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, January 31. 2009
Film from Normandy, in color. Funny how I think of WW2 in black and white.
Scriptorium. We are all Merton fans here. A quote from that link:
Pretty good guess, unlike most of such things (h/t, Right Wing Prof):
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:26 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Global warming: The greatest fraud in history?
Iran: Obama's desire to talk proves America's weakness
I like Michael Steele.
Why is the MSM still attacking Sarah Palin? So much hate.
Photo: New Hampshire last week, from And Rightly So
From our guest poster Bruce Kesler -
President Obama’s told congressional Republicans, suggesting changes to the Porkapalooza recovery bill, “I won.” So much for the promised cooperation across the aisle. Today, discussing the bill with an avid Obama supporter, I suggested a compromise: Let the Democrats’ bill pass but with one amendment, that all provisions and spending sunset (expire) December 31, 2009. He agreed. If there’s anything of merit buried in the dungpile, it will flower. Congress can then renew it. Otherwise, most of the waste will die, having been demonstrated worthless. Another major promise by the new administration, for greater transparency, is quickly showing itself subject to crossed fingers behind the back.
The open-government advocate Sunlight Foundation reveals that the very first bill signed by Obama broke his promise to wait at least 5-days before signing any non-emergency legislation, to receive public comments to be considered by the President. Sunlight notes: “It is too bad they let this transparency promise slip on the very first piece of legislation that hit the President’s desk.” The
So, it seems that the Obama messages will be delivered directly to his supporters, but the feedback from any disagreeing or questioning is less welcomed. The definition of a dysfunctional system is one lacking feedback, for adaptivity. It’s going to be a long, and dangerous, four years.
Remember kids, no matter how delicious your pork products are, some people aren't interested in them, and might fix you a different dish.
The 2009 Harbin (China) International Snow and Ice Festival. The English translation is quaint:
Posted by Gwynnie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 07:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Occasional commenter and blogger Retriever sent us this photo of American Robins eating old rotting apples last week, in Massachusetts. People talk about the first Robin of Spring, but these woodland thrushes, who like fruit and berries, winter in almost every state in the US.
They are migratory (Turdus migratorius), so our winter birds here probably breed in northern Canada. They all go south, but only so far. The cold doesn't bother them at all, nor does global cooling.
Friday, January 30. 2009
Every day I feel more steamed about this "stimulus." This is no stimulus. Dear readers, we are in the process of getting scammed, hoodwinked, tricked - in a way that Bernie Madoff could only dream about doing in his wildest dreams. The statists are literally trying to pull a fast one over on me. It's the biggest money and power grab since Lyndon Johnson, and nobody knows all of the details, implications, or the long-term consequences - not to mention the undiscussed or unintended (or quietly-intended) consequences.
It's a trickster's delight. Are we such easy marks? I hope not. They hope most of us are uninformed morons and will defer to their superior wisdom. The House bill goes far beyond the usual pork. It changes the role of the federal government in our lives, and is intended to do so. This is no short-term stimulus for an ugly recession; this is long-term change via centralization of power and money using today's fears about the economy as a convenient excuse.
Why is it long-term? Heck, it's not just long-term; this stuff is forever. How difficult is it to "cut" a program? Well, no more difficult than trying to take a lollypop out of a kid's mouth. The socialist ratchet wrench has no reverse setting.
Yes, I am not pleased with hopey-changey thus far.
From WSJ's Look at the Time:
How big is the "stimulus"? Bigger than any program or war in history.
The stimulus will undo two decades of welfare reform.
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is a force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."
George Washington, via this TCS essay
From Nyquist's American Imperialism, Part 2, one quote:
Read the whole thing. We Americans tend to be isolationists unless we are poked with sharp sticks. Whether at home, in our towns, in our states, or in our country, we like to be left alone to lead our lives as best we can.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:20 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Around every New Year's Day, or, if I procrastinate, sometime before the end of January, I tend to do a little personal inventory.
I know what I am pretty good at: my work, raising kids, being a wife, being a friend, skiing, shooting, tennis, golf, sailing, reading, and a few other things too. But I force myself to take time to focus on the things I am bad at. I wonder whether they are amenable to improvement, or whether they are hopeless.
As one grows older, more flaws and weaknesses move from the "Maybe Improveable" into the "Hopeless" category. The reality of one's limits sinks in by repeatedly bumping into reality, one's identity clarifies itself, and one's humility deepens.
Here are just a few of the things I stink at, and which have been contemplating this January:
Being a leader. I am a natural born non-leader. Not a follower by any means (in fact, a lousy follower too), but utterly lacking in leadership skills or talents. When I say "Follow me!" nobody follows. And when somebody else says "Follow me!" I say "Wait a minute, and let me think about it."
Being an executive. I am terrible at running things, and the things I get involved with running only work when the others take initiative. I am terrible at making organizational decisions except at the most elementary level, and I am a complete retard with office politics. I care enough, but I can't make things happen. Plus I detest going to meetings. They make me squirrely.
Paperwork. I derive no pleasure or satisfaction from getting it done, and, despite years of determination, I find myself still making excuses to avoid it.
Writing. I give plenty of talks and lectures, and do that well enough to convey information. I have plenty of ideas and things I think are worth writing about, but I lack the talent to write in memorable or engaging ways. I am at my best speaking off the cuff. And it's not that I dislike writing. I like to write things. I just never like the way it comes off on paper. Dull and pedantic, even when I try to write casual. That's partly why I do not post more regularly here. I am never even half-satisfied with what I put on paper. I have written a number of posts for Maggie's, read them the next day, said "That's lame," and pushed "delete."
Phone calls. Unlike most women, I hate the phone. I avoid the phone. Basically, I will not make phone calls except under duress. I cannot get over this flaw. Maybe it's because I spend my days talking to people, but that sounds like an excuse. Anyhow, email is what makes my life function nowadays.
The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples' money.
Maggie Thatcher (h/t, New England Repub). Or you can put it on the nation's credit card...and let the Saudis and Chinese own our debt. Own us.
Leaving for NH this morning. Back Monday.
Buy the crap sandwich, for the kids
Make 'em sick to fight their cancer
The right wine glasses. It's simple. A nice wine tastes lousy in a jelly jar.
The economy, and our national roots. TCS
Sen. Vitter: ACORN's multi-billion payoff
We need cynics. Will Wilkinson
Did you see this? No He Can't, by Ann Wortham
Let's be fair to Mayor Bloomberg: He defends Geert Wilders
Weak women in the NYT. Heather MacDonald
Stealth Fairness Doctrine. Classical
What the stimulus does to medical care. Watch out! They threw everything in there, so fast that nobody sees it all.
Kudlow thinks the economy has bottomed.
Hoover tried it already.
Why protectionism is a terrible idea
The nuclear -free Berkeley library. Just cranks, or mentally-ill?
Thursday, January 29. 2009
"People want to think there is some huge conspiracy run by evil geniuses. The reality is actually much more horrifying. The people running the show aren't evil geniuses. They are just as stupid as the rest of us."
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:41 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Posted by Opie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:53 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
I don't know what Mayor Bloomberg is having for dinner. Maybe tofu salad with a glass of water. But if you have any pheasants in the freezer, this sounds good:
I thought he was elected to run the city, but he seems to prefer controlling what we put in our mouths. Fats, smokes, soda pop - and now salt!?!
What an idiot. There is not a darn thing wrong with salt. Furthermore, food without salt tastes like cardboard. As a lover of NYC, I have had it with this nanny Mayor. Let's go back to a normal machine sleazebag Dem who will rip you off and pad his pocket and pass money to his buddies - but won't tell you what to eat or drink or smoke. Towns like NYC are for people who want to be free to do what the heck they want, and are not terrified by death.
This Bloomberg guy is a nut. Rich, but still a control freak and a crank. Dietarily-obsessed, too, it seems, with a mild form of eating disorder which causes him to be concerned with what other people do. He's neither my doctor nor my nutritionist nor my Mom, even though he seems to imagine that he is and that I want him to be.
What will be next on his list? Meat? Alcohol? Coffee? Chocolate? Broccoli (which raises cancer risk)? Greens (whose folate raises risk of cancer recurrence)?
Quote from Brussels Journal:
Dino calls this the Age of Foolishness but I call it The Age of Cranks. Somewhere along the way, nuts, cranks and moonbats became newsworthy rather than objects of pity or mockery. How did that happen?
Do you believe this author? Count me as a skeptic.
They want to control it all. Dr. Clouthier
You will never eat another hot dog. Damn. I love(d) hot dogs. How long will it take for me to forget that video?
Warming fanatic James Hansen's boss Theon:
Iowahawk on Ten Things You Can Do to Save the Planet
A new novel about Agincourt
5000 drones busy in Iraq and Afghanistan
The wolves of the Rockies and the balance of nature
The college scam. Stossel
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:15 | Comments (21) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, January 28. 2009
...it seems that the model we are following is this one: government and lobbyists use regulation and innovation to stop the market from innovating; government and lobbyists perceive need for that market innovation; government pays market to implement innovation by paying costs of regulation and litigation from taxpayer funds; government and lobbyists finally say the market has failed and only government can provide genuine progress.
Quoted at Tiger
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