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
Tuesday, June 30. 2009
Thanks for these from the Golden Gate Quartet, AVI, from your fine music post. Real American music:
At Am Digest, Bungee dating in NYC. The guy is right. He is an idiot. A gentleman never, never takes a nice girl on a date to a Korean whorehouse.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 18:45 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
5 minutes ago. I love storms. Cameras cannot capture thunder, wind, and driving rain:
I like to explore and learn a bit about the places I go to.
Birmingham, Alabama is a rather new city, by Eastern standards. Even the "old" stuff there isn't very old. There wasn't much of anything there until after the Civil War. Railroads (it has no navigable river), coal and iron ore were the key to that city's wealth, hence the borrowing of the name from the Brits. Amost all of that is now gone.
A new city in the New South.
With a metropolitan population of around 1 million, it's a good-sized city, but the city proper lacks downtown residences. It's a biz center now (most recently a banking center) - not a hopping urban scene. The Univ of Alabama Medical Center also is growing like crazy.
Still, there is no visible urban scene: life happens in the leafy, lovely, quiet suburbs.
On a weekend, there is not a soul to be seen on the streets yet it looks clean, prosperous, and safe. No "mixed use" as you find in NYC. A Jane Jacobs case study, because I have seen photos of the downtown in the 1920s which were packed with people on weekends and holidays, with the streets lined with storefronts.
In recent decades, the suburbs which had been part of the city spun themselves off so as to be independent of the constantly-alleged and often court-confirmed corruption of the Dem machine which runs it, and which seems determined to drive people out of town.
One cool thing about cities this size: you can get from Mountain Brook, Homewood, or downtown, to the airport in about 15 minutes. Everything seems easy to do. It's manageable and friendly. For the comfortable, golf seems to be king in Birmingham. Too darn hot for tennis, if you ask me.
Beautiful: the tee of the 4th (or 14th?) hole at Shoal Creek:
A free ad for the nifty mag Garden and Gun, with another golf course in the background:
Every city carries its burden of woeful history. The 16th St. Baptist Church, where the Civil Rights movement tragically obtained energy when some KKK killed four choir girls in church in 1963. The reputation of the fine people of the city was smeared for a generation by the behavior of a handful of murderous scumbags.
More below on continuation page -
Continue reading "It's a fairly new city: A visit to Birmingham, AL"
My friend Barry Rubin (bio below) dissects the naivety of CNN’s Middle East Affairs editor. Excerpts:
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are Lebanon: Liberation, Conflict, and Crisis (Palgrave Macmillan), Conflict and Insurgency in the Contemporary Middle East (Routledge), The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition) (Viking-Penguin), the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan), A Chronological History of Terrorism (Sharpe), and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley).
I had time to catch up with Sipp today. From Cape Cod's Beachcomber pub at Cahoon's Hollow (which I have known very well, all my life, in Wellfleet) to Michael Jackson (who is he?).
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:29 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
I saw this morning how our wise and attentive-to-detail Administration wants to control our lightbulbs and lamps. I guess this is what substitutes for a serious energy policy. (I want nuclear. Why waste it all on bombs?)
I have a better idea: Make air conditioning illegal. Can you imagine how much reduction of coal- and natural gas-burning that would accomplish? Lights are just a teeny bit of energy use: a/c is huge. Plus the gummint could really stick it to all those Southerners and those evil businessmen in tall buildings who do not vote correctly. (Come to think of it, why not make elevators illegal too?)
Get rid of a/c, and everybody can go around cool and mostly nekked, like this Theo gal:
Related: The Admin's "Energy Czar" never read the cap & trade bill. What does an "energy czar" do, then? Fly around and give speeches and tell people to overinflate their tires?
"Orwell was right. It was Wells who made it respectable, even before World War I, for liberals in England and America to demean their own native democratic culture in the name of an imagined antidemocratic World State. And it was Wells, with his stature as the prophet of the future, who taught upper-middle-class liberals that they were entitled to govern in the name of social evolution."
Readers know that we proud gun-and-Bible-clinging redneck Northeast Yankees hate it when Chardonnay-sippers who see themselves as our betters try to tell us how to live. We ain't stupid neither - cuz we been government-eddicated! At great expense!
BTW, we do love chevre - to the point that our editor wants to keep some goats. The meat is quite tasty, too. What's the PC term for a she-goat? A goatess? Goatette? Help me out.
White House: We are going to change your lightbulbs and lamps. Good grief.
What does Cameron stand for?
Lowry asks whether the O is losing his mojo. A quote:
Honduras: This was no coup
Some Swedes try a weird experiment on their kid
Look who is going to be "helping" with the census
George Washington's teeth. They look pretty good to me. I thought he had wooden false teeth. If you had decent teeth in middle age in those days, you were lucky.
Powerline on the Ricci case begins
Related: Is the Ricci decision anti-business?
The O's legislative program. Or is it just Congress'? Quote:
Megan McA on the mortgage meltdown:
Monday, June 29. 2009
President Obama has received much, well deserved, criticism in the
Robert Kennedy told us: “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.” That’s more hopeful and better lesson for President Obama than the course seemingly he’s on as told by Karl Marx: “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”
A core issue in our recollections of
For those who may want to look further about the ARVN, here’s some useful sources:
- A bibliography, slightly dated
- Another overview of the evolution of the ARVN
- A fine book on the ARVN’s “Patton”
- A critical look at the ARVN’s social difficulties, not battle worthiness, review by a professor at the US Air Command and Staff College
- Much valuable writings, photos, and links
- A promising new book on ARVN and US Marines prowess during the Easter Offensive of 1972
- Jules Crittendon adds to this bibliography. Thanks Jules.
Also, I just added in the Comments some emails I received from witnesses to performance of the ARVN.
VDH wonders. We are both of the above, as were the Victorians.
We also love to externalize our inner conflicts and confusions, and to see them played out on the stage of life.
Do “Democrats Present Hurdles for Obama,” or do basic truths?
Those who say they’re confused or that some issue is complex usually are avoiding seeing basic truths. This is the case with health care “reform” and with the broader matter of government spending and regulation of the market economy. In a big and fast-paced world, it’s difficult to cut through to root causes but basic truths still emerge and overcome the chatter clutter.
For examples of basic truths:
- Government spending is tilted toward social goals and shifting political power and its rewards moreso than productivity outcomes.
- Taxes tend to reallocate resources from the private sectors’ productivity and personal choice goals toward the goals of the less productive.
- Government debt costs and can tend to become excessive and crowd out other government and private social goals as well as basic responsibilities.
For example of how basic truths emerge:
It is now admitted by all but its fiercest partisans and flacks that the sort of health care reforms touted by Democrats in
Yet, the current Rasmussen poll still finds “50% of U.S. voters at least somewhat favor the Democrats’ health care reform plan, while 45% are at least somewhat opposed,” although the poll “question did not in any way describe the plan as it stands to date. It was simply presented as the health care reform proposed by President Obama and Congressional Democrats.” The poll points at partisanship, and we may add hope, at cause of this survey result.
So, what is the result when hope meets reality, or basic truth? The widely touted
Massachussets is in a budget crisis, as most states, not helped by the far-above estimated costs of its health care law (see this July 2009 comprehensive services and costs analysis), requiring steep cuts in services and increases in taxes. And, as Massachusetts’ Democrat Treasurer points out:
The Supremes get it right on the Ricci case.
The incredible bit was Justice Ginsburg's statements on "disparate impact." How can you design qualitifications so that "impact" is identical for every imaginable grievance group based on their great, great, grandparent's ethnic or national background?
The whole purpose of qualifying exams was to eliminate biased selections and cronyism.
Furthermore, after reading some comments around the intertubes, I have two questions:
1. If you even wanted to, how would you design a firefighter test to make black folks do poorly? How?
2. New Haven is a black-controlled Dem machine. The last thing in the world they want to do there is to discriminate against blacks. It's a ridiculous notion.
The German concentration camp brothels
More on the EPA quashing their own climate skeptical report. More details at Dino. Is this a scandal? It matters plenty more than Gov. Sanford's ridiculous midlife crisis. Powerline notes the media blackout on the story. Politics, sans facts. It is business as usual in DC.
Related: The O forgives Dems who voted against cap & trade. Not Repubs. As we have said repeatedly, it's just a gussied-up new gigantic tax.
A little something we can do for the fine people of Iran
White House: "not ruling out" middle class tax hike"
From Mankiw in the NYT, who says the gummint could make it's own public option insurance today:
On mandatory health care, at The Agitator
Good point on Honduras at Hot Air:
The Admin is right on this one:
It's time for them to grow up.
Thanks, y'all, for putting us up in these fine lodgings in Birmingham (photos below), for the fine very Southern-style party (with excellent grits 'n shrimp), and for showing us around.
Can any reader name this good old club?
View from our balcony:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:35 | Comments (13) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, June 28. 2009
More reminiscences from our friend, during his time in the Indian Health Service. He is probably referring to the Prairie Rattler:
From afar, it might have sounded like "Thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk"; at the base of my skull, it was more like "K'thunk, K'Thunk, K'thunk, K'Thunk." What I didn't know was what how it sounded to a rattlesnake in the dusk of the Dakota scrubland. My second day's doctoring done on Eagle Butte, the heat dissipating quickly at sunset, I hit the asphalt's edges to jog.
Continue reading "Nikes among the rattlers"
Pretty to think so, but that day will never come, Dr. Stone.
Revisiting Klavan's brief video message to new college grads from a couple of weeks ago, with the great quote above.
It explains why I believe that any shrink, psychologist (or anyone in the social sciences) should be of a Conservative bent unless they have no faith whatsoever in the human spirit (in which case they should have no faith in their own, either).
Betsy McCaughey reads the health care bills so you don't have to. After all, the topic is dull...until you need some medical help.
This is long, wonderful, nerdy, and informative. h/t, Language Log:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:09 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
2 Samuel 1:1, 19-27
19 "A gazelle lies slain on your heights, Israel.
20 "Tell it not in Gath,
21 "Mountains of Gilboa,
22 "From the blood of the slain,
23 Saul and Jonathan—
24 "Daughters of Israel,
25 "How the mighty have fallen in battle!
26 I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother;
27 "How the mighty have fallen!
Saturday, June 27. 2009
After Disney and other highly profitable travel industry powerhouses being disrobed by exposure during the prior Congress, the travel industry is getting further at pulling the wool over our eyes and the coins from our pockets in the current Congress, to add to their bottom lines.
If you’re not already a regular reader of the Washington Examiner’s opinion pages, you should be. That’s not just because I have a column there today, “Big Tourism Depends On K-Street PR Whiz”, but because under the editorial direction of Mark Tapscott it has blossomed into a rank of must read along with the Wall Street Journal’s opinion page. Indeed, recently it was announced that the owner of the Washington Examiner is purchasing the Weekly Standard.
Some background on my column:
Here is my February 2008 sum up and links to my prior 2007 posts, my prior Washington Examiner column on this, and investigative reporter Tim Carney’s important add on. This led to a major Washington Post expose, “Mickey Goes To
Continue reading "Travel Industry Freeloaders: Screwed By A Mouse?"
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