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
Monday, September 26. 2011
I don't know how they got my email, but I think I'll pass on their friendly request.
Attended a wonderful Chopin recital last night, perfomed by Benjamin Hochman.
Among other pieces, he performed Chopin's Barcarolle, Op 60. It's a mind-blowingly charming piece, and there is something about the relatively-rare key of F# Major that works for me.
Here's Rubinstein's version, 1928:
It is? What kind of "love"? What did Lennon/McCarthy mean, and who made them experts?
Our link yesterday morning from F- Feelings was excellent: Love Slaves. "The bad news is that most love won’t work, and you’ve got to leave it alone when you know it won’t."
If we let emotion control our lives, we are animals. If we let reason control our lives, we are robots.
There are more kinds of love than the Eskimos have (proverbially) kinds of snow. I once tried to make a list, and gave up. People vary enormously in their needs or wants for all of those sorts of need, desire, addiction, and attachment.
Candidate Elizabeth Warren spells it out: There is no private property, and society is equivalent to government.
It's not an American way of thinking, but it worked great in the French Revolution, Soviet Russia, and North Korea.
Sultan discusses: Serfs in Warrenville. A quote:
Right on, Sultan! Power to the People!
Women Outnumber Men for Doctoral Degrees, 142 Women Enrolled in Grad School Per 100 Men, and Women Outnumber Men in 7 Out Of 11 Fields
Do Animals Have Rights? It's complicated.
Unitarian Church Finally Decides To Believe In Something, Nails Al Gore To Their Recycled Cross
IPCC error of the day
Joe Lieberman on the Sabbath
Eco-fun: Swim with the Piranhas
A California students' group has sparked a racism and sexism row over plans for a bake sale in which people are charged according to their ethnic background and gender.
Ga. Middle School: Muslim Polygamy Is Normal, Burkas Good For Women
Michael Moore: "Patriotic Americans" Will Wait Longer For Healthcare
Racist Tea Party loves Herman Cain
It doesn't fit The Narrative
The return of net neutrality
UK update: Bible Banned From Christian Café
It'll be churches next
Fight for what?
And then who do you tax?
You just know what Eliz Warren is like
Inspector general: Bush-era Pentagon officials cleared of wrongdoing
Who said this? Not every human problem deserves a law.
WaPo: Power shift in Asia
Greek Jews and the Holocaust: Recovering the Multiple Stories of Death, Rescue, and Resistance
IMF may need billions in extra funding
"The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples' money"
Samuelson: Repeating Mistakes of the 1930s?
Netanyahu to Clinton: I’m not the one moving the goalposts
Let's face it: there will be no peace until Israel is erased. Thus permanent conflict for the forseeable future. Some problems are insoluble.
Time to begin getting those legs in shape for skiing season. It's all about sturdy legs.
Sunday, September 25. 2011
Insty found this one: Is Your Choice Of Food A Fundamental Right? The author rightly comments "Sometimes I think I’ve woken up in a surreal alternate reality."
Indeed, our government's views increasingly resemble self-satire. Who are these a-holes? Here's another one:
I guess you can store them right next to your secret stash of incandescent bulbs, your stash of salt, your guns, your Bibles, your tobacco, your home-grown medical pot, and your gold coins.
Pay attention around thirty seconds in. I want that guy to buy lottery tickets for me.
Each of my pupettes (the female pups) are attending weekend-long weddings this weekend, one off in LA and one big one in NYC. And the media tells us that marriage is going out of fashion...
Is September the new, hip wedding month? Or does June just get too crowded?
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:28 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Pastor was preaching today about our congregation being, or becoming, a "deep church" and not a "nice church."
Since our service ran 1 1/2 hours (as it often does), and the second morning service was coming up, I didn't have time to ask him exactly what was meant.
Thank God for these intertunnels. Here's one essay on the topic: Deep Church: A Third Way? If that essay is any indication, I think our church is pretty much there. I don't know about "nice," but we are darn friendly and welcoming. Growing quickly too, for better or worse.
View from the Wkly Std: The Reactionary in the White House - Barack Obama, throwback.
View at the WaPo: It's time to begin the class war:
Saturday, September 24. 2011
The big man begins:
He wonders who has been producing the money to pay her salary all these years in non-profits, government, and academia. Read the whole thing - with half his brain tied behind his back, just to keep it fair.
There is a parasitic mind-set out there, and lots of people want to get on board. As I like to say, "Ask first what your country can do for you..." No heavy lifting, no accountability. In Warren's world, who does the real work? Slaves?
I have been a de facto slave to government (taxes) and academia (tuitions) most of my adult life. I give more than I can afford to non-profits and my church too, but at least that is voluntary.
Glazer is one of those people whose thinking we have always admired, whether we agreed with his conclusions or not. I say this while quite aware that he is somebody who has never really done anything other than think and study things, and has probably never lifted an engine from a Chevy, built a stone wall, or shot a deer, and really probably knows little about life.
A nice piece at City Journal: Nathan Glazer’s Warning - Social policy often does more harm than good, says one of the last of the original neocons. One quote:
It took Glazer a while to realize that liberty and freedom might be a better social policy than anything that the DC and Ivy brainiacs can design "for us." I could have told him that 40 years ago when I first realized that there are sick people in the world who enjoy power and control, and who have the delusion that they deserve those things because they imagine that they are smarter than I am. They are not. I want to be the master of my life.
This is one of our dwarf Cortlands today, ready to be picked but the fruit will remain good on the tree for a few weeks, at least. If we had bothered to fertilize, it would probably have doubled the fruit. I will fertilize them next year.
There is still so much good green forage in the woods and fields, and there are so many healthy wild apple trees out there, that the deer haven't bothered our domesticated apple trees a bit.
Want an apple?
Thus another crisis requiring government intervention and control
At least 1/3 of it, it seems. Brings in the $, however.
Fast neutrinos: This Extraordinary Claim Requires Extraordinary Evidence!
Always be a skeptic
When love pushes you to fuck up your life and/or someone else’s, it’s your choice to either fight to stay in control or say, well, love is all you want, so whatever happens must be worthwhile:
How long does passion last before Mr. Reality enters in?
Five Ways to Screw Up Your Life with the Internet
Age: a terrible equalizer. Except for Paul Newman
Guys tend to fare better than women
Mugged by Mythology - Liberals believe the darnedest things.
Krauthammer: Return of the real Obama
Sees right through the guy
A Poll on Fixing Poor Student Performance - You are invited to weigh in on how universities should deal with slackers.
Throw them out! Oh, I forgot - they need the $ so they won't do that
Obama did it! He made the sea levels fall!
Praise the Lord!
Obamacare rule gives government everyone's medical records
That will go over well...
Obama Administration Set to Ban Asthma Inhalers Over Environmental Concerns
Insane. The news from DC these days cannot be distinguished from The Onion
Walked Into a Lamppost? Hurt While Crocheting? Help Is on the Way - New Medical-Billing System Provides Precision; Nine Codes for Macaw Mishaps
Precision without meaning. Unbelievable waste of time
Why the government shouldn’t guarantee mortgages or mortgage-backed securities.
How Rick Perry blew it
He is done. Fine governor but clueless on the big stage.
Where is the righteous indignation among black Americans at being portrayed as helpless children?
Judge questions honesty of Interior Department scientists
Well, good luck, Democrats.
It will be a cold day in hell when I pay to see another of this selfish loon’s movies.
But he was terrific in Shawshank
...a person growing 201 pot plants in a rental unit would receive a longer mandatory sentence than someone who rapes a toddler or forces a five-year-old to have sex with an animal.
The Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon kicked off today in Washington on the National Mall, under inauspiciously dark rainy skies.
White House Fingerprints on LightSquared Scandal
Over GOP objections, Obama pushes education overhaul - States can get waivers to Bush plan benchmarks
D.C. consumes 625 million muffins a day
...what threat did Saddam actually pose? Let’s go through just a sliver of the evidence.
John Mearsheimer Endorses a Hitler Apologist and Holocaust Revisionist
The White House's Advice for Your Rabbi - President presses: Preach politics from the pulpit.
Chris Christie Reconsidering 2012 Run, Will Decide in Days
It's not over until the fat man sings. If he wants VP, I prefer Rubio.
Hoven: Science for Stupid Idiots
Female promiscuity may be nature's way of dealing with inbreeding, research claims
WINDFALL PROFITS… Obama Supporter Who Was Awarded $107 Million For Windfarm Will Hold $25,000-Per-Person Fundraiser for President
Eliz Warren gets rich without producing anything: Woops- I forgot that measly 192,000 the government paid me:
Lefties, always greedy parasites, never producing anything useful or beautiful
Most pols are sociopathic, to varying degrees. Everybody knows that. And everybody knows to ignore their lack of integrity if they like what they are doing.
The Hollow Men (1925)
Mistah Kurtz -- he dead.
A penny for the Old Guy
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar
Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;
Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us -- if at all -- not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.
Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.
Let me be no nearer
In death's dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer --
Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom
This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.
Is it like this
In death's other kingdom
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.
The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms
In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Of death's twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.
Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning.
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom
Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long
Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom
For Thine is
For Thine is the
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
Wiki actually has some worthwhile thoughts about this famous poem.
Wood stove heat, two bedrooms, and lights and a hot shower when they turn the generator on at 5 am. They serve a heck of hearty breakfast - lots of bacon, meat, eggs, pancakes, and home fries - and a tasty, simple supper. They will cook whatever you bring them from the woods. BYOB - and we do. No phone, no cell service.
Our usual hunting cabin at Bosebuck Camps, 13 miles down a rutted dirt logging road with Moosies usually trotting down it, not far from the Quebec border.
Dogs in the lodge, dining room, and on the beds, of course.
Friday, September 23. 2011
Been out digging up a tree stump. Need a beer, this one.
The current uproar about the CLASS longterm care portion of ObamaCare is instructive of both how we got into this mess and how difficult it will be to get out of it. For those who watch TVs Falling Skies, where spinal implant harnesses attached to humans by aliens even when removed leave irremovable control over humans, that could also be our fate under ObamaCare. The blogosphere needs to step up its game to avoid or reduce this implantation.
Major blogs are now writing about the meltdown of the ObamaCare CLASS longterm care program, now that some internal memos have been revealed. But, with facts and figures, readily available reporting (including pre-admissions of failure before Congress reported in the New York Times), and my decades experience and certifications in employee benefits, I wrote about the unsustainability of CLASS long before, to be ignored. ( See here, ObamaCare’s CLASS Failure, and here, The Fraud Admitted.) I saw this before regarding my columns over many years on healthcare issues. Why?
Healthcare and insurance are not sexy issues, and require some deeper understanding to speak about intelligently. Most bloggers are involved in quick-takes on the hot issues of the day. Then, the blogosphere is politicized. Unless that issue can be highlighted quickly to undermine the opposition, and doesn’t require much research, it is passed on. This is even so when the issue is reported in the major media. Bloggers also know that very few of their readers are willing to spend much time on the fine details of most issues.
It wasn’t until ObamaCare that most bloggers began to write about healthcare. Suddenly everyone wrote as an instant expert. And, as often as not, superficially or confusing important facts.
Focus was on ObamaCare’s costs, on government controls over individual choices, and on the mandate, all important. However, the details of ObamaCare make readers' eyes gloss over. The Obama administration counted on that to pass the bill and since to keep the details muted. Of course, some specialized blogs went deeper, but are rarely read.
The CLASS portion of ObamaCare was known to be unsustainable from the get-go, which is why the bill itself required it to be examined after passage before implementation. But, the estimated $75-billion revenues from its early years’ was key to falsely claiming that ObamaCare would not increase federal deficits, before CLASS itself went into huge deficits.
Meanwhile, ObamaCare has step-by-step been entrenching itself within healthcare and its organizations. Early victims are health insurance agents and those many who rely upon them. I’ve yet to find a major blog that has written about this. Their comp is being cut by up to 50%, with more cuts to come, and many are leaving the business and those who need them with lessened defense against ObamaCare or giant insurance companies most interested in profiting from ObamaCare. I wrote about this here, In Defense Of Health Insurance Agents, And You, and here, CBO: ObamaCare Within 5% Of Nationalizing Insurance Companies, and here, Are Health Insurance Agents Worth It: The Canaries In ObamaCare Mine.
There are many more examples I could easily point out. Assuming that after the 2012 elections there’ll be a Republican president and Congress, despite pledges to repeal ObamaCare, we’ll find much of it welded into our spines. The mandate issue is focused upon because it raises libertarian hackles and because it seems the only promising course in the courts. However, even judicially excising mandates may not uproot Obamacare, if found severable despite the ObamaCare bill not including a severability clause. Also, by then, if there is a then at the Supreme Court, many portions of ObamaCare will be so far along, and many aspects of current healthcare so changed, as to be irremovable. Welcome to Falling Skies, the ObamaCare version. Falling Skies next season is next Summer, just in time for the 2012 election season. Will we survive the aliens? Will we survive ObamaCare? Can we reverse the alien harnesses? Will the blogosphere get ahead of instead of behind the ObamaCare issues? Stay tuned.
Via a piece at Protein of the above title:
I heartily agree with the whole thing.
Our expert Sipp says this:
That building is not a style I'd go out of my way to build or anything, but it's based on one of the coolest things in the history of the US: The Columbian Exposition in Chicago (aka the Chicago World's Fair) on the 400th anniversary of Cristobal Colon showing up. (he was Portuguese, you know; a man holding a knife to my chin told me that and I believed him, con gusto).
Here's a pic of Machinery Hall at the 1893 Columbian Exposition. The grand buildings were all temporary structures in a temporary Olmsted landscape, and became an inspiration for things like Disneyland: