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, July 28. 2012
Is there more to life than happiness?
Duh. Where should I begin?
You go, girl – out to ’burbs for real romance - City women head for LI, Conn. & NJ for guys who can commit
He shot Petra Anderson
Gunther Holtorf's 23-year road trip - Back in 1989, as the Berlin Wall fell, Gunther Holtorf and his wife Christine set out on what was meant to be an 18-month tour of Africa in their Mercedes Benz G Wagen. Now, with more than 800,000km (500,000 miles) on the clock, Gunther is still going.
Massive 1,100 pound white sturgeon caught in Canada
Why Many Olympians Will Pee Pink or Purple
Study: Some Women Deemed Too Attractive to Hire
Mobility Matters: Understanding the New Geography of Jobs
Christian Science Monitor Wonders if Every Romney Campaign Ad 'Racist'
'NY Mag': Hitting Obama for 'You Didn't Build That' Is Racist
Obama’s Right – in a Perverse Way – about Government Playing an Important Role for Small Businesses
Top Immigration Officials Describe Border Chaos Resulting From Obama Amnesty Policy
"AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not on the streets of our cities.”
Obama Will Create Federal Office For Black Students
New Obama Policy: Students Will Be Disciplined According To Race
Raul Castro Plays the MSM…Again
Cybercom Chief: U.S. Unprepared for Serious Cyber Attacks
The Definition of Love
MY Love is of a birth as rare
For Fate with jealous eye does see
And therefore her decrees of steel
Unless the giddy heaven fall,
Therefore the love which us doth bind,
Marvell was a diplomat and politician and, when younger, the personal secretary and friend to John Milton. During his lifetime, his satirical writings were more admired than his serious poetry. A mediocre bio here.
Friday, July 27. 2012
We linked it this morning. This is American.
Rep. Kelly on government red tape:
It fits on our handy-dandy blogroll: The College Fix
10 Things the Left Gets Right. He begins:
One of the problems with having multiple bloggers on a site such as this is that everyone has a different idea of what's "not quite too sexy" for what is, ostensibly, a refined, cultured site that tries to present a wide range of topics in at least a semi-dignified manner. Nobody here is a 'prude'. We all admire the human body in its God-given form. But, by the same token, using gratuitous sensationalism merely for sensationalism's sake doesn't seem to jibe well with a penetrating look at the national economy or the growth of the psyche in a young child's brain.
So, a line must be drawn, rules must be written.
The problem, of course, is one of getting bogged down in the minutiæ. The rule clearly states "no frontal nudity" — so does that mean 95% frontal nudity is okay? It clearly states "no bare nipples" — so does that mean covering them with the thinnest gauze in the known universe gets a pass?
Wet gauze, no less?
That's the point I was at in my thought process when suddenly, in an incredible one-in-ten-billion happenstance, two of my brain synapses lined up correctly and I had a revelation:
The rules don't have to be written!
Because Maggie, herself, has already shown us the way. Below, fellow and fellowess bloggers, you will find a wide variety of examples of posts which have already been approved by the governing board and are, indeed, on the site this very day. Merely right-click on one of them and open 'Properties' or 'View Image Info' and you'll see the direct link to Maggie's. So if the picture in your post looks just like one of these, you're good to go.
For the rest of you, as a quick example of what we're up against with the governing board, here's what appears at first glance to be a revoltingly rude picture that's obviously pushed the bounds of decorum way too far:
Despite the sordid events that took place that day, the above shamelessly revealing photograph was deemed 'okay' by the governing board because of its obvious authenticity. Hence the confusion among us bloggers. We figure if that kind of raunchy material is okay, then it's pretty much "anything goes" around this joint, and that's when we get into trouble.
So show us what's permissible to post, dear Maggie. Let history be our guiding light.
The procedure is very straightforward and easy. Simply use the officially-sanctioned picture below as your guide for each area and emulate it as closely as possible. Use the Windows Magnification Tool if necessary. When you feel your picture is "in sync" with the online guide picture, you'll be ready to post with no fear of repercussion.
RULE #1: NO BARE NIPPLES
A: Unless covered by the thinnest gauze in the known universe:
B: They're painted:
C: On a wall mural:
D: Covered in sludge:
E: Or it's Christmas:
B: when viewed...
C: from the...
E: Or covered with a bathing suit:
A: Unless covered in sludge:
B: Covered by the darkest shadows of the netherworld:
C: Or it's too far away to see anything, dammit!
A: Unless it's "art":
B: Or at least somebody's idea of it.
A: Unless it's painted:
B: Is a video that starts off with "NSFW":
C: Or is back behind the barn:
This is the traditional 'gray area' that's a little hard to define, but let me give you some examples and you'll catch on.
1. This picture would have been soundly rejected if the two photoshopped faces had been reversed:
Seeing Hillary with deep cleavage would have been deemed far too risky for our readership's delicate sensibilities, and some of the younger ones might have snapped. We all have our breaking point.
2. If a male had posted this:
He would have, correctly, been soundly condemned for perpetrating the frustrating, almost-impossible-to-achieve ideal that the 'perfect woman' has the hips of an 18-year-old boy.
But since a female posted it, it's perfectly okay.
3. If a female had posted this:
She would have, correctly, been soundly condemned for perpetrating the frustrating, almost-impossible-to-achieve ideal that the 'perfect woman' has the hips of an 18-year-old boy.
But since a male posted it, he's just considered a big dumb ape who doesn't know any better.
That's why this 'gray area' stuff is confusing.
As a guide to what type of pictures your readers might enjoy, we've extensively surveyed the Maggie's Farm readership and these are the categories they most prefer:
A. Pictures they can have on the screen when you-know-who suddenly walks into the room:
"What are you doing, dear?"
"Oh, uh, picking out new bedsheets for your birthday, sweetheart!"
B. More stacked, knock-kneed girls in heels and short skirts holding lollipops:
C. Bigger cans:
D. Fewer beads:
E. More tractor mechanics:
F. More water sports:
G. More genetic mutants:
H. More real farm porn!
Nice axles, baby! Show 'em!
Easter Island has stone heads, but little else. What happened?
Various amusing items at Althouse
Americans Flee Public Schools
Affirmative Action In Bank Lending Policy Promises Economic Disaster
Didn't we just try that experiment? How did it work out?
Jobs Program Spent $76,000 Per Person To Help Youth Find Minimum Wage Jobs
No justice in Corzine case - Cronyism is preventing prosecution
So these are Romney's down days?
Thought there might be ten little Indians
Over the transom:
Thursday, July 26. 2012
I haven't been completely idling away in LotusLand during my annual vacation, when I send the wife and boys to Europe to visit my mother-in-law. I actually successfully completed building in the yards built-in wood structures that took me two-years to figure out. The weather has been ideal in Encinitas, low to mid-70s, sunny, and I successfully completed my annual thong surveys.
In the midst of these distractions, I just penned an article about the two-years in the making University of California reports on the impact on campuses of pro-Palestinian students' anti-Israel activities. The piece can be accessed at this link: UC reports clarify, cloud campus controversies over Middle East
I am getting a kick out of this dumb Chick-Fil-A story. I suppose it's a good story for late July, for the entertainment value.
As I understand it (never seen one in NY or New England), it's an Atlanta-based, family-owned and very popular chain of fast-food chicken joints. Chicken sandwiches! I don't know whether the outlets are franchised or company-owned.
The founder is a traditional Christian who happens to hold a traditional view of marriage. Most Americans do, but that doesn't matter. President Dan Cathy had the temerity to say:
I suspect good ol' Col. Sanders felt the same way. So do I. Politicians who desire to show their cultural leadership (who asked them to do that?) are now all about banning Chick-Fil-A from their burgs. You have to laugh. People want to eat these sandwiches.
I mean, like, you know, they aren't banning Catholic churches, are they? Or Baptist churches? Or Muslim mini-marts? Or mosques? Or businesses whose CEOs are Catholics? I suspect the folks at Chick-Fil-A HQ are just enjoying the free publicity, and wondering about this crazy world. They don't need the money. I think the family is still amazed by their popularity and the growth of their recently-tiny, simple business. Plain old fried redneck chicken on a hamburger bun.
Driscoll on the topic
The Boston Globe weighs in (against the Boston Govt for once)
When will the word get out that the owner of Subway is a married, never divorced and never-gay Roman Catholic? Funny thing about this dumb brouhaha is that it makes me hungry for a Chick-Fil-A. I've never thought about it before. They must be pretty darn tasty to deserve all of this attention.
Probably tastes like chicken.
(Almost forgot to mention that the family didn't build that family food business. The government did it. Let's nationalize Chick-Fil-A, and Subway too.)
h/t, Prof Jacobson
“. . . let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet (h/t Anchoress)
Are you subversive?
"Constitutionalists"? Well, our Declaration of Independence certainly was subversive.
Adrian Wooldridge explores the unstoppable legacies of Isaiah Berlin and Hugh Trevor-Roper
...where are the girlfriends who threw themselves into the path of bullets to save their boyfriends?
Majority of American Employers Consider ObamaCare 'Step in the Wrong Direction'
A senior public servant thinks scientists should be passionate, engaged activists
Obama as WASP
Dems must be drooling at the thought of these planned new taxes in France
Wednesday, July 25. 2012
Carl Hiassen has a new book out, Chomp, for young readers. Other of his books offer hilarious south Florida black humor for grown-ups.
What did I just begin reading? Mark Twain's 1867 Innocents Abroad. Since we're taking a pass on a Europe trip this summer, thought I'd read about what ship cruising was like right when the concept was invented - his trip was advertised as a "pleasure excursion." From the blurb:
It ain't littercher, but it is delightful.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:17 | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (0)
J M Anderson is a thoughtful fellow, but he's dreaming: Common Core Standards Can Save Us.
Nothing wrong with core expectations of elementary and secondary school if people can agree on them (but I'd go to the local taxpayers for that advice, not the national educational establishment). However, no standards can cause those who don't want to, or are not interested in or capable of, learning things in school.
He opens with this: "It's no secret that most high school graduates are unprepared for college." Well, duh. But so what? There's no crisis in that area.
I don't blame teachers or curricula or standards for the fact that many kids do not learn much. It appears to be the case in colleges, too. Pretending that most kids are natural scholars defies all known reality.
Education is not a "product" that can be purchased, any more than "health" is. Such things are not passive purchases. No gym membership can give you six-pack abs, alas.
My babysitter, the sex bomb
Lots of good stuff at Insty, including this: Human Beings Were Meant to Eat Meat: It's In Our Genes
Confessions of a Forger - How Ken Perenyi made millions duping the art world — and greedy dealers
Has Mayor Bloomberg lost it?
An Academic Auto-da-Fé - A sociologist whose data find fault with same-sex relationships is savaged by the progressive orthodoxy
Non-PC science is increasing attacked these days
Never disabled: The "blind kid" never stopped working.
France considers criminalizing public appreciation of pretty women
Francois Hollande's 'Change Now' becomes 'Be Patient'
That was their plan
Because government is so good at running things
Mitt Romney's crucial week: What he must do
The Obama Campaign’s Attack-Ad Edge, Revealed
Presidential busts: The worst of all: Barack Obama (2009-?)
Tuesday, July 24. 2012
This is amazing: David Stockman: "The Capital Markets Are Simply A Branch Casino Of The Central Bank."
How does it feeeeeel, to be on your own... to be living in a virtual world? "You can't live beyond your means because it's pleasant."
Apropos of (is it necessary to use "of" after "apropos"?) our post a while ago about scientific research, here is Dr. Ionnadis's famous essay: Why Most Published Research Findings Are False.
It's a classic, and a good antidote to "the experts say..." and "studies show." Thanks for the reminder, reader.
Interesting to note that, the hotter the topic, the less reliable the findings. In the social sciences, it's far worse. Mostly garbage, I think.
I am science-trained, and it made me a skeptic about everything I read.
That's what these fall elections boil down to, this year. A stark choice in attitudes towards the relationship between the individual and the state. A Parental State vs. a Servant State. The country votes roughly 50-50 on that, which, to my mind, is pathetic in a bold nation like this. Too many people looking for a caretaker instead of embracing opportunity.
Lots of people are embedding this Scott Brown ad. The strange, shrill anger in Harvard prof Warren's voice is disturbing. She needs to be reminded who pays for the roads - and for her salary. The angry condescension towards the free commerce which makes this nation alive always bugs me, especially from those who have never engaged in it:
And they do it for less money, with no admissions process other than a lottery. No union bosses, no political pay-offs.
Give him a chance. He can be pretty smart sometimes, if not all the time. Certainly nails the psychology: Media Desperately Trying To Tie Batman Shooting To Conservatives:
h/t Hot Air, who has the transcript