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.
"The sweet pretty things are in bed now of course The city fathers they're trying to endorse The reincarnation of Paul Revere's horse But the town has no need to be nervous
The ghost of Belle Starr she hands down her wits To Jezebel the nun she violently knits A bald wig for Jack the Ripper who sits At the head of the chamber of commerce
Mama's in the fact'ry She ain't got no shoes Daddy's in the alley He's lookin' for the fuse I'm in the kitchen With the tombstone blues
The hysterical bride in the penny arcade Screaming she moans, "I've just been made" Then sends out for the doctor who pulls down the shade Says, "My advice is to not let the boys in"
Now the medicine man comes and he shuffles inside He walks with a swagger and he says to the bride "Stop all this weeping, swallow your pride You will not die, it's not poison"
Mama's in the fact'ry, etc.
Where Ma Raney and Beethoven once unwrapped their bed roll Tuba players now rehearse around the flagpole And the National Bank at a profit sells road maps for the soul To the old folks home and the college
Now I wish I could write you a melody so plain That could hold you dear lady from going insane That could ease you and cool you and cease the pain Of your useless and pointless knowledge
Mama's in the fact'ry, etc.
"Tombstone Blues," from Highway 61 Revisited, presented in abbreviated form. Read the whole set of lyrics here. Or entertain yourself with the version from 1995 below.
“Everyone in this room would agree that people in this country were misled in terms of the rationale of this war,” said Couric, adding that it is “pretty much accepted” that the war in Iraq was a mistake."
It is? Only time will tell. Also:
The whole culture of wearing flags on our lapel and saying ‘we’ when referring to the United States and, even the ‘shock and awe’ of the initial stages, it was just too jubilant and just a little uncomfortable.
Yes, I guess saying "we" is rather intense. That lady does not get out of Manhattan enough. I must admit I have never seen her, but she sounds like a caricature of the typical smug NYC left-chic chardonnay-sipping multi-millionaire who lives in a bubble.
Here is an article on the “New Humanism” conference at Harvard. Harvard’s humanist chaplain was there, how nice. It seems like the same old thing to me. I take Harvard’s activities rather personal, as my many great grandfather, Thomas Dudley, signed its original charter. He is turning over in his grave.
If you read his link, it just sounds like a 19th Century anti-religion meeting. One would think that real "humanists" would have more respect for the very human search for the divine.
One of the benefits of Petreaus-Crocker hearings is the way they've cleared up the miasma of defeatism and futility that settled over the topic of Iraq since the beginning of this year. Much of this was produced by MoveOn, the media, and advantage-hunting Democratic pols, but it was also implicit in a lot of commentary from the war's supporters as well. (e.g., the habit of ending each announcement of good news with some line such as, "of course, there's a long way to go" or "we've still got a hard road ahead". This solecism is common among everyone from W on down, and amounts to jabbing a nail in your own tire.)
Soros' "shaping public policies," as OSI calls it, is not illegal. But it's a problem for democracy because it drives issues with cash and then only lets the public know about it after it's old news.
That means the public makes decisions about issues without understanding the special agendas of groups behind them.
Without more transparency, it amounts to political manipulation. This leads to cynicism. As word of these short-term covert ops gets out, the public grows to distrust what it hears and tunes out.
The irony here is that Soros claims to be an advocate of an "open society." His OSI does just the legal minimum to disclose its activities. The public shouldn't have to wait until an annual report is out before the light is flipped on about the Open Society's political action.
One of my favorite sources of business wisdom comes from a Sufi sage named Nasurdin. Many of his stories are applicable to risk management, probably because he was fond of pointing out where people are most blind or foolish; we just happen to be blind and foolish when it comes to risk and uncertainty.
As I read through the parade of daily articles about the current subprime meltdown, each trying to be more hysterical than the last, I am reminded of one of these famous Sufi stories. While traveling down the road one day, Nasurdin ran into a man who was depressed. The man revealed that he had suffered a long string of bad luck and, as a result, had lost everything except for the belongings he was carrying in his bag. So Nasurdin, being something of a mischievous sage, stole the man’s remaining belongings and ran away down the road.
A mile ahead, Nasurdin placed the bag he had just stolen in the middle of the road, and hid in the bushes. Some time later the destitute man whom Nasurdin had robbed came upon his bag and started jumping up and down for joy. “What luck! What fantastic luck” the man exclaimed at having recovered his lost goods. Nasurdin, watching from the bushes shook his head and said, “What it takes to make some people happy!”
We often focus on our current state of loss to determine our level of happiness. If we win $100, and then lose $50, we often are unhappy, perceiving a loss. But if we lose $100, and then get it back, we are happy, perceiving a gain. Our perception of loss or gain depends not on the net result, but on how we frame it. Kahneman and Tversky devoted a great deal of time and effort to detail how framing radically changes the way we make decisions involving risk.
Wise advice to Dems from Hanson, re Iraq, quoted from a piece at Dr. Sanity:
...the Democrats need to start once again readjusting, especially on Iraq. They might want to consider a tactic along the following lines: their initial votes for the removal of Iraq were sound and not to be apologized for; then their timely constant haranguing led to the necessary changes that came kicking and screaming; and now thanks to their vigilance there is some hope of resolution — combined with reminders that they always supported principled aid for Middle East reformers.
Yes, they could win elections with that approach, but it would involve so many abrupt changes in direction that they might all end up in neck braces.
White teen beaten by five or six blacks (presumably honor students and football stars, all) in Ocean View, VA this past weekend. You can read the story and watch the rather disturbing video at the link here.
Just a bunch of kids rough-housing, doing what boys do, right? Watch it and make up your own mind.
I cannot remember where I saw the above statement quoted yesterday, regarding Columbia Pres. Bollinger. The statement does apply, I believe. Admadinejad scored a great PR and political coup, while illuminating nothing and showing contempt for the intelligence of his audience. As Kate noted at SDA, Bollinger has now been attacked by Iranians. Some gratitude.
Here's an email I received early today from Columbia, still pushing the bogus "free speech" spin and trying to hype Bollinger's belated challenges to Ahmadinejad:
Over the past week the scheduled appearance of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Columbia's World Leaders Forum has sparked debate around the world. Here on campus, in countless conversations, students and faculty challenged one another to think critically about the issues raised by his visit. President Bollinger has answered tough questions from the media and from local and regional politicians. The University has heard from hundreds of alumni on the subject expressing both support and dismay.
Yesterday the Morningside Heights campus was alive as thousands of students participated in peaceful demonstrations and dialogue about issues relating to both Iran and free speech. Many alumni would have been proud of our students who, however intense and disparate their viewpoints, upheld the values of free expression and respect that define the essence of our campus community and our society.
At the World Leaders Forum event in Roone Arledge auditorium, President Bollinger, SIPA interim dean John Coatsworth, and Columbia students called the Iranian President to account for his positions on the Holocaust, Israel, nuclear weapons, homosexuals, women's rights, and many other matters—and afforded Ahmadinejad the opportunity to respond. I hope you will take the time to visit http://www.columbia.edu/cu/news/07/09/sipairan.html, where you can see a full video of the event, read transcripts of President Bollinger's introduction and President Ahmadinejad's remarks, and read other statements relating to the event. You may also want to read an editorial, "Free Speech in Practice," published in the Spectator, Columbia's student newspaper.
The issues raised at, and by, yesterday's World Leaders Forum will continue to reverberate. I invite you to follow the links above and then log in to share your thoughts with other alumni in Columbia's free speech discussion group at alumni.columbia.edu/forum.
Yours, Eric J. Furda Vice President for Alumni Relations
WalMart beats socialized medicine. No Pasaran. Hmmm, maybe free markets work better than government.
Who writes history?Driscoll. And who invented the myth of the 50s? I think the myth was based on TV, not real life. It seems to me that the 50s were generally sane, stable, and prosperous. The war was over, the culture wars had not begun, and the grown-ups were in charge.
Gay-point averagesrank colleges. h/t, reader. If you "happen to be" straight, would you be uncomfortable in the most highly-ranked gay-friendly schools?
Ideological perfection. Kim. Seeking it in a candidate is a fool's errand.
The SCHIP story. Powerline. It's important, but a bit below the MSM radar. I do think it's a Trojan horse, designed to make the middle class accustomed to government health care. It's "for the children," isn't it?
Back Pain: Acupuncture works by placebo effect. Duh. But it works better than conventional treatments for back pain. So how come the placebo effect is weaker with conventional treatments?
If an infinite number of rednecks riding in an infinite number of pickup trucks fire an infinite number of shotgun rounds at an infinite number of highway signs, they will eventually produce all the world's great literary works in Braille.
Thanks, reader, for pointing us to Heather MacDonald's The Jena Dodge at City Journal.
As we have noted here many times, the post-war downhill slide of American blacks is due to the breakdown of the black family. Blame whomever or whatever you will for that. Moynihan preached about this years ago. As white folks imitate the single-parent life, they will eventually reap the same whirlwind. It's called social breakdown.
Gateway. The UN is a joke, and everyone pretends, publicly, that it isn't. Like Head Start, it's one of those things that employs a lot of people and demonstrably does no good, but is easy to be sanctimonious about. Feel-good BS - on my nickel.
But that's OK. As we often say here, if the UN fuctioned as it would like to, it would be scary. Envision a World EU: no escape.
Oxford Medievalist. Yes, and not just the Iranians - probably most of the world. Columbia Pres. Bollinger is a shlemozzle. (University board of directors generally like to select weak sisters for their presidents.)
(For those whose Yiddish is weak, I have been told that a shlemiel is the guy who always spills the soup, and a shlemozzle is the guy who always gets soup spilled on him. A fine distinction, in both senses.)
Addendum: More on topic - "Rave review" - at Dino. It was one shlemiel and one shlemozzle - Perfect Together on Morningside Heights.
"He contradicts the fundamental standards of the university, which are order, morality, personal honor and most importantly, the rights of others," said Pamela Lee, an art history professor. "This person has played a critical role in a disastrously failed military policy. He has aggressively abused international law. We view the appointment as fundamentally incompatible with the ethical values of truthfulness, tolerance, disinterested enquiry, respect for national and international laws and care for the opinions, property and lives of others to which Stanford is inalienably committed,"
Oh wait, Pammie is at Stanford and she’s talking about Don Rumsfeld….
Photo: The Lane Reading Room, The Bing Wing, Stanford University
“Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some; it is in everyone. And, as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
The only "crisis" in health care in this country is that doctors are paid too little. (Also they've come up with nothing to help that poor Dennis Kucinich.)
But the Democratic Party treats doctors like they're Klan members. They wail about how much doctors are paid and celebrate the trial lawyers who do absolutely nothing to make society better, but swoop in and steal from the most valuable members of society.
Maybe doctors could get the Democrats to like them if they started suing their patients.
Six black athletes beat up and stomp a white kid at school. How did this become a racism incident worthy of the attention of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton? Simon at Classical Values. One might think that this would be the sort of thing they would wish to avoid.
It's a neat trick to beat someone up and then claim victimhood, but I guess that kind of upside-down stuff is all the rage these days. Pomo logic, you know. We lawyers can learn a thing or two from this. It's the old saw about the kid who killed his parents, then asked for mercy from the judge for being an orphan.
But, on the other hand, is beating up kids in the playground a real crime? Raging hormones, etc. Isn't it normal? I got beat up once in junior high school, and was too ashamed of losing the fight to tell anybody. (I did, eventually, get even with the jerk in a highly sadistic and thoroughly-satisfying manner. He is now a very successful real estate developer, and is still a first-class jerk.)
Big Media isn’t going away. They still generate enormous sums of advertising revenue, despite a declining—and rapidly aging—audience. But fortunately, information alternatives are becoming increasingly available. The forms of blogging will become increasingly diversified, too, to the point where the words “blogs” and “blogging” soon may become passé.
But whatever its future form, the idea and ideal of individual self-publishing—something that our pamphleteer-era Founding Fathers would instantly understand and enthusiastically applaud—is safely here to stay.
Photo above: That is not dog vomit - that is delicious Chipped Beef on toast. As our mornings get cooler, it seems like time to begin to think about hot, heart-warming and artery-clogging All-White Breakfasts (food white in color - nothing racial). And speaking of comfort food, SISU makes a "perfect apple pie," with lard, of course. In Yankeeland, Apple Pie is traditionally for breakfast, not dessert.
The cartoon below was posted at The Moderate Voice. In 25 words or less, deconstruct the verbal, visual and invisible text, taking into account gender roles, victimization, Marxism, Transgender Theory, the fact that "freedom" is a capitalist delusion, the Patriarchy, Imperialism, the Illegal and Immoral War in Iraq, Abortion Rights, the environmental crime of diaper use, George Bush's Psychology with special reference to his desire to kill women and children and his hypocritical unwillingness to kill unborn children fetuses, the U.N.-guaranteed Basic Human Right to Have Your Neighbor Pay Your Family's Medical Bills, and, of course, Everything That is Wrong With Amerika.
On a serious note, though, I ask whether Bush is supposed to be the parent. I say "no."