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, November 30. 2007
Today, new big flat monitor, new potent Dell box/server, new everything -perfect for a blog editor and busy human being (but one who is a bred-in-the-bone Yankee and hates to spend money). Thanks to the Mrs. Bird Dog and to Larry The Local Tech Genius for the delightful surprise. I did not know what "fast" meant until this afternoon. Backed up automatically too, on the accessory hard drive, which has been a major headache in the past for some of my projects.
Happy Bird Dog.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:04 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
We do not believe that the best liberal arts educations are necessarily at the most competitive colleges, but we do tend to believe that the smartest kids will be your competitors and colleagues at the most competitive colleges.
WSJ ranks high schools by college admissions.
h/t, Winding Road
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:33 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
The New Yorker wonders, in a book review, whether it's cool to be a carnivore now.
Who cares whether it's cool? Only The New Yorker, and they should be above such superficial nonsense.
But, I agree with one thing - who can remember all of the cuts of a cow, and where they come from? I can remember the cuts of a White-Tailed Deer, however, having butchered my share.
Excellent cartoon from the article.
Please, do not overreact. Erin Burnett, who undoubtedly is so smart that she would still be reading the news on MSNBC even if she looked like Madeline Albright, has referred to the POTUS as a "monkey." Twice. A lot of grim, humorless, authoritarian conservatives will get their panties in a bunch over this, and feebly ask for some sort of retraction. Pshaw, I say! Can't people who read the [scare quotes] news [end scare quotes] have opinions? Can't Erin have the hots for that Gallic midget instead of the Plano one? Can't we all just get along?
My sammich ain't gonna make itself.
More thoughts on the Dems as the party of the rich. Dr. Sanity
Venezuelans flee to NYC. NY Sun
Rodney King. Still an icon of dysfunctionalism.
How to go to college for free.
How to date at the office. Dr. Helen
Keep your laws off my body. Except... Coyote
The Dems want a bilingual America. Pure pandering, IMO. I can speak French and German (and a little English, aka Modern Friesian), and the only thing that might motivate me to learn Spanish is to read Cervantes. The only language I covet is Sienese Italian.
The latest on cybercrime and spambots. We have had our tussles with spambots here.
Prepare ye for the end! Rick Moran thinks Pat Buchanan's new book is over the top.
CNN: We're not embarassed by our lack of journalistic integrity
Dr. Bob on Medicare:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 07:18 | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, November 29. 2007
"To be alone with you
"To Be Alone With You," from Nashville Skyline. Bob growls out a version from a 2002 show - the second to last before he started playing the keyboards - in the Youtube below.
A re-post from 2005. The Red-Tail migration is in full force right now, and I am seeing them everywhere. I had one perched above my porch a week ago, eyes fixed on my bird feeder waiting for a squirrel.
The Red Tailed Hawk is the most commonly-seen hawk in the US and Canada, especially in winter when he likes to hang out along highways and in suburbs, on the look-out for rodents. His white chest is usually more noticeable than his rusty-red tail which is only seen from the back, or when he turns in flight and the sun catches it.
He is a "buteo" - the large, plump, soaring family of hawks with rounded wings (called buzzards in Europe).
The Red Tail is a versatile creature, able to make a home even in NYC's Central Park, where "Pale Male" has been raising families for several years on rats and pigeons. This hawk's call is a distinctive "Keeeeeeer" which sends a chill down the spine of all little warm fuzzy critters.
He'll take a pheasant from a shooting field, but his hamburgers are rodents - rats, rabbits, squirrels and mice. He will grab a foolish pigeon if he can. He is migratory, with population shifts south during winter, such that our New England winter birds are likely Canada breeders.
Learn more about the mighty Red Tail: Click here: All About Birds
What's under the surface of the sea, or outside in the dark, or beyond the light of the campfire, or in the deep woods beyond the lawn and the woodpile? The human imagination populates the unseen with its inner visions - unless it knows from experience what is really there.
A few nights under the stars, for example, will rid one of all fears of what's beyond the woodpile at night - unless you live in Grizzly country.
Sippican takes a look at city folk in the country: Not Even a Concierge Can Save You Now.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:10 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
I have been considering the work of young Cuban artist Ernesto Estevez, and like this painting of his:
Our editor Bird Dog asked whether that was hyperrealism or plain realism. I think he likes to put art in categories. Here's what Wikipedia said:
I would call the painting below by Denis Peterson photorealism, but I am not sure. Artists just paint what they want:
Claudio Bravo. This is Cristo en el Sepulcro (charcoal on paper):
The government as Santa the Thief (who and what is "Santa the Thief"? We will tell you later.)
The Trouble with Limited Government, by Voegli at Claremont. One quote:
Read the whole thing. Readers know my view: the only vision which can compete with the vision of childlike dependency on an omnipotent State is the old Yankee vision of the individual freedom and dignity of sturdy, honest, self-reliant family people who proudly forge their way through life, take their lumps, ask for nothin' from nobody, and want a government which only protects freedom and which "governs least." That noble vision was an easy sell in 1789, but not so easy today. From the board-room to agri-business to greedy geezers, everybody now seems to want a government Santa, and to feed at the trough of the income tax and the federal debt - and even invents ways to morally justify it. Heck, if I live to Medicare, I will probably take it too - but I will hate myself for doing so.
There is a soul-degrading vicious cycle at work: the more you tax people, the less money they have to take care of their families - so the more they will want, or even need, "freebies."
Am I old-fashioned to distrust and fear government power and control? Are we really just government-intoxicated decadent Europeans, on a different continent with different accents or a different language, instead of the stalwart, rugged, independent Americans of history? Was it just a dream?
I cannot fulfill my usual editorial duties today because I will be busy getting ready for our annual conservation charity event tonight for Ducks Unlimited.
Eleven million acres under protection for wildlife habitat, with no government money - that's a darn good cause.
We will pre-post some useful new stuff today, and stuff from the archives. No dead air!
Image: David Maas "Wood Ducks", over a DU Reclamation Project sign
Wednesday, November 28. 2007
For many more old, not very PC ads, including "Is it always illegal to kill a woman?", here at Daily Mail
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:24 | Comments (35) | Trackbacks (0)
Ormbsy in The NY Sun begins:
Read the whole thing.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:01 | Comments (15) | Trackbacks (0)
The hottest Christmas item I have heard about this year is this Nespresso single-serve espresso/cappuchino machine sold at Bloomingdales.
I do not want one.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:30 | Comments (20) | Trackbacks (0)
I was invited by our editor to comment on a piece, Talking Back to Prozac, in the paleo-Commie and reliably long-winded NY Review of Books.
The essay/book review by Frederick Crews is semi-hysterically worried about antidepressants, but the real theme motivating the essay seems to be the astonishing and scandalous fact that Big Pharma makes money from developing and selling medicine.
Well, slap me with a mackeral and call me Mildred. That's terrible news. Maybe non-profits, or the government, or the UN should be developing the new treatments, and giving them away for free.
OK, one of the books, the one by Christopher Lane - How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness, sounds like it makes some good points. Everything is pathologized today (and granted a fancy diagnosis to get insurance coverage) - and every child is supposed to be perfect. The assumption is that we/they could be, if only the government or somebody really smart ran the world, like the people at the New York Review of Books.
I don't have time to comment further, except to say that antidepressants - the older ones, and the SSRIs and the hybrids, have, overall, been a great boon to mankind. The point is correct that depression and anxiety disorders are not really a "chemical imbalance" - except in the case of true Bipolar Disorder (and not the faux bipolar disorder that everybody and their kid and cousin is diagnosed with these days). That would be equivalent to claiming that a headache is a Tylenol deficiency. Anxiety and depression are usually symptoms of complicated mental states - time-consuming, expensive, and often frustrating if not impossible to get a grip on.
Some people chose to try to get to the bottom of it, some choose the band-aid alone, and some people refuse medicine. It's a free country.
I have always valued Joyce McDougall's A Plea for a Measure of Abnormality: I am not a psycho-utopian, or any other kind of utopian, but I think we all should be grateful for what the drug companies do. Eliminating pain is God's work. And no, shyness is not a disease.
I always wondered about this too: PC says kids cannot hold hands, but they should get condoms in school. Protein
Gingrich predicts Obama in Iowa.
Why does Free Speech matter? Stumbling
All about the Sten Gun. FMFT
Excllent update on the endlessly-annoying and tedious subject of the Palestinians, at Jules
Update on Hillary Clinton's radical past: via Powerline
Is $97,000 family income rich? Polipundit discusses. No, it certainly is not rich in the Northeast, after 45% state and federal taxes and a mortgage payment.
More on The Sound of Settled Science. Small Dead Lemmings.
Jewish students flee Moslem mob in Canada
The history of ideological hatred. It's about ideology replacing religion. From a piece by Dunn at Am. Thinker:
"Liberal Fascism"? Quoted from a Leftist French magazine in a piece at American Future:
Ah, government trying to run businesses! How quaintly 19th Century! How idealistic! How caring! It's "for the people"! Kinda like Hillary Clinton on the US oil companies: "I am going to take those profits..." Indeed, there is no greed in the business world that can compare with government greed for money and power.
Chavez' "progress, " however, includes no food on the supermarket shelves. While I do not have the same trust in Venezuela's voting as Jimmy Carter does, it remains a fact that dictatorship by popular vote, and tyranny by popular vote, has a long history.
However, this "liberation of the masses," as Gateway noted yesterday, is requiring lethal force and, remarkably, students and professors are in opposition (as they likely would not be in the US):
More at Fausta - Countdown to Tyranny
Where are Sean Penn and the rest of the Chavez-lovers today? Have no fear: they will re-emerge when this "vote" is over because, with Fidel on the permanent sick list, the ignorant thug Chavez is now the world's leading proponent of the beautiful utopia of totalitarian, police state socialism (unless you include the equally-charming Kim Jong-Il, who unaccountably receives few accolades and little moral support from the Western Left).
Tuesday, November 27. 2007
Jonah Goldberg's new book, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning, seems like a book that somebody needed to write.
Sounds like the right book at the right time.
Many readers of this site are well-aware of the totalitarian impulse of the Left, but I am not sure how much the general public thinks about it. However, I am not sure how much of the general public reads anything.
Race, IQ, and Education, a quote:
And from his 2006 piece he links, Education and Entrepreneurship in which he refers to Wizard of Oz diplomas, a quote:
"Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea," but "reason seeks to cross the infinite sea, and so to make it finite.... The poet asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits."
G.K. Chesterton, as quoted at One Cosmos in Lunacy and Salvation in the Cosmic Funhouse
As ye sow... Intellectual, peace-loving Presbyterian youth with guns in France battle cops.
More on Vin Gupta and the Clintons, via Lucianne
Eric at Classical Values on guns, urban and rural. Gun rights are one of the third rails of politics in the US.
Gives you whiplash. During the first Bush campaign, Gore was the muscular neo-con and Bush the quasi-isolationist. Then 9-11. When Iraq got challenging, the Dems changed horses in mid-stream and became limp defeatists. But now what? And is it all just partisan wrestling, really? My opinion? Yes. That's our system. As The Barrister always says, "You cannot be too cynical to understand politics."
Jules on Iraq=Korea. A quote:
Photo: Why the odalisque from Theo? Because I think she could add a bit to the discussion of epistemology in the previous post.
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