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, August 27. 2011
I just sent an email to Bird Dog, and received an automatic reply that the Bird Dogs are expecting to lose electricity due to Hurricane Irene. Then, I got this photo of how they plan to cope.
I am not a big one for self-help books. Like diets, their benefits seem to fade quickly due to the superficiality of the effect.
However, I have heard good things about Barbara Frederickson's 2009 Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and Thrive.
We all want to thrive and flourish in life, as best we can. Why not? Life is short. A quote from the Amazon review:
I think this is satire, but I am not certain. If it's not satire, we should do a fund raiser for a one-way ticket to Uganda where nobody has to work, or give her a free subscription to eHarmony to find a husband to take care of her. Poor thing, who has let anger destroy her spirit. But, again, I think this is sly satire. h/t, Protein Wisdom:
You have to look pretty hard to find any. Whittle is getting close to my theme that poverty of spirit is a bigger problem than material proverty in the Western world. Perhaps they are alienated from the means of production...or something.
This is a very good brief video (h/t SDA):
As I said, if Maggie's is down for a while tomorrow - for hours or days - it will be due to Irene's knocking trees down. Our servers' power grid hates storms. Irene Still on Track for Serious, though Non-Catastrophic, Hit. She is weakening.
Local Man Ruins Date By Just Being Himself:
I don't buy it. Correlation is not causation. But feeling fit and vigorous does matter.
Sex Box With Genitalia Toys Will Teach Swiss Kindergarteners That Sex Is Pleasurable
Maybe the Swiss never heard of playing doctor. Pedophiles with be grateful for this effort to overstimulate the kiddies. In fact, it comes pretty close to pedophilia. How would it be if your neighbor played with your little daughter's sex box?
News Media has A Hurricane Neurosis
Daniel Defoe wrote up a big storm in 1703
Buffett to host high-profile fundraiser for Obama
That would be Warren, not Jimmy
Peggy Noonan: Is Rick Perry too macho?
Too macho for what?
Power Line begins:
If the charge is that it is misleading to call something “natural” if it cannot occur naturally in nature, then no corn products would qualify, ever.
Ignoramuses. Every crop has been engineered, for thousands of years.
Surber: How to achieve 9.9% unemployment
Doable, but it takes extra effort
NYT apologies again for yet another error in the Issa hit piece
Obama Raises Big Bucks From Wall Street, Lawyers and Hollywood
But will they be?
Re Al Gore, via Surber:
Klavan with three quick tips for would-be pundits. Rule 2 is the best:
My glass shall not persuade me I am old,
Presume not on thy heart when mine is slain,
Friday, August 26. 2011
Everybody needs something to do during the few hours the storm passes, and probably in the darkness thereafter:
We do not mean to make light of storms, but definitely to make light of the hype around them (to which I spose we are contributing by even mentioning it). We can deal with storms, for heaven's sake - and much worse things than weather too. Hurricane Irene is weakening rapidly as I write:
Storms bring out the best in people.
Well, with some exceptions: Bill McKibben: Global warming to blame for Hurricane Irene. I just knew that was coming, but not before the dang storm even arrived. You know, if this one just blew out to sea like most of them, he'd never have mentioned it. What a putz. "Let no storm go to waste."
Additional good storm advice from our commenter Blick on this post.
Why is a college degree diminishing in its economic and social value?
Because so many people are going, nowadays. It's not special anymore, and unselected people are getting degrees today who could not have gotten near higher ed one generation ago. It's a consumer-oriented biz now, desperate for gullible consumers. From our IBD link this morning:
It's about a Model B Ford engine head, from Literature Brings the Physical Past to Life, at Chronicle:
Are the kids so uninformed that they don't know who a ball turret gunner is? Wish I had time now to discuss this essay, but I don't.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:13 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
From the Sultan's An Earthquake Comes to Washington:
"The loss of transcendence evokes the flight to utopia. I am convinced that the destruction of transcendence is the actual amputation of human beings from which all other sicknesses flow. Robbed of their real greatness they can only find escape in illusory hopes."
The prospects for Irene in the northeast change by the hour. Last night, she was downgraded but now it's just confusing. However, if she does hit New England hard, don't be surprised if Maggie's is down for a while. As of now, predictions are just "rain and wind" on Sunday, warm and sunny Monday. (That's obviously an old toon from the files)
Storm advice from Ace:
Counselor Cheers Up Someone’s First Wife By Reminding Them That Their Life Is Meaningless Anyway
There ya go, Sipp
McDonald's Unveils New Senior Citizen PlayPlace
Sex with cavemen gave humans an immune boost: study
Romance Hinders Women in STEM Courses?
Understanding Just How Harmful Obama’s Tax Hikes Would Be
Stossel: Almost Everything We're Taught Is Wrong - Using economics to explode fallacies
Business Regulation vs. Growth: The View from Middle America - It has become clear that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act has been a real deterrent to companies that would like to go public.
Zuckerman: Obama and the 'Competency Crisis' - Like many Americans who supported him, I long for a triple-A president to run a triple-A country.
Excuse me, Mort, but a prez does not "run a country" - not in the USA anyway. And your "longing" is immature.
London’s anti-gun zealots ban children from Olympic shooting events in city ticket giveaway
Another Obama Record!… Percentage of Young People Employed Is Lowest Ever
Blame raising the minimum wage
Billionaire club in bid to curb overpopulation - America's richest people meet to discuss ways of tackling a 'disastrous' environmental, social and industrial threat
I doubt that the world "needs" more people, but I do think it needs more millionaires and billionaires because they buy stuff and invest in new enterprises.
Study on global plant die-off faces questions
Feds reject request to require seat belts on school buses
I think this image is cruel:
Thursday, August 25. 2011
Weather nerds get very excited about storms. Brendan Loy is having fun with Irene.
I can say for certain that I would reconsider any sailing plans around the Outer Banks, the Chesapeake, New Jersey or southern New England this weekend. I remember being on Martha's Vineyard a day after Hurricane Bob. Big waves. They were already selling "I Got Blown By Bob" t-shirts. Let no hurricane go to waste.
Somewhere, somebody is already printing tees with "I Got Blown By Irene" - just in case they do.
Irene seems to be weakening, to Brendan's ill-concealed disappointment.
Do personality flaws and weakness result in poverty, or does poverty "cause" personality flaws?
David French discusses.
I say that it can be either, both, or neither. If one grows up in a drug- and crime-tolerant environment, it's more likely that the wicked side of one's nature will be given free rein and things won't work out well, just as it's easier to live like a Boy Scout when all around you are doing the same.
My problem with addressing the subject this way, however, is that it ignores the large numbers of voluntarily poor, unluckily poor, and temporarily poor. Poverty is not a unitary phenomenon. Is a struggling artist or actor "poor"? And what is poverty in America anyway?
I think that French may be speaking more about "the poor in spirit" than the materially-deprived.
Roger Simon on Is Rick Perry a Dope?
One quote from a piece of the above title:
Restless Farewell, from 1995 at Sinatra's 80th Birthday:
From our archives, because the sound of saws may be constant around here this weekend, if Irene hits us in Yankeeland:
Burning carbon to kill trees! Good work and good fun.
The gasoline-powered chainsaw is one of the finest inventions since the wheel and the plow. It's really just a mechanized stone axe like my Indian sncestors used, and I am eagerly awaiting the laser saw to bring wood cutting into the 21st Century.
While the engineering principles of the chainsaw may go back to surgical instruments of the 1800s, the modern concept dates to the 1920's with bulky and impractical designs until the German engineer Andreas Stihl developed his "tree-cutting machine" around 1929. The one-man saw dates to around 1950 and was perfected by Stihl and their main competitor, the weapons manufacturer Husqvarna. The Stihl family still owns their company. Check out their saws here. (No, this is not an advt.)
I have always enjoyed power saws: my godfather's father started the Wright Saw Company in CT, which produces a reciprocating power saw - an anomaly in the development of power saws which never really caught on except for special uses.
Of course, the famous and indispensible Sawzall is a reciprocating saw.
Here's the interesting weather we have to look forward to, up here. Think I'll go get some gas for my Stihl Farm Boss.
The above is a good warning to be careful not to slip on curbs...
Would Dr. King Have Approved Of This?
Carpe: China Is Not the Enemy
West anxious over Libya's chemical weapons cashes
Don't Call It a Comeback - Four reasons why Libya doesn't equal success for NATO.
Rev. Al Sharpton Officially Tapped as MSNBC Host
Expensive massages, top shelf vodka and five-star hotels: First Lady accused of spending $10m in public money on her vacations
At Insty, HOUSING FIX: End the Government’s Subsidy ‘Ponzi Scheme,’ Says NYU Professor.
Texas students sent from classroom to courtroom
Paterson teacher who called students 'future criminals' in Facebook post defends herself in hearing
Elliott Abrams: The Ground Shifts In The Middle East
Illinois Loses Most Jobs in the Nation
599 Chequessett Neck Rd Wellfleet, MA. 3bd. 2fb. Single Family, asking $1,900,000. I know the site all too well. This place is on half of the lot we wanted to buy, years ago, for $125,000 and felt we could not afford it. Turned out we could have, and should have. I'd be rich now, at least on paper.
Details and pics here. It's right down the road from Aunt Sukie's. Much as I love that area, I'd rather have a place on Lieutenant Island.
Wednesday, August 24. 2011
It must be late summer, and I have hunting on my mind.
This is my muddy-legged huntin' Standard Poodle, gazing out the cabin door after a long day in the woods and bogs a few years ago. Don't laugh: he points hard, and retrieves. Bred from a line of hunting Standards, and my second from that line. Used to hunt pretty close, but lately ranges too far yet will loop 20 yards left or right on command. Will chase a damn deer in a swamp forever, dang it. That's what whistles and shock collars were made for. He's been good with whistle commands, but I haven't practiced with him lately. Also known to point on mice. Love the guy despite imperfections, and well-aware that any dog's imperfections in training are really the master's laziness.
"Find the bird." He will do that with the greatest of pleasure, but it might very well be out of range if he puts the bird up or points on it. Loves the job, loves the hunt. Like most field dogs, cannot understand how any human can miss a bird. "No bird, no bird." They look at you like you're an idiot. You are supposed to be God.
I cannot clean a shotgun with him in the room. He goes berserko with excitement. All hunting dogs know the difference between hunting gear and ordinary outdoor stuff.
There is no work-out like a few days over hill and dale and busting brush in Maine near the Quebec border, pursuing the Ruffed Grouse (they call it pa'tridge up there - or "chicken") and Woodcock. Gosh, I just love it, even though you occasionally annoy a cranky moose.
This was yesterday. As I noted earlier, Look, Ma! No Teleprompter!