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
Tuesday, January 31. 2012
If David Brooks isn't being facetious here, then he's gone nuts:
Mao called it the Cultural Revolution, enforced by the Red Guard at gunpoint. It did not work out well. And what's with "mass"? I think he is calling my parents the "mass." He ought to meet them sometime. They sacrificed everything, and worked two jobs, to put us kids through U Mass (we all had jobs during school to help out) and have never had any money to spare or to save. Good habits and decency, however.
Streaming Lugnut in her winter den, with two new cubs. By the way, Black Bears are far from needing protection in the Northeast these days. They are everywhere.
I've always been 'Green'. Not "I recycle and you should stop driving an SUV and if you don't you're evil" Green. I'm more of a constructive 'green'. In my youth I did ecological projects with the Boy Scouts, planting trees, cleaning parks, learning about nature by hiking the Appalachian Trail. I figure it's better to improve than scold, and you should start at home anyway. It's better to be concerned about how you do things and let other people worry about how they choose to live. If people want to be 'green' because they fear Carbon Dioxide, that's their choice and I'm OK with it. I don't agree with them, and I really don't appreciate when they decide their way is better and want to force me to do things their way.
My teen years were marked by two contrived events now known as "The Energy Crisis". Political situations had led to a belief that oil prices would rise forever and we'd run out of fossil fuels by 2000 (technically, we were supposed to hit Hubbert's Peak in 1979 - but Hubbert didn't count on various factors which extended his timeline). All kinds of crazy stories in the 1970's drove many to the point of hysteria. Not dissimilar to what we're being told today, except back then the world was cooling, not warming. It doesn't matter which way the temperature was going, because ecological consciousness was, and is, part of the 'correct' cultural identity. As I matured, I learned it's not just about ecology. It's about efficiency.
Continue reading "Being Green Means Being Economically Viable"
Good news: Revolutionary education reform
Why You Should Postpone College
Farmers Making $100 Billion Don’t Need Subsidies to Grow
Has the Higher-Ed Revolution Begun?
Democrats Vs. Republicans: Who's The Most Greedy?
Romneycare and Obamacare Are Identical
Obama's Flawed Case for Insourcing - American workers are losing jobs to machines, not to Chinese workers.
Average Federal Employee Makes Twice as Much as Private Sector Employee & As Much as Microsoft Employee
Like Education, Government is a monopoly service industry, but armed. We'd like to see some competition.
Federal Housing Authority and Freddie Mac: Betting against the homeowner
Dining with Vultures: Rent-to-Own, the Feds, and the Housing Sector
The Buffett Rule Won't Apply to Warren Buffett
Geologist: What should the world’s temperature be?
A little warmer, please. Without that good greenhouse effect, we'd all be dead. Without CO2, we'd all be dead too.
Yuval Levin: Religious Liberty and Civil Society
A small fresh-water lagoon just off the Pacific beach in Baja, last March. It was packed with ducks vacationing from Canada.
Monday, January 30. 2012
In my view, Newt is unelectable, and not only because he comes across as an unusually unpleasant and undisciplined person. I don't know whether Mitt could win a national election, but I think the point is that he would help hold down potential losses in the House and Senate. He is not a rooted Conservative in the way that Obama is a rooted Leftist, it seems to me, and is the white bread candidate. Likeable, in my view. Not exciting, not overtly humorous, and not too quick on his feet. He'd be fine as President, I think, but not an Obama-style media celeb which seems to be what people enjoy these days, and not a Cut Government Down to Size Conservative.
Of course, holding the House and/or winning the Senate are more important than the White House, but we all tend to focus on the White House race because it's a sport, a soap opera, the Kentucky Derby. It gives us stuff to talk about.
Perhaps I am wrong. Maybe a calm, pragmatic, non-ideological CEO Mitt-type is what the country needs and wants now. However, the Conservative Repubs see, rightly or wrongly, the opportunity to crush a weak Obama and to win all the chips. Emotion can get in the way of mature, logical thinking. If Mitt wins nomination, it's because party members have voted for him in the primaries. There is no puppetmaster.
Who and where is that mystery person who can pleasantly and inspiringly articulate the Constitutional Conservative case (it ain't Sarah Palin)? Would it require a brokered convention to bring that person onto the field? That would make for some very good TV.
Otherwise, Moderate Mitt will be the party's figurehead.
Speaking of politics, how is this for red meat?
We are considering putting up one of these Country Carpenters pre-fab post and beam barn/garages up at the top of the driveway, perhaps with a small apartment upstairs.
I was told they can be put up in a week, or less, once the slab is laid down. Installing a septic field would be an additional expense that I am not sure I want to take on right now. I think we will also need a well.
Every American needs a barn. Were I running for President, that would be my promise.
Here's a pleasant New England homestead they did:
Woman meets child born out of rape, given up for adoption 77 years ago
New bridge in Mexico loaded with big dreams
Angry about inequality? Don’t blame the rich.
The earth's coming deep freeze: Children just aren't going to know what sun is
UK's Global Warming Office Issues New Temperature Data: No Warming in the Past 15 Years
Burt Rutan on Schooling the (climate) Rogues:
Activists want climate change on TV weather reports
NYT Mag: Will Israel Attack Iran?
There's no free trade in sugar: Sugar Tariffs Cost Americans $3.86 Billion in 2011
Conservatives Opposed To Mitt Romney In The General Election
Coyote: Backpage and Sex Workers
Drones Are Not Enough - Getting counterterrorism policy wrong.
Obama Fosters the Skyrocketing Tuition He Criticized
The Most Important Non-Presidential Election of the Decade - Wisconsin's Scott Walker is facing a recall after his labor and spending reforms. If he loses, public unions will flex their muscles nationwide.
Sunday, January 29. 2012
We finally found the time to go to the show at the Met which we have been wanting to study: The Renaissance Portrait from Donatello to Bellini.
They claim, and I suspect it is true, that this is the best show on the evolution of Renaissance portraiture that will be put together in our lifetimes. Is it a niche topic? Heck, everything in life is a niche topic, but I would say that this is a show for those with more than a passing interest in the history of art. The re-secularization of the arts in the European Renaissance was a big deal, but attributing to that period the "rediscovery of the individual" goes overboard.
High points for me were a couple of Botticelli portraits, and the death mask of Lorenzo di Medici. What a cool dude he was.
A few random pics of the East Side of Manhattan today. The East Side streets are never teeming with people like the colorful West Side or downtown neighborhoods where everybody is young and there are tons of people pushing strollers: Here, people mostly have their doorman fetch a cab.
I'm with VDH on this: What We Do Not Want to Hear Anymore. By way of correcting the drivel many of us are tired of, he concludes:
Old ad via Doug Ross
Can You Choose to be Gay?
Meet the Marriage Killer- It's More Common Than Adultery and Potentially As Toxic, So Why Is It So Hard to Stop Nagging?
Does School Stunt The Teenage Brain?
This name-dropping futile
GM still seeking more taxpayer cash
Related: The Trouble with the Copyright Debate - Does every illegal download represent a lost sale?
Big Brother Is Now Your Diet Coach - Should the government be watching what you eat?
Dr. Sanity: THE LIBERAL SOLUTION: FOSTERING DEPENDENCE:
David Cameron: human rights laws stop Britain protecting against terrorism
THE THIRD JIHAD PRODUCERS RESPOND TO ANTI-ISLAM CLAIM
Loreena McKennitt put the lyrics of this poem by the Spanish mystic monk, poet, and theologian John of the Cross (1541-1592) to music. Some of our readers will love what she did with it. The Youtube blurb on McKennitt's piece:
John also wrote a treatise on his poem, of the same title. As I understand it, the "dark night" also refers to the period between death and resurrection and union with God, or between death and heaven, and as a metaphor for the condition of being out of touch with God and His love, seeking it in the dark. However, John of the Cross makes a sexy love poem of it too, in the tradition of Song of Songs (Solomon, the old rascal, had 700 wives and 300 concubines to keep him from straying too far from the harem, and out of trouble.)
Here's one translation from: THE COLLECTED WORKS OF ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS, translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD, and Otilio Rodriguez, OCD, revised edition (1991). (Copyright 1991 ICS Publications. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, if this copyright notice is included.)
1. One dark night,
2. In darkness, and secure,
3. On that glad night,
4. This guided me
5. O guiding night!
6. Upon my flowering breast
7. When the breeze blew from the turret,
8. I abandoned and forgot myself,
Saturday, January 28. 2012
Listening to Bill Whittle's video we posted yesterday reminded me of his Katrina-era post titled Tribes.
As you may recall, it's about sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs - and about the Pink and Grey tribes.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:32 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
On the Florida primary, and on Obama. He's good:
The brief video interview with the Princeton Physics prof there is interesting too. He says they would have had many signatures if they had taken the time.
These fellows are saying what we have been saying here for years, but they have more street cred than we have. Indeed, the story of the AGW hysteria is a fascinating story of the politicization of scientific inquiry coupled with governmental and academic greed for money and power. It is a cautionary tale.
Furthermore, I think many of us would welcome a little global warming. I think it would improve the planet, overall. It certainly did so in the past. Watch, over the next year, more scientific organizations and agencies find the courage to publicize these politically-incorrect views.
At Maggie's Farm, most or all of us are Environmentalists and Conservationists. We want land and water and air to be protected. We do not even approve of urban sprawl because we may need all of our farmlands someday and, as pleasant as urban hiking can be, we need the woods too. But at the same time, we like to live in reality.
"My idea was to bribe the working classes, or shall I say, to win them over, to regard the state as a social institution existing for their sake and interested in their welfare.”
Otto von Bismarck (h/t Socialism = Bribery = Welfare State)
Saving the Whales (And Eating Them Too?)
Controversial Book Asks ‘Is Marriage for White People?’
When Will Housing Hit Bottom?
Scientists: Chill on global warming
"One of the more insidiously deceptive lines of the socialist-liberal agenda is the banal phrase: "Violence doesn’t solve anything.""
Let's Be Fair about Taxation
The economic chart that may doom the Obama presidency
Alternative Certification and 'Colorblind Racism' - The sooner the higher-education bubble bursts, the better.
How the CDC is overstating sexual violence in the U.S.
"Note to some of my fellow progressives: If we can’t argue about Israel without using anti-Semitic tropes, then the debate is lost before it even begins"
What Obama Won't Mention Today in Michigan: Campus Has 53% More Administrators Than Faculty
The U.S. military needs to invest in troops, not technology
Morning Bell: A Slashed and Burned Military
Good Grief… Obama: People Don’t Get Rich Without Government Investment
Reuters Acknowledges Rubio Hit Piece is a 'Fiasco' and a 'Disgrace'
Multimillionaire Elizabeth Warren: I’m not wealthy.
$14 million isn't wealthy? How does an academic accumulate that? Even on her $400,000 Harvard salary?
That god forbid, that made me first your slave,
Friday, January 27. 2012
A friend of mine recently joined a 3-day prison ministry in which our church participates. He returned home shaken by the entire experience.
6 million Americans sit in prisons today. I am certain that many of them are dangerous sociopaths who we would not want living next door, but many are non-violent (eg drug crimes, white collar crimes, etc) for which better penalties (eg fines) could be concocted. After all, it costs the taxpayer more per year than a year at Harvard to incarerate somebody.
America does have high rates of emprisonment. China doesn't, because they use the death penalty so liberally that they have medical vans on routes to stop by and harvest your fresh organs. In places like Saudi, they just cut your hand off if you steal. I suppose my feeling is that prison is ok for violent offenders, but not for the non-violent.
Anyway, this comes up because Dr. X. linked Gopnik's New Yorker piece, The Caging of America - Why do we lock up so many people?
What do you think? Am I a bleeding heart?
There are a few Italian pasta dishes that I am very fond of. One is the old reliable spaghetti - best made with spaghettini, I feel - with garlic and oil, with parsley on top. But the best is Pappardelle al Funghi.
The fungus, of course, has to be Porcini, either fresh if you can get it (and afford it), or dried. Dried is almost better, because you use the soaking water in the mix, and the flavor of the dried is more intense. I cannot find the exact recipe that I make on the internet, but it's something like this.
However, I don' know why it needs all that wine and chicken broth. Too soupy. Also, no Parmesan - no reason to add another flavor to distract from the earthy richness of the Porcini.
As you know, you never serve a sauce on top of pasta - you toss the pasta in the hot pan with the sauce. Photo below looks like it's made with fresh porcinis not cut quite into 2" pieces, and somebody forgot to garnish it with chopped parsley and some pepper. Otherwise...
A propos yesterday's post on Fishtown: Apple's Jobs to Obama: "jobs aren't coming back" to U.S:
Image on right via House of Eratosthenes
A Patti Smith update
A site that is new to me: C J Chiver's The Gun
A Q&A on benefits and risks of taking aspirin
Can Ontario Really Deliver North America's Best Smart Growth Plan?
Good news: Fried foods no health risk
Reaffirming: Los Angeles Students Roundly Reject ‘Healthier’ School Lunch Menu
Why the cafeteria crusade is a crock
Elites hate the poor. It's PJ O'Rourke, of course:
After Obama's Empty Words, Daniels Said It All
Alarming Thoughts On The SOTU from Clark Judge
Why, Precisely, is America so Great?
Ace is funny:
That's me for sure - always confused
MSM attempts pre-emptive strike on Rubio
Four ways Republicans can win Hispanics back
It’s time for journalists, human rights activists and church leaders in the U.S. to confront the prospect of Christianity’s destruction in the region of its birth.
President Obama leaves event promoting clean energy in a motorcade of 22 fossil-fueled vehicles.
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