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.
Is it going to be this way each day of the campaign: We get some pious sermon relating the selflessness of his own past to shame us into being similarly idealistic, followed by a complete Orwellian rewrite of history? If so, it's going to be a long five months.
Our readers know that we are in favor of global warming, (and fear the current cooling phase) but doubt that we will get any good warming other than the usual warm summers. As quoted from Freeman Dyson at Reason:
Environmentalism has replaced socialism as the leading secular religion.
... some members of the environmental movement have also adopted as an article of faith the belief that global warming is the greatest threat to the ecology of our planet. That is one reason why the arguments about global warming have become bitter and passionate. Much of the public has come to believe that anyone who is skeptical about the dangers of global warming is an enemy of the environment. The skeptics now have the difficult task of convincing the public that the opposite is true. Many of the skeptics are passionate environmentalists. They are horrified to see the obsession with global warming distracting public attention from what they see as more serious and more immediate dangers to the planet, including problems of nuclear weaponry, environmental degradation, and social injustice. Whether they turn out to be right or wrong, their arguments on these issues deserve to be heard.
For whatever it's worth, we agree that the global warming craze is sucking the oxygen - and the sanity - out of a conservation movement of which we consider ourselves to be a part.
Seems like everybody has a website these days: Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont. Do you think Maggie's Farm deserves the endorsement on the right? Just like Vermont farmers do, we pray for global warming and we only use Agent Orange on the weeds. And we do understand that "organic" foods have less nutrients than the normal...but what American is short on nutrients? Everybody is fat and overly-nourished except for our legions of anorectics.
Take a left at the MacDonalds: Visiting Dachau. Belmont.
The inflated Presidency. Dino. The extent to which a nation desires a messianic leader is a measure of a nation's immaturity. I understand why the Founders wanted a President, but often think we might be better off with a PM, except in wartime I guess.
Playing the gender card at Dartmouth. What jerks. This is called "tactics," and it's disingenuous as heck.
Re "assimilation," from Dalrymple in City Journal. It begins:
Acting recently as an expert witness in a murder trial, I became aware of a small legal problem caused by the increasingly multicultural nature of our society. According to English law, a man is guilty of murder if he kills someone with the intention either to kill or to injure seriously. But he is guilty of the lesser crime of manslaughter if he has been sufficiently provoked or if his state of mind at the time was abnormal enough to reduce his responsibility. The legal test here is a comparison with the supposedly ordinary man—the man on the Clapham omnibus, as the legal cliché has it. Would that ordinary person feel provoked under similar circumstances? Was the accused’s state of mind at the time of the killing very different from that of an average man?
But who is that ordinary man nowadays, now that he might come from any of a hundred countries? The accused in this instance was a foreign-born Sikh who had married, and killed, a native-born woman of the same minority. The defense argued—unsuccessfully—that an ordinary man of the defendant’s traditional culture would have found the wife’s repeated infidelity particularly wounding and would therefore have acted in the same way.
For readers who remember (or care about) the shade perennial border that I was working on finishing up last spring, here is about half of it, one year later, from two angles. (Sorry about my lousy photography.) I am pleased by how well it is shaping up after just one year:
Why I won't support McCain: Hawkins. He is way wrong, but nobody listens to us blogophiles anyway. As I have said, there is only one person out there who agrees with me about everything, and that is me. Freedom is about arguments.
Why Texas doesn't like biofuels. Despite our well-informed commenter who likes biofuel, I remain unconvinced. They are more polluting than gasoline, they are edible (well, drinkable) and they drive up the prices of food.
“Y’all don’t have to say thank you. Just go ahead and live your life and stay out of our way and we’ll get the job done.” At Jules
It combines two of the most popular Eastern US games. What's the name of that game, below? Ask Tiger. Now I return to the tennis courts for the second time today, which would not be feasible to play on horseback. Not one more minute indoors today.
J.S. Bach likely never wrote any music specifically for the piano, which was a newfangled instrument at the time. He did compose for the clavichord, the harpsichord, and, of course, the organ, and people term these compositions generally as "for the keyboard" - thus permitting them to sneak in the piano. Here's a good rant on the subject. (If there are any musicologists out there, please correct me if I am in error.)
So when we heard Glenn Gould playing the Italian Concerto on the blog yesterday we were not hearing anything that Bach had in mind. The clavichord is incapable of making very much noise. For fun, here's the real sound of the Prelude in C Major of Bach's The Well-tempered Clavier, which means "The well-tuned clavichord":
Thomas Brewton on Locke's view of the centrality of wisdom and virtue in education:
Wisdom follows from the foundation of virtue. Wisdom is knowing how most effectively to manage one’s affairs with foresight. Acquiring it is a product of good temper, application of mind, and experience. Wisdom can only be initiated by the teacher, as it is a life-long process of learning from experience how to apply the lessons of virtue. What the teacher can do is to hinder the student from being cunning, what today we call playing the angles, or being street-smart (both of which are end products of John Dewey’s pragmatism, now taught as situation ethics, the idea that you make up the rules for each situation that arises).
Closely related to virtue and wisdom is the concept of good breeding, which flows from the love of God. What Locke meant by the term was an Aristotelian mean between extremes: the student should not be too bashful or gauche in dealing with other people, nor should he be prideful and too full of self-importance. He summarizes the aim as “not to think meanly of ourselves, and not to think meanly of others.” Ill breeding reveals itself in “too little care of pleasing or showing respect for those we have to do with.” The aim is “that general good will and regard for all people, which makes everyone have a care not to show in his carriage any contempt, disrespect, or neglect of them; but to express, according to the fashion and the way of that country, a respect and value for them according to their rank and condition.” Students are to be schooled against roughness, fault-finding (denunciation or ridicule), and being contradictory and captious.
Read entire here. Brewton's website here.Image is Locke - not our friend Tom Brewton.
What is getting planted this weekend, besides a ton of basil (and I think I need much more) in the veggie garden:
- A nice large mass of Nepeta (Catmint, not to be confused with Catnip). Photo on right.
- A 20' shade border edge of Green Spice heuchera. Look how it changes color with the seasons. This variety is a very cool plant.
- 20 obscure and delightful Hostas, including Love Pat. We think Hostas look best planted as "wave" plantings in the shade (never in the sun), such that, when mature, the leaves of one plant touch those of the adjacent plant and prevent weeds. For the right effect, that means mass planting of at least 5-10 of the same type, usually, unless you have a spot for a "specimen" plant. To do it right, you have to know what size the darn plant will become. Hostas come in mini, small, medium, large, and extra-large. A medium plant will be 2 1/2-3' across at maturity. An extra-large variety can be 5-6' wide at maturity if it is happy. Hostas mature fairly slowly (3-4 years, like most perennials), and if you divide them they revert and start their maturation process all over again. Best to plant them right the first time, and then leave them alone forever except for some fertilizer in Spring and early Fall.
I keep mine well-mulched - most easily done when they first emerge, but before the leaves unfold. Once they unfold, it's tough to do. Do I enrich the soil when I plant them? You bet I do. The old rule is a $50 hole for a $5 plant (unless it's a herb sort of thing that likes bad soil): twice as deep and twice as wide as you feel like digging. Big hole, soil mixed with humus or manure, and peat moss. Plenty of water the first year. And 6" of mulch (not that ugly and ineffective cedar chip crap) unless weeding gives you pleasure.
Our pal Sippican thought y'all might like this one too, on Bob's Birthday, from his youth. It's probably about some adolescent rebellion thing, but he outgrew that fast. Maybe it's the 1000 year-old younger generational anthem:
At the NYBG in the Bronx, a Henry Moore exhibit all summer. It's the largest outdoor exhibit of Moore's sculpture ever. It's a cool photo op, and it is tough to capture the fluid, organic, muscular forms and the ways that light affects them.
This is a weekly Saturday morning feature that will slowly, over time, turn you into a full-fledged computer expert. More info here.
Lesson 7: Cool Tools
The nightmare couldn't have happened to a nicer person.
There you were, innocently saving a small file, when suddenly you were faced with the four most dreaded words in the computer galaxy:
SORRY, HARD DRIVE FULL!
But wait, you cried in despair! You haven't added any large files or anything lately — so where'd all the dang hard drive space go??
Well, it's easy enough to find out, isn't it? All you have to do is start right-clicking on all 13,543 folders on your system, open each one's Properties and look at the file size. Have no fear, you'll eventually find what's clogging up your computer.
Or, you could find out almost immediately by simply...
Have you ever wondered what all of those extra SUVs are in Presidential and VIP motorcades? The ones with blackened windows, and nobody ever gets in or out?
Wonder no more. They have a 6-barrelled 7.62 mm minigun which can fire over 3000 rounds per minute. The wipers need to be run to remove spent casings when firing forward. The vehicle is armor-plated. This video is from Dillon Aero, who makes this all happen:
Photo: That's the 28' Whaler my group is leasing down in RI for the summer (this weekend-Sept 15). 6 guys, and we draw lots by the week. Definitely the best way to have a boat. The only downside is that you have to leave it clean when you finish your assigned times. What's the main cleaning task? Seagull crap. Also, fish scales.
Over the transom - no idea who wrote this piece (We have posted on this in the past, but I still find it remarkable that self-described Liberals, on average, make more money than self-described Conservatives, yet are far less charitable in their personal lives.):
These are results of a Syracuse University professor Arthur Brooks. Brooks, a (now-former) Democrat raised by leftist academic parents, describes himself as a "behavioral economist". He researched ten years of data and scientific surveys to get the true picture of giving in America, and in 2006 he published Who Gives, Who Doesn't, and Why It Matters.
The results of his research shocked him. He says, "I was in the usual box about heritability and compassion.... I figured conservatives were hardheaded, pragmatic, tough-minded but didn't care as much about others and wouldn't donate as much...I figured liberals were softhearted and cared more"
This means, as Peter Wehner puts it, that "the debate has shifted from what the right strategy is to one of national will." In other words, "Will our nation, weary of this long and costly war, continue along the path which has brought about indisputable, and in some cases breathtaking, progress?" If so, "there will be honor in our efforts–and, it’s now reasonable to say, success as well."