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
Wednesday, July 28. 2010
To enhance Bird Dog's experience with Customs when he visits Europe in a few weeks, we've ordered some stickers for his luggage. Yeah, full body search. If you visit the site, there's one for his female companions.
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts."
Richard Feynman, via The Difference between ‘True Science’ and ‘Cargo-Cult Science’ at Pajamas
City and County Government Associations: Obama Economy Will Create or Save, Eh, I Mean Destroy or Eliminate 500,000 Public Sector Jobs. Toon borrowed from that piece at Ross.
Caddell: Our Divisive President - "Barack Obama promised a new era of post-partisanship. In office, he's played racial politics and further split the country along class and party lines."
"Temporary marriage" in Iran: "We call on all our sisters who are virgins" to put out for the lonely pilgrims - for cash.
Reynolds: Taking Photos In Public Places Is Not A Crime: Analysis. "Too many officials think taking photos is a crime. Here’s why they’re wrong." h/t Ace
"Set up a motion-activated camera at a stock water tank in South Texas and you'll catch all manner of critters."
Good advice: Surviving the Low-Level Job. People will need to get used to this.
Tuesday, July 27. 2010
I once booed Jewel at a performance. It was the year she toured with Bob Dylan, and I saw them in New Haven. (She once said that she thought Bob was gay because he didn't hit on her during the tour. Disappointed by that, it seems.)
I booed because she had to bring some political snark into her chatter, assuming as such folks do that their audiences are all on the same page politically. Rude of me, but that sort of presumption bugs me. As usual, my friends were embarassed by my behavior. She was not really known, then.
Here's the whole song that was chopped up on Dr Merc's fun post:
At Borderline Sociopathic Blog for Boys, of course.
It's good to hear Tom Sowell say it: How Smart Are We? Elites may have more brilliance, but they can’t have as much experience as the people whose decisions they preempt.
"Things taking their own course" means, of course, people exercising free choice.
Some of us here have been accused of being elites ourselves. If I am in that category somehow, put me in the subgroup that has no interest in controlling anybody but myself. Just that is difficult enough, and often impossible.
Some programs have a setting in their Options that tells them to minimize to the SysTray, so check that first.
To solve this little poser, we have a program with the cheek-pinchingly cute name of Trayconizer. It's not promised to work on every program, but it's worked on the three I've thrown at it.
Home page is here. Get the 'Unicode build'.
Unzip the file to its own 'Trayconizer' folder in a place you'll later be able to locate. This is, if you put the Trayconizer folder in a 'Tools' folder, remember it for the next step.
To set up a program for trayconizing, go to the Start Menu, find its icon, right-click on it and open the Properties.
In the 'Target' box, put the full path to Trayconizer before the path to the program.
(capital letters are only used for clarity in the following)
For example, if you placed the Trayconizer folder in a 'Tools' folder, the path would be:
C:\Tools\Trayconizer\Trayconizer.exe <existing path to program>
If you stuck it in a folder with a blank space in the name, like 'Program Files', you need to put the whole path in quotes:
"C:\Program Files\Trayconizer\Trayconizer.exe" <path to program>
If there's an error in the path, Windows will let you know when you click 'OK' to close the box. If you get stuck, open the Properties of the Trayconizer icon, highlight the 'Location', copy it to memory with Ctrl-C, paste it into the 'Target' box with Ctrl-V.
Now when you minimize the program the icon should go to the SysTray. Single-click on it to get a few options, double-click to pop the program back open.
Good video summary of the American aircraft carrier. Most of our readers probably know it all, already.
For our hillbilly friends, safely below the fold -
Continue reading "Dear Abby"
Oliver Stone Rails Against Jews
Krugman blames McCain for cooking the planet. Cut it out, John. It's July, and it's too hot.
Boot: Wikileaks, Insignificant
AVI on a kids' mission to paint houses of the poor. These kids should just buy the paint for the poor, and spend the summer painting their own barns and sheds and houses for their parents. Power wash, power sander, coat of primer, coat of lead-based paint.
Somin on that James Webb op-ed
Fred Thompson: 'Catastrophic' If Bush Tax Cuts Not Renewed
Boston Latin goes moonbat
Monday, July 26. 2010
As I always do before trips, I am catching up on history. This trip will be Vienna and the Danube. I view these places historically as the hinterlands, but you cannot fault their production of music in recent centuries. Music, wars, and sort-of hideous baroque architecture.
Vienna had been a Roman frontier outpost, but surely had been a barbarian settlement before that.
I do recall that European History in high school made my head spin from the endless alliances and endless wars and the reconfigurations of empires, kingdoms, duchies, principalities, and nations. With my ADD, it's a wonder I did so well with it. Forgot most of it. The War of the Spanish Succession.
I did not forget some details of the devastating Franco-Prussian War, but I certainly had forgotten that "German Austria" wanted to be part of Germany after WW1, but the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations forbade it. German Austria reached down into the (still) German-speaking areas of northern Italy. The Austria of today is a relatively brand-new nation (1945 or 1955 - pick the date) although it was a Babenburg duchy in 1156 and later was roughly the core of the Hapsburg's power for 640 years.
The Hapsburgs are credited with keeping the Ottomans out of Europe in 1683, but the King of Poland, Jan Sobieski, deserves lots of credit. There were 300 years of resisting the Ottoman Empire's invasions. I have never understood why Middle-Easterners coveted Europe, but they still do.
I find it amusing to think of what was going on in the wilds of the American colonies at the same time. Only Spain really cared, because of the gold. Otherwise insignificant except as pawns in larger European power games.
In the early 1700s, the Hapsburgs counted among their imperial control Belgium, Sardinia, Corsica, the Duchy of Milan, Naples, and Sicily. Two hundred years earlier, HRE "Emperor" Charles V in 1516 also happened to be King of Spain, bringing Spanish America, for a while, into the bounds of the Holy Roman Empire - such as it was: A crown, a flag, a bunch of castles and palaces, a title, and some truly snazzy outfits with fancy medals on them to impress the gals. Being King of Spain, on the other hand, was probably a cool gig with plenty of perks and babes.
The modern European nations are all younger in their configurations and their governmental structures than the US (except for the post-Empire island core of Britain).
One thought this perspective gave me is that the EU may be little more than an expanded reconstitution of the Holy Roman Empire - combined with the old Roman Empire. In time, it will pass too.
Photo below, Palace Schoenbrunn, first constructed as a hunting lodge in the early 1700s. "Hey, honey, have you seen where I put my camo and my ammo?"
That's from a time when royal governments lived off the labor of the people. Not like now, right?
Stumbled across this web site today. An oasis of calm in a world of chaos. As a semi-amateur photographer, I'm always amazed at the way creative people come up with new ways to make and create new and interesting photos: Mila's Daydreams.
An email from a buddy:
I came across a Japanese Type 14 Nambu pistol. These were reasonably well made Japanese semi-autos, used from mid-1920's until end of WWII. The ammo is available for around $25/box of 50. I had planned on using it for a project that didn't work out
I don't need one and do not want one, but it's an interesting firearm from an historical point of view.
Everything about the Type 14 here.
From a review of Fischer's Made in America: A Social History of American Culture and Character:
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 10:42 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
This Sherrod story. I thought I was sick of the story even before it started, but I guess this is a slice of America too. Every country has moonbats but, as Palin would say, these are "sick puppies," determined to live in anger and hatred.
Glassman: Notes on Europe’s Economic Decadence. "Prosperity creates sloth."
Examiner: The calamitous effects of Obama's tax hikes. Related at Powerline: Coming Soon: The Biggest Tax Increase Ever. There's nothing like a big tax increase to work wonders on a struggling economy.
Vernon Smith says "no more government spending,...avoid new taxes."
Ariz. law comes after years of mounting anger
Malanga: The Muni-Bond Debt Bomb
Am Thinker: We The Serfs...:
Your tax dollars at work in Rhode Island. How long before those sidewalks are cracked with weeds growing through the cracks?
From Cato's Investors: Fear the Process That Gave Us ObamaCare, Not Efforts to Repeal It (my bolds):
Sunday, July 25. 2010
Encinitas, where I live, is the last refuge of traditional laid back Southern California beach towns. We have the usual run of art shops selling third rate paintings to tourists, any town's laughing-up-our-sleeves joke on the gullible.
But, the beachside bronze paid for by the local Cardiff Botanical Society (WTF does surfing have to do with botany?) has run into disdain for its insufficiently iconic image. Locals don't consider it realistic enough, and aren't to be treated as gullible by purveyers of public art who foist their artistic sense (or not) upon the populace.
The statue, disdainfully titled "Cardiff Kook" by surfers, has been dressed in tutu and bikini, but the latest Encinitans-gone-wild prank is the best yet.
Overnight, a huge papier-mache replica of a great white shark was erected devouring the statue.
The Sheriff Lt. at the scene said, “It wasn’t considered vandalism because there wasn’t any permanent defacing.” The sculptural addition will be removed, to the sorrow of locals and the crowds who consider it an improvement and stop to admire and shoot photos.
Encinitans will strike again.
What public sculpture in your town would benefit from a puckish aesthetic addition?
While feasting on late after-dinner hazelnut gelati a little over a week ago in the relatively non-touristy lakefront village of Baveno, just up from the small piazza on the main drag, we were drawn to the sounds of a church choir, and sat on the stoop of the side door of the sanctuary for a half hour listening to them practice as darkness fell.
Nothing can make a 20-person choir sound like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir the way a small stone 900 year-old church can. Excellent group, too, with an exuberant organist.
Saint Gervaso is the patron saint of Baveno. Like many old buldings in Italy, the church was built of stone previously used in Roman buildings, some still bearing Roman markings and lettering. Recycling. We noted that they never took stones from the Roman bridges or aqueducts, though. Smart - and a conservative message.
This is no famous church, just an ordinary village church. Clearly pre-Gothic. The church and tower were built in around 1100 (but the front of the sanctuary was expanded a bit since then), the Baptistery in 1628, and the open hall of the Stations of the Cross probably in the 1700s, when Baveno became wealthy from its quarries of pink marble (which are still in use).
Palm trees right up there near the Swiss border.
More photos of this small, unknown parish church below -
Continue reading "Santi Gervaso e Protaso: a re-post from 2008"
Okay, maybe crashes is the wrong word. I mean, everybody survived and all that, but no near-death experience should be taken lightly.
Just ask the terrified passengers.
Now, it's true that video clip might have been slightly doctored in a professional lab by the airplane's insurance company to further their lawsuit against that jackass who got in the plane's way and broke its landing gear, but what happens when a plane crash is real?
Just ask the terrified passengers.
No believer will find his faith shaken by evidence that is evidence only in the light of assumptions he does not share and considers flatly wrong.
Stanley Fish. h/t, Dr. Bob
Los Zetas drug cartel seizes 2 U.S. ranches in Texas. Is this story true? Possibly not.
Coming Soon: Tax Tsunami
Britain Plans to Decentralize National Health Care
Race realist Jared Taylor declares the "civil rights struggle was won long ago"
A guy who doesn't want you to have a/c: The Big Chill: Giving AC the Cold Shoulder
Powerline: The case against Elena Kagan
Obama’s Solar Energy Fantasy
The Lottery Makes a Strong Statement About Charter Schools
From Insty: "THE YOUNG AND THE JOBLESS: New Evidence That The Minimum Wage Has Hurt Teenagers."
Climate and budgets from Coyote:
11:1 He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples."