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
Wednesday, February 29. 2012
4th Time Around, live, approx 1966. Genius. Not normal.
How can it be that we have so many people in the upper reaches of government who seem to have nary a clue about what America is all about?
Steyn put it well when he wrote about Your Right to Compulsory Education. I suppose we have another Right - the Right to Compulsory Medical Insurance.
But back to Geithner, Lindsay says what I wanted to say in Geithner and the 'Privilege' of Being American - The Founders argued that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were rights that preceded government—not things to be granted by it. My bolds:
The Landlord’s Tale - A member of a maligned class explains, among other things, how he keeps up the neighborhood.
At Singer's Climate Deniers Are Giving Us Skeptics a Bad Name:
As regular readers know, we tend to believe that this is all a big trumped-up boondoggle, and of no importance. Furthermore, here at Maggie's we pray for global warming.
"God has all the essential characteristics of what we mean by a “person,” in particular conscious awareness, the ability to recognize and the ability to love. In that sense he is someone who can speak and who can listen. That, I think, is what is essential about God. Nature can be marvelous. The starry heaven is stupendous. But my reaction to that remains no more than an impersonal wonder, because that, in the end, means that I am myself no more than a tiny part of an enormous machine. The real God, however, is more than that. He is not just nature, but the One who came before it and who sustains it. And the whole of God, so faith tells us, is the act of relating. That is what we mean when we say that he is a Trinity, that he is threefold. Because he is in himself a complex of relationships, he can also make other beings who are grounded in relationships and who may relate to him, because he has related them to himself."
"Holy crap: Asus demos smartphone that transforms into tablet, notebook"
What exactly is a leap year and why do we need them? Well, allow us to explain
Hard times for the National Education Association
Climate change may have caused Mayan civilization's collapse
Obama administration plan would kill rival bird to save spotted owl
Admission Standards and How to Lower Them Legally
Happy cattle, and happy and powerful overlords
Leftists Confused About Rights. Again.
Most people aren't stupid. The less taxes the prosperous pay, the more money they have to buy our goods and services, and to invest in our businesses.
Good grief. These people are insane.
Georgetown Law Co-Ed Demands Everyone Else Pay for Her Untamed Sex Life
I am told the pill costs $9/month at WalMart
Knish: Uncivil Rights:
BBC chief: mock Christians, not Muslims
Hamas and Fatah Want a New Intifada
Tuesday, February 28. 2012
I think a connectome could be rephrased as a soul, but I am not sure what difference renaming it makes. At TED via The Age of Connectome at Cocktail Party Physics.
(Unrelated, how TED became brain candy)
I’ve been going to an interesting series of lectures on what is called Holocaust theology, the attempts to analyze what lessons about G-d can be drawn from the Holocaust, summed up in the question “Where’s G-d When Needed?” The learned views vary but, not having read the books, what seems missing is the question of “Where’s Mankind When Needed?”
The discussions of the question “Where’s G-d When Needed?” offers answers that draw upon centuries of theological explorations of what G-d is or what G-d intends and of in what ways we should be observant or revisionist in our religious practices.
Ultimately, however, in my view, modesty is – at the very least – required of man in presuming to understand G-d. Indeed, whether formally or spiritually religious, whether of faith or lacking faith in G-d, whether of any faith, it is, to me, more important and more knowable to try to first understand mankind. There is a truth to be had.
Continue reading "Purim: Where’s Mankind When Needed?"
Over the course of quite a few visits to Italy, I have read a good deal about Italian history, art, and architecture. Much of what I learn, I eventually forget unless I use it.
If those things interest you, it would be a waste of a trip without reading this book first: The Art of the Italian Renaissance: Architecture, Sculpture, Painting, Drawing.
It begins with Medieval, and runs through to late Renaissance in the 1600s. Tons of pictures, and very well-written in almost-scholarly detail. Rich in detail.
The authors blend history with cultural history. A great pleasure to read. And how else would you really know what you are looking at?
(It helps to be familiar with the locality's regional foods, too.)
If you have been to college, a person ought to get above 90% on this Scientific Literacy Quiz. (50 elementary questions - and no math)
The food stamp program, part of the Department of Agriculture, has announced that is pleased to be distributing the greatest amount of food stamps ever.
Meanwhile, the National Park Service, also part of the Department of Agriculture, asks us to "Please Do Not Feed the Animals" because the animals may grow dependent and not learn to take care of themselves.
New evidence suggests Stone Age hunters from Europe discovered America
Can you tell the difference between gourmet liver paté and dog food?
Act of Valor: Liberals Decide They Don’t Like Propaganda
Dems Urge Saudi Arabia to Pump More Oil But Won’t Allow Production Here in US
Learning the Wrong Lessons From the Fort Hood Massacre
Morning Bell: Obama Doctrine Failure
Richard Falk’s Imagination Gone Wild
CAP “Islamophobia” Report Hijacked - Author has ties to Muslim Brotherhood affiliate
Monday, February 27. 2012
Went to the opening of The Steins Collect show at the Met Museum this weekend. It's a large exhibit, lots of interesting stuff but mostly stuff that the Steins (Leo, Gertrude, Michael and Sarah) could afford to buy. I did learn that Gertrude's older brother Leo was really the aesthete in the family, while Gertrude was the one who hogged the limelight.
However, I took notice of some things that I have known, but never attended to, before. Mainly, the attitude and behavior of the museum-goers (place was packed this weekend).
Everybody is hushed, like in church or in a library. People whisper, if they speak at all. Nobody laughs. Nobody talks to strangers. As on NYC sidewalks, eye contact is forbidden. It's a reverent but unfriendly atmosphere.
Nobody looks as if they are having fun, all so somber and serious. When I have my earphones on (I enjoy the audio guides) and end up making some wisecrack comment to Mrs. BD, she frowns and says I am talking too loud. A few times I have made comments to people who were looking at what I was, and they look at me as if I had produced a loud fart in church.
Why is this? I know serious aesthetes are studying the pictures - probably with knowledge and sophistication which far exceed my own - and I agree that Cezanne and Picasso were mind-bogglingly good and inventive at their craft, but their pictures are not objects of worship. Not only not objects of worship, but 20th C art was produced to be commercial - to sell to people to hang on their walls to add interest and enjoyment to their parlors. And to convey to others that you had some avant-garde taste in pictures.
The minute people get outside the museum, they get cheerful and chatty again - like normal people - and finally begin talking about what they have looked at.
Mind you, I agree that it is annoying and uncivilized to be loud, goofy, or boisterous in public spaces (other than in sports venues or the aquarium), but it now strikes me that the reverent hush is really sort of strange and unnatural.
Mark Steyn elaborates on that pitiful citizen's sentiments in The Perversion of Rights. A quote:
"The town which can’t support one lawyer can always support two lawyers.”
Pres. Lyndon Johnson
Why Doctors Die Differently - Careers in medicine have taught them the limits of treatment and the need to plan for the end
Don't Criticise Your Parents Until Your Children Are Grown
Not your father's UK: Osborne: UK has run out of money.
Obama now echoes Palin on energy
The administration knows that the corrupt and unprofessional media won’t care. But the administration isn’t brain damaged. These are clever people...
California GOP barely exists
Obama Hires Academy Award Winning Filmmaker To Direct A Movie About . . . Barack Obama…
The Socialist Transfer of Wealth - Who are the real 1%?
After 'In Darkness': Halina Wind's uplifting message
Why are Harvard grads in the mailroom?
Sunday, February 26. 2012
" ...I avoid making forecasts for tenths of a degree change in globally averaged temperature anomaly, I am quite willing to state that unprecedented climate catastrophes are not on the horizon though in several thousand years we may return to an ice age."
MIT Meteorology Prof Richard Lindzen, speaking to Parliament. Of course, we are still technically in an ice age, with the poles covered with ice. It has not always been so. We're in a sort-of interglacial period within a large cold spell. God knows what the next big ice incursion will do to civilization. It will not be pretty, but I will be dead while the pols try to urge us to drive subsidized Hummers on $1. per gallon petrol.
The government is my shepherd, I shall not want...
From A Funny Book about Worthless Degrees at Minding the Campus:
$30,000? Try $200,000. People with curiosity, who love to learn, will always find a way. Books, libraries, Teaching Company, etc. Those without the gift of curiosity will never know more than they have to. Do you want to learn, or do you need a credential? A quote:
Did the Titanic Sink Because of an Optical Illusion?
Agatha Christie Reading Challenge Carnival
Washington, D.C. best city for cheating, online dating service AshleyMadison.com finds
Here's Ashley Madison - "Life is short. Have an affair."
Does it pay to work for $60,000 per year?
Hayward: Why the Climate Skeptics Are Winning - Too many of their opponents are intellectual thugs.
The American Right And The Demonization Of Barack Obama
Obama’s dream: To run against Santorum
Lies, Crimes, and United States v. Alvarez
Small Business Owners Fear Economic Situation
Dobro and Pedal Steel, (with Grandma on 5-string bass):
1 Peter 3:18-22
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