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
Tuesday, July 31. 2007
Via Free Republic. He is going to grab the Reagan mantle before Fred ambles up to the starting gate.
I think Rudy learned a thing or two during his post-Mayor years in the real world.
We need scientists, experts, federal research grants, etc, to help us understand things like this. Where would we be without such people to splain it all to us?
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:15 | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (0)
Pulling the army out of Northern Ireland, that is.
After 38 years of counterinsurgency operations, they are turning it over to the local cops.
The cost of travel in 1800. Marginal Revolution. No wonder nobody ever went anywhere beyond their local market village, unless they were rich. Stagecoaches were expensive.
Sovereign Wealth Funds: The new thing. Government entities are learning to be capitalist investors. Guess they realized they can't run businesses themselves. Dinocrat. Yes, governments love money and power, don't they?
Uppity whites in Boston.
Debka Files is not the most reliable source. Gateway linked this story. Is it true? I hope it is true, but count me as a skeptic.
The tax hike that the Dems long for. John Kyl discusses. Pure class warfare, if you ask me.
Great comments by Old Man Tyme on this Jules piece. For some reason, I have been having trouble getting to his site this week.
How Congress is hampering terror surveillance. Never Yet Melted. Idiots.
Boy Scouting turns 100 years old.
Brits "horrified" by Olympic shooting sports. Who are these people?
Joe Lieberman escalates his attacks on Dems. The Hill
From Wretchard (h/t, Reader):
Why are we importing doctors? From a piece by Kesler:
"Five reasons why I love Jesus." Anchoress
That's a paraphrase of what Dem leader James Clyburn said the other day, about Iraq.
Does he realize what he said? He told the truth. As Surber asks, "Who is the enemy to Clyburn?" See Jules on the latest optimistic view from the NYT, of all places.
Does one have a right not to be offended in America?
From a piece on the toilet Koran story by Rick Moran. Also, with photos, at Moonbattery. In my view, it is the privilege of every American to both offend and to be offended. This kid was charged with a felony? Gimme a break. The only thing he is guilty of is bad manners.
You can't really find vast fields of wild Lowbush Blueberry south of Maine. They especially seem to grow where there has been forest fire or clear-cutting. Always keep an eye out for bears in a lowbush blueberry field.
And Rightly So has a little photo essay on the subject. Here's one of her fine photos:
Monday, July 30. 2007
Fascinating, from Totten, today. With photos.
Building on flood plains. Free Market Fairy Tales
The generic blog post. Sippican. Just fill in the blanks.
Harry Reid wants power without power plants. Miller
Counting hurricanes. How can you compare the present with the pre-weather satellite era? Wizbang
Cartoon from Leo Cullum's excellent Scotch and Toilet Water?
This moth on a window (thanks, reader) reminds me of Billy Gibbons, with the RayBans and the dirty beard. I think I'll post a ZZ Top tune (below).
Correction: That is two moths, facing in opposite directions, mating. It's more farm p*rn from Maggie's Farm. I did think the leg count was strange.
How do they produce so much sound? Every girl crazy about a sharp-dressed man.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:00 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
We posted a piece this week on the terrible recent home invasion in Connecticut, about 20 minutes from where I live. By coincidence, this was the same week I was taking my required Concealed Carry course down in Bridgeport (which was excellent, and good fun blasting away at targets with 9mm Glocks and H&Ks, plus some .22 revolvers).
One could not help but wonder what good protection might be from home invasion. In the reported story, the good doctor was downstairs, and knocked out by the invaders with a baseball bat immediately, then tied up and carried to the basement. No handgun in the bedside table would have been of any use.
As home invasion becomes more common, I wonder what good protection might be, unless you carry 24 hrs/day, as many do. I had a good chat, during a break in the course, with a husky young black kid with a du-rag, silver earrings, and pants half-falling off - nicest kid in the world - who wants to be a bank guard. He told me that he was dozing in front of the TV when he was awakened by an intruder, while the rest of his family was upstairs.
The intruder was a bit frightened, and this kid told him to leave in 3 seconds. The minute the guy turned, the kid slammed him in the back of the head with an aluminum baseball bat that was lying around. The kid had been at softball that afternoon, and never put his bat away.
The one swing knocked the guy out. He called the cops who cuffed the skull-fractured intruder and took him away in an ambulance. He said the cops came back one more time to ask more questions, and told him "You done good, kid." He never heard any more about it.
I told him to forget being a bank guard - go into the Army. He told me his Dad was a jarhead, and his granddad was in the Army. I told him he had an innate tactical sense. The way my life is, I do not have enough contact with du-rag kids. (I told my wife the story, and told her that the kid looked scary until I chatted with him. She said "It's just fashion: he wants to look scary, and you want to look dorky.")
A man's home is his castle. My friend and I concluded that a short-barreled pump 12 ga., like a trench gun, might the the best tool - assuming it's handy. It is tough for an amateur to hit anything moving with a handgun, unless it's ten feet away.
Photo on top: The Petit family of Cheshire, CT, the victims of the home invasion/rape/murder. Photo below, The entrance to The Tower, of course.
Some folks like to read and think about reason and revelation. For some reason, when I think about it much my brain gets numb. Maybe I believe that existence itself is a mysterious dream from the mind of God.
Dr. Bob takes on the subject of reason and faith once again. A quote:
If that is true, then why don't we have more opera on TV? I wish we did. Read the article here. Readers know that we like the Met, but are also very happy with the NYC Opera just next door. Other than in Lincoln Center, where in the world are there two opera companies performing next door to eachother?
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:43 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
He died at 89. A genius, or just pretentious? I don't know.
He always had excellent cinematography, and The Seventh Seal, which was ostensibly about The Plague, was darn interesting to watch.
I saw it the first time at The Thalia.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 08:59 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Is it art or a crime? Never Yet Melted. It's not a crime, just terrible manners.
In defence of Ward Churchill: He's just like the rest of them. Coyote
Always late? No matter - time may not exist. Samizdata
Dr. Pettit speaks about his lost family.
A free public service school? I say nuts to that commie, Frenchie notion, and so does Tammy. Part of the idea of America is citizen-politicians, not trained managers of us masses. That is why I am sympathetic to term-limits.
If our gummint can't run a passport office, why should we imagine they can run American medicine? Cafe Hayek
The Gonzales story. There is no story. He is just another potential scalp. The Democratic Party: The Party of Hate. Not to defend the dopey Repubs or to be unbalanced, but the Dems have gone over the edge.
Mr. Sun is good for you. Take off that greasy sunblock.
Cool new US Army weapon systems.
Ulrich Muhe died. Still need to see this movie.
World's tallest woman. Video. That is one big hunk of woman.
Waziristan update. Powerline. It's an un-reported battle.
Where does he find this stuff? He won't say.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 04:47 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, July 29. 2007
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 19:36 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Penfield Reef, a long-time hazard to ships and boats, extends south from the Fairfield (CT) beach one mile into Long Island Sound. It is covered at high tide, but exposed otherwise as a broad ridge of sand, now reinforced with large riprap in parts so you can walk out - but not without slipping on slabs of rockweed.
Here's a photo of Jennings Beach, the wide and excellent town beach of Fairfield:
During the Revolution the Brits landed on this beach, marched a mile into town, and burned a few houses and the Congregational Church. I don't think they killed anybody. I knew a girl whose family showed the burn marks on the inside of their house. After the Brits began to march back to their boats, the owners quickly returned and put the fire out.
Many moons ago, an awkward, dorky, bookish young Bird Dog was rejected by a number of young fillies on that beach in the sunshine, and made out with one or two others on that beach in the dark. That photo brought back memories...
And I shot my first duck from Penfield Reef, just a few hundred yards away. In the good old days, the hunters would huddle on the reef with their Labs and get wonderful passing shots at the Bluebills buzzing around. I don't know whether they even allow it anymore, but a mile-long reef could accommodate quite a few duck hunters comfortably and happily.
On the southernmost tip of the reef sits Penfield Light, a handsome 1880s structure which was manned by a lighthouse keeper until 1970. The light is automated now. The place is well-known for being inhabited by a ghost. Here's Penfield Light at high tide:
The subject of Penfield Light comes up because the Coast Guard, which is responsible for navigation aids, has decided that they don't need to own it, and are putting it up for sale. It would be a fine dwelling for a non-social blogger who wants to get away from it all, and who wants to shoot their supper every day in the winter from the front porch, and to catch their fish dinner the rest of the year from their back porch.
Moonbattery noted that PETA is considering buying it, and using it as a place to study the souls of fish, or something equally PETA-ish. I would like to warn them off. In a good storm, spray and crashing wave tips reach the level of the roof. I doubt that PETA types would be comfortable with that much raw nature... not to mention the cormorant shit everywhere.
The world is full of insanity. Dr. Sanity offers a collection each Sunday, and always links our relevant pieces. Make it part of your Sunday afternoon ritual. I believe it is important to label insanity for what it is, or we could lose our fragile grip on reality.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:14 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
"Attempts to Islamize the West cannot be denied," warns the Vatican. Gates of V.
The foreign policies of Spain are not usually a hot topic, but right now it's an interesting subject. Brussels Journal
While the surge seems to be working, the government of Iraq is in splinters. CSM. Maybe they need a dictator or king or whatever, to be civilized.
We had lots of posts about hippies last week. Driscoll looks back on that era via Tom Wolfe.
The Red Fox making a comeback in the Northeast. That is good. We have a family of them on the farm. Our coyotes are known to kill fox kits - so much for canine multiculturalism.
Speaking of foxes, more on the war against FOX News, at Gateway
And speaking of the dog family of animals, Derbyshire ponders whether dogs have consciousness, based on the latest research - and thus whether they have souls.
Photo: That is our North American version of Mr. Red Fox. We wrote about him in Dog of the Week a while ago.
I like this quote from Bob at One Cosmos (whose puns and triple-edged spelling you have to let yourself enjoy), from a piece of the above name:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 07:27 | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)
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