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
Wednesday, June 27. 2007
We don't call the Repubs "The Stupid Party" for no reason.
Hot Air audio of Voinovich on Sean Hannity radio this afternoon, re the immigration bill. There is no cure for stupid.
One of the pups just got back tonight from a little pre-beginning-real-job jaunt to Beaver Creek, with photos in hand, as requested.
Stuck in Reagan with the Memphis blues again, with a delayed flight to Boston. We have written about the notion of "good intentions" by people with power on this blog, but I cannot find the piece. Found this quoted at Driscoll:
Read the whole piece. As CS Lewis said, "Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive."
We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.
"In polite society, you don’t say certain things lest there be violence. In civil society, you can say what you need to, and there won’t be violence. Let’s stop being so damned polite to the wrong people."
Augean Stables, in a piece on the NYT's handling of the Rushdie knighthood.
My life experience, and common sense, tell me that clear cultural and subcultural structures are necessary foundations for dependable and predictable human interaction. People associate tribally for good reasons - they don't know what the deal is with other tribes, nor are they powerfully curious about finding out (which cannot really be done non-superficially anyway, since inculcation into a culture requires the time from birth to around age 18).
Multiculturalism throws a bomb at those grounding, life-sustaining structures, which is why I consider it to be a nihilistic political movement.
Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam is seemingly scared by the non-PC, non-multicult results of his new diversity research. He has reason to be scared: The PC Speech Control Enforcers can be ruthless: recall the academic fury towards Charles Murray's Bell Curve, the Larry Summers massacre, etc.
John Leo's piece about Putnam, Bowling with our Own at City Journal, begins thus:
Read Leo's whole piece about Putnam. We like John Leo - he is an expert birder and birders are a good, if a bit eccentric, crew.
Addendum: Here's our archive piece on Trust Cues and Tribalism
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:08 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
The News Junkie wonders why we are admitting Iraqi refugees below. Fact is, we are not just bringing over any old Iraqis, but the ones who, through their actions, have been our best allies and who have become targets through providing aid and assistance to the American occupation. The problem with this is that these are the very people we need to stay in Iraq to work for ... well, whatever it is we are trying to work for over there. Not to mention the fact that by admitting Christian Iraqis as permanent refugees were are in a sense assisting the Muslim majority in ethnically cleansing the country of its ancient Christian communities.
As a side note, the refugee program has nothing do to with the needs of refugees anyways, and is profoundly corrupt: the government sets an annual quota to be met regardless of need, then hires contractors (often religious organizations) to scour the world for anyone they can plausibly depict as a refugee, then provides money to ship them over to what is usually a small, poor Northeastern or Midwestern town. After the initial funding runs out, the town is stuck with the bill for taking care of the newcomers whether it wanted them or not.
From Harvard physicist Lubos Motl at The Reference Frame. It's about saturation effects, which are well-known to anyone who has taken basic chemistry. (Danger: Contains science.)
Photo: Palm tree which sprung up in my CT backyard this spring. Nice.
Addendum: Related topic: Sea-level expert Scientist accuses UN of fraud about sea level rise. He means deliberate fraud. Don't expect to hear that story on your MSM. (thanks, Buddy)
Stossel on Hamilton and David Brooks. Excellent and to-the-point. A quote:
How the heck did the New York Times get this handsome photo of me on the front porch of my comfortable Maggie's Farm sharecropper home? Moonbattery. And no, obviously Maggie's Farm does not offer dental insurance. Worse yet, Maggie makes us mow our own lawns with push mowers: all of the illegals are too busy working at jobs Americans won't do.
"Go spray flowers on the Americans." Kids in suicide vests. Gateway
How did they vote on the first cloture item? Right Wing News has the scorecard. Mexico wins that round.
Repubs protect secrecy of union votes from Dem assault. Wizbang
Make yourself a PC for $72. Attack Machine
A flyboy joke. Alpha
Indigent defence counsel. Do disparities violate the Civil Rights Act? Volokh
Getting ready to punish your reps in DC? Here's the immigration polls. Dino
Senate just passed the largest farm subsidy bill in US history. But they termed it an "energy bill." Coyote.
Pay more for math and science teachers? Why not? They seem to be much more difficult to find.
Final proof: Matter does bend space-time, as Einstein claimed. Synthstuff
If you can't understand English, you have no business voting. Cramer
I am confused by all of these Iraqi refugees to the US. I thought we were saving their country for them, so why do they want to leave? And to move to Michigan, of all places? It's a fine state, but not too strong in the jobs department these days.
John McCain: Once a poll-leader, now going down the tubes. It is possible to respect the guy without agreeing with him on some of his strong views. Ankle-Biting
Boston Globe hypocrisy re campaign spending and the Court's decision. A quote from the piece from Squaring the Boston Globe:
Tuesday, June 26. 2007
An Iraq update from Australian LTC David Kilcullen, who advises Petraeus. Crittenden says it's a must-read, and I agree. Understanding Current Operations, in Small Wars Journal
How does that look, for a retirement performance? You could mistake her for a 20 year-old.
"A kind of fierce love" from her audience for this passionate prima ballerina.
Photo: Alessandra Ferri. Not sure what dance that photo is from, but will try to find out.
Casting terrorists as defenders of the Constitution. JR Dunn in American Thinker. It begins thus:
Because she smells like a new truck.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:53 | Comments (14) | Trackbacks (0)
An Inflatable Jesus, of course - stored in the trunk of the limo, ready to pull out and inflate when needed.
How can I instruct someone to be truthful when taking a Moral Sense Test? Anyhow, you can try the Harvard test here. (h/t, Drezner). Then you can lie about your test results.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 10:56 | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (0)
Iran at war with Britain? The Sun reports, via Drudge.
Lever rifles? Kim likes them. I have never used one.
Murdoch makes surprise bid for Hatemonger's Quarterly blog! Haha.
Truly we are governed by the mentally ill. Tangled Web
Nobody likes the immigration bill. And Rightly So
Signaling Theory and educational level. Stumbling. Calling it signalling theory glorifies what every grandma knows - past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.
Gaza is a forward position for Iran. Guardian
CT creates more gun criminals with a stroke of a pen. Alphecca
The Supremes support free speech (NY Sun), and Hinderaker agrees. A telling comment re the dissenting opinion - telling in that it says nothing about the Constitutional speech guarantee, from the NY Sun piece:
Paying taxes doesn't count, morally, as charity. Indeed it does not. No Pasaran
Gas price gouging laws - possibly good boob bait, but terrible economics. NY Sun
Photo: a '95 Deere 8650.
Monday, June 25. 2007
Almost everyone wants this bill killed except the politicians. A quote from the NRO piece Kill the Bill:
Abdullah Azzam and the death cult. The guy makes death sound much preferable to life. I have no doubt that it is more peaceful, if possibly dull and lacking in broadband access. But I have to wonder this: did Azzam blow himself up, or just preach it? Flopping Aces.
Readers know that our theory has always been that a mistranslation of the Koran lead to the notion of 72 virgins. The correct translation, we believed, was "one 72 year-old virgin." However, we have been corrected by our friend Theo Spark:
With the interest in old time traditional cast iron cookware on our piece on A Darn Good Steak, (in which I learned that lots of folks prefer fried to grilled steak), here's a little cast iron cookware info.
Lodge is a good source, and you can buy directly from them. I like the assist handle and the pouring lip. Here's their advice for care and feeding of iron. I think two sizes of skillets ought to do it.
Here's another source of cast iron cookware care.
Inspector Dan seeks the villainous cause of the missing millions of CBS viewers. Iowahawk
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 18:38 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
This week it's La Crosse, Wisconsin, a nice little town on the Mississippi River along the border with Minnesota. As the story goes, the site got its name when explorer Zebulon Pike witnessed local Indian tribes playing a game with sticks that resembled a bishop's crozier, or crosse, in the language of the French fur traders who, as usual, were the first Europeans to establish themselves in the area. In the late 1800s, thousands of Norwegian and German settlers moved to the area, lending it a character which remains to this day.
The town was the beneficiary of plenty of that distinctively American "main street" style architecture during the 1880s and 1890s, as can be seen in the old postcard above, and to the town's good fortune most of it has survived to the present day. Through a city-wide master plan for redevelopment La Crosse has managed to renovate and refurbish over 100 historic buildings while attracting cutting-edge technology and communications firms to the town. The entire riverfront has been developed as well and outfitted with walking paths and recreational boating areas, making the downtown an even more attractive place to live. The main downside to the place? It's too darn cold for a lot of folks, though the Norwegian settlers didn't mind too much, as this excerpt from an 1854 letter written by a Norwegian immigrant to his relatives back home shows:
The Dylanologist would have to agree, though of course it's true that there's an awful lot of coffee in Brazil.