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
Friday, August 31. 2007
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:32 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:24 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
I tend to agree with Jay at Wizbang. No rules, and all transparent. Meanwhile the Hsu story gets worse. Major story there, but don't expect the NYT to highlight it. Somebody with free time needs to find out where all of that money has been coming from. The MSM cannot squelch a story these days, and the dumb Larry Craig story will pass quickly.
"Born at sea in the teeth of a gale,
I had a dog named Scuppers ("Scuppie" to close friends), who died young. He was a good boy, and a far better (ie, half-competent - liked to chew birds) retriever than my current goofy but love-intoxicated pup. I am remembering him now because he died at this time of year a few years ago. (His replacement is a nephew.)
Margaret Wise Brown wrote Scuppers the Sailor Dog, along with a bunch of family favorites like Good Night, Moon: "A comb and a brush and a bowl full of mush" is how one of the splendid pups described our minivan in its usual get-to-school slovenly condition.
Brown had a hard time getting published. Glad she finally got her stuff out, and with the wonderful illos. I don't know how you could raise a kid in this world without her books: the kids just won't "get it" without her.
Posted by Gwynnie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:35 | Comments (24) | Trackbacks (0)
I see in our comments that I have a fan, or someone who claims to be. This could go to my head. Maybe a Fan Club will be next, with t-shirts and coffee mugs with my mug shot on them. I owe it all to my blessed Mother, to my wife who has always supported my efforts with never one word of criticism, to God, to my agent and, above all, to my fabulous publicist Bernie.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 06:39 | Comments (14) | Trackbacks (0)
NASCAR, at Tigerhawk. Remember Kerry's ungrammatical quote during the campaign: "Whom among us does not enjoy NASCAR?" What a putz.
This came in over the transom:
Find an attractive prisoner of war, bring her home, shave her head, trim her nails, and give her new clothes. Then she's yours.
Photo: A potential nice wife for somebody, but she is a bit too skinny. She needs a guy who can cook.
Chart on right borrowed from S,C & A. What's with that DC number?
Accusations of corruption in pro tennis. Breibart
Anti-war demonstrators are being paid? Am Thinker
Making some money from Beer Pong. Betsy
Barney Frank speaks up for Larry Craig. h/t, Pajamas. I wondered what he would do.
1200 tigers remain in India. 24,000 in American zoos.
If Jesus makes a difference in your life, don't say it outloud in school.
Be careful about what you say about Islam: Libel Tourism, at Cinnamon. A libel suit can mess up your life, even if you are in the right.
Insty suggests bringing in Randy Barnett to fact-check the NYT. The "newspaper of record" is confused about what is in our Constitution.
Thursday, August 30. 2007
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:50 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
"Hazel, dirty-blonde hair
"Hazel," from 1974's Planet Waves. The performance below is from the rehearsals for the MTV Unplugged sessions in New York in November 1994. Though the song was actually played during one of the two shows, the performance was omitted from the album.
I alert myself from my extended long-weekend holiday stupor to help with the blog and to note these items:
Al-sadr suspends Mahdi Army activities. About time. They are just killing each other and creating anarchy. Other than the fact that guns and bombs are fun, because they go boom, what's the damn point? Fight Club with live ammo? Get a life, morons... or get dead.
Colorado school bans tag. Maybe they should do needlepoint during recess. No, those needles could put an eye out. How about a nap time? Woops - that is really asking for a lawsuit. Well, how about time in class learning about the American Constitution? No, it's not PC. Well, then just send the brats home or put them to work.
Mr. Free Market is fed up with his homeland. That saddens me. He is who they need. Stand and fight - don't run. But if you want to leave, speak Spanish or wear a burkha or declare yourself a political refugee and you'll be welcome here. My advice is this: fly to Grand Cayman, deposit your life savings, then fly to Mexico (bring your Wellies and wife and laddie and gun collection), wade across the Rio Grande (remember to say "Muchas gracias, Senor border-policeman"), and hitchhike to Montana or New Hampshire. Or maybe Texas might suit you just fine. Or, if you can handle a John Deere, we might have a job of work for you on the Farm.
The Theo girl? She was in my dream, but she's too young for me. In my dream, I was young too. Back in reality, the wife wants me to join her for a rollicking ride over hill and dale, which I guess I am half-game for if she will let me ride Mickey today, but after that I want nothing but book and hammock and pool. What a great country I live in, where they let me keep half of what I earn.
Driving this weekend? Here's a car game we like: The Homonym Game. This game is mentally addictive. You are "out" when you get stuck. You win more prestige by using polysyllabic words.
see - sea
There are hundreds of 'em so the game is good for at least an hour or two. Your brain will continue to generate homonyms for an hour after you quit and turn to counting Michigan license plates (assuming you are not in Michigan).
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 07:15 | Comments (20) | Trackbacks (0)
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 06:19 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
I've read this drivel a million times, and I've never seen it refer to anything that remotely fits the expression.
Posting a picture of Darwin in the comments thread of any news aggregator when somebody does something daring, or even something stupid, and then buys the farm, has become a sort of religion of its own. But it's a religion without any basis in fact. And what it really is is a kind of cowardice that wears the disguise of moral and intellectual superiority. If you never ride a bicycle without a helmet, you love to point at anyone that does and say: See, he had that coming --if they fall and hit their head. To be daring is to be stupid, and to be stupid is to be inferior. Ergo, I'm the top of the food chain by virtue of being an amoral coward.
No you're not.This worldview is held by many who have been taught nothing for 16 years of school - and counting - but that Einstein meant everything is subjective; Schroedinger's Cat means you're not really lying when you are; glossing Hobbes means not only that all the brown people deserve to starve, but it would be useful if they did; the Cretan Paradox means anybody you don't like can be defamed; and reading Rousseau means you can have a high opinion of yourself for refusing to participate in any form of gentility related to civilization. You're not a boorish slob; you're authentic.
You're not atheists, you know. Christopher Hitchens isn't really an atheist, so I doubt you are. What you are is an ingrate. You are squatting in the house that religions built, pulling things off the wall to make fires to warm your bones, all the while chanting in your brand new version of the that old-time-worship-everything- pagan sect. You're not willing to submit yourself to the rigors of participating in a sophisticated relationship with the metaphysical, so you say that persons that contemplate the sublime are just worshipping an invisible sky pixie. It gets you right off the hook for any intellectual and moral heavy lifting.
Continue reading "Roger's Rant du Jour: "Darwination Ensues""
Rocket-powered prosthetic arm. Neurophilosophy
Less than half of climate researchers now endorse global warming theory. h/t, Junk Science
How to get rid of rampant bamboo. (thanks, reader. This has been a comment topic)
The economics of opium production, in Afghanistan. We need this stuff. Who knew?
Studying intuition. NYT. My gut tells me there's something to this intuition thing.
A new translation of The Paradiso. In blank verse. The New Yorker. With many comments about allegory and poetry.
Is modern cosmology a fairy tale? American Scientist. Of course it is. Our fairy tale of the moment, but still interesting. Science is never "settled."
Katrina: the $127 billion boondoggle. Kudlow at RCP. More federal funds for N.O. rebuilding than Louisiana's total GDP.
Wednesday, August 29. 2007
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:22 | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)
1. Man, did we attract a lot of comments on the Are All Repubs Pervs? piece. Some entertaining and emotional comments in there. I hope our debaters will want to return to Maggie's - it's good sport. But do we have to post about perversion to get people excited? Hmmm...that's an idea.
2. Fine piece by Tigerhawk guesting at Jule's place, on New Orleans. I was even moved to leave a comment, which is something I rarely take (or have) the time to do. "Moral hazard": there's a new concept for me. I mean, I know all about regular everyday moral hazards but did not know the technical definition. If I didn't learn a lot from this here blogging nonsense, I would not bother.
3. The USA is already mentally, if not literally, on the long vacation weekend. I can see that in our stats. Even our News Junkie is AWOL. Not to worry about getting DTs - we are cheerfully on the job, although we may go a bit heavier on the re-posts, while saving some fresh ammo for September. It has not escaped my notice that our Barrister has been unusually busy from his shady poolside hammock, laptop on lap no doubt as he alternates between snoozing and posting. I can picture him now, waking with a start and a notion, jotting a few lines as his wife's horses whinny in the distance, taking a sip of his G&T, then heading back to dreamland, maybe after a lazy dip in the pool as the Farmington River lazily and quietly flows by and the Kingfishers call overhead.
Image: An old Lightning. Spent many, many hours racing them and tooling about. Watched them turn from wood to fiberglass. Nice boats with wonderfully-effective, if possibly over-powered spinnakers, but that outboard motor ruins the whole thing: God made paddles for a reason. I fondly remember days when a squall would blow through a race and 50 Lightnings with their spinnakers up on a broad reach would capsize in a minute. What a scene: a glorious and only slightly dangerous mess assuming everyone was good at underwater swimming. It is disconcerting to have a collapsed, water-laden spinnaker on your head when you are in the drink. Been there.
Our wild Black Cherries are beginning to ripen, and the trees are filled with robins with purple cherry-stained beaks. I counted 17 happy Robins in one tree this morning. Many of them still have their immature plumage.
Black Cherry is a common "pioneer tree" in New England. Some people call them "Chokecherry," but Chokecherry is a different species. Ours tend to be tall, gawky, with a brittle rust-red wood which is great for fires, smoking meat, and for furniture. Here's a low branch of one of mine. The robins have already eaten most of the ripe ones. Not edible for humans: you will choke on them.
Without changes, there will be one person paying in for every one person taking out of Social Security. How is that any different from everybody just helping out their own parents and relatives, like in the old days when people assumed responsibility for their families?
Our Yankee neighbor Viking Pundit is always attentive to the subject of Social Security's survival, but I am not sure he is right in the fundamentals. After all, there is no "trust fund." It all goes into, and comes out of, federal taxes. If Social Security really did consist of an actual fund of money, run by a government authority, you know darn well that they would invest it. Our payments to SS are, in reality, nothing more than another tax on income.
Viking wants the candidates to speak up on the subject. They would never dare do so. "Third rail," etc.
My opinion on "greedy geezer" entitlements like Medicare and Social Security? They should be means-tested. But that will never happen, because politics is nothing if not irrational - and the older folks vote. In some precincts, they even vote from their graves.
Is there anything in life that can or cannot be improved by government intrusion or take-over? Are those the key questions which are answered differently by Conservatives vs. Leftist/Statists, depending on how highly they value autonomy, enterprise, and individual freedom and the hefty burdens that go with it?
I have often asked here what argument you can make for socialized medicine that you could not make for socialized food, or car insurance, or gas, or "legal care." I am pleased that Luskin sees it the same way. It reassures me that I am possibly not crazy.
Our News Junkie is away this week. I will try to hold the fort, with the help of our readers. He's in Rhode Island again, messing with boats.
England is Vanishing. Cal Thomas at RCP.
Why doctors are always late. DB says it's about money. Only partly, I think: how does one schedule for the unpredictable? Best bet is to get the first or second appt. of the morning before the schedule predictably unravels.
Prefers stress of Iraq to stress of Wall Street. Insty
How is this for a use of American jails? NYM. Sheesh.
Fred the Flirt. I am tiring of Fred. John likes him but isn't overly-impressed with his intensity. Almost everyone I know wants a new Reagan to reinvigorate the conservative message. The conservative message doesn't work unless it is delivered in an inspiring way because it is in opposition to a powerfully appealing delusion: that government is your caring parent (rather than a collection of crooked and half-crooked egomaniacs and oily opportunists, most of whom could never make it in the real world, who want to use my income to buy their jobs).
Which is worse? Read and vote. Classical Values. And quit tapping your damn feet.
Tuesday, August 28. 2007
Do dog-fighting laws raise the interesting issue of libertarian vs. conservative views of the law? How about laws regarding public indecency? I think they do, and Prof B. agrees.
I am going to lie in the sun by the pool this weekend with a gin and tonic or two and give the subject a deep think, with the working biases that the Constitution's intent is to limit the power of government over localities and over the people, and that "that government which governs least, governs best." I will, no doubt, fall happily asleep before finding the magic resolution of the issue which would be quoted in all the journals had I only remained awake. In the meantime, the Prof quotes another commentator:
Living with ambiguity is part of maturity, I am told. I'm working on that.
A visit to the US Naval Academy, in the NY Sun. Don't give up on America yet, friends.
John O'Sullivan returns to the UK and sees little hope for its rotting social condition:
Indeed it does, but I am not sure which "culture of civic self-control" is referred to. Seems to me that the "privileged" in Britain were always free to do as they pleased - and did. Anyway, No Pasaran comments on O'Sullivan's piece, re the impact of the 60s on Britain:
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