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
Saturday, May 31. 2008
Delicious, packed with flavor, and inexpensive: the Bolivar Suntuoso. I like to have some tasty everyday cigars, some moderately good cigars, and some fancy cigars (absolutely never any Habanos - no, no, no. They are quite illegal here.) on hand at all times. (Just the same as with with wines - some cheap everyday table wines, some nice wines, and then the really good special stuff for occasions.)
I am also enjoying the Partagas Black Label mini Prontos these days. Quite a punchy cigar, and a quicker smoke.
2 highly amusing Ikea ads
In your heart, you know he's right. Go to 1964, and listen to a few Goldwater ads. He was right about pretty much everything. What a shame that he wasn't elected. (thanx, B)
Milford is a pleasant seaside village with a nice harbor that sits between Bridgeport and New Haven, and is a bit far for a NYC commute although it has a Metro North train station and a number of intrepid train commuters. Its fine harbor lies at the mouth of the Housatonic River. It's a comfortable but not wealthy middle-class town which doesn't put on airs but which has fairly high property taxes, and has a serious racing yacht club in the wealthiest (by income) state in the country.
The house below is right in town in the historic district, in walking distance to the train and to the marina and harbor. Built in 1836 probably by a ship captain, but totally updated with a/c, 1st class kitchen, 5 bedrooms, family room addition on the back, etc. Look at the pictures of it: I think it is a perfect Yankee home which I would be very happy to live in, modestly elegant, with 1/4 acre offering enough space for flower gardens and tomatoes without burdening you with maintenance - plus a handy 3-car detached garage with room for a duck boat or a spare sports car. Asking only $749,000. (And again, no, we do not sell real estate. We just appreciate interesting shelter.)
(The old house is too exposed to the street, though. I think it could benefit from a 4' hedge or picket fence out front along the sidewalk with a row of hydrangeas, and some nicer, less-random and more vigorous plantings in front of the porch - either a simple perennial border or a low hedge. And maybe a red Cherokee Dogwood or Magnolia in the middle of the the right side of the little front lawn. A cool thing about America is that, when you improve your plantings, you inspire your neighbors to do it too. It starts them thinking. The current plantings in front of this nice house insult the simple dignity of the place.)
Overall, however, this house sits there like it's been there for a while and wants to be where it is, and I admire it very much.
A Back to Basics education with 24 students in one room, and a teacher salary of $240,000. This is great. It would entail a meaningful pay cut for me, but I'd do it in a New York minute for the joy and challenge of it. Can I say whatever I want, and can I use my whip?
I have always claimed that John Adams and Abe Lincoln got better educations than our public school kids get. Of course, they were not the average kids - and you don't "get" an education anyway - you "take" one. Or not.
It is no longer PC to acknowledge that relatively few are able, interested, motivated, or inspired to engage in a serious classical education. For good reason, too: it's not practical and it's difficult, and most jobs do not require calculus or music theory. Result? Watered-down non-rigorous gruel and As and degrees for all, accompanied by a dose of leftist propaganda and multicultural BS. And that's OK, because you cannot get wisdom in school (except maybe a basis for historical wisdom, but that's easy to do on your own once your Mom teaches you to read).
Now back to do the bidding of She Who Must Be Obeyed in the gardens. Adding "organic material," ie our recent truckload of slightly aged manure (a sweetly odoriferous and oozing mountain in the back driveway) from my dairy farmer pal, to the new perennial beds. I will have to dig it in, 2' deep. I will dump some on top of my vegetable garden too, as mulch to be dug in next Spring. Then horseplay later, if it doesn't rain: I could use a sherry or two for courage and a vintage stogie this afternoon, followed by a good gallop over hill and dale with the Mrs. to let today's cool Yankee wind clear my head of the nonsense in life. If rain, maybe indoor horseplay with the same goal.
Editor note: Photo is an early 1800s one-room schoolhouse in Norwalk, CT
The Army of Two: The legend of Rebecca and Abigail Bates and the Scituate lighthouse. (Image from the essay)
Right Wing Prof notes uncontacted tribe sighted in Amazon, and links to his post on The Utter Intellectual dishonesty of Anthropologists
At No Pasaran:
Perfect roommate? Blue Crab
Rubik's Cube links
Bob Dole fires both barrels at McClellan
Warren Buffet is now giving essentially all of his money away. Well, I guess that dude has more money than I could spend in a morning at Costco, mid-day at the gun shop, and an afternoon at the Maserati dealership.
Repubs have the chance to be the party of cheap energy. Good idea
The banana problem, and how bananas are a parable for our times
The Wall St.-driven NY metro area economy beginning to show some strain. In the current slowdown,
Excellent piece on oil profits, at Outside the Beltway
Has women's suffrage messed up democracy? Villainous. Excellent comments
Al Franken: A serious candidate? Note the link to his Playboy "essay"
Chances dim for climate change legislation. Good news
I hate exposing your dirty little secret to the world.
Really, I do.
But do you know what I hate even more?
Exposing it to you.
No, it's not pretty being an addict. The constant burning desire for your next 'fix'. The soft glaze of satisfaction that comes over your eyes as you swiftly take apart the computer case. The zeal springing from your fingertips as the 'high' infuses your body while you remove the old CD-ROM.
Yeah, that's you, all right:
The hardware junkie.
The thing is, it might be that you just don't know it yet.
For more helpful information on attaining this ugly, sordid state of existence, please...
Continue reading "Dr. Mercury's Computer Corner: Lesson 8 - Hardware"
Friday, May 30. 2008
An excerpt from Bejart's 1959 Le Sacre de printemps. Maurice Bejart died last November. I believe this is by the Wuppertal Dance Theater:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:38 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Jules found this bit from Blazing Saddles - "Taggart, take this down":
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:54 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
The biggest change we've seen in recent years is the role of Bad Boy going from viruses to spyware. Yes, it would a terrible tragedy if a virus ate your computer, but at least it wouldn't cost you much. At worst, a new Windows system and some setup time. At best, ten short minutes of your time if you did the backup lesson. No big deal, really.
Spyware, on the other hand, and specifically what are called "keyloggers", are a whole different breed o' cat. Keyloggers do exactly that; they log your keystrokes and then send the info off to the bad guys. All they have to do is look for 19 numbers in a row — your 16 credit card numbers and the 3-digit security code off the back of the card — and voilà! Now it's just a matter of trying out a handful of expiration dates on Cadillac.com until they hit pay dirt.
Don't let it happen to you.
(continued below the fold)
Continue reading "Doc's Computin' Tips: Security software"
Mark Steyn and his book America Alone published by Maclean's face a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal next week. The issue is "hate speech" involving Moslems. This is all about defending Western values (eg free speech). Belmont reports on Steyn's speech in Vancouver - a quote:
In an opinion piece in Maclean's last month, Steyn attacked the "totalitarianism" of the Human Rights Commissions, noting:
He goes on to say:
My humble opinion? Hate speech is in the eye of the beholder. Steyn's book contained none that I am aware of, but he did present unpleasant truths about the Islamization of the West. Regardless, I am in favor of protecting speech, even hateful and insulting speech: poor manners are not a matter for law, and it's difficult to have any opinion without offending somebody, just as Canada's hate speech laws deeply offend me. Cliche: The solution to speech is more speech.
Photo on top: A young librarian searching the stacks for Steyn's dangerous book. (Theo)
One comment on McClellan's book: I have no doubt that the Bush Admin, like all admins, had and has many flaws and unpleasant secrets. However, most peoples' consciences would prevent them from airing the dirty laundry of their friends and benefactors - and I do mean benefactors, because McClellan was the lamest WH press sec I have ever seen. He made Bush sound articulate. Still, thank God for a free country where people are free to publish such things.
Restaurant grease theft rises
Our collectivist candidates. Megan McArdle
After they ban kitchen knives, will they ban cricket bats? croquet mallets?
And now for something completely different: Lurchers, Terriers and Ferrets
Glenn Beck on jobs Americans won't do
World rebels against big government environmentalism. That's what comes of overreaching.
Rocky, Bullwinkle, and Me. A good rant. A quote:
Collapse of Christianity is wrecking Brit society, says Bishop
Phantom Guilt, Revisited, at Thompson. It's about the vanity of Liberal guilt. Quote:
Father Michael Pfleger is a piece of work, here preaching at Obama's church. Or is it a church?
Thursday, May 29. 2008
Indeed a natural and perfect second banana. Here with one of my all-time favorites, Tim Conway:
The boomers are in power, and they aren't too grown up. A quote from VDH's "All About Me":
Read the whole thing, of course. Link above. Thanks, reader.
"Oh, the streets of Rome are filled with rubble,
The entire lyrics are here.
We've run this one before, over three years ago, but now with Youtube performances available it's high time we brought it out again. The song was released in 1971 on the so-called Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, Vol. II, and also on The Band's 1971 album Cahoots. It has been featured in concert frequently over the years, though never as a setlist staple. The performance below is from 1976.
Re Obama's Liberalism (I would say Leftism), from Beston at TCS as quoted in a piece by Ed Driscoll:
Income inequality - in the NFL. Malanga
Prayers for Tony Snow
A Blue Planet in Green Shackles. Vaclav Klaus
Remarkable: Monkey brain controls robot arm.
Teaching new tricks with glass. NYT
Freaking stupid voters? Coyote
Judge says Dell deceptive
CT takes lead in taxation
Coal Cap Disaster. Kudlow
How come my post on Conservatism: Dead or Just Resting received so little commentary from the commentariat? It has good links.
Reasons to vote for McCain. Tiger
Rev. Wright still hurts Obama. Reminds us that he's not in the mainstream culture.
A "Green Tax" rebellion in the UK
The EU: Doing what Napoleon and Hitler couldn't
CNN finds the cloud in the silver lining:
Image was found by Grow A Brain. To me, it depicts Obama voters. Or maybe inhabitants of the EU.
Gas prices by county, across the nation. Looks like CT and CA have the highest "carbon taxes"
Gas taxes around the nation, by region.
Wednesday, May 28. 2008
Old Gorilla v. Young Gorilla: Viacom is suing YouTube owner Google for copyright infringements. (Thanks, reader.)
I know nothing about copyright law, but it would seem to me that different sorts of internet ISPs and sites present different sorts of legal complications, eg whether commercial or non-commercial, whether a site is a billboard, or whether the use is innocent or educational. For example, the Liquid Kelp image posted earlier today may be a copyrighted image (I have no idea whether it is), but its appearance here consists of an unpaid advertisement for which the company would surely be grateful.
A case might be made that posting major chunks of news or commentary from a newspaper, magazine or other website constitutes a copyright violation, even with attribution. However, much interesting stuff, the provenance of which is unknown and indeterminable, rockets around the internet via email and websites and ends up on posts - jokes, images, stories, videos, hoaxes, lies, quotes, etc. Who knows who produces and sends out all that fun stuff into cyberspace? Nobody, except the first person who emailed it, created it, or posted it.
Blogs and other websites present interesting new areas for law to romp and play in. It's the wild West. Nobody violates a copyright malevolently, or without attribution if known. I did find the following quote at this interesting site for bloggers:
Editor's comment: Any original material clearly identifiable as being produced by us at Maggie's Farm is not copyrighted at all. Not even Creative Commons: our original stuff is free for the borrowing, stealing, or linking. However, we appreciate and expect attribution just as we offer attribution to others whenever we are able to: "Do unto others..." "Fair use" and "public domain" get complicated when we are talking about email and websites. Our general disclaimer is that we are a non-commercial amateur site, and cannot always determine where some content or images originated. If asked, we will gladly and respectfully take down, link, or attribute any copyrighted material which we have innocently, educationally, or unknowingly posted or linked.
To speak of man's search for God is like speaking of the mouse's search for the cat.
C.S. Lewis, in Surprised by Joy. (h/t to Dr. Bob)
YouTube is becoming an excellent outlet for short films.
Anchoress posted this exquisite and gentle short by Joe Gleason, The Dinner Guest, which, to me, combines the theme of anticipation with the ancient theme of the power of the word, wherein God the Playwright, like the mystical weaver at the loom or Aslan's singing the world into existence, creates time and space and everything that was, is, and will be. Bryn Terfel is singing a Welsh folk song.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:48 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Our Dylanologist just sent us the video he recorded a week or two ago - 32 seconds in Prague. He always pans too quickly: http://www.dr-mercury.com/site/mags/prague.wvx
(Thanx, Dr. Merc, for hosting his film.)
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:33 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Many people swear by this stuff for their vegetables and perennials, including my Mom, who knows whereof she speaks: Sea Kelp Liquid Fertilizer.
It's difficult to find, except online.
From the already-famous Packer piece, The Fall of Conservatism, in The New Yorker:
I happen to think that reports of Conservatism's death are highly exaggerated. The age-old message of free people and free markets is a winner in America, when delivered the right way - and when Conservatives have the right political "hooks" to hang it on. It's always harder to find those hooks when you live in the White House, and George Bush never figured out how to use his bully pulpit to inspire and to energize anybody except our wonderful soldiers. Bill Clinton, slippery as he is, knew how to give the impression that he was interested in folks' lives - and everybody, except for our most red-blooded and energetic citizens - wants his life to be easier with less worries (and seems quite willing to let somebody else pay for it).
So, if you want to be a Conservative politician, you have to do the same thing - demonstrate your interest, but by reminding people of their opportunities and their precious gift of freedom. Otherwise, the panderers and the lefties will just jump into the vacuum and try to buy their votes and their freedom with the half of your income that they take from you.
As shown in the recent European elections (and the next one, in the UK), whenever you give Leftists enough rope, they hang themselves with their statist, nannyist, anti-traditional and totalitarian excesses.
James Joyner has a superb commentary on the Packer essay, And Rick Moran has an interesting and immensely well-informed What ails Conservatism?, which adds some history to Packer's somewhat ahistorical view. As Rick says:
I would just like to remind everybody that such essays were written about Socialism and Liberals just a few years ago. Plus sa change, plus c'est la meme chose. Politics is an ugly business. We citizens have to cling to the eternal verities - including God and our guns.
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