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, March 28. 2012
Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side.
With a 5-lb. potato bag in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute, and then relax.
Each day you'll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer.
After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-lb. potato bags.
Then try 50-lb. potato bags and then eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-lb. potato bag in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute. (I'm currently at this level.)
After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each bag.
Busybodies of the World, Unite! - it's increasingly hard to escape those who want to deny simple pleasures to you—for your own good:
The Stunning JFK Airport Baggage Scandal;- 200 Thefts Per Day
Global Warming Models Are Wrong Again - The observed response of the climate to more CO2 is not in good agreement with predictions.
Robin Hood Has Always Been A Libertarian Hero
Somebody adores Elizabeth Warren
GIDEON RACHMAN: US has still not defeated the ‘al-Qaeda mentality’
Peter Beinart’s False Prophecy - The Crisis of Zionism, his book arguing that the Israeli occupation alienates young American Jews, is sloppy with facts and emotionally contrived
Jennifer Rubin on J Street
Stossel: Big government makes us all small.
As I mentioned a while ago, there isn't much Medieval to see in northern Italy except for some churches and monasteries, and some fortifications.
The wealth and urban renewal during the Renaissance is the reason. The narrow roads and alleys are often of medieval origin, but the old buildings are pretty much all Renaissance or later.
We did find one Medieval-era home in Orta San Guilio a couple of years ago (we drove our tiny rental over the mountains from Stresa for a day trip. I don't know how the lad fit his long legs into the back seat of that tin can, but he will put up with anything to explore new places):
Tuesday, March 27. 2012
The main reason Maggie's Farm exists as a 25-30% political site instead of as a 0% political site is to assert what we consider our Yankee views of freedom. We assume that governments, having nothing better to do, will seek to accumulate power and money. That's what organizations tend to do.
For each smidgen of accumulated government power, a smidgen is lost to the citizen. Power, unlike wealth, is a zero-sum game. It only seems to ratchet in one direction with the State as the beneficiary. We had a revolution about that sort of thing against our (then) democratic Parliament.
Variously attributed to Tom Paine, Tom Jefferson, and
The Obamacare argument is, or will be, that medical insurance is a uniquely "necessary and proper one." However, I could make the same argument for legal care, or housing-repair care, or auto insurance, or anything else that seems important at a given moment.
The argument that government power grabs are well-intentioned, or "good," or "for the greater good" is a non-argument to me as an American. We were designed to be a nation of sturdy and proud people, unlike our European ancestors. They think we're rubes: we think they are lame.
As we often remark here, the Libs, the Progressives, and the Left never introduce freedom arguments into debates (unless it involves sex). We put freedom factors into policy equations, and they do not. That's the basic difference.
Our friend Ilya has this: Thoughts on the Individual Mandate Oral Argument
I suppose I was raised on some foods you might term "Hotdish" - Shepherd's Pie, Tuna Noodle, Macaroni and Cheese, Lasagna, Seafood Casseroles, and the like - but it's not a New England term.
As his main course offering for our game dinner, my hunting pal brought his Oryx Moussaka over in his 18 qt. Nesco roaster oven. Just carried it into the kitchen and plugged it in to keep it hot.
(Being a Louisiana-born-and bred guy, he also made 4 Pecan Pies from his Mom's recipe. Made the crusts, too)
His Moussaka came out great, even though he had never made it before. (At our guy dinners, the men cook, the womenfolk are guests, and a helper cleans up. Mrs. BD does the flowers, of course.)
Point being, I'd never seen these roaster ovens before. Very handy. Waring makes a cheaper one.
If your oven is full, these seem to function as a spare oven, large enough for a 16# turkey, and their portability, their ability to keep food warm, and the inability to burn food in them, are useful features.
Can they give you an oven-like crusty or gratin surface if that's what you want? No. To brown the top of something, you have to put the enameled insert under the broiler for a few minutes.
Do any of our readers use these things?
There are times in life when some relief from mental pain is as much of a blessing as narcotics are for relief from physical pain.
I wrote a post last week titled “No need to worry about that, we have a cure for anxiety today.”
Today, I see that New York Magazine has a lengthy (and, annoyingly not visible on one page) cover story on the same topic: Listening to Xanax - How America learned to stop worrying about worrying and pop its pills instead. Here's a quote from the article:
At Commentary, Joseph Epstein's Old Age and Other Laughs:
An interesting young fellow. In New York Magazine, The Paul Clement Court - Seven cases. One lawyer. The GOP’s great hope for this Supreme Court season is an unassuming attorney who just happens to be lead counsel on the most polarizing arguments in America.
Instead of 2000-page Obamacare, with its vast new omnipotent and costly bureaucracies, they should have simply gone for Medicare for all. Eliminate Medicaid, Chip, etc. and put everybody on Medicare.
While I detest any expansions of government power, I think that, politically, it would have been more popular. Wrong, but more popular.
My preference would be to have the federal government out of medical care, and education, entirely. And out of a few other industries and enterprises too.
Remedial Sex Ed at Harvard
Harvard students need sex ed? Sheesh. That's pathetic. I thought kids were taught all of this stuff in 3rd Grade nowadays.
France: Here comes the whitewash
Why Socialist Cuba Prohibits Internet Access and Social Media: The Regime Couldn't Survive It
Does anyone — on either side — really think that the Patient Deflection and Unaffordable Care Act is about health care?
An EPA Power Grab - The bureaucracy and the fuel-economy standards
"It’s almost as if whenever Time’s editors are stuck for a cover, someone says, “Hey—let’s do global warming again! It’s such an easy story to write, and we can leave early from the office!"”
Is Norway the most anti-Semitic nation in Europe?
Why my brother quit coaching Little League
Has college become too easy?
Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman and the digital lynch mob
Former NAACP leader C.L. Bryant is accusing Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton of “exploiting” the Trayvon Martin tragedy to “racially divide this country.”
Monday, March 26. 2012
h/t Driscoll's Kill ‘em All, Let Pauline Kael Sort It Out
From Sipp's Is Frank Bunker Gilbreth Senior The Greatest Man Maine Ever Produced? (h/t Am Digest):
From Life on the Mississippi (1883)
Now when I had mastered the language of this water and had come to know every trifling feature that bordered the great river as familiarly as I knew the letters of the alphabet, I had made a valuable acquisition. But I had lost something, too. I had lost something which could never be restored to me while I lived. All the grace, the beauty, the poetry had gone out of the majestic river! I still keep in mind a certain wonderful sunset which I witnessed when steamboating was new to me. A broad expanse of the river was turned to blood; in the middle distance the red hue brightened into gold, through which a solitary log came floating, black and conspicuous; in one place a long, slanting mark lay sparkling upon the water; in another the surface was broken by boiling, tumbling rings, that were as many-tinted as an opal; where the ruddy flush was faintest, was a smooth spot that was covered with graceful circles and radiating lines, ever so delicately traced; the shore on our left was densely wooded, and the sombre shadow that fell from this forest was broken in one place by a long, ruffled trail that shone like silver; and high above the forest wall a clean-stemmed dead tree waved a single leafy bough that glowed like a flame in the unobstructed splendor that was flowing from the sun. There were graceful curves, reflected images, woody heights, soft distances; and over the whole scene, far and near, the dissolving lights drifted steadily, enriching it, every passing moment, with new marvels of coloring.
I stood like one bewitched. I drank it in, in a speechless rapture. The world was new to me, and I had never seen anything like this at home. But as I have said, a day came when I began to cease from noting the glories and the charms which the moon and the sun and the twilight wrought upon the river's face; another day came when I ceased altogether to note them. Then, if that sunset scene had been repeated, I should have looked upon it without rapture, and should have commented upon it, inwardly, in this fashion: "This sun means that we are going to have wind to-morrow; that floating log means that the river is rising, small thanks to it; that slanting mark on the water refers to a bluff reef which is going to kill somebody's steamboat one of these nights, if it keeps on stretching out like that; those tumbling 'boils' show a dissolving bar and a changing channel there; the lines and circles in the slick water over yonder are a warning that that troublesome place is shoaling up dangerously; that silver streak in the shadow of the forest is the 'break' from a new snag, and he has located himself in the very best place he could have found to fish for steamboats; that tall dead tree, with a single living branch, is not going to last long, and then how is a body ever going to get through this blind place at night without the friendly old landmark?"
No, the romance and the beauty were all gone from the river. All the value any feature of it had for me now was the amount of usefulness it could furnish toward compassing the safe piloting of a steamboat. Since those days, I have pitied doctors from my heart. What does the lovely flush in a beauty's cheek mean to a doctor but a "break" that ripples above some deadly disease? Are not all her visible charms sown thick with what are to him the signs and symbols of hidden decay? Does he ever see her beauty at all, or doesn't he simply view her professionally, and comment upon her unwholesome condition all to himself? And doesn't he sometimes wonder whether he has gained most or lost most by learning his trade?
Dan Walters: California's volatile tax revenue still a problem
The New VAWA--A Threat to College Students
British News is Covering Robocall Scandal…Where Is the U.S. Media?
What's up with this White Hispanic thing?
One of our hors d'oevres for a dinner we hosted on Sat. night was duck foie gras on baguette slices.
It is better than ice cream, thanks to the ducks.
"Worrying about how to live makes me want to die. I want to be a tree."
Buddy Larson, one of our many wise commenters and an oak of a fellow
Cause of Death: No Father
Dude, Where’s My Hate Crime?
The Democrat Who Took on the Unions - Rhode Island's treasurer Gina Raimondo talks about how she persuaded the voting public, labor rank-and-file and a liberal legislature to pass the most far-reaching pension reform in decades.
As Dems rack up debt, youth should flock to GOP
The 4 Best Legal Arguments Against ObamaCare- Why the president's sweeping health care overhaul should be struck down by the Supreme Court.
Coyote's First Solar Update
The End of Canterbury - Will the sun set on the Anglican communion?
Sunday, March 25. 2012
The more governments prove themselves incompetent to do something, the more resources they demand to do it. From Hubris heading for a fall:
Approaching death, rising taxes. The Sun.
I would say that if you can understand every detail of the Wiki piece on old Mr. Sun, your basic, math-free science is in fairly good shape.
I did not know that the sun, with its Solar System, orbits about the center of the Milky Way galaxy at approximately 251 km/second. We are racing around our galaxy which is, in turn, racing through space at somewhere between 100 and 600 km/second.
And yet we do not feel the speed.
South Carolina photo by our pal Capt. Tom Francis
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:55 | Comments (12) | Trackbacks (0)
It sure is in my neighborhood. The Rent Really Is Too Damn High.
Government policies keep it that way:
"From the moment a creature becomes aware of God as God and of itself as self, the terrible alternative of choosing God or self for the centre is opened to it."
"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."
I don't think he would mind one bit if that happened, but he loves his job too much
Pity the Progressive. Progressive pundits are befuddled, time and again, by the resilience of Americans’ faith in free enterprise. Consider Thomas Frank.
Top Industry Leader: Obama Is Most Anti-Business President in My Lifetime
Libertarianism Does Not Equal Selfishness - Setting the record straight about the philosophical foundations of libertarian thought
The Ineffective Greenhouse - A liberal legal legend's ludicrous ObamaCare defense.
Americans just don’t like ‘ObamaCare’
The Perils of Wishful Thinking: On Europe and the Middle East
Secret files reveal 9000 Nazi war criminals fled to South America after WWII
The Great Rumor Mill of China -Something strange is going on in Beijing. Here are the five most virulent conspiracy theories making the rounds -- and a stab at the likelihood of them panning out.
Obama is Fooling Lots of People on Israel
'Here Piggy!' Occupiers Taunt NYC Cops With Doughnut On String
Pope Benedict: Communism No Longer Working in Cuba
Dem Operative Links Fla. Shooting to Koch Brothers
I blame Rush
'They said they found the bullets... that's what could f*** me up': What teen accused of gunning down two British tourists in Florida told brother in prison phone call
New Black Panthers offer $10k bounty for Trayvon Martin's shooter
The 'Inequality' Movement--A Campus Product
Kudlow: The Reagan in Romney - Mitt’s tough conservative positions.
Fourth Largest Gun Maker In US Is Out Of Guns