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, June 30. 2007
Update here. It's odd the way the Brits now term middle-easterners "asians." They are not what we consider asians. It's gratifying to see that the crowd tackled and captured the bad asian.
Not OK for work. Theo.
Excellent news video from ABC on the school desegregation case (from Patterico's piece on the subject). Forced bussing was a catastrophe for our cities and for kids of every color. In a city, kids should be able to walk to grammar school and, if you want parents involved, they ought to be able to amble over there too.
It was telling, on that video, that the black Louisville civil rights fighter applauded the Court's decision, but the white Lefties on the Court just don't get it. It's not the 60s anymore, and those battles have been fought and won. Hotheads with agendas and rent-seekers continue to try to stir the pot, but it's over: happily, race is not a big deal to anyone anymore and, as we have often said here, nowadays it can be difficult to tell what race somebody is anyway. America might not be a melting pot, but it's a racial melting pot. You could go nuts trying to put a racial label on people.
We believe in color-blindness, character-awareness, and culture-alertness.
For example, my so-called "white" Yankee kids have Irish blood and North African blood from southern Italians from their Mom, and American Indian blood and Brit blood from me. On the other hand, my daughter's friend is "Hispanic" for school and college purposes (where that 'hispanic" comes in mighty handy), with an aristocratic Spanish father with a family castle in Spain (with a large hunting preserve where they occasionally hunt with King Juan Carlos), married to an "anglo" American doctor.
The Roberts Court: Sanity, Common Sense, and the requirements of the Constitution.
It sounds like Breyer lost his cool during this case, but what does he know about being a black 8 year-old? Nothing. Justice Thomas does know, and he knows more than that: he understands the condescension of the Left towards their plantation darkies. He has been hunted down by their hounds for escaping Massa's plantation and for not being what the Dixiecrat Dems used to call "a good nigger."
We are rarely reminded that Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican (albeit a rather liberal one, back in the pre-conservative era), and that it was the Repubs (Eisenhower, for starters) who began the civil rights movement. (Well, maybe you could mention Repub Lincoln, too.)
Photo: A famous 1991 Benetton advertisement
Mickey Mouse murdered in Gaza
Supply and demand. Cocaine prices, around the world.
Podhoretz on the End of Dubya. NY Post. "Something got broken on Election Night 2004." Indeed. Bush's real error was not to ask me for advice. Getting out of touch with regular people is a Washington disease. Arrogance is another.
Juries in criminal trials get it wrong one out of eight times. Science Daily
Andy gets something right. Kill "Big Pharma," and you kill the world's source of medical innovation.
Bloomberg's plans. Does anybody care? The NY Sun does, a little. Ego-tripping is a NYC tradition.
How business should manage talent: Make sure you have none working for you. Stumbling.
Equal v. Splenda. There was a chemical trial, and a settlement. American Scientist. I ask "Who would eat that crap?"
Michael Moore likes Cuban medical care. Do you?
Why hate WalMart? The more good they do, the more the Left hates them. Why? Government is supposed to do it. Businesses are supposted to be greedy heartless pigs, and The State is in the role of Great Benefactor. That's the narrative.
A knowledgeable take on the school integration case. Powerline. Many subtleties here. Jon Swift approaches it from the Brown v. Board of Education angle. Very interesting to consider how the intent of Brown has been distorted.
Conservative global warming sellout? Malloy of Junk Science. Speaking of global warming, it causes Moslems to rape blonds. Who knew? Also, a nice take-down of Al Gore's "science" at American Thinker. Fortunately, most Americans remain skeptics about the hysteria.
Photo: another one from Beaver Creek last week.
Here's part of the front shade garden we've been working on completing all Spring. The general idea here is low, mostly horizontal, serene and subtle, which is why this piece of the garden has no Astilbe patch.
It has a some morning sun, otherwise Maple shade, except on one end. We re-did this garden about three years ago with deep soil enrichment, so most of the plantings are youthful or new. In a couple of years it should be just right - but every garden is a work in progress.
Front to back: Bleeding Heart, Pee Wee hydrangea (which is a dwarf Oak Leaf), assorted rare interesting Hostas, a deciduous Azalea, a couple of low-growing azaleas with hostas in front of them, hybrid rhodies in the corner with a few special low hydrangeas in front of them, a patch of Coral Bells in front a row of Bridal Wreath hydrangeas, and where the photo is washed out, a large patch of Ladie's Mantle. Cinnamon Ferns scattered in the back along the garden.
I need my good camera back from Olympus repair.
From another angle, here's the newest section. I haven't fully set in the metal edging, and probably never should have bothered with it. The area with the grasses gets the most sun. An orange trumpet vine is trying to climb over the wall and into the garden. I believe a decorator would term that a color clash:
Friday, June 29. 2007
The swing guy has all of the power on a court with Clinton-appointed frozen-in-time 60s-era Leftist judicial activists on it. Nice summary by Betsy.
Apparently the joys of a sunny, golf-filled Florida retirement are not yet beckoning Justice Stevens or "Sleepy" Ginsberg. Power is difficult to give up, and to pass on to younger folks. It is getting to be a pattern where these Justices want to die in the saddle. Plus it's an easy job for the Justices: their associates do all the lifting, and the perks and vacation time (June to October) can't be beat. A pretty good gig, except for the lousy government pay. Senile dementia is no problem, because you have tenure and only God can fire you!
Are there more? This is London. Al Quaida suspected of importing their quaint Middle Eastern cultural traditions, and their religion of love and peace, to a tolerant and welcoming Britain.
Update: They IDed the guy. Has arrest record for Al Quaida bomb plotting. How can a country treat such cases as ordinary criminality? Makes no sense. Gentle Western law is of no concern to Jihadists.
It may not mean much more than an expression of sentiment, but Pence's amendment to forbid the FCC from resurrecting the Fairness Doctrine saw a lot of support in the House.
Naming that thing "Fairness" was a slick piece of double-speak, wasn't it? It put people in the position of voting against fairness. On the other hand, I thought most people in Western Civilization grew past the "No fair!" schoolyard complaint around age 10. Maybe 11.
Some excellent sarcasm re the immigration debacle, from Ace: "Talk Radio is Running America"
Believe me, if Talk Radio and Centrist blogs like Maggie's ran the world, people would still bitch and moan. It's human nature.
With apologies to George
After years of strategic moves to ensure that amnesty supporters were inserted in key positions - remember Bush's campaign for Arlen Specter during his primary challenge, and his subsequent elevation to chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee? Or Mel Martinez' appointment to lead the RNC? Or the appointment of Chertoff, who seems to care more about the price of lettuce than the enforcement of immigration law? - the momentum was all on the side of the amnesty crowd. This latest push seemed to have a strong chance of succeeding, but at the very moment when passage of the legislation was so close and defeat seemed so near, the tide was turned and the bill was beaten back.
The bodies of the injured and fallen are scattered across the field of battle: John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Sam Brownback, and not least of all the seriously wounded President Bush, who invested every last remaining resource at his disposal to advance a bill that was massively unpopular among just about every voting group. The civil war here was truly one fought between and among conservatives, with the Democrats as pleased bystanders, happy to profit either through the bill's passage (12 million new Democratic voters) or simply through the political carnage Bush wrought on his own party by pushing it.
Will the victors seize the moment by pushing back and finally fighting the war on their own terms?
"War is not the answer." Pacifism and pacifists - I agree with every word Neoneo wrote.
More details on the school integration decision, at SCOTUSblog
Are there any Mexican police who are not corrupt? TigerHawk
Pelosi reminds the Left that she is on their side. A reader tells us (I have not confirmed) that the multi-multi millionaire is a member of The Democratic Socialists of America, whose mission statement says, in part:
Dean Barnett on the Immigration Bill. A quote from his piece:
Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
Thursday, June 28. 2007
“The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discrimination on the basis of race.”
Chief Justice John Roberts, in today's school decision.
I have three comments: 1) It always seemed insane to me to discriminate by race in order to pretend to try to eliminate discrimination, 2) There is no racial discrimination in the US anymore, except in schools and businesses which are trying to keep their black and Hispanic (which isn't a race anyway - it's a language) numbers up, and thus discriminate against all other races, especially Asians, and 3) It was interesting, but not surprising, to see the dissenters focused on their preferred results, as they imagine them, instead of on the law. That's not what we pay them to do - their job is not to make policy and, when they do, they are playing God. We are a nation of laws, not men.
With the collapse of what I call the Bush-Kennedy Immigration Bill, it has been dramatically demonstrated the people of America have spoken loudly enough to be heard.
Every single phone call helped defeat this bill, which had all the power in the world behind it - The Repub leadership, the President, the Dem leadership, business, labor, MSM, newspapers, etc etc. All the power in the world, except for the power of the common sense of the American people.
The message is this, I believe:
We citizens put up with a lot of crap from the arrogant Bozos in Washington (mainly because we are too busy being independent and working hard and running our lives and driving kids around and paying bills and taxes) to speak out all of the time. But, when it seems critical, we speak loud: We are a sovereign nation, and our country is precious to us. Prevent invasion, secure our borders, enforce existing laws - and then let's discuss what legal immigration policies we want and need.
But first, if you agree with our view on the issue, celebrate the death of a terrible idea which would have been a costly disaster. Raise a glass or three of Veuve Clicquot today with us at Maggie's Farm, where we happily employ our legal Mexicans friends, give them advice, help them learn English, and generally help them get established - but we will not employ illegals.
Addendum: A quote from Sen. Bob Corker (R, TN), in today's piece by Kesler:
”Americans feel that they are losing their country ... to a government that has seemed to not have the competence or the ability to carry out the things that it says it will do.''
According to Drudge, the phone system to the Senate had collapsed under the weight of anti-immigration bill phone calls today! And the Bill goes down, thanks to an informed citizenry.
Major Supremes decision: Reject school race plans on equal protection grounds. This may help reduce the obsession with race. Nowadays, you can hardly tell what race anyone is anyway - even if you cared. I don't give a damn what race anyone is.
Sarbox has made US capital markets less competitive in the world. There is no doubt, from what I hear. Prof. B. agrees. Sarbox was using a sledgehammer on a flea.
The Anbar Offensive. Bill Roggio
Biologists look towards a paradigm shift in evolutionary theory. I have been willing to accept that random variation and selection/adaptation can account for minor variation, but not for the the big, dramatic, sudden shifts. All theories eventually die.
Honey, I have a headache.
Churches try to move Left, together. Front Page. The Left hates religion mixed with politics - unless it's their politics. Christ had no politics. He was way beyond and above that. And, in my opinion, caring for people has nothing to do with politics either.
The truth about the Pew Global Poll. Riehl. I usually say that what the world thinks about the US doesn't matter, but it does, if we want to be a model. On the other hand, everybody always hates and envies the top dog.
Credit markets: Junk mortgages and junk loans have replaced junk bonds as high risk, high reward debt. The junk mortgages have already taken a fall, but my inside info says watch that credit market.
As quoted in a piece at Betsy,
I wish those closet Orwellians would come after the blogs, because we would know how to fight back.
Photo: From Theo's Collection of Fine Art Photography
The "immigration bill" failed on a procedural vote to close debate, which would have allowed the bill to proceed to a final vote on actual passage. Only 46 senators voted for cloture, when 60 were needed. The bill will now be taken off the Senate's agenda, probably for good.
The return of the Bald Eagle is a satisfying success story.
With the banning of DDT, protection from idiot shooters, and the transplantation of chicks, the big fish-eaters will be around the US for our kids to see.
This bird can be found, in small numbers, almost everywhere in the US where there are large bodies of water, except in mountains. 10,000 nesting pairs in the lower 48 isn't much, but it's lots more than the 400 in the 1960s.
Read about the Bald Eagle here.
Michael Yon. The Iraqi police sound like the Italian police: All hat and no cattle, as they say in Texas.
It is interesting how quickly the irrational and insidious notion of "hate crimes," invented to provide gays with special legal protection from gay-bashing thugs, has evolved into crimes of speech itself - without any violent crime at all.
The world has gone nuts. Mass resistance to the entire notion of thought crime is the only solution: people need to continue speaking, even if it's rude, stupid, obnoxious, hateful, or just plain sick.
We cannot permit bad manners to become a crime: it would create millions of new, innocent criminals. On second thought, I do think that talking with food in one's mouth should be a Class 2 Misdemeanor, at least.
In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.
Alabama Getaway (written by The Grateful Dead, but often performed by Bob during the 90s)
32 teeth in a jawbone, Alabama trying for none,
Wednesday, June 27. 2007
Orwell: "Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."
Speech crime, from Brussels Journal: "Last week, a German court sentenced a 55-year old Lutheran pastor to one year in jail for “Volksverhetzung” (incitement of the people) because he compared the killing of the unborn in contemporary Germany to the holocaust." Read the rest.
More thought crime: "Belgian homosexual activists have brought charges against Mgr André-Mutien Léonard, the Roman-Catholic bishop of Namur, for homophobia, a criminal offence in Belgium according to the country’s 2003 Anti-Discrimination Act. In an interview last April in the Walloon weekly Télé Moustique, the bishop is said to have described homosexuals as “abnormal” people." Whole thing also at Brussels Journal
Euroland is going crazy with inventing speech crimes. It's sounding like the Soviet Union. Apparently Europeans don't mind being stripped of their freedoms, because I see no rebellion and no defiance - all I see is passive submission to the creeping, incremental tyranny of bureaucrats and politicians. One day, the honest among them will wake up and realize "I am afraid to think, to write, and to speak."
Flares quoted Roman historian Sallust today in a piece titled The Road to Serfdom: "Few men desire liberty: The majority are satisfied with a just master." A quote:
Amen to that.
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