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
Sunday, January 31. 2010
Thanks for inventing the internet. You thought of everything. It never ceases to amaze me how much stuff you managed to put on there.
I just found out that I can buy opera tickets for the Arena di Verona (a vast Roman arena) for August online, now. Looks like a fun outing, but the arena seems to big for opera.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:20 | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (0)
Good site for high quality farm toys: Carter and Gruenewald. What a great business to be in.
Posted by Gwynnie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:56 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
The whole thing here.
Does President Obama “feel your pain” or is he feeling his own, getting kicked in the bottom by the Tea Parties? Do establishment Republicans, late to the party, join the conga line or waltz around the Tea Party theme?
Remarkably, Internet-power Instapundit Glenn Reynolds and MSM Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift sorta agree about the impact of the Tea Parties.
Reynolds, early and consistently encouraged by the people power of the Tea Party movement, writes in today’s Washington Examiner that,
Reynolds believes the Tea Party movement will have even more power going in to the 2010 elections, as it develops a Contract From America.
Dan Riehl comments re: "fragmentation" of Tea Party movement. It is already, and that's a strength, bottom up instead of top down.
Eleanor Clift, columnist at Newsweek, reluctantly recognizes the Tea Parties past successes, despite the Conventional Wisdom (i.e., from liberals like her).
Clift is correct in recognizing the grass-roots pragmatism of Tea Partiers, supporting moderate candidates as long as they represent a turn away from more government intrusion into our pockets and lives. Clift concludes by asking limited government types to reply to President Obama’s newfound interest in hearing from those who oppose him. And, we are to believe that Clift, Obama, and their ilk will now, after never listening before?
To offer your two-cents to the Contract From America, here’s your invite.
My July 4th Tea Party in LotusLand with photos.
Temp is -12 global warming degrees F up the mountain at Killington today. Think I'll just ski half a day, have a couple of beers and some chili, and drive back to NYC.
Saturday, January 30. 2010
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:12 | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)
At what point do American Liberals become Conservatives? I mean, at what point would government and government control and redistribution be sufficient to satisfy them so that they would cease seeking more, and just stop and try to freeze it in a Conservative fashion, as happened in the Soviet Union, North Korea, Cuba, and China?
One of the things that converted me to Conservatism years ago was that none of my Liberal and Lefty friends could or would answer that question. I liked to ask them what arguments they could make against free food, socialized legal insurance and auto insurance, free nose jobs and boob jobs and IQ injections - and free PhDs in Social Justice and Peace Studies for all.
It gradually dawned on me that they had a dream of an eternal childhood of ease, like many peoples' dream of a Florida or Arizona retirement or of being the wife of a hedge fund owner (but with them in control of it, I suppose, to keep the personal dreams and spirits of others stifled for the greater good).
Being a bred-in-the-bone New England Yankee Puritan, I find the idea of ease and irresponsibility to be repellent. Except occasionally...as a treat. We seek effort and additional effort - hence Maggie's Farm.
(Photo is of a life of ease. Even the effort of chasing birds is pure fun for this fine fellow, who has it made thanks to the benevolence of his master.)
Thus our stale repost below from a few years ago for those who haven't seen it -
A re-post from 2006: Dem Leaders Issue "Happiness Manifesto:" Promise "Heaven, Now!: Admit "We are Commies!" and Propose "TotaliCAREianism" for USA, "Permanent Joy for All of the Little People"
At a news conference late last night following a special meeting of Democrat Party leaders, the Dems announced "We are sort-of Communists."
The eagerly-awaited announcement came as a relief to the nation's Democrats, who have longed for the day when they could come out of the closet and begin to explain their goals and ideals clearly, instead of pussy-footing around and hemming and hawing.
When asked what had brought the Party to this point, a spokesman stated:
Their 2006 Campaign press release, which has been over two generations in preparation, is titled "A Manifesto for the Future" and subtitled "A New Brave New World Deal for America." It appears to offer something for everyone. Major sections excerpted below:
NO TAXES!!! No more complicated tax forms, and no more scary IRS!!! How can we do this? Trying to regulate businesses is too slow and too difficult. We'll just take them all over, and they will work for The Good of All instead of the wealthy few!!! We are tired of trying raise tax rates. We'll take all of the money!!! It is simpler for government - and for you - for your government to own everything, instead of collecting taxes. Plus you won't need money anymore!!!
FREE MEDICAL CARE!!! Free medical attention will be available in our special government Happy Health Control Centers, with euthanasia cheerfully and painlessly prescribed for those who feel "really sick as shit," by our buxom People's Paradise Express Hostesses. And for you gals: Free required abortion for all!!! (but depending on genetic analysis and Government Health Dept. scientifically-determined population and genetic needs.) Free treatment of disease based on modern, advanced and Scientific Cost-Benefit Analysis!!!
DEEPLY SATISFYING WORK FOR ALL!!! No more money worries or job worries. We'll take care of it. We will find work for you to do!!! All will work and will have deeply personally satisfying work for the good of all!!!- 100% employment, when and where we decide best. This will give the people the Human Dignity they want, and all will feel like part of the beautiful village. No-one will be too disabled for the Human Dignity of Deeply Satisfying Work, and even old age will no longer deprive you of that Deep Satisfaction (until you are no longer useful).
NO MORE MONEY WORRIES!!! Since the government will run the businesses, you won't need any money!!! All of your needs will be met by a loving, caring government whose experts know what is best for your happiness in life, based on Modern Scientific Psychological Studies. No more envy, no more antiquated and fatiguing ambition, no more disappointment and depression - and no more bills!!!
FREE HOUSING FOR ALL, NO HOUSEWORK - AND FREE TV!!! Everyone will have their own personal, comfortable, temperature-regulated "Happy Cube" with a Free Wide Screen Government TV with FREE Government Stations just for you, to keep you entertained and happy in your Free Government cube - including 24/hr/day Psychologist-designed scientific PORN!!! And with expert psychologist-sexologist performers!!! And there will be co-ed Happy-Hygiene Units on every floor!!! Plus no more housework!!! You won't own a house to bother with!!!
NO HOMEWORK!!!! You don't need no education. (Our Expert Trainers will prepare you efficiently for the work for which are are best suited, as scientifically-determined.) We have already eliminated most of the "hard stuff," from education, but why bother with any confusing ideas and math and history dates and all of that difficult nonsense that gets in the way of happiness and TV and much-needed relaxation (unless the government determines that you have a needed aptitude). There will be no need to continue to strain your brain!!! We will worry about things for you!!! No complicated information to make people unhappy. We will let you know what you need to know to make a good adjustment and to be happy. No books - who needs those boring old things and their old-fashioned ideas? Everyone would rather just relax!!! Government TV is more fun and more relaxing, and less confusing. No news - we will worry about that for you! Why worry your brain? You work hard - take it EASY!
NO DIRTY DIAPERS AND SCREAMING BRATS!!! Children will have all of their needs met in special cheerful and psychologist-designed government Child Full-Service Development Centers, so all Bio-Moms will be free for the deeply satisfying Work Satisfaction they have sought for so long. No more dirty diapers and no more screaming brats. Government Growth Adjustment Expert Specialists will handle all of the problems, and take care of them for you from the day they are born, including orthodontia (if cost-effective) and including Science Diet Kiddie-Kibbles. You did your part, Bio-Moms. Now we'll do the rest!!!
NO ANNOYING SUNDAY MORNING CHURCH!!! You can sleep in every Sunday Morning, but you might be lucky enough to have an important deeply satisfying job for the good of all on Sunday morning. You won't need a confusing, inscrutable god - we'll be your god, but unlike the old god, we will give you everything you really need and want - for free. We care about you more than that obsolete, demanding, no-fun god did. And all religious disagreements will be solved!!! For fun on Sunday, try our Government Scientific 6-hole Happy People Miniature Golf Courses, or our Happy Bowler 10-foot bowling alleys, where everyone is a winner!!! Or just stay in your Happy Cube and watch TV in peace!!! We can give you Heaven - today!!!
FREE SEX FOR ALL WITHOUT COMMITTMENT!!! You may think you have that already, but we will take it to another level for you. Marriage is obsolete. Who really wants to put up with that boring, aging spouse and those predictable, dull bedroom habits? No more marriage, which means no more marital problems!!! Bring anyone you want to your personal and private sleeping cubicle in your Free Government Housing Home Sweet Home Happy Cube!! Sex for the little people and workers should be no more of a big deal than going to the bathroom: we've suffered enough bourgeois sentimentality. We will stand up firmly for Scientific Sexual Health and Hygiene.
WE'LL BE GREEN!!! No more cars!!! No-one will need cars except for Government Authorities and the Happy Thought Police forces. Everyone's Free Government Housing Home Sweet Home Happy Cube will be within healthy walking or biking distance - based on scientific calculations - of their assigned deeply satisfying job. That is what we are willing to do for The Environment!!! And your Free Government Bio-degradable Clothing will be specially designed for your outdoor needs, produced by happy workers with environmental values in their manufacture. And, because we will be Green, there will be No More Bad Weather!!!
FREE HEALTH!!! There will be no smoking, no alcohol, and no meat! These things will be reserved to console your over-stressed and sacrificial Leaders. Thus everyone will have free health, along with our expert-designed tofu-based diets and the daily exercise programs which will be required, for your convenience and health, at your deeply satisfying workplace. Those with genetic disorders will, as is rational, spare the people from the burden of their children. In this way, we will achieve a healthy, happy nation. One day's use of Soma or marijuana will be issued to workers at the end of each workday, to ensure happiness, a positive attitude, self-esteem, and a peaceful spirit. And, if you get sick, you just go to one of our Happy Health Control Centers, where you can peacefully unburden Society of your problem!!! No more guilt!!! And free sanitary crematorial services!
FREE FOOD!!! Since you won't need money, our Government Free Food Happy Pantries will offer free food for all, with special expert nutritionist-designed, organic-like balanced diets designed for your particular needs and work!!! No more worries about what to fix for supper. We'll worry about it for you, with your health and happiness in mind!!! It will be meat-free, poison-free, fat-free healthy nutritional substances, which will please our wonderful progressive vegans!!! Just add water to your scientifically freeze-dried and dehydrated tofu Lovely Health Treat!!!
WORLD PEACE!!! Not to worry. We'll figure it all out, because We Love World Peace. World Peace is just Great!!! You can just be happy and we can do the thinking for you. If war is needed to create peace, our Swedish and Swiss mercenaries will take care of it for you. And you won't even need to know!!!
Continue reading "A re-post from 2006: Dem Leaders Issue "Happiness Manifesto:" Promise "Heaven, Now!: Admit "We are Commies!" and Propose "TotaliCAREianism" for USA, "Permanent Joy for All of the Little People""
At NY Rev of Books. One quote:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:14 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
NY Times: Monogamy Is for Losers
False Rape Claim Over Bad Sex. Seems reasonable. On the other hand, many would argue that bad sex is better than no sex.
"Democracy in America" at 175
Evil, Capitalistic, Bigoted America Comes to Haiti’s Assistance
New study shows heavy male politicians considered more reliable, honest than thinner counterparts. More cheerful, no lean and hungry look, less likely narcissistic?
The O did a heck of a partisan debating job on the GOP yesterday. Lies like a real pro with impressive earnestness and innocence, and still wrong on the issues.
Sky burials in Tibet
Economic Freedom Declines in Britain. Related: Advert for 'reliable workers' banned as discrimination. Would it also be discriminatory to advertise for unreliable workers?
Will wonders never cease? AP fact-checks the O
Why businesses aren't hiring. Coyote
The Fannie and Freddie Secret
Protesting too much that the health care bill is alive, the lady doth show that the health care bill is dead
Image is Turner's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1823)
A "childe" is a youth on the career track to become a knight. Our
He who, grown aged in this world of woe,
The entire narrative poem is here, but is best read in dead tree form. Better yet, read out loud. Lord Byron, like Dylan and Sippican and a bunch of other special people, has (or is, or was) an Old Soul - regardless of age. It's a gift - or maybe a curse. Maybe both.
Friday, January 29. 2010
We linked this piece at Reason earlier this week, but it's worth highlighting. Class War - How public servants became our masters. One quote:
The trend line leads to 100%. Then what?
Health care may contribute to the defeat of Senator Barbara Boxer next November, or it may work in her favor.
There are some legitimate arguments to be made (low Democrat turnout and many of the Democrats voting for Brown being confused about health care or actually wanting a more radical plan than in Congress) that ObamaCare was less decisive in Massachusetts than conservatives think. So, there may be some reason to believe the issue will play out a bit less positively for Republicans in
My last post spoke to why Senator Barbara Boxer will be a tougher political opponent than Coaxley in Massachusetts: demographics are more amenable to Boxer (e.g., almost 5 times larger percentage of Hispanics in California; Boxer hasn’t alienated the influential overwhelmingly liberal Jewish vote in California, whereas leading Republican Campbell is negative toward Israel’s security needs); and her likely Republican opponents are not the able campaigners that Brown was in Massachusetts. I, also, posited that tempers against Obama and his Washington Democrats are likely to cool some between now and November, as some Democrats chill on their extremism. To the last point, that really does remain to be seen, and hollow words are less likely to be given credence by Independent voters now than in 2008. Further, Boxer’s extreme liberal stances are not likely to either change much or be hidable by her. (Note: a stat aficionado journalist corrects me on another point. There is a higher proportion of Democrat congressmen in
On the other hand, although early polls are poor indicators, Boxer does currently lead prospective Republican candidates: 45% Boxer, 41%
Senator Barbara Boxer is a firm supporter of ObamaCare. Single-payer is a more extreme and direct takeover of health care. Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed the same prior two attempts by the Democrat legislators, and would do so again, if passed before November. The leading Democrat contender for governor, former governor Jerry Brown, spoke in favor in 1992 but is “stonewalling” about it now. The leading Republican contenders are opposed. This sets up an issue to be debated in the 2010 governor race.
Boxer will be affected or drawn in to the health care debate. Tom Campbell opposed ObamaCare. So do the other Republican contenders. Thus, it should be expected to be a factor in the Senate race. A legislator and oral surgeon dismembers the California Democrats' bill. Another commenter calls it all “political kabuki”:
The latest California Field poll displays the core liberal-lean among
Long story short, unseating Boxer will depend upon her,
We would never, even for personal use, advise violating the incomprehensible American ban on Cuban tobacco by using Top Cubans.com. However, we do find their latest rankings interesting, if mundane:
Dress shoes need to be shined regularly if you do not wish to look bedraggled, don't they?
A spit shine requires a little water (or spit). Here's the USMA method.
And from The Art of Manliness, here's How to Shine Shoes like a Soldier.
It takes a toothbrush to do it right and to get into the seams. People say 30-40 minutes per shoe for a definitive shine, less for a touch-up shine. Obsessionals like to top off a shine with a coat of clear polish.
I read that you are supposed to edge the sole too. News to me, but makes sense.
Photo is a good J. Press Oxford shoe - off the rack and not too fancy, but good enuf for government or academic work. Maybe when I win the lottery I'll have foot molds taken in London and Rome and have them make me custom shoes and loafers like my prosperous friends do.
People try to die all the time, in church, in parking lots, in supermarkets. Here's the new method to try to save them from the Grim Reaper:
Haha. That is cruel. Steyn on the O.
'Liar' is just as ugly a word as 'thief,' because it implies the presence of just as ugly a sin in one case as in the other. If a man lies under oath or procures the lie of another under oath, if he perjures himself or suborns perjury, he is guilty under the statute law.
It reminds me that Dr. Bliss says "Lying is worse than theft of property, because it is the theft of somebody's reality."
Howard Zinn. America the Awful---Howard Zinn's History.
Old Stalinists never die, they just fade away.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 09:51 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Crude and diabolical but hilarious: Ace on Chris Buckley's take on the SOTU. I would live in terror were Ace my editor.
"Best practices" in medicine often turn out not to be.
The arrogance of power. Noonan with Washington is sick and broken—and it can solve all our problems. The very notion that Washington politicians can solve our life problems is insidious, manipulative, infantile, and destructive to the country.
How could anybody not love a guy who can write like this:
"The brambles and the thorns grew thick and thicker in a ticking thicket of bickering crickets. Farther along and stronger, bonged the gongs of a throng of frogs, green and vivid on their lily pads. From the sky came the crying of flies, and the pilgrims leaped over a bleating sheep creeping knee-deep in a sleepy stream, in which swift and slippery snakes slid and slithered silkily, whispering sinful secrets." From James Thurber, The 13 Clocks (New York, 1957)
Now for some Thurber dogs -
Posted by Gwynnie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 07:40 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, January 28. 2010
VDH at NRO (this is his entire post):
In addition to growing government, I think VDH gets right to the core of the underlying Dem agenda. When you think about it that way, they are being fairly successful.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:22 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
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