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, June 27. 2009
L E Ikenga explains, at Am Thinker. One quote:
Story at Mr. FM. Didn't Monty Python already do this?
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 10:51 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Making statistically valid generalizations about 1/6th of the
So, let’s get real.
Tom Bevan, founder-editor of daily must-read RealClearPolitics, today writes “Busting the Administrative Cost Benefit Myth,” that a government-run plan would save spending by cutting administrative costs, based on a Heritage Foundation paper that “Medicare Administrative Costs Are Higher, Not Lower, Than for Private Insurance.” In short, because each Medicare claim is for a much higher amount than each private insurance claim, the percent of the dollar amount of total claims for mostly fixed administrative costs is lower in Medicare. If considered, instead, on administrative cost per number of claims processed, Medicare’s admin costs are higher than in private insurance.
The former head of Medicare and Medicaid and former US assistant secretary of health recently, similarly, took on this administrative cost myth in the Wall Street Journal, asking and answering “Is Government Health Insurance Cheap?”
Continue reading "Don’t Give Me Any Damn Facts"
In a republican democracy, we elect officials in lieu of deciding everything in a mob all the time. But it's refreshing from time to time to petition these officials directly with our concerns. We must water the tree of liberty every once in a while, n'est-ce pas? They do in Santa Cruz, California, and they record it for our edification.
The one woman there assures us that she does not water the tree of liberty in public, though.
Wood tennis racquets for sale here.
Effects of cap & trade: Dino
Steyn: Name the date, Jennifer
Government buying human eggs? Has anyone considered the ethics of this? I think it's a bit more morally complex than sunny side up vs. scrambled.
Semi-related: Selling your soul for cash
We had nothing to say about Michael Jackson's death. I see it stressed the intertubes. And I also saw that noted music critic Sipp offered an appreciation: Did you know that Michael Jackson could sing?
Convicts speak out on gun control
If you don't feel maternal, it's sort of OK to kill them after they are born
The Albany-Trenton-Sacramento Disease. WSJ
Here's a fun photo caption contest at Wizbang. Should not be hard on him, tho. I love to look at maps too.
The UK continues to be hopelessly insane. Banning welcome mats. Not welcome mats for uncontrolled immigration, though. As we always say, "Grow a couple, and fix your own dang country." The Brits could try one of these mats and see if it passes the nanny's muster:
Michelle O says she wants a "purpose." How about raising your kids, weeding your garden, doing the dishes, helping out your friends, playing some tennis, cleaning the house or - if that's not enough self-importance for a hungry ego, how about a real job in the private sector? Good, productive, difficult work in the private sector is the best thing anyone can do for their country - after military service, that is.
THE EYES OF BEAUTY
You are a sky of autumn, pale and rose;
But all the sea of sadness in my blood
Surges, and ebbing, leaves my lips morose,
Salt with the memory of the bitter flood.
In vain your hand glides my faint bosom o'er,
That which you seek, beloved, is desecrate
By woman's tooth and talon; ah, no more
Seek in me for a heart which those dogs ate.
It is a ruin where the jackals rest,
And rend and tear and glut themselves and slay--
A perfume swims about your naked breast!
Beauty, hard scourge of spirits, have your way!
With flame-like eyes that at bright feasts have flared
Burn up these tatters that the beasts have spared!
Friday, June 26. 2009
Blogger and frequent Maggie's commenter AVI mentioned historian David Hacket Fisher a while ago in a comment here. It reminded me of Fisher's fine book, which I once meant to read but never did: Historian's Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought.
From a post on that book from this site:
via the AP:
It doesn't "include" a tax increase - this entire wacky thing is a household and business energy tax, pure and simple. The lie that anyone other than households and businesses will end up paying it is ridiculous. It simply will be passed through to you in your utility bill. The O did promise during the campaign to make energy far more costly, and this is the beginning.
My own cynical view is that the "greeny" pose is just being used as a mask to suck more money out of the private economy into Washington. This bill does nothing for the environment - and Congress knows it.
I have read estimates that this will cost anywhere from $120-over $2000 per household per year, with plenty of geographical variation. I haven't seen any estimates about what it will cost businesses, but clearly that depends on your businesses' energy usage. If you have 1000 Costco stores to air condition, watch out.
If you wanted to design something to put the brakes on an economic recovery, this would be a fine plan.
Ace has an excellent analysis.
Update: The dang thing passed in the House. I never thought it would. Note to self: never underestimate the Dems when they have a chance for a new tax. They are tricking the public: digging deeper into your pocket while making it look like greenie-virtue.
It would be stupid of pharma companies not to market their new products. They have bills to pay and investors to pay. You cannot fault them for it.
As a shrink (who does not have a primarily pharmacology practice, but uses meds whenever needed), I never use the newest medicines. I let other docs find out whether they have any advantages first, or any repellent side effects.
For Bipolar, I still think good old Lithium, a salt dug out of the ground which costs pennies, is the best, safest medicine. It works.
From the NYT: New Drugs Have Allure, Not Track Record
1. An ad on WABC radio: "Call 1-877-TOE FUNGUS." If the place didn't happen to be in NJ, I just might have given them a call, for grins.
2. Our garbagemen are now tossing our paper recycling bin into the garbage truck with the rest of the garbage.
"Green jobs" is a complete scam
It's over 1000 pages of...what?
Related: Climate skepticism goes global
It's 7 inches long, girls - and it tastes good
Mr. Pastor, tear down this church. Please. The building sucks and, trust me, God hates it too.
ObamaCare: Not inevitable. But they feel they have to pass something, or they will lose their momentum for their laundry list. Related: Who will run your medical care if the bill passes? (You can be certain it won't be practicing docs - it will be policy wonks and economists - the same geniuses who invented HMOs.) Related:
Related: If you call everything a crisis, people begin to think the word means "one more issue we ought to think about some time. Viking:
74% Trust Their Own Economic Judgment More Than Congress'. No kidding.
What's the UN for? To protect states.
Undocumented journalists? There's a future there
When did the US renounce "Leadership of the Free world"? The Left rarely speaks of freedom, or seems to value freedom, except when it's about abortion "choice." Otherwise, standing up for freedom is evil, un-nuanced cultural imperialism, right?
Self-censorship and the "see no Islam" mindset. Brussels J
If you have a few minutes, Sauron himself is but an emissary
Colleges don't graduate enough students? I always thought it was up to the students to graduate. But most college degreea are already a joke.
Markets and pencils.
Feminist Standpoint Theory is a cover for pure political opportunism. Just like
A jug of water, a loaf of bread, and Thou
The comet that hit us
A lefty mourns his disappointments in Chavez. CSM
On Iran etc, from Ace (I agree with this):
Yes, we like Sanford, but have nothing worthwhile to say about his mess - other than to note what they're saying: "He wasn't hiking the Appalachian Trail. He was humping the Argentinian tail."
Via BSBFB's It's all downhill from here
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 04:57 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
No, not really. But, maybe figuratively.
President Obama refused to meet with the representative of the imprisoned in
We should have been warned during the campaign by Obama’s passivity toward the Russian invasion of
Another clue comes from that the image of Che Guevara, icon to ignorant T-shirt wearers as a symbol of change rather than as a psychopathic murderer, served as the model for the Obama campaign’s “Change” poster. This T-shirt contest melded the two.
The reviewer of Theodore Draper’s seminal 1965 tome on Castro’s Revolution, in the left-leaning New York Review Of Books no less, pointed out how this psychology works, prescient to President Obama formatively molded by the moral myopia behind the Che iconography:
Thursday, June 25. 2009
Insty is on the job:
Obamacare would not apply to Pres, Congress, high Fed officials. Same as in Cuba.
It's just for us little people. Cost savings, ya know? Megan: Healthcare Economics: Standing Athwart History, Shouting "Stop!"
Or, as Surber puts it, Never buy a Ford from a guy who drives a Lexus.
Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness"; and again, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile."
Mrs. Barrister has given up her interest in politics. She says the Repubs blew their chance when they had Bush, the Senate and the House, and will get no more chances for the forseeable future. When the Repubs stand for freedom, it comes out sounding like a mean parent saying "No" - unless you have a talented communicator who believes in what he is saying.
Here's a summary of her gloomy thoughts:
- The Dems gave $4-8 billion of tax dollars to ACORN two months ago as part of the "stimulus." How can Repubs compete with that kind of money?
- The Dems will make 6-10 million illegal immigrants citizens. How are you going to compete with those numbers?
- Immigration at the turn of the century brought in millions lacking in the individualistic traditions and in the Protestant ethic that founded the country (including some of her relatives). They never really "got it." Since then, it's been about money and security - not freedom - and FDR made that idea permanent.
- As Newt warned years ago, once you have government medicine it's all over. It will all be arguments about "gimme more," and your very life will be in the hands of the State.
- The family was the foundational cultural institution of America and the foundational transmitter of culture. It's dying rapidly now, statistically. 70% of black kids born outside marriage, 23% of white kids. TV shows make jokes about how only gays and Republicans get married any more. This leaves women hoping that the State will be their reliable husband to protect them and to help raise their kids.
Related at Time: Does The Ice Age Cometh for Repubs and Conservatives?
From my perspective, the Dem national agenda is as follows:
1. Pay off supporters (done, in part, via the "Stimulus")
And then what?
It is what is called overreach, and it is nuts.
If passed, it would be the biggest tax in US history. Which is why the Dems are so intent on it. Climate has zip to do with it.
They want your money. They always do. They should have it, because they are so much smarter, wiser, more altruistic, and more deeply caring than I am, clinging here as I do in abject, helpless ignorance to my guns and Bible and my land and my (now paltry) life savings, and trusting in God, my own and my wife's resourcefulness, and trusting in the American spirit instead of in Pelosi, Rangel, Reid, Waxman, Obama, and all of the other buffoons and sleazes in DC.
It must be because I am stupid. Perhaps I am, because when I commented to the supermarket check-out girl yesterday about all of the cold and rain, she authoritatively informed me that it was due to climate change. At first, I thought she was kidding.
"Were you out there praying in the garden?" Mrs. BD asked me later. "No." I said. "I was watching ants."
I spent around a half hour on Satuday afternoon sitting in the dirt watching ants. Few things can be more absorbing. (Or maybe I should say that everything in life can be absorbing if you sit for a minute.)
In doing final garden clean-up, I had to move a big old 4X4 garden edger to another spot and, naturally, uncovered a black ant nest full of eggs or pupae - I think pupae because you could see something inside the egg-like shape.
Almost instantly, the worker ants (both the big ones and the little) and the soldier ants grabbed an egg and ran for cover, scattering in all directions. After about 5 minutes, each ant with egg in mandible headed over to the right, over a rock and into a hole in a pile of garden mulch. In about 15 minutes, every one of around 200 eggs had been carried off to safety by a line or marching ants, back and forth like Chinese coolies.
Ants are said to represent 18-25% of the animal biomass of the planet - higher in the tropics. There is nothing as adaptible as the family Formicidae. They are hymenoptera - evolved from wasps, and all still have tiny stingers.
Ant social behavior is interesting, but their specialization, their physical specialization, and their chemical communication is more so.
Email from a pal:
Bird Dog - Spent Friday morning fishing for striped bass with Pops and Mother's cousin. Caught our limit of six fish greater than 28 inches in about five hours. We fished out of Groton (and off Fisher's Island), aboard "The Otter" with Captain Bruce of www.captainbrucesportfishing.com.
Wednesday, June 24. 2009
Our blogfriend Gerard at American Digest has a story to tell, and tells it. All writers know what it is to retreat into a world of your own making inside your head. What if it was all you had?
The whole thing's here. I'd read it if I were you.