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
Tuesday, August 31. 2010
Luckily I forgot to bring the bag of Sun Chips I bought when I took the boys to Petco for Sunday's ball game. It is the loudest, most annoying food packaging I've ever heard. The new Sun Chips packaging is biodegradable and compostable. Great for the environment. Terrible for my ears, or anyone else's, at 95 decibils. That's the sound level at which "sustained exposure may result in hearing loss." Not to mention a bop in the nose from someone in a seat nearby. My wife was sleeping in the next room, after dental surgery, and was just woken by my opening the bag.
On the other hand, I may now have an excuse for not answering my wife's questions. Sales have fallen since introduction of the new bag. Maybe a new ad campaign for "Did you say something, honey?" will revive sales.
Don't steal, don't lift
The deal is the social contract and the contract of civility.
By some fluke, in the past month I have consulted with three teens who have run afoul of the law, including one 16 year-old who could be facing many years in jail.
Not one of these kids realized or had ever considered that what they had done was criminal. It got me to thinking.
In my parents' generation, the kids took a course called "Civics." It was about our government, laws, civil behavior, civic responsibility, how to be a citizen of a free republic, etc. It was replaced, in time, by some strange Dewey-ish thing called "Social Studies" in public schools (but private schools, like mine, never did "Social Studies). My guess is that nowadays it's about recycling, respecting "others," and appreciating Serbian cuisine and folk dress.
When I met with the parents, I discovered that the parents had never discussed the laws with their kids. They figured they had "basically good kids."
Whatever that means.
I'd like to launch a movement to re-institute Civics. I'd like to see kids get classes from cops and criminal and non-criminal lawyers about the laws and the legal process. I'd like to see kids taught about being a citizen in a free repubic, and their duties and reponsibilities. I am certain that not all parents convey those things today, but if kids aren't taught these things they will find out the hard way. It takes lots of people to teach a kid how to be an acceptable member of society.
A good parental example is a good start, but not enough. They need feedback and simple information.
When I went to boarding school we had daily chapel. We acknowledged God and Jesus plenty, but most of the brief homilies were about how to be a decent member of a community. Those messages stuck, even to wanna-be sophisticated and wanna-be jaded young hipsters like I tried to be.
The core of the problem is the modernist assumption of "basic goodness." Frankly, that is pure BS.
A 16 year-old boy fondled a precocious and eager 14 year-old in his car after school. Another kid told the parents, parents called the cops, and the 16 year-old is facing many years in jail on pedophilia counts. The prosecutor has him as an adult pedophile. Nobody ever told him.
It's not the sort of topic that comes up over the dinner table, but somebody could have and should have told him about the laws.
Continue reading "It does take a village (to help produce kids who know what the rules are)"
Guy made a foolish mistake. He should have stayed home, down under, where the people live upside-down.
I think the prosecutors are reaching, but that is what prosecutors do in the US. Big cases are their scorecards, and the heck with justice, fairness, or reasonableness. Beware of ambitious prosecutors.
(Note: I do not play online poker, but I have been known to play a game or two with friends. The stock market is the real online gambling, imo. It is legal.)
At the Canada Free Press, The Media Loses Readers and Viewers to its Own Radicalism: The problem with the American media is that it doesn't speak to Americans. One quote (but read the whole thing):
Since last Friday, when I wrote why I Just Disinherited My Alma Mater, the post has had “legs” about what I and others say is politicized indoctrination as official college policy.
Brooklyn College requires incoming freshmen and transfer students to read an absurdly slanted book that Arab-Americans are routinely rousted by law enforcement and discriminated against, which the author attributes to racism akin to Jim Crow discrimination against Blacks a century ago and due to American imperialism. Somehow, according to college authorities, this is supposed to create a beneficial, educational “common experience.”
Glenn Reynolds' InstaPundit blog, which is read by about 200,000 each day, linked my post and on successive days two posts by others about my post. By contrast, my hometown San Diego Union-Tribune’s daily circulation is about 250,000. Many other blogs also picked up on my post.
Today, the New York Daily News, circulation about 570,000, reported the story after interviewing me: “Alum to cut Brooklyn College out of will over required freshman reading by 'radical' prof” Moustafa Bayoumi.
The National Association of Scholars wrote, however, that Brooklyn College does not understand, or understands all too well, the Common Reading Controversy at Brooklyn College.
Many readers have written about their “common experience” in indoctrination at their colleges. It is getting harder for slanted -- indeed, blatant -- indoctrination to hide behind ivy-covered walls. The reactions continue and builds.
P.S.: I just received this email from a former classmate:
P.S.: I just received this email from a former classmate:
IRPE is Brooklyn College's Institute for Retirees in Pursuit of Education.
IRPE is Brooklyn College's Institute for Retirees in Pursuit of Education.
Sowell: ObamaCare’s Deadly Consequences
Headline: Glenn Beck is a poo-poo head
GOP Takes Unprecedented 10-Point Lead on Generic Ballot. But Volokh wonders: Repub win good for Obama's career?
Althouse thinks about our Kesler piece, and the meaning of life. And AVI thinks about regrets in life. The longer you live, the more regrets you accumulate.
Hmmm. As I recall, anti-discrimination is not the only thing that was happening then.
Isn't it sexist (and racist) to say that cutting the size of government is sexist and racist? I mean, isn't it biased and demeaning to people of gender and color to assume that they must be dependent on others?
Don Juan's Dad was Holy Roman Emperor Charles V of Austria. His Mom was Barbara Blomberg, a local singer who entertained Charles with music and fun while he passed through Regensburg in 1546.
It is believed that John was conceived during a one-night-stand in this old hotel in Regensburg (yellow one on the right, a week or so ago). An historic little hook-up indeed:
Monday, August 30. 2010
Bird Dog -
While certainly not as "dramatic" as your trip across the pond, we spent a week in the Maine woods, canoeing and fishing for Brook Trout and Smallmouth. We stayed at a traditional Maine "camp" http://www.bowlincamps.com/ Food was great (camp cooking and plenty of it). Other than rain for 1/2 the day on Monday, the weather was superb - temps in the upper 70's during the day and 50-55 at night. Camp is located 8 miles down a logging road (no cell phone or Blackberry - hooray!) and about an hour west of Patten, Maine. They have had little rain this year, so the river and stream levels were down, impacting the fishing. We caught some Brookies and one decent Smallmouth in five days of fishing. The fish were there, we just had to work for them. We canoed and fished the East Branch of the Penobscot River which is pretty daggone wild. We saw no other canoes or campers on the river. Saw a nice bear and wife almost got ran over by a moose while she was hiking. Had a flat tire on the Suburban so had to go to Houlton for repair (living where I do, I forget how nice the folks outside of the urban areas are to strangers. Guy at the tire shop just happened to have the exact size and make tire that matched the other three. It was used, but had better tread than the ones on the Sub. $50 on the vehicle. In and out in 45 minutes.)
1. The WaPo is sad because the EU is failing in its collectivist goals.
It does not sadden me, because I view the EU as just one more misbegotten attempt to create a European empire. The Romans started it, and people have been trying ever since, whether with armies or with ink. This motley crew will never see eye to eye.
2. The Aussie election is still up in the air. Hey, you upside-down folks - we do care.
From Mead on The Greening of Godzilla:
Nobody trusts experts to be right, except those with no scientific education at all. Furthermore, real experts are humble about things.
They have brief summers there. Like Maine, I think. Pretty much everybody has a small polyurethane greenhouse or two in the yard, near their house.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:12 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Flying East from SF Bay area over Rawlins Wyoming. Weekend was the annual hunt on the 35,000-acre San Felipe Ranch SE of San Jose. The furthest part of the ranch is a beautiful, tranquil valley surrounded by steep, high hills, and the air there was filled with dozens and dozens of whirling Red Tail hawks, Harlan's hawks (from Alberta or Montana) and Kestrels plus a golden eagle. It was the annual migration, and the Fish & Game biologist with me was whooping with delight and talking about putting the event "on the hot line!
Awaiting your pics, Gwynnie.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:25 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
I mean totally. Look at this: Waiting for Mr. Obama. They must inhabit a separate reality:
It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, ‘Always do what you are afraid to do.’
Ralph Waldo Emerson, a man whose writings I have never been able to really understand. Even tried to read his bio. No dice. He was big on the lecture circuit once upon a time. Perhaps I am not smart enough.
Cannibalism is for nutrition. But what about flavor?
Friends Disagree Lots
Cubbing in Virginia
Death by Power Point
It was an old-fashioned tent revival meeting
Hurricane Katrina and the race card: 5 years later
Prepare for war between taxpayers and public employee unions
Blair: The latest green $ scam
Vanderleun: Tolerance Does Not Require Approval
Commentary: He Really Doesn’t Want to Be Commander In Chief
Image on top, h/t Moonbattery. We juxtaposed before Drudge, but after Moonbattery.
Sunday, August 29. 2010
One place we did not get to on our trip was Salzburg. Wish we had had time to visit that medieval city which, as its name implies, got rich selling and transporting salt down the river.
Our guide pointed out to us how important salt was at the time - not as a condiment, but as a food-preservative. "White gold."
I wonder what salt mines were like in 1400.
Two pictures from the Mall in Washington.
MLK was a life-long Republican. The Dems hijacked him and twisted his message. I do not know how they did that, but I do know why they did that.
Also, The Media's Racist
I see nothing post-racial happening these days. I wish I could say I did. I see more racism charges flying around than I have seen in 30 years. Readers know that I am sick of the topic of race, and hate the concept. Your character, culture, and manner of living, on the other hand, are of interest to me...assuming I have any interest in you at all. I am of the Imus view of people: "What do you bring to the table? Ya got sumthin today, or ya got nuthin?"
Every office has a whining nut like Milton, and every office has a prick like Lumbergh.
I had to add this one, at the beach, afterwards:
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Hooters and fat waitresses. But lots of guys like Rubenesque figures, don't they? (Venus at a Mirror, c. 1614)
Did anybody see this movie? Enemy at the Gates.
AVI ponders confessing the sins of others
Surber on Beck's rally.
Chris Matthews: Who Stole America? What???
Was Benjamin Whorf partly right? Does Your Language Shape How You Think?
Has Gov Schwartzenegger found his inner Christie? Too late. The guy was all hat, no cattle and no cojones.
Blair home number nine. What's that all about? Ans: Lefties love money.
USA Today trying to figure out how to survive
Rick Moran: The O is American enough
Shut down the federal Dept of Education. It's not a federal responsibility, duty, or power - whatever the Bushes thought.
American Muslim leaders are not instilling confidence
Has the MSM lost confrol of the Leftist narrative?
Tax fuel to be green. Then raise taxes to help the fuel-poor so they can use more fuel. It all makes perfect sense.
From today's Lectionary: Parables about dining. "...all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."
Luke 14:1, 7-14
Saturday, August 28. 2010
Watch your mouth when in the UK. Did Euroland ever have free speech?
We became somewhat expert in locks. When we got to the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal, we took locks uphill over the continental divide, then down the other side. An engineering marvel. It's all gravity-driven and, as I have said, you can travel from the North Sea and Amsterdam to the Black Sea, by water, today. That trip would be a fine 30-day vacation.
The width of ships and barges is limited by the width of the locks, and the height is limited by bridges. In some locks, we only had about 6" space between the walls. I asked the Captain how he managed to get into those tight ones without scraping the sides. He laughed, said "You just go straight." (Our ship had a joystick like a Hinckley Picnic Boat, not a wheel. Bow thrusters, but no stern thrusters because the driver could turn the props to 90 degrees.)
I hear you asking what music our Dutch Captain liked to listen to when he had the con. Seemed like he was partial to Mark Knopfler and Van Morrison. Chugging up the Danube, listening to "We gotta move these refrigerators..." was memorable. I thought some Creedence might have been good, but maybe trite.
He had read some Mark Twain, said he liked Life on the Mississippi. Our Captain was a hearty and cheerful bloke who liked his wine and beer when off-duty. It seemed that the crew and staff responded well to his upbeat attitude towards life, making for a happy boat. Good cheer is contagious. Negativity is a plague. He constantly displayed warmth and appreciation towards his crew, but you cannot be a Captain without having a tough and serious core. As Dr. Bliss would say, not everybody is made for that.
Photo inside one of the many locks we went through.
Lots of pics below the fold -
Continue reading "Locks, and other miscellaneous trip pics"
The Borderline Sociopathic Book for Boys. Example #1:
More on books: Van der Leun's 330 Word Guide to Writing Book Proposals. I wish I had read that before I wrote my book.
Legal Ins: And These People Want To Run Your Health Care / Update - And Your Kids' Education. With another wonderfully common-sense Christie vid. The guy is a genius.
David Brooks says we should be more like Germany
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