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, February 28. 2010
Smart guys do not tolerate fools or BS, and Lindzen doesn't. How about a Nobel Peace Prize for Prof. Lindzen's lecture videotape? It's long. It's about data vs. models.
Richard Lindzen PhD, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: The Peculiar Issue of Global Warming.
If that link doesn't work (it works for me), try this: http://vmsstreamer1.fnal.gov/VMS_Site_03/Lectures/Colloquium/100210Lindzen/f.htm#
From Steyn's Our Own Greek Tragedy:
You're the engineer of a great big freight train. Nothing stands in your way! What's that? There's a huge 18-wheeler stalled on the tracks up ahead? No problem! You'll cut that tin can in two and just keep on goin'! Nothing stands in your way!
Well, unless you attempt to drive through a tornado, of course.
But who'd ever do that?
Posted by Dr. Mercury in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:00 | Comments (13) | Trackbacks (0)
In the NYT, We Can’t Wish Away Climate Change:
Somehow I doubt that it would be "an enormous relief" to Al. He is doubling down. It's his familiar hysteria and fear-mongering accompanied by many factual errors.
From Am Thinker:
How do we adjust to a world that is packed with narratives and lies? Not too difficult: be skeptical.
Looking forward to fishing season, and hoping Capt. Tom will have some fresh info for us, especially about fly fishing in Yankeeland. In the meantime, I will dig up some of our archival bamboo fishing posts -
That's Editor Bird Dog in the distance, happily fishing in the rain on an April Saturday on the Eleven Mile Brook in CT, with a Haney 7'4" quad bamboo, on Beat #4. Plenty of mostly hatchery Brook Trout, all sizes. Which are not trout, as I am regularly reminded. Called trout, look and act like trout, but Brookies are, in fact, a species of char, not trout.
Saturday, February 27. 2010
The Jewish celebration of Purim began tonight. The story (Megilah) of the Book of Esther is read.
As important is what’s missing. There is no appeal to or intercession by G-d. This is the all the workings of man and woman.
From various authors. Good fun.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:25 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
At American Thinker, a brief word on the topic.
America don't need no steenkin' noblesse. But, re the elites, Liberals are smarter. I knew that! They are smart and I am dumb. But not too dumb to be able to support my family and my wife's dumb animals in some degree of comfort and pleasure.
Thank goodness for the equality of one dummie, one vote. I have two Ivy degrees but always doubted my brains. Guess I was right about something.
If not, why not? Alpha USA. It is a wonderful thing. Do it, if you hear the call.
Case in point: New York State. Competition is needed to try to keep politicians semi-honest.
A reader sent in this photo of Phragmites australis, aka Phragmites, aka Common Reed, from a southern New England marsh yesterday. This presumably non-native, invasive reed has spread like a cancer in marshes across the US, crowding out native marsh species and, in many areas, creating hundreds or thousands of acres of sterile "monoculture" marshland (eg the vast and once-biologically-bountiful New Jersey marshlands).
(There is a native species of Phragmites, shorter, far less aggressive, and pickier of habitat. I took a photo of a stand of it in Canada, but can't find my photo. Here's a genetic study of Phragmites species in North America.)
Ducks Unlimited has many programs, such as this one, to try to control these weed reeds. Nonetheless, they are here to stay. Illegal immigration or globalization?
Re medical care, from Andy McCarthy's post at NRO:
Are You Content?
I call on those that call me son,
Friday, February 26. 2010
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 19:09 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
This fascinating "virtual back lot" video saddened our friend The Anchoress.
It didn't sadden me, but rather impressed me with the use of graphics software. How do they perform this theatrical magic?
When I consider it, our lives are packed with incoming lies and virtual realities: the news, stories and fiction writing, advertising, photoshopped photos, politicians' statements, theater, legal "theories," activist's anecdotes, fantasies and imagination, memories, dreams (and the tales our patients tell us about their lives).
Mr. Plato had plenty of thoughts on the subject of human perception of reality, and he was darn well aware of the human distorting component too.
Some good blogger (I forget who) recently commented that she (I think a she) was sick of the term "narrative." I sympathise, but I am not sick of it yet. I find it useful. The overused term "authentic" is the one I am sick of.
I have not yet entered a pomo solipsistic world in which reality is a pure mental construction or, worse yet, a pure social construction (see the wonderful Berger and Luckmann). Reality does exist: Just hit your thumb with a hammer or stub your toe on something in the dark to be reminded of that. Many of us, fortunately, do not distort things very much to ourselves, or to others.
However, I do live in a world in which meaning is indeed a human construction, both personally and socially.
A "narrative" is an effort, conscious or unconscious, to ascribe meaning: designed to deceive, to manipulate, to entertain, to seduce, to support one's wishes or self respect, to indulge, to self-justify or to rationalize or serve some other defensive purpose, etc. - or just to try to make sense out of the stuff that seems to happen - more or less regardless of its objective validity. Every song, picture, poem, film, and book is a "narrative" too. Like any blog post. "I" am a narrative, I guess, and right now, presenting a narrative about narratives.
One of the many interesting things about being a shrink is to contemplate a person's "narrative," whether it is just a report of something that happened, or a life story. When somebody is engaged in an exploratory, depth treatment, these narratives change over time - which is why we never take them at face value. We assume a narrative meets some present want, or need, or fantasy. Our always-challenging and endlessly-interesting job is to probe the meaning of the narratives we see or hear in the work of untangling what ails a person's heart and soul.
One of our luxuries as people in the psychoanalytic psychotherapy field is the reliable consistency of the human personality "structure" (another term I hate - shrinks often use fancy latinate terms and complex conceptualizations for ordinary things): like a jigsaw puzzle, there is always a picture of something in there somewhere. Another is the luxury of not worrying too much about the literal truthfulness of things (unless dealing with undiagnosed sociopaths).
I could go on and on about this, but that's enough for now.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 09:50 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Illo: h/t Theo
Dr. Karasu: Every man is a sex addict (h/t, Insty). Count me in.
Related fun: What's under your burka?
Related: College on how to perform a textbook BJ. Boring.
Secret turn-ons for women. Plus this:
The evolution of the college dorm: Slide show
How do you shrink a city? Detroit
Best clear explanation of greenhouse gas theory I've seen, from a commenter to this piece at Am Thinker (below the fold and like totally safe for work)
Continue reading "Friday morning links"
Is anything more inviting than a cozy Dunkin' Donuts early on a cold snowy morning? Hot chocolate or coffee? Or both?
The friendly and cheerful legal Hispanic gals there know what you like and they manage to get to work on time no matter what the weather or "climate" offers. I am usually game for a plain stick. And a medium milk no sugar.
Then to the shoveling as the wind whistles and moans through the trees. A good workout. That chest pain is just in your imagination...
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:05 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, February 25. 2010
The week of March 1, if you or yours is on many college campuses, “Israeli Apartheid” week will seek to spread a hateful and dangerous canard. Its propagators are the most virulent and unprincipled liars, whose purpose is to delegitimize
If you want to know more about actual conditions in
California Republicans are a minority. Start with that reality. Then see what allows a Republican challenger to a Democrat US Senate incumbent to win.
1. A disliked or tepid campaigner Democrat incumbent.
2. A liked or respected star-quality Republican challenger.
3. Dire economics impelling desire for change.
4. Deemed political chicanery by the incumbent.
5. Enough money to campaign in a big population and area state.
The shape of the Republican primary campaign, thus far, is lacking in taking advantage of favorable factors and is even frittering them away.
Continue reading "California Republican Senate Primary Playing Into Democrat Hands"
A reader has a good op-ed piece which has things in common with the Repub medical insurance ideas. The point being "Why should Washington run things?"
It's about time some different views got some public air time, if people aren't bored to death by the topic -
Surber: Rave reviews
Excellent: Rising star Paul Ryan (h/t, Gateway) -
Man, do I agree with Ramesh in Time. One quote from his piece of the above title:
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