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, July 31. 2010
Who do you think has the firmer handshake? The fellow has some strange submissive, unmanly impulses. Perhaps Harvard removed his testosterone and replaced it with a dose of narcissism. This via Vanderleun via Fausta:
Thanks, Opie, for these photos with the data, which came in over the transom. I cannot source it, but kudos to whoever put this together. It is interesting not only to see the different sorts of families (extended, nuclear, large, small, desert, middle-class) but to see what they typically eat in a week.
Germany: The Melander family of Bargteheide. Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07. (I guess that included the wine and beer)
Ecuador: The Ayme family of Tingo. Food expenditure for one week: $31.55
On continuation page below, USA, Bhutan, Mexico, Poland, Chad, and Italy:
Continue reading "Food and Families around the world"
It’s not for me to argue Catholic teachings, but my friend The Anchoress Elizabeth Scalia’s reply to Anne Rice's problem with whether Christians are living her political liberalism probably comes as close as to the Catholicism I learned being raised a Jew in a Catholic and Jewish neighborhood. Rice, like many or most of various religions, confuses politics with faith or, worse, substitutes politics for faith.
There’s a universal message, whether from scripture or Pope, that works: Open your heart and G-d will walk in. Close your mind and G-d’s presence is clouded, at least until your heart is set free.
Struggle with that as you wish or need to find meaning and salvation. Struggle is important in building strengths and to advance. That allows the confidence and trust that ultimately works, to accept the faith in man and in our actions being truer to G-d’s missions for us.
There’s a practical measure each can easily know, if not denied: Are you living life’s struggles with contentment instead of anguish or anger.
There are varying interpretations of whom Jacob wrestles, the result of which is his renaming as Israel. There’s agreement, however, that wrestling spirits with spirit is transforming.
A poem I just dashed off (revised in keeping with the form):
Struggle Makes Us
Strong Enough To Accept
The Guiding Light To Make
Something Better Of I
G-d’s Better I
Rembrandt's depiction of Jacob's wrestling is one of engagement, not separation.
Those holes are rocket launchers, also found on custom cabs and ambulances.
Brilliant ad for Linda McMahon in CT. We think she has a real chance against Blumenthal.
Tim Pawlenty talks. He seems like Mr. Rogers.
A Dagestan wedding. Good grief.
Bruce told me about the 1949 movie, The Third Man. Sounds wonderful.
A reader sent this link which explains Gramsci's cultural hegemony
More about the sleazy Sherrods
Powerline: Whatever happened to the Constitution? Apparently it is too radically right wing for modern times, with all its focus on individual freedom and restrictions on state power. I like to remind myself that King George lll had nothing close to the power that our modern federal government wields today.
Reason: Growing Pains - ObamaCare won't stop rising health care costs.
A basic component of air remains illegal
Forbes: Why Keynes Was Wrong
Did The Government Cause The Gulf Oil Spill? Indirectly, yes. But the government directly caused the housing bubble and housing bust.
(A Screw-Gun was a small mountain ("mounting") cannon. Like many of Kipling's poems, this has been put to music, with wonderful success. Sadly, I cannot find a Youtube or midi-file of the tune, but I can hum it for you.)
Smokin' my pipe on the mountings, sniffin' the mornin' cool,
For you all love the screw-guns - the screw-guns they all love you!
They sends us along where the roads are, but mostly we goes where they ain't:
Continue reading "Saturday Verse: Kipling"
Friday, July 30. 2010
Read it all.
The Volt: G.M.’s Electric Lemon.
Can somebody tell me how this piece of expensive and useless crap is supposed to save the world?
Where do people think electricity comes from? Thor?
Photo is a Yugo, not a Volt. But you knew that.
Since News Junkie is taking off for August, and only the names and the dates change, here’s a guide to the daily news for our readers. Fill in the blanks.
Congressional Democrats Deny Scheme To _________________.
President Obama declares urgency of ____________________.
JOURNALISM AND COMMENTARY:
Major media journalists ignore above news about ____________________.
Old server crashes again and excused as ________________________.
I think that the religious faith of most average Christians waxes and wanes over time, sometimes even in the course of a day. I do know people whose faith seems to be 100% and rock solid. In the end, I don't find thinking about the topic of strength of faith particularly useful or productive. God is a mystery to me, as is existence itself (and most other things too), but I believe that in prayer and in practice one can come into relationship with God - or at least with Jesus.
Ron Rosenbaum speaks up for the Enlightenment agnostic in everyone: An Agnostic Manifesto - At least we know what we don't know. One quote:
Right, sort-of (I don't think we even know what we don't know). Science is not a religion. It's just a formalized, rigorous mode of inquiry from which most of the data and facts and theories are inevitably replaced over time. It is incapable of handling the Big Questions and Big Truth, but it sure can be useful. For example, we currently believe that "gravity" doesn't exist as a "force," but it's a handy concept anyway. Someday, our talk of "forces" wil be viewed as little more than 18th century gods.
Chesterton: ""If there were no God, there would be no atheists."
I am taking a mental health break from Maggie's for August. I love Maggie's, but I am sick of having to see all of the outrages du jour. As that guy Drinking with Bob says on the radio, "What next? What next!"
We lease one of these babies:
Good site, discovered by Vanderleun: I Want a New Left
Poll shows opposition to health care overhaul declining. Of course. It hasn't gone into effect yet.
Once again: Schwarzenegger Declares Fiscal Emergency in California. They needed a real man like Chris Christie.
Thursday, July 29. 2010
For the second day in a row, our home-made mini-nuke plant in the basement, which provides the power to the Maggie's servers as well as to our milking machines and our a/c, went down due to mice. Today, I picked up a cat at the shelter to live in the basement. Nuclear power problem solved.
In apology, and since I am headed to Vienna soon, I offer something from the King of the Waltz, Johann Strauss Jr:
Not to be confused with his dad, Johann Strauss Sr., composer of the Radetzky March among much other music. Dad, famously, never forgave his son for going into music instead of banking.
Neither are related to the great German composer Richard Strauss:
Conscious guilt causes agony while unconscious guilt can shape a person.
I tend to see more people wracked with conscious guilt. Sometimes it's neurotic (ie, irrational in proportion), and sometimes it is good old ordinary guilt for rotten behavior and/or evil thoughts.
There are many causes of self-defeating or self-sabotaging behavior besides unconscious guilt (for examples, avoidance of difficult things or avoidance of risky challenges), but guilt is always on the list of considerations.
h/t, Theo. This is off Cape Town. I think the whale is practicing for a Moby Dick re-make.
The asteroid. I read on the internet that global warming causes asteroids.
Anatomy of a Microburst. Often mistaken for tornados.
Pre-Cambrian life forms
The Boy Scout parade
SEC Says New Financial Regulation Law Exempts it From Public Disclosure. Huh?
New Calculator Shows How Much More Taxes Will You Pay Next Year
NYT Reporter Surprised at Lack of Gratitude in Texas for Obama-Care Handout
Heather MacDonald: What Judge Bolton’s Injunction Doesn’t Say
Stanley Kurtz: What's So Strange About Socialism?
The President Wears Prada
We have had quite a few posts about Woodrow Wilson lately. This from Scott at Powerline:
I want to go the the museum at the Belevedere Palace in Vienna more to see the Kokoshkas than to see the jazzy Klimts. Klimt is fine, but Kokoshka is one of the gnarly German Expressionists that I get a kick out of. Well, Austrian in this case.
I have a good Klimt quote though:
Kokoshka's famous 1914 Bride of the Wind:
Wednesday, July 28. 2010
A quote from his interview:
It's the right time to take on the greed of government unions. Somebody's got to do it before every Dem state goes bankrupt. As I always say, the marriage between government unions and the Dem party is an intrinsically corrupt conspiracy against the people.
Bob Dylan's use of the phrase, "You don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows" in Subterranean Homesick Blues encouraged the young to make their own decisions, including about drugs, to know what's happening based on changing conditions in order to know about what's coming. It's based on the nautical phrase to know the windward side.
This latest chart of ObamaCare only shows about a third of the complexity of the hurricane and where it is blowing us.
In the garage I still have a copy of the chart for HillaryCare. It was simple, Alice's Wonderland was easier to wend through, compared to this maze, a maze we're doomed to wander in search of care.
Only repeal is real.
Not my fault. I blame Bush.
Meanwhile I learned about the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal, via which you can travel from Rotterdam to the Black Sea by water if you want to.
Could be sort of like America's Great Loop, without the loop.
The Viking/Normans, who explored the Danube from the Med, would have enjoyed that canal.
This is one of those rare moments in life when you realize you've just read something such as you've never read before, nor may ever read again.
Posted by Dr. Mercury in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:05 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Sirius is the shiny dog collar tag in Canis Major:
Here. It was Edwardian: high-fashion with post-Victorian mores and plenty of mineral water. Edward Vll himself loved to hang out there and pick up chicks. Back then, being a bit pudgy was not a problem. We remain in his debt for making tweed respectable, and for replacing white tie and tails with the simple black tie of today.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:04 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
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