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, October 31. 2011
Read it all at Belmont Club.
Rush is amazing: We Should Not be Surprised by the Left's Racist Hit Job on Herman Cain. Hardly ever wrong, despite having half his brain tied behind his back just to make it fair.
That's my son Gavin, 6, in the hairy zombie/ghoul/whatever costume with scythe, along with his 1st grade classmates.
I never saw the movie. Does posting the end scene spoil it?
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 18:00 | Comments (29) | Trackbacks (0)
Via Insty. A quote from the Anderson piece:
Sounds like a very good idea to me: Check Out This Alternative to College:
This thing sounds more useful than a BA.
Recently, I posted about Steve Jobs. I believe, despite faults which he undoubtedly possessed, Steve was a visionary who radically altered our lives for the better over the last thirty years. Were it not for his untimely passing, he may have altered them further in the next twenty to thirty years.
It was part of his lifestyle, his mission, to look at things in a manner which was different from everyone else. He took computing from the realm of technology and moved it into culture and fashion. He did this without moving out of forward thinking technology. This kind of transformative behavior is unusual. Very few entrepreneurs are able to retain a firm hold on massive corporate structures. Even fewer can hold on and maintain a sharp entrepreneurial vision.
Now that Jobs is gone, Apple will be left to see if Jobs' vision was his alone or if someone else can pick up the slack at the company. However, in terms of personalities which society perceives as 'transformative', we are left with a gaping hole. There doesn't appear to be anyone quite like Steve Jobs.
I read this article recently, suggesting Jeff Bezos could be the "next Steve Jobs". I think he's definitely in the running. Jeff has changed the way people think about buying things. Like Jobs, I'm sure he's got flaws and faults, but I'm curious to see if he can be transformative. Even today, mom and pop shops in towns across the US are cursing firms like Amazon and Wal-Mart. But this isn't a fault of Bezos, it's simply the nature of the economy, which is one of change.
Are there other personalities out there who could be the "next Steve Jobs"? Certainly there are, and we may not have even heard of some of them yet.
Just got power back at ye olde Maggie's HQ. Looks like our servers held up with my pre-posts and the other postings. These links are from Bruce, mostly, because I had a productive internet-free, heat-free and electric-illumination-free weekend -
When women dress as Halloween candy - A faux-ho dressed (or mostly undressed) for Halloween might want to be careful where she turns tricks or treats.
State treasurer of MA absolutely shreds RomneyCare, which “has nearly bankrupted the state” and is surviving solely because of federal aid
Is George Will right about Mitt Romney?
Somin: Communism and the Jews
Occupy Wall Street Shrugged
Balancing act: Cybersecurity vs. cuts
The Social Security Lies Are Falling Apart
Debt: we are Slouching toward the 1930s
Carpe on fracking:
Photo below via Driscoll:
I usually get my identifications wrong, but I think Sipp would say that this old house in Wellfleet, MA is not so much an architectural style as a local New England vernacular. Tell me why I am wrong.
Like so many homes of its era (I would date this one 1850-80), they put expensive clapboard on the front, and cheaper cedar shakes elsewhere. Wish I had done that with my house because painting is so damn expensive if you hire it out.
My plan for the future is either that new semi-fake impermeable artificial, pigment-infused "wood", or natural cedar shakes. Can't afford continual painting. Just cannot win against the laws of entropy.
I love homey houses like this one, right there on the street so you can say "Howdy" to your neighbors on their evening stroll, and invite them up on the porch for a lemonade or a beer if you are in the mood for a chat.
Sunday, October 30. 2011
Hard blows, Blowhards, what's the diff? My local weather in San Diego:
When I was a kid, we had an old red woodshed out back. It had a little hinged door, down low, to toss logs out of. It was far from the two-holer outhouse.
Mice and squirrels lived in there, and the occasional Black Snake too.
Nowadays, a wood fire is more of a luxury, a comfort, than a necessity for survival. We have grown more wealthy and comfortable than we appreciate. And we always seem to want more.
Some people still have woodsheds (necessary to take your brat kid behind for the wholesome daily whuppin'), but these days I keep my wood mostly out in the weather. Dry wood burns too fast, and causes the dread global warming. Of that, I am certain.
Somewhere in either Tolstoy or Dostoevsky there is a comment about the remorse of the hunter when holding a Woodcock in hand. You have noticed that our head image on Maggie's now is Woodcock hunting.
John Stuart Skinner in his classic 1883 The Dog and the Sportsman put it this way:
Skinner's charming section on the Woodcock, written back before hunting seasons were instituted, is here.
The Woodcock is a fat little shorebird, fatter but not much larger than the American Robin, who renounced the shore and took up residence in our Eastern woods and swamps.
Like all shore birds, they are ground-dwellers and ground nesters, and do not perch. Because of their camoflage, their habit of feeding and being active at dawn and dusk, and their trick of freezing when approached, they are not commonly seen except in early spring, when the males perform their remarkable aerial mating dance at dusk.
Their long bills are hinged near the tip for capturing earthworms which they probe for in the soil and forest litter. They are thus necessarily migratory, to the Southern US.
A few other details: Woodock is the only "shorebird" which is a legal game bird in the US today. They are not widely hunted, but they make excellent sport and their liver-flavored breasts are a rare gourmet treat. The French especially favor the brains, on toothpicks. People who don't like to eat them should not hunt them. Their habitat overlap with the Ruffed Grouse makes a typical mixed bag for Ruffie hunters. Because of their small size and cute appearance, many hunters will admit a mingled sense of dismay and pleasure when they bag a Woodcock. Unlike grouse, they cannot be hunted without dogs, because you would never find them. A decline in Woodcock numbers has been noted over recent decades, which may be due to habitat loss, but the cause is not certain. They are fond of overgrown fields and orchards, wetland edges, and transitional young woodlands, especially birch and aspen. The European Woodcock looks like ours, but is larger. Woodcock's heads are oddly-arranged: their brains are upside-down, and their ears are in front of their huge eyes.
Saturday, October 29. 2011
A tree guy I know just dumped me off a cord or so of green wood, for free and freshly cut from one of his jobs. Some logs large enough for splitting, but much of easily-burnable size.
People who are not fireplace experts think you need kiln-dried split wood for heat or for fireplaces. You do not.
As readers know, I keep the fire going in the MF HQ from October to May. I keep a supply of split and outdoor-dried wood, but once a fire is happy with coals I like to burn either green or wet logs. More heat, less flame, slower burn. Green wood burns fine once you have some coals. Sometimes, I throw a couple of hunks of charcoal in there to keep it hot and happy.
That's a soft point, but for a real dinner bird he'll produce a hard, classic point. Really immoveable on a grouse or pheasant. This guy is from a line of red Standards into which the hunt talent is being bred back.
Lovely snow today. The pup is soft-pointing every sparrow in every bush. He loves snow.
I am not a Cain supporter. I don't know him well enough yet. However, this makes me sympathetic: MSNBC Analyst: GOP Sees Herman Cain as a 'Black Man Who Knows His Place'
The notion that a black man cannot be successful or free thinking is incredibly insulting. Racist, in fact. Is every black person supposed to stay on the plantation of victimization, helplessness, and dependency just because of skin tone? Is that American? And heck, what about Obama? Oh, well he's a Leftist who deeply disapproves of America so it's OK for him to be successful.
As for Cain, it seems he believes that "his place" was CEO of a major business, and that his next "place" is on PA Ave. Good for him.
Meanwhile white limousine Liberals who "care about People of Color" and want them to remain needy and victimized at all cost begin to hate him for running off the plantation. The Lefties and Dems prefer cop-killer Mumia to men like Cain. It is disgusting.
Related: Is Cain a Jeremiah for black Americans? A quote:
It's not just black people. The Left wants everybody on the plantation, but having some color makes them feel more holy.
From Malanga: How Harrisburg Borrowed Itself Into Bankruptcy
Spending money you do not have is the easiest thing in the world, especially when the debt is somebody else's problem.
This was passed along by a friend. It's long, but honest. The breakdown on health is fascinating, putting the onus on misdirected incentives and unhealthy lifestyles. Clearly these things can only be fixed by an overbearing nanny state. I'm posting it late because I figure it's useful for insomniacs or data junkies like me.
I don't know if you've ever heard of Mark Derr - most people haven't but he's written a couple of books about dogs and one about Davy Crockett - all of which are very good. He's of the opinion that most anthropologists and other social scientists are wrong about the dog/man team and how it formed. He has had this idea about it being a matter of co-evolution rather than co-dependency and has written a new book about it: How did the wolf evolve into man’s best friend?
Snow and wind headed to Yankeeland. A Nor'easter. Don't be surprised if our servers go down sometime tonight or tomorrow. As it is, they are just held together with baling wire, duct tape, and hope. New England Yankees are cheap - we always just patch it up. Anyway, how soon before an early snow is blamed on global warming?
Where are the ducks?
Nekked lady hunters want to know where to find a good duck
What is a Swamp Yankee?
That would be us, more or less, I think. I have plenty of ancestors buried in Kingstown, RI.
Lee Siegel considers the weird comedy of letters between T.S. Eliot and Groucho Marx
In the Holy Land, a changed Christian world
Howard Stern talks to OWS
A college-loan scam - Schools gain, families get debt
Many retirees feel they have ‘paid’ for benefits through their payroll taxes. This is much closer to being true for Social Security than it is for Medicare
The Assad Regime’s Continuing Mass Murder of Syrians
Greed: Obama Skirts Own Fundraising Rules as Small Donors Flee
Ohio ballot measure raises Democrats’ hopes for 2012
Democrats increasingly down on ObamaCare
Can You Be Guilty of Insider Trading Without Personal Gain?
Occupy EPA, Not Wall Street
James O'Keefe Scores Another Hit On the New York Times, Jay Rosen, and Clay Shirky.
What I find most dispiriting is not the decline, which as Gardiner notes is not yet irreversible, but that over 40% of the population still approves of the job Obama is doing.
The Facts of Life Are Conservative, Even in Zuccotti Park
Scared he'll be the VP candidate
Paul Ryans' speech at the Heritage Foundation:
Do us Farmers all an autumn favor and make sure all of your friends, neighbors, and colleages know about our site.
It has come to my attention that some readers have never heard of the song "Maggie's Farm." Seems hard to believe, but I guess it's true. That's a shame.
Here's some good music (thanks, reader). Bob jumps in towards the end to join them to do Maggie's Farm.
I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more
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