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
Monday, June 21. 2010
A guy has devoted his life to re-establishing the Puffin colonies in Maine.
One could do many worse things in life.
That sandwich sign made me wonder whether the Puffins were being attracted to this rock by the idea of a free lunch. Foolish birds.
You can read a bit about the Atlantic Puffin here.
The final lines from a Robert Hayden poem posted by neoneo yesterday. A poet who understood fatherhood:
What did I know, what did I know
Many Moms do not know that, but they know other things. Dads know.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:26 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
From Howie Carr via Betsy:
Criticizing Bush - the highest form of patriotism. Criticizing Obama - hate speech. Who caused Bush’s problems? - Bush. Who causes Obama’s problems? - Bush.
Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that.
Billy Shankly, quoted in a post about Soccer at American Thinker. My view is that soccer is good fun to play, but watching pros play is like watching paint dry.
Romantic music works
Kaplan: Saving France
Is my testosterone too low?
Reason: Ideas Having Sex - How prosperity and innovation exceeded the expectations of John Stuart Mill and Adam Smith
Review of God's Brain
Ed Lasky likes Mike Pence. So do I.
EJ Dionne: A guy who definitely would have been on England's side in the Revolution
One guy golfs, one guy sails. What's the diff?
Sunday, June 20. 2010
Re-posted today because I had a female Ruby-Throated flirting with me yesterday while I was watering some hanging baskets of flowers. Fearless critter. Seemed to want to frolic in the spray.
Chances are that the first time you saw a hummingbird, you paid it no attention, imagining it to be a passing dragonfly or some other fleeting buzzing bug. In the Eastern half of the US, we have only one species – the Ruby Throated.
This 3-4-inch bird is usually only seen when hovering over flowers, because otherwise he is tiny and darting in flight, and his wings are a humming blur. You have to be very close to hear the hum.
These insect-like birds are probably more abundant in your area than you realize, but if you want to see them often, you need a hummingbird garden. (Those sugar-water hummingbird feeders offer no real nutrition, and the red coloring is thought to be somewhat toxic.) He feeds on nectar and small bugs hidden in the flowers, and prefers flowers which are designed for pollination by hummingbirds – often red in color and vase-shaped for his long beak. Red Trumpet Vine (in photo) is a favorite, as is azalea in the south, but they like monarda too. I find their favorite at my place is Crocosmia – which is in bloom now along with the monarda, and the trumpet vine on my wall. I highly recommend Crocosmia – the bulbs are a bit expensive but, once established, they multiply rapidly and they have attractive foliage. White Flower Farm has a large selection. In the woods, I typically see hummingbirds around patches of Jewelweed, which likes damp areas.
Read more about the Ruby Throated here. How do these fragile creatures make it across the Gulf of Mexico to winter in South America?
The print is Audubon's, the Ruby Throat with Trumpet Vine.
Speaking of hummingbirds, don’t forget the Dixie Hummingbirds.
Clipped from this morning's newspaper:
ObamaCare is the cure?! Big Pharma cut deals with Congressional Dems, to sell more Rxs they think, counting on buying out small drug development companies to keep their pipeline full. But, it's tougher for small biotech companies to find the rewards motivation or funding to be entrepreneurial.
"Abba," the Aramaic word for "father," was sometimes used by Christ as a term for his true Father in heaven.
Jesus spoke Aramaic, almost certainly knew enough Hebrew to study the texts, and may have known some Greek too. Greeks, like the Romans, were all over the place. Must have been like that multicultural bar scene in Star Wars.
His use of "Dad" for God was transformational.
I do not view God as having any gender, but I love the way Christ spoke of God as his Dad. Real Dads, however much they may aspire to be role models and to be strong and reliable supports for their kids, are only human and thus always deeply flawed.
Yes, I greatly enjoyed Bruce's Father's Day post early this morning, especially the music. Jew, Christian, Moslem - whatever. If that song doesn't bring a tear, you have a problem. "Only you created tears, and only you can wipe them away forever."
The world has 5 times as many polar bears today than it did 50 years ago. I blame climate change.
Samuelson: Why Our Poverty Measure Misleads
Ocean pH alarmism, easily debunked
Was it a shakedown? Of course it was.
Is this legal to do? NYC Going After Teen 'Sexting' -- In The Home
Wouldn't an Arizona lawsuit be like suing yourself? All their law does is repeat federal law on a state basis.
Lowry: The O turns out to be mortal
Thompson on Egalitarian Superiority:
Some pigs are more equal than others.
Father's Day image on top courtesy of Theo
Image below of the O worrying about the oil leak, via Jammie (the point is not that the guy likes golf. Lots of people like golf - most cannot afford to be delivered to the course via helicopter, however. The point is the double standard. What if Bush...):
Saturday, June 19. 2010
How they produce The Rumford Meteor with a staff of only 72 (Most are Supervisors, Planners and Administrators, but the head count also includes the pimply kid who goes out for coffee, donuts, pizza, cigarettes, and to pick up the police blotter - and the commission-only Head of the Sales Dept. - her photo on right, returning with a bag full of advertising contracts. There is no Editor.) is beyond me.
Tonight, The Meteor is waxing gibbous. One thing Maine needs is one or two knowledgeable Conservative pundits, but I do not know whether such thing exists any more. The Meteor needs to provide one, but what is the right "voice"?
I wonder how many folks in the Great North Woods have broadband and, from my experience with a number of woods-dwelling Down Easters on hunting trips over the years, how many of those Yankee Rednecks give a damn about what is going on outside their cabin or their pick-up. Is alcohol an issue? Um, d'ya think? Meth too, it seems to me. However, most of Maine's population is along the coast (I think. It sounds like something a knowledgeable poster might say, so I made it up). Definitely, in summer.
The Meteor covers the waterfront and, as I have said in the past, sets a standard for local/state news and info that other regional sites may envy - or use as a model. I think local intertube news/info will be the future of the local rags, but I have been wrong once or twice in my life. Sure makes sense to give it a try.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:02 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Mort Zuckerman, Obama supporter: World Sees Obama as Incompetent and Amateur.
Shucks, who knew? I thought the real world was a college bull session.
Ronald Reagan famously said: “The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
Reasons the US government should leave the intertunnels alone:
Marginally, maybe. Maybe, from being around curious, achievement-oriented, high IQ peers. From that, one might become competitive, inspired, and humbled - if one were not lucky enough to have those qualities in the first place.
Truth is, as I say here ad nauseum, that we don't know what "education" means beyond readin, ritin and rithmatic. A college degree can mean anything and nothing because becoming aware of the world and the world of the past, and the stories and the ideas of the past, cannot be fed. It must be taken. All edumacation is self-edumacation.
I think America would be better off if you could buy an Ivy League diploma online for $39.99 after answering a few questions about calculus, Julius Caesar, and Leonardo.
A Sheaf Of Snakes Used Heretofore To Be My Seal, The Crest Of Our Poor Family
ADOPTED in God's family and so
Advice on tipping
Dead Moslem women. Who cares?
Miniature Toy Soldiers Ruled Violation Of RI School District's Weapons Ban
If you care: Alan Dershowitz Finally Endorses a Republican
Always confuses me when Lefties like Krugman refer to tax cuts as "costs".
The Moocher Index, state by state
The case for government's lying about the economy
North Korea to permit private markets
Obama urges G20 to keep up spending or endanger recovery
Noonan: A Snakebit Pres
What is it about a strong conservative woman that so frightens liberals?
Americans don't like the dog food
Friday, June 18. 2010
Bird Apes Dog, Horses Around, Pigs Out, Is Catty With Ewe
Here's Einstein the parrot. If you watch him carefully, you'll see that he's got one thing, and one thing alone, on that beady little brain of his:
Her right hand.
I watched three DVDs on training parrots a while back, and they just live for that next snack treat. As with other animals, you find out what treat they like the most and then hold that one back for when they do a trick correctly. The parrots in the DVD were certainly eager to learn â€” but you can bet it wasn't for learning's sake. Like Einstein, they kept their sharp little eyes on the hand that held the treats almost the entire time.
Which isn't to diminish this bird's exceptional repertoire. Take it away, Einy!
This Dog's No Rummy
Here's 'Gin' and owner doing some freestyle dancing.
More fun below the fold.
Continue reading "Cool Animal vids"
From a post at Coyote:
Who'd a thunk it? Tough Moslems, too. Everybody is afraid of them, even in a place like Tennessee, the home of Davy Crockett.
I like the idea of "truth without value." How come it took me this long to find that concept? AVI's final paragraph of The Morality of Nonbelievers:
I agree with everything AVI says, and I feel motivated to think harder about things which affect me which have truth but little value.
Lux et Veritas, as they say in Rome. They used to say it in New Haven, too.
Jack Fuller has an interesting essay on the future of journalism and the news, and it is worth reading if only to see how older dead-tree newspeople view the world.
I disagree with much of it, and with his premises too. Plus his brain thing is just silly. Anyway, I have no time to share my thoughts about it this morning.
An email from Nathan, our correspondent in Jerusalem:
The head burger assembler at Burger Bar is a tall, handsomely groomed, black-bearded Samurai master of the knife. More a ridged machete or sword he wields, rather twirls, flips, flicks in a ballet of carbon-forged steel. He calls me Abelleh, "little father," as if I could have fathered such a towering genius of the blade, with a smile that dims the knife"s glistening. From my loins, not likely. But as one of my professors who served in the Pacific said when complemented for his respect towards Japanese colleagues said, "Gotta be nice to these bastards; never know whether one of 'em is mine."
Only the Chagall I worried about, insured separately, and between my house and the truck, it disappeared, evaporated into the blazing Jerusalem arid air, whiffed away as if heavenward. One of the packers complained, "Chagall, Shmagal, what is this, who is this, what does it matter?" Only the insistence of my helper, Keren, and a search of many unlabeled packages was Abraham consoling Sarah as the angels come to announce her fruition, does Chagall reappear. A city of miracles, Jerusalem is. And persistence, as Keren raises her voice and pays back with interest. ("The Chagall is equal to the whole value of the shipment. You will open every box until we find it.") Tough chick.
Continue reading "Moving Day in Jerusalem"
Yesterday was Bunker Hill Day
PJ O'Rourke on public schools: End them, Don't Mend Them. A quote:
I believe that the $ should follow the kid to wherever the family wants.
Krauthammer: The O is Dreamer in Chief
Soccer is a Capitalist Tool
Thursday, June 17. 2010
Some more about this talent.
There's lots more at Youtube.com
Taxpayer funds are redistributed to other levels of government and to private organizations that use the funds to lobby for more, and more.
The Pacific Research Institute just completed a 92-page study of such "State-Level Lobbying and Taxpayers."
The study delved into lobbying disclosure laws in all the states, finding that on average the states scored a “D”, 59.3%, on disclosure.
Little wonder. Using the example of
The study points out, “A shocking 44 states provide specific exemptions in their lobbying laws for public agencies and public officials.”
The study continues:
A similar self-serving dynamic operates at the federal level:
Continue reading "Blockbuster Study: How Government Lobbies To Increase Itself"
I have been mulling over the notion of doing a post on ineffectiveness in people, but every time I thought about it, the subject just got too big to tackle. There are so many ways to be ineffective in life, ways of not addressing reality - and oneself - firmly.
Schneiderman is keeping it simple: "The 7 Habits of Highly Ineffective People"