace):
Good grief. A guy (or gal? "Caprice"?) with advanced degrees and a government sinecure is advocating what he or she imagines are jungle values for others - but surely not for his- or her-self, since I suspect the job comes with a fine future-oriented pension from the taxpayers who actually work at difficult and/or unpleasant jobs. I think this person is serious, and not presenting satire.
So is it now racist to imagine that black people can be intelligent and can use their brains to adapt to life?
Honestly, I can think of no more effective attitude than that if your goal is to keep black folks marginalized, poor, and stupid, down on the Dem Plantation. Fortunately, I do not think that anyone really listens to these education jerks because blacks are joining the American mainstream in gratifying numbers - and that pleases me immensely.
Immigration: John at Powerline:
Mark Steyn labels the immigration bill "a capitulation, not a compromise."
Americans are depressed. Why? Have we become a nation of whiners like the French? Ridiculous.
Our air is cleaner than it has been in 100 years. So what is the anxiety? American.com
Carter, yet one more time, shows his dark side, via Drudge. This man needs to go to church more than anyone I can think of, because his sanctimoniousness contains/conceals a public meanness which I find nauseating.
Math, Marx, and Mau-Mauing the multiculturalists. This is fun.
Kid forced to see Al Gore's movie four times. WTH?
Doctor goes to jail for writing pain meds. Apparently, a jury was convinced that medication control was more important than human pain. This story breaks my heart, but there is nothing I can do about it.
Roger Daltrey thinks Al Gore is a jerk. via Drudge
A movement to push back against Castro, in Spain. This looks good. Better late than never.
China will take $3 billion stake in Blackstone Group. Clever of China - and clever of Blackstone.
Sunday, May 20. 2007
I would welcome amnesty for the handful of laws that I have inadvertently, accidentally, or stupidly broken during my life - but never intentionally. Never intentionally, because I have an idea in my head of how a good, decent citizen of a free country behaves - and I do my best to meet that.
Give me Amnesty! I'll confess to everything!
From Surber, who has a link to the bill itself:
I agree that this Bush-McCain-Kennedy bill is DOA.