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 27. 2011
How do the front-loaders wash without water?
Kimball: Speaking of Shared Sacrifice . . .
John Kerry's Swift Boat Defender Stripped of Medal
Would You Live in Detroit if They Paid You To? The video is heart-breaking.
Krugman: The Cult That Is Destroying America
Krugman is out there
WaPo 'On Faith' Contributor Blames Christianity for Oslo Bombing, Shooting
That didn't take long
Trump: Obama is 'Now Totally Lost,' Boehner Must Not Fold
Polls Show That If Election Were Held Today… Barack Obama Would Lose in a Landslide
Soros goes Galt? Lefty closing his fund due to government regs
Tuesday, July 26. 2011
Possibly the best invocation ever delivered. h/t Jammie.
It seems like a waste of Maggie's Farm's precious paper and ink to simply forward the efforts of tediously brilliant folks like Mead, Steyn, and VDH. Even had I the time, I could not do what they do. From VDH's Our Ten-Trillion-Dollar Man:
An overwhelming majority of those polled would not want to be 20 again. The question: “Knowing no more than you did then, would you want to be 20 again?” The key is in making the choice knowing what the respondents do now.
This wasn’t a scientific poll but was random across almost anyone I met and had a conversation with during the past month, successful in whatever field from business to arts to teaching; economically stressed from illegal immigrants to trades people to clerks to unemployed; politically conservative, liberal, somewhere in between, indifferent; married, single, happy, sad.
About 20% said they’d choose to be 20 again, about half confident and about half wanting to feel free like when they were 20. About 30% didn’t want to repeat the same or similar early errors, feeling their personalities would be the same. Then, half of the respondents just believe that it would be far tougher to get ahead now than whenever then was when they were 20. Those with grown children went on about how difficult it is for their sons and daughters to even get a toehold, and those with young children remarked about what they are seeing around them and deeply worry about their children’s future prospects.
Delving a little deeper into my respondents’ concerns about their children’s futures: Our children’s future being heavily mortgaged is at the core of the current Washington wrangles, and that is recognized although feeling powerless to affect it or almost hopeless that real reforms will happen. Another core issue is, as one respondent commented, “even with a professional degree, my kid is going to have to be working for the government.” Directly or indirectly through burdensome, intrusive and nitpicking regulations.
I’d be interested in hearing your comments.
Meanwhile, here’s a video shot for PowerLine’s contest, called “Child Abuse.”
Vanderleun tells us that "Winehouse, who celebrates her third day of sobriety today" was just another Janis wannabe. Beats me.
Gerard would be amused to know that I "met" Janis once, at good old Max's Kansas City in NYC just off Union Square. I was there with some college friends, late, when she came in with a couple of guys from her band. She pulls up a stool next to mine, said "Hey" to acknowledge me, and ordered a couple of shots of Wild Turkey and a beer. She looked like a mess. I think they were all stoned out of their minds.
Those were the days. I went to Woodstock too. It sucked. Trust me. The best thing about going turned out to be being able to say I went.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 10:34 | Comments (15) | Trackbacks (0)
'You're a faux hippy Wal-Mart': Whole Foods Market worker quits in 'epic' resignation email
Sipp on rotting, weather-sealed houses:
Erica Jong's daughter
MIchigan: 53% More Administrators Than Faculty
Krauthammer on Obama’s Address: “I Thought I Was Cynical Until I Heard That Speech” (Video)
The Hill Poll: Most voters see media as biased and unethical
On America's ruling class, via NYM:
Monday, July 25. 2011
That's the refreshing, zingy water temp on the ocean beaches on the Cape today. Warmer on Cape Cod Bay. Heck, if you want warm water, take a bath.
By the way, that Head of the Meadows bike trail up there is a very pleasant walk, and excellent for bird-watching (and Black Snake-watching).
A map of our Outer Cape beaches below the fold.
Continue reading "60.5 degrees F."
I have seen a lot about schools lately on these internets, and it causes me to reflect on my medical and pre-medical education.
Unlike today, when I went to medical school there were a few Asians, lots of Jewish boys, only about 20% girls, and almost no black kids. That was not very long ago, either.
My medical college expected a 20% flunk-out, wash-out, or drop-out rate. In pre-med, of course, it's much worse than that: most quit after their first B or B+ in college (there was no grade inflation then) and went off to do other things. In med school, one lousy grade, or one lousy report from a prof, and you were outta there. Packing your bags with profound humiliation. People who couldn't take the pressure just disappeared without a trace, like somebody falling off a ship.
For each course or clinical rotation, we had both written and oral exams. The oral exams, maybe, were the toughest, because the profs sought the limits of your knowledge, which they could only do by pushing past your limits, making you painfully aware of your ignorance (the oral exams were administered by panels of senior docs who were checking to make sure the junior profs were doing their jobs).
Interest and fear were the motivations. Especially fear, because we all wanted to be docs of some sort. At the same time, we enjoyed acquiring the priestly expertise. Nuns with rulers were not required.
There is an optimal level of anxiety at which a person learns best - high, but not so high as to short-circuit the synapses. The problem is, that point varies for every individual. For doctors, pilots, ship captains, and the like, you need people with high anxiety tolerance who do not lose it or get confused when the anxiety level ramps up and the sh-t hits the fan.
My point, however, was to raise the topic of fear in education. I believe it to be a great motivator, even for those highly self-motivated students but especially for those who are not. Most kids in most schools are the latter.
Do we really know how kids would learn if, instead of having mandatory education, we threw them out of school if they did not measure up or take advantage of the incredible opportunities for learning we offer everybody in America? I mean, from High School and on. Problem is, they need those warm bodies to get the dollars.
A few readers have advised me to check out the music of the late Amy Winehouse. Here's one (the subsequent one on Youtube, Monkey Man, is kinda cool too).
Can You Pass Harvard's 1869 Entrance Exam?
Or could you pass it after college?
Methinks dealing with big bears is part of survival
Gay by Choice? The Science of Sexual Identity
Falstaff on marriage
From Am Thinker's NYT Making the Motives Clear:
Gotta love those "bold national fixes"
Sunday, July 24. 2011
Some of my slightly provocative Lib friends have been emailing me to make the point that this Norwegian proves that Christians are terrorists, or something like that. "What more proof do you need?"
It's best never to take the bait, because it is hopeless.
They are clearly delighted that the perpetrator was not a Moslem. It's The Narrative, you know. Before I read the details, I did assume it was a Jihad-type thing. Sounded like it he learned it from them.
I think I will do some like totally random slide shows from my old pics this summer on weekends - if only for my own and for my family's amusement. "Show and Tell." It's tough to have ideas on summer weekends. I love to go places - both the old and familiar, and the new and astonishing. Anywhere is interesting to me. "Go Go Hi Ho!" as my friend says. That's the spirit.
More fun pics below the fold -
Continue reading "Sunday afternoon random slide show"
Default Now, or Suffer a More Expensive Crisis Later: Ron Paul
Charles Krauthammer: Obama At His Most Sanctimonious
Am Thinker: The Jews in the Basement
Obama campaign attracts Wall Street money, despite tensions
Is the world really overpopulated?
Krauthammer to PBS Host: You Manage to Introduce a ‘Hell of a Lot of Bias’
Return of Mass Layoffs a Grim Sign for U.S. Workers
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
Saturday, July 23. 2011
This guy is a new breed of preacher. Here's an engaging sermon for ya today (h/t reader). Two quotes: "If you're married, you are married to somebody with quirks." Also, "The lack of fighting in a marriage worries me."
Will serve my ceviche in shallow bowls, on Boston Lettuce, using one large shrimp each as a garnish along with orange slices and avocado slices. Hope I used enough jalopeno and garlic. Bowl of salty chips, of course, and I am ready to make both virgin and regular Margueritas. Watermelon for dessert.
Mrs. BD got me some cool Marguerita glasses in Mexico which she likes to use for fruit with tiny scoops of Haagen Dazs coconut gelato on top.
Update: It was very good. Next time, more red onion, more garlic, more salt, and more jalapeno.
A cooling pic from last winter -
More below the fold -
Continue reading "Some of my pics, from my files"
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:28 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Pic is some of my young relatives, on Cape Cod. High tide on the ocean beaches keeps people mostly out of the water. Low tide is for swimming, body surfing, and lolling in the chilly water. The Cape Cod Bay side is sort of the opposite, and plenty warmer too, so it all works out.
AMAC: An alternative to AARP
People deprived of the internet feel 'upset and lonely' and find going offline as hard as quitting smoking or drinking
Insty: HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The Master’s Degree As The New Bachelor’s Degree.
Barack Obama's approach to the budget talks puts him well to the left of Franklin D Roosevelt
Alison Krause turns 40
Cape Cod girls ain't got no combs
heave away, haul away,
They comb their hair with codfish bones,
Bound away for Australia.
Cape Cod boys ain't got no sleds
Cape Cod doctors ain't got no pills,
Cape Cod cats ain't got no tails,
etc. - you just keep making up verses until the hauling is done, just like a drill sergeant does during ten-mile runs.
Friday, July 22. 2011
WSJ (most of it behind pay wall, alas): Academia's Crisis of Irrelevance - As more students question rising college costs, professors defend useless research and their lack of teaching.
From a review of David Stove's What’s Wrong With Benevolence: Happiness, Private Property, and the Limits of Enlightenment by Derbyshire: