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, June 27. 2010
The Left, of course, and the usual fickle conservatives with more ink to expend than practical experience or judgment, have taken the McChrystal affaire and the difficult Afghanistan situation as a new opportunity to exhibit their emphasis on bloviation and lack of spine under difficult challenges regardless of impact on real persons’ lives.
What is notable, however, is that during the discussions of the relief from command of General Stanley McChrystal, most conservatives and professional military leaders came down – even with much misgivings – in favor. Military decorum and civilian control are primary, they affirmed.
Still, while not challenging civilian control of the military, what is missed is that our military’s current rulers have a long record of disrespect for the military and open antagonism to the missions to which we have sent them to struggle, all paying extraordinary sacrifices while politicians and most of the homefront focus on feathering nests.
Such as Andrew Bacevich, not missing yet another opportunity for another way to express his repeated defeatism and antagonism to firm foreign policy, laments instead:
Usually sensible Eliot Cohen puts the issue in a broader light:
Jules Crittenden, who has actually been to combat and deeply studied war, gets to the point, reminding generalizers of nonsense:
President Obama, his civilian yes-men from the Left, and politically-chosen military advisors may have triumphed - even rightfully - over the disrespect, deserved, openly expressed by General McChrystal and his staff. But, their record of disrespect for the military, its professionalism, and its life-and-death existence does not earn them any pass on their continued muddled confusion or purposefully dangerous weakness.
In WWII the
I get mine with just meat, lettuce and onions; no cheese or other fixings. So, if you get yours with cheese and a bunch of fixings, and it just doesn't go with the vinaigrette dressing, oh well.
I'd suggest the following:
As you've probably noticed, one thing that's continually not mentioned in the oil spill articles is why we're drilling in such a precarious spot in the first place. While this isn't how I would have framed it, at least this guy's pointed in the right direction:
Any boatspeople out there might want to skim over this:
On the subject, Bruce and I were lamenting in email the other day how sadly different this is going to be for General Prayforus than it was in Iraq.
(H/T Theo) For those of you under, say, 60 or so, this is exactly what happened in Vietnam. If you were looking for one word to sum up our failure there, it would be the word handcuffed.
Update: Well, that was coincidental. I wrote the above last night, dropped by Theo's this morning, and what did I see?
So let's hope this is true:
Speaking of guns, here's a revealing little gem from Cracked:
Saturday, June 26. 2010
Since ClimateGate, blog sites such as Pajamas, Townhall and Hot Air have moved on to other, juicier topics, such as heartily endorsing 'attack journalism' of distinguished senators as they casually stroll to their car on a Sunday afternoon, vilifying and excoriating a 90-year-old woman because she dared to venture her opinion on a sensitive subject, and citing The National Enquirer as a definitive news source for a 2-year-old story that everyone at the time agreed was completely bogus.
You know. Juicy stuff.
Well, in the interim, the juggernaut has not been idle. The energy bill is alive and well, and even if it doesn't get passed this year, there's still the EPA and its impending mandates. We're basically screwed, blued and tattooed every which way from Sunday.
One thing is true:
The people in charge of the (delicate cough) "science" sites, such as Nature, Scientific American, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics and Live Science, never, ever, read the comments in their AGW articles. Ever.
Because, if they did, they'd be aghast at how mocked and ridiculed the majority of their AGW articles are, and something would change. At least there'd occasionally be an article expressing "some doubt" over the current (another delicate cough) AGW "facts", but there haven't been. Not a one.
The mighty machine rolls on.
The good news is, it's amazing how few comments some of them get. For supposedly popular sites, it wouldn't be surprising to see their latest "Global Warming Alters Orbit Of Planet" article only receive five or six comments, most of them of the mocking variety.
So, the good news is, at least they're (hopefully) not reaching a whole ton of people with the continuing barrage of garbage they spew.
From the current home page of Popular Science:
And the juggernaut mercilessly inches forward.
A friend handed me one of the short box-pressed Padrons yesterday, and I burned it this morning. Delicious. They are not too easy to obtain, and not cheap at all. Davidoff's has them in NYC.
Ah, the Havana Club.
With all of the rules about smoking these days, short cigars will be a bigger thing. What do y'all like in short ceegars?
Regular guys do not worry overly much about their appearance (unless at work, on first dates, on the golf course, or at the club). Yes, regular grooming habits do seem necessary, as do clean if not ironed clothing.
This post, however, is about so-called "old man walking shoes." In NYC, or when travelling in Europe and parts beyond where you end up walking many cement or asphalt or dusty or dusty in a day, it makes sense to swallow one's vanity and to invest in some seriously comfortable walkin' shoes. I don't mean huntin' and hikin' boots.
I have worn out one pair of expensive Mephistos, but for comfort, support, and general ugliness, these New Balance walking shoes are the best. Cheap, too, and ugly enough in black to exceed the criteria for "old men's walking shoes." (If you get them in white, you look like you should be pattering around a nursing home.) I have worn these things all around the world.
And consider this: If you are a cool, interesting, streetable man who is good at sparkling conversation, oblique flirtation, and snappy repartee - as I am - only a moron would hold the provenance of your shoes against you.
(This does not, obviously, apply to women and shoes, which is a subject of deep mystery to all.)
Walkin' Blues, with Roy Rogers on bottleneck. I like it. I first heard this song sung by John Hammond (yes, the John Hammond's son) quite a long time ago:
Ezra Klein’s juicebox-level of Leftist propaganda-feed group-think journalism and the defenders of General McChrystal’s crew of wisecrackers as being abused by the Rolling Stone’s reporter have something in common: Neither are willing to stand in public behind the truth that anything that passes from one’s lips is public property.
Yes, if one explicitly says to another “Private” or “Secret” or “Do not quote”, that might be respected. And, it might not. If you don't have discretion or maturity, why expect that of others who also may not or have interests other than covering up for your lackings?
And, if one says to oneself that anything I say should be properly stated and reflect my views, and I will either stand behind it or explain why and how I was wrong or off-mark, then one is acting with integrity to oneself and others.
To feel otherwise is immature and irresponsible. It is an abuse of one's public position to not be forthcoming and transparent.
This is particularly so when entrusted with the ears of millions of Americans on important public issues, or the fate of millions of Americans and allies’ lives.
In my garage, I have boxes full of literally thousands of published pieces I’ve written during and since college. That’s 46-years of comment and analyses. Many, most?, are easily available on the web. I'm also surprised at how many correspondents have archived my emails, when I haven't. If any want to publish them, have at it.
I said it. I stand behind it, or will answer for it.
But, I will not hide behind some notion that I can be allowed to deceive or excuse or cry when someone quotes me.
But, then, I am not a careerist feathering my nest by expecting tolerance for having a lack of respect for myself, for others or for my responsibilities and ethics, and thinking I have some sort of right to be deceptive or a manipulator.
Be an adult, be a professional, or get the hell off the stage, or be exposed for a child playing with other people’s lives and too self-concerned to admit it.
We need more public and private integrity, straight-talk and standing behind it, openly, not less or any more excuses for being immature kindergartners playing with other people's trust or lives.
P.S.: An earlier version had "kindergarden" and "kindergardners." Now corrected for proper, Germanic-root spelling. - Thanks Glenn.
Now see the video!
Posted by Dr. Mercury in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 09:00 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
The writing's on the wall:
Who needed all those pesky middlemen, anyway? Sorry, guys, and thanks for all the years of service and dedication. That's the way it goes.
The article continues:
But, as Grandma used to say, "What goes around, comes around..."
On a couple of different levels, this is historically a major news story, yet I saw no blogger mention it, and the link I saw was only being used as a throwaway joke.
Tough question: Is this good news or bad news? On one hand, any disaffiliation with the loathsome, biased AP sounds like good news, but letting CNN decide what's "news" or not sounds even scarier than the way it was.
Now here's an intriguing headline:
"Giving Poor Kids Computers, Internet Makes Them Stupider"
Doesn't seem to make much sense, right? Assuming they're not spending all of their time reading online comic books, you'd think, in general, their overall world view would be enhanced, their scope of subjects would be broadened, and — especially if they blundered their way onto a professional news organization such as the Huffington Post — their overall vocabulary would improve. And, when they didn't understand something, they'd simply ask.
Then, when you read the real reason, it all makes sense:
What makes the following particularly impressive isn't just the age, but the quality:
Photo is a Peregrine Falcon
Gone to the Unseen (trans. Jonathan Star)
At last you have departed and gone to the Unseen.
Beating your wings and feathers,
As a lovesick nightingale, you flew among the owls.
The wine of this fleeting world
This phantom world gave you false signs
You are now the Sun -
I've heard that you can barely see your soul.
O heart, what a wonderful bird you are.
The flowers flee from Autumn, but not you -
Pouring down like the rain of heaven
Now the words are over
Friday, June 25. 2010
At the doctor’s office this morning I picked up a magazine, Biblical Archaeology Review, of course dated November/December 2009.
An article caught my eye, How Did Israel Become A People?, by Abraham Faust, based on his book (hold on for a doozy of a title) Israel’s Ethnogenesis: Settlement, Interaction, Expansion and Resistance (2007) which won the Biblical Archaeology Society Award for Best Scholarly Book on Archaeology.
So much for arguments about Jews being a recently externally imposed colony on historically Arab land. The peoples in
Faust promises another article about the development of
I’m going to be returning to the website of Biblical Archaeology Review, as there appear to be many interesting, scholarly articles and book reviews from various religious and academic viewpoints.
Does he even exist?
If so, does he sleep, or is he like a shark on the prowl 24 hrs/day? Does he really have a day job as he claims? Or is he a Potemkin Reynolds, with many anonymous folks posting under his name? (Anybody can imitate his style: just be dry, wry and pithy, throw in the random link to Popular Gizmotology or some camera you don't need, or whatever, and end with the occasional "Heh.")
Enquiring minds want to know.
Sample of two fine links from the supposed "Glenn Reynolds" this morning:
Image is a cardboard cutout of "Glenn Reynolds" in his usual carefully-selected dorky salesman-for-industrial-air-conditioning-parts-business outfit, at some sort of phony staged meeting with a Bob Dylan or Elvis Costello wanna-be. No, we are never jealous or envious at all of the traffic and popularity of others. We are PURE of heart and soul! Aren't you?
"The Liberals, with their emphasis on collectivism and conformity, and their willingness to use compulsion to achieve their ends, are actually suggesting a course of action which thoughtful men have rejected throughout history. The reason man must be treated as an individual is because he has an individual immortal soul. Thus, his freedom comes from God -- as do all of his rights. In the scheme of things, government's only proper role is in the protection of man's God-given freedoms and rights." [All emphases again are -----'s own.]
Answer below the fold -
Continue reading "Who said this?"
The Queen showed up at Wimbledon yesterday with her entourage, headed for the royal box to which the players bow or curtsy.
The immigrant security guard at the gate failed to recognize the old gal with the big hat, and asked for her entry badge.
The old lady replied:
Continue reading "The Queen"
The guy who lost to Christie in the primary goes after Gov. Christie. I don't know enough about NJ politics to form an opinion. All I know is that I like the way Christie talks.
No trust: Sinking Ship Of State
How the Left thinks today: World Purification
McCarthy: What are we doing in Afghanistan?
Coyote: Take a look at my tax forms
MoveOn Scrubs “General Betray Us” Page From Website
How Dems view Repub refusal to pass "Tax Extender" bill
48% See Government Today As A Threat to Individual Rights. h/t Insty
The problem with Harvard folks in government. Nobody can teach wisdom, but arrogance is easily conveyed.
Thursday, June 24. 2010
COIN, the abbreviation for counterinsurgency operations, is hotly debated as applied in
Those most blindly in favor on the Left think it a way to be nice and avoid many of the harshnesses of war. Others think it’s a way to make foes like us and avoid creating more foes.
Those most angrily critical are either conservatives, experienced in war, or those whose lives are actually at risk on the front lines.
They are all partly correct, that far. Where many go off the rails is in not understanding what COIN actually is, or in taking it to absurd or counter-productive excess, and in not confronting the quagmire of Obama and his chosen meddlers.
Let’s re-visit the
Continue reading "COIN, Shmoin. Obama Is The Problem"
From The Big Picture on the last few years:
From our News Junkie this morning:
Dems say they need more of our money so they can give us more free shit we don't want. Hoyer on middle class tax hike
The Insurance Research Council (IRC), of Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters, analyzed in Hospital Cost Shifting and Auto Injury Insurance Claims hospitals’ cost shifting from government medical programs onto auto insurance companies.
Based on over 42,000 closed claims from 22 insurers representing 58% of the private passenger auto insurance market in the US, in the 38 states analyzed over $1.2 billion of costs were shifted in 2007 due to low reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid.
That only covers part of the shifting in other states and from other medical coverages.
Add on top of that the severe restrictions on medical care provider charges that are to be imposed by ObamaCare. "It will take months, if not years, to understand the full impact of the reforms on hospital cost shifting and the auto insurance system," said Elizabeth Sprinkel of the IRC.
Pretty soon you’ll see the results in your auto insurance premiums, as ObamaCare drives us off the cliff.
Petraeus or whoever. Is this our job? Even Alexander tried, and many have tried since.
I thought it made some sense to go after an Al Qaida refuge, but building an orderly nation-state in Afghanistan? As they used to say, "You can't shine shit."
We shined a light on Al Qaida and they scattered like cockroaches in a New York kitchen. But now what?