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, November 26. 2011
I am grateful that Mrs. BD dragged me to see Einstein on the Beach on its world tour in 1992, at the BAM (for those of you in Yorba Linda, that's the Brooklyn Academy of Music).
Philip Glass and Robert Wilson, with dancer/choreographer Lucinda Childs, decided to call it an opera, but it really was a spectacle, and, with all of the repetition, choruses, and dancing, something like Greek theater with technology. I have grown to sort-of enjoy the Glass music in this, but it just drives some people crazy. It's a sound track, really.
The whole thing is hypnotically slow-moving (and it was over 5 hrs, no intermission, and people were welcome to come and go. We stayed, except for bathroom breaks - and they sold wine in the lobby.). There exist audio recordings, but, I believe, no video recordings of the whole thing. Video does not do justice to theatrical productions. You had to be there to be in the dream.
One snippet of video - you can search on YouTube it to hear more of Glass' music for the show:
Addendum, by complete coincidence I see that the Met is celebrating Glass' 75th birthday with “Satyagraha.” Wierd coincidences: I posted a Tagore poem this morning, mentioned Robert Wilson in a photo post yesterday, and stumbled on the news of that Philip Glass/Tagore opera today after preparing the above post.
The more you get out and about, the more fascinating life gets. Everybody needs to get out more, I guess. Possessions are expensive: cool life experiences are cheap by comparison.
That's what Ed Koch says, and I think he is right.
In fact, that's why we Americans want them to keep their hands off our lives and out of our business.
From Murray: Three Reasons Colleges Are Oversubscribed. One quote:
Sometimes I think about things during my morning work-out. I try not to think and to go into a mindless, timeless state, but sometimes my brain wins. Often, I use my aerobic time to pray, and I hope God laughs about my multitasking.
Many things in life test our will-power and, in a sick kind of Yankee way, I tend to enjoy such tests of mental strength. Few things present conflicts with one's will-power like facing another ten minutes on the Elliptical, or one more set of squats.
Well, maybe paying bills and doing other paperwork almost compares. My personal attitude towards paperwork is infantile, defiant, and not admirable. I often fail these tests.
Does persisting with the things we find difficult, and seek excuses to avoid, build character? We say Yes. The Maggie's heart says "Easy stuff first, hard stuff later." The Maggie's conscience and the Maggie's tradition says "Hard stuff first, easier stuff after."
Spandex? All the women in my gym wear Spandex (or Yoga pants), and I'd say it's 50% women there early in the morning. Guys on the machines alternate their gaze from CNBC or FOX to the bouncing youthful Spandexed behind in front of them with the bouncing blond pony-tail, then back to CNBC.
Being pure of heart and mind, I stay glued to the FOX. Don't you?
The bad news is that she wasn't referring to Obama, dagnabbit. She thought she was just doing a voice-over and was flipping off some guys in the studio who were trying to distract her. There's a nice summation of it here.
Still, it's a beautiful moment.
Maybe next time.
So soon? Advent begins tomorrow.
“They don’t call them patients, they call them units”
That's interesting, because I recently read a piece about tax policy which referred to taxpayers as "tax units." I guess that's how bureaucrats think. Are you an income unit, an expense unit, or neither?
Prepare for the retirement tax bite
More emails: Climategate 2.0 emails – They’re real and they’re spectacular!
They constantly refer to it as "the cause." That's a concern. There is no objectivity.
Obvious question: Who is next?
A Democrat Bites Union Story - In Rhode Island, liberals take the lead on pension reform.
The NLRB Putsch - The labor agency tries to ram through quickie union elections.
Cut a cabinet department? You must be joking - Growth of government, loss of liberty go hand in hand
Reagan: "The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program." ...
The OECD’s report provides shocking new data on Britain’s socialised health system but even the Conservative-led government wouldn’t have it any other way
The Perfect Terrorist PBS Documentary
Heather on campus diversity boondoggles
How Israel turned itself into a high-tech hub
Egypt Spring: Kill the Jews and the Americans
On the Seashore, by Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)
On the seashore of endless worlds children meet.
The infinite sky is motionless overhead and the restless water is
boisterous. On the seashore of endless worlds the children meet with
shouts and dances.
They build their houses with sand, and they play with empty shells. With
withered leaves they weave their boats and smilingly float them on
the vast deep. Children have their play on the seashore of worlds.
They know not how to swim, they know not how to cast nets. Pearl-
fishers dive for pearls, merchants sail in their ships, while children
gather pebbles and scatter them again. They seek not for hidden
treasures, they know not how to cast nets.
The sea surges up with laughter, and pale gleams the smile of the sea-
beach. Death-dealing waves sing meaningless ballads to the children,
even like a mother while rocking her baby's cradle. The sea plays with
children, and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach.
On the seashore of endless worlds children meet. Tempest roams in the
pathless sky, ships are wrecked in the trackless water, death is
abroad and children play. On the seashore of endless worlds is the
great meeting of children.
Friday, November 25. 2011
Britain's Financial Times does its usual fine reporting on today's Vietnam. Some excerpts:
Authoritarianism seeds its own demise. Rather face the US or Europe's problems, wouldn't you?
Yes, Reality Sucks. Fantasy can be much more fun. Portugal is a perfect case in point: Portuguese unions launch austerity strike.
Gee whiz, the banks won't lend them any more money to maintain a fake, debt-based life style. Why would they, if they know it cannot be repaid?
Some of these countries have been, in effect, ripping off gullible lenders just as much as people taking mortgages or student loans who know they can never really pay them unless they get very lucky. It's close to theft, or fraud, or something.
Related, and good from Anderson: The Eurozone Crisis Is Also a Governance Crisis — Isn’t It? A quote:
From Yuval's What Is Constitutional Conservatism? (a serious essay, not a routine blog post) -
Progesssives hope citizens will sell their independence to the expert technocrats, without their realizing how venal and power-hungry those pols and technocrats are. Cannot fool all of the people all of the time, and there is no fool like an educated fool.
My always-fragile trust in self-anointed experts and elites diminishes daily - see the EU, or Washington, DC, for plentiful current examples.
As Barry Rubin said (linked here this morning:
Our rule of thumb at Maggie's: Never trust any human who wants any form of power, especially over you. No matter what they say, they do not mean well. If they claim they are doing it for your own good, run the other way as fast as possible. I am with George Washington:
All that we call human history - money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery - [is] the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.
C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity. Fair enough, CS, but being in requited love with a young lady comes close, given our human limits.
Protesters heading home for holiday- Occupy Thanksgiving table
Forced To Join a Union: SEIU Getting Money From Michigan Medicaid Checks - Parents Taking Care of Disabled Kids Made to Pay
Behold The New Anschluss: ECB's Paramo - "Prepare To Give Up Significant Sovereignty"
Tom Friedman still loves Obama
Yes, well, the press is part of the campaign: Why Is JournOlister Ezra Klein Briefing Dem Chiefs Of Staff Behind Closed Doors?
Sowell: Alice in Liberal Land
Governor Awesome on taxing the "rich"
It’s refreshing to see leftists finally admit they’re rich.
America’s Public Sector Union Dilemma
New study: Global warming much less than feared
Toon below via Theo:
Thursday, November 24. 2011
Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
The Pilgrims sustained so many deaths in their first year, it's a wonder they did not give up and return to Holland. They maintained their faith, and endured, and were relentlessly grateful for the Lord's will, whatever it might be. Some of the BD's ancestors were there, and survived. We connect.
Besides the wonderful tune, what I especially like about this one is that it makes it clear that the true harvest to be celebrated is not pumpkins and corn and big birds harvested by man, but people harvested by God for His kingdom. Also, it's the first tune I learned to play, on an old foot-pedal pump organ at the farm. You had to brush the mouse shit off the keys first. They lived inside that old organ in the fall and winter.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:27 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, November 23. 2011
It would be more fun if it were giving thanks for sex, or the intertunnels, or freedom from government "help" and control, or something. However, survival comes first, and God has provided us all with his fruits.
Did the Pilgrims get the idea from Sukkot? Who knows. People have given thanks to God or gods since the beginning of time. What did the Pilgrims have for their Thanksgiving feast? Clams, Cod, corn meal, eels, turkey, vension, ducks. All organic! It went on for a few days, with plenty of Indians visiting with game meat in hand (the sturdy few who had not died off due to European diseases introduced by earlier explorers).
Here's advice: Remedial Thanksgiving: Just Put the F*cking Turkey in the Oven.
Bad luck. They were headed for the cozy Dutch village of New Amsterdam, and ended up in rugged Cape Cod due to bad weather and imperfect navigation. Decided to stay anyway, trusting God. "Occupy Plymouth!" They tried out a Christian commune, but it didn't work so they switched to free markets and private property. The investors got a successful colony, the Pilgrims got religious freedom and real estate, and the rest is history.
My pics from a BD family TG groaning board a few years ago. The oven turkey was on another table. We always have Indian Pudding too, but I guess it didn't make this photo op (we always use fresh Indians from Costco).
Note pup banished outdoors, drooling at the door. Two pups, this year. Maybe three. Thanks to God for all the dogs!
Unlike we modern whining Americans among whom none go hungry or cold, the Pilgrims saw reason for thanks despite their hardships - half their number dead.
"In everything, give thanks..."
Yes, that's a Pumpkin Cheesecake. Our friend always makes one.
Whether the "research" is about medicines, climate, sociology, or whatever, greedy human nature always finds a place for itself. This is why we, at Maggie's, always assume a skeptical posture towards "studies."
Most "studies" show that researchers want to get money and jobs for doing studies.
In the past year, we have been overwhelmed with the sleaziness of the warmist crowd and the social psychology crowd, but today we find pay to play in university education research.
Almost everybody has an agenda, even scientists. It's human. That's why we remain skeptics about everything. Call it cynical if you want, but we think it's being realistic.
In the NYT: Hacked E-Mail Is New Fodder for Climate Dispute.
Who cares whether it's hacked? It's government-paid science, isn't it? We paid for this crap. What their emails show is that these guys argue amongst themselves about how to twist and spin to present the data they want people to get. It is disgusting, a major scandal. Somewhat happily, some amongst the cabal actually want to be honest.
I have known science majors and scientists, and they never talked like this about things they were curious about. This is money politics, not science. Sounds more like a Wall Street bond sales meeting than science, to me. "How to we unload this crap to the suckers without totally and permanently compromising our reputations?"
Revkin wants to focus on the hacking, not the content. Well, Watergate was basically a pre-internet hacking, was it not? And Teapot Dome? Our thanks to the mystery hacker who cares more about the truth than these scientists do. I think there will be a third email dump in the future.
There's nothing quite like being chewed out by the boss to act as a motivational factor. For those of you who saw my morning post, I pretty-much kissed off any further debate posts because of the lack of responses the recent posts have been getting. Worse, of the five comments left in my last debate wrap-up, all five were deprecating and derogatory of the candidates, that same ol' whiny "Can't we have somebody ELSE?" attitude I see in the comments over at Hot Air and PJ Media. As I said to Bird Dog in email, I can abide 0 comments, but I can't abide -5.
Anyways, after a couple of verbal lashings from the boss and some emails drifting in from (now-former) friends calling me 'Dr. Bitchy' and 'jma' (a real long-time Farmer) piping up in the comments to another post, I figure I'm cursed with the job. Blogging isn't an easy life, let me tell you.
Maybe it's just a simple matter of imposing a new comments rule:
Happy thoughts only.
In the previous two debates, not a barb or bomb was hurled. As I noted at the time, the candidates were all in complete agreement that Social Security needed a major overhaul and abortion-on-demand wasn't the way to go, and they only differed on exactly how they'd approach the problem.
But when it comes to things like national security, with such gems as a nuclear-armed, Islamic-driven nation like Pakistan on the table, the rules change. The question now isn't 'how to fix the problem', but where does the problem exist?
Do we threaten to cut off aid to them? Do we offer them even more money? Do we handle them with kid gloves? Do we talk tough to them, threatening them with sanctions? Do we seek their permission for every drone we lob at some bad guy or do we just tell them hey, if you aren't going to handle it, then we will, and lob away to our heart's content? Is there a 'problem' with Pakistan at all, and, if so, is it with the government or the fundamentalists?
So, while no bombs were hurled, there was a lot of electrically-charged "I highly disagree with..." going on as each chose to stake out their claim. I'm not sure two candidates agreed completely with one another the entire evening, in vast contrast to the amity they've shared in the last two debates. It wasn't quite cantankerous, but heading that direction quickly.
I'd also note that we had a debate on national security just a few weeks ago and there was nowhere near the distance between the candidates as was displayed last night. Credit the good folk at CNN and famed game show host Wolf "Blitz" Blitzer for coming up with just the right questions to create the most division and animosity between them. As they say, professionalism always shows.
People have a strong tendency to reject out of hand any information or argument that cuts against their preexisting political views, and this is especially true of those most committed to their ideology or political party. Unfortunately, voters have strong incentives to be both ignorant about public policy and irrational in their evaluation of the information they do know.
Our friend Ilya, at Volokh
The 'mood' in the US, if we are to believe the MSM, is that nasty Republicans have undermined the political process with their adherence to outdated dogma. Nevermind that Democrats adhere to outlandish (and outdated) dogma, the discussion will revolve around how to demonize one side or the other. The MSM claim "compromise" is what's important. They also hint the Republicans cause all the problems.
There is a history of compromise in Congress, but there is also a history of sticking to your guns. How you view things usually depends on what you want to believe. Personally, I think sometimes compromise is good, but at other times sticking to your beliefs is better. In the case of the deficit, I'm more dogmatic. There have to be more spending cuts before we can even discuss, let alone implement, more taxes. If we do implement more taxes, I believe having the 'rich' pay more isn't a bad idea, but a better idea is to combine that with a broader income tax base that includes the 49% who don't pay anything.
The nature of the spending cuts are as fair as we could hope for, given the current political environment. Particularly if you believe, as I do, that the Supercommittee idea is an unconstitutional solution. I believe this because cuts are 'automatic' whether the committee agrees to a deal or there is no agreement at all. If they make a deal, Congress agrees to support it. If they fail, the current outcome, nobody votes for anything except to possibly stop the cuts. There is limited representation, there is limited discussion. The cuts just happen. Clearly there is an undemocratic theme here, but at least everything gets cut. Nothing is spared. It may be unconstitutional, but we're being unconstitutional together to achieve a goal. I can't believe that's good, but some think it is.
Continue reading "Failure of the Supercommittee"
First, a little background. All files you see and hear via your browser are downloaded to your computer first. You may think you're reading a web page on some server in New Englandtown, but you're actually reading a file on your computer, and any pics, videos and music you see or hear are also being read from your computer.
Using Internet Explorer, these files are placed in a folder called 'Temporary Internet Files'. They're 'temporary' because only so much disk space is allotted for them and they roll off the back end as new files arrive. Firefox keeps them in a 'Cache' folder buried deep in the 'Users' folder.
The problem is that a web page can be coded so that certain items, like their precious videos, won't be put into cache for later retrieval, all in a determined effort to prevent us from
Ha. Ha. Ha.
Continue reading "Doc's Computin' Tips: Capturing web videos"
Ten Commandments via Surber
Vanderleun: Since I died, I always have a great day
Glad he is still with us
Class of 2009: College Degrees by Discipline, Sex
Females dominate college graduates, and dominate most areas of study. Where's the outrage?
Teddy Forstmann died. One of the good guys.
Uh oh, global warming loons: here comes Climategate II! Just one sample of the emails:
Follow the money...same goes for us: the ICTSMECE (Internation Cartel To Support More Evil Carbon Emissions) gives Maggie's Farm $2 million/year for our skepticism about settled science. Cash, directly to our secret Cayman Island account. It comes in handy during cash flow jams.
Did the Reagan Revolution Fail?
OWS is driven by greed
Obama to Occupy Wall St. Protesters: "You are the reason I ran for office."
OWS Following the Woodstock to Altamont Trajectory
Lessons From Canada: It Fixed Its Fiscal Problems with 7:1 Ratio of Spending Cuts toTax Increases
Massive Crowd Meets Obama’s Arrival In New Hampshire (!)
Mandatory Insurance Is Wrong Fix for Health Care: Ramesh Ponnuru
It's about the willing suspension of disbelief:
In Manitoba. A morning in a goose blind with friends is a darn wonderful thing, no matter how cold it is or how frozen your poor fingers are. Decoys, hay bales, and distant high-tension wires carrying electricity from good, high-carbon Canadian gas and oil:
Tuesday, November 22. 2011
Buddy is right: it took balls for a young kid - a boy, really, a recklessly-ambitious first-year college dropout - to do this old song on TV in 1963 (Bob's first TV performance). He used Woody as his adult accessory ego. Artists always do things like that, borrowing and stealing ego-ideals to help fill out their ever-growing selves.
Hermit Crabs, as I have often seen on Cape Cod, sometimes will take on a moon shell far too large for them to fill. They can hardly drag it across the mud. Eventually, if lucky, they grow into it. And, if luckier still, someday have to find a new larger shell to inhabit.
Bob will be forever an old soul, and forever young. Restless, wonderfully lost, and doing much of the seeking and searching for us drones.