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
Sunday, September 30. 2012
Back to the warm, cheery lodge's dock after a day of duck hunting in Canada. Fire roaring in the fireplace, the bar is open, hors d'oevres hot and waiting for us.
What's for supper? We hope for the beer-batter fried Walleye, fresh from the lake.
The article is at Ricochet. The comments are good.
For young docs these days, it's about paying off $200,000 in loans (not to mention 3-4 years after that as an intern and resident on a pittance), the incredible burdens of paperwork and new regulations, conflicts between wanting to be independent and the security temptations of getting a salary.
The big change in the past 20 years is women becoming 50% of medical school students. When I went to med school, it was around 25%. Many of the women, I have observed, are happy working limited hours, do not mind being salaried, and do not welcome the burdens and risks of private practice, taking full personal responsibility for patients, being on call, etc. They want to have babies, with work as a sideline. It's a big change from the independent cowboy medical practice of the past. Those cowboys were my role models.
Without wanting to sound sexist, I do have to observe that women are more comfortable following the rules than men are.
An old Wall Street joke:
Little old lady walks into the local bank and informs the teller that she would like to deposit $250,000 in cash, and would like to discuss it with the branch manager.
She goes into the manager's little office to discuss details of her deposit, and he asks how she came upon this windfall. "Gambling," she says.
"You must be good," says he. "I am," she replied. "For example, I'll bet you $25,000 that, tomorrow morning when I come in with the cash in my lawyer's hands, your balls will be square."
"Are you serious? OK, you're on." They shake on it.
Next morning, she arrives in his office with lawyer and bulging briefcase in hand to make the deposit. Manager says "OK, great. Now, what about our little bet? My balls are just the same as they always were."
"Well," she responds, "for $25,000 I need to check for myself." He pulls down his trousers and she checks his male parts carefully while her lawyer begins banging his head on the desk.
"What's the problem?" the manager asks.
"Nothing really," the old lady answers. "It's just that I bet him $100,000. that I could have your balls in my hands in 15 minutes."
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:25 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Big Harvest Moon last night and tonight
Translating the Iliad
Italian pianist revives music created in concentration camps
Florida To Experiment With New 600-Lever Voting Machines
Chile’s Amazing School Choice Revolution
13-year-old boys charged with stealing, killing great-grandmother with hatchet
Ex-N.Y. Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger dies
Bush's crime: governing while Republican.
Mankiw: The Price of Fiscal Uncertainty
Top Five Worst Obamacare Taxes Coming in 2013
Bailing Out Obamacare: Sarah Palin Was Right
Muslims in Dearborn Hold Massive Rally Against First Amendment
Krauthammer to Fellow Panelists: I Can’t Believe You Guys Are Covering For Obama on This Libya Disaster
When will Barack Obama call for the Middle East to stop clinging to their guns and religion?
Saturday, September 29. 2012
That means it's time to pick up the dekes and head the boat a mile or two down the lake back to ye olde lodge. Cocktail Hour. If the outboard won't start, we have oars. Done that, too, but it's only half-fun.
The more you do, the more people you meet, and the more places you go, the more luck you get. Talked to somebody last week who got a new job by just chatting with a stranger in a barbecue joint take-out line.
What sort of job? Financial software development. Salary? Over $200,000.
A history of bankruptcy puts a nice ding on a person's credit rating and future employability. Even so, sometimes it's the only way to get a second chance in life if one has been highly irresponsibe and, hopefully, learned from it. Zero Hedge had this last Spring: Student Loan Debt Slaves In Perpetuity - A True Story Of "Bankruptcy Hell".
Naturally, cancelling out loans via bankruptcy will make lenders more cautious about lending to any student. But who is the biggest lender? Us, the government. Who is the biggest beneficiary? College administrations. Do you hear gripes about college administrator salaries? Nope, but college presidents make about the same as greedy CEOs.
It's all crazy.
Among other sun perennials I plan to squeeze into my new borders are a Shasta Daisy variety, one that grows 2' max instead of the tall ones.
Nowadays, they come in varying heights. Who built the original Shasta Daisy? The great Luther Burbank, of course. The guy was a master and pioneer of genetic engineering for commercial purposes. His russet potato is still the biggest seller, especially for French Fries.
BTW, you can google Bluestone Perennials for a wide selection of well-priced, fall-shipping plants. They are small, but if you put them in now they will grow robustly in the Spring and triple their size in a few weeks.
Ramirez toon above from IBD via NYM
A good rant from Dem Caddell
Dems Apparently Blind to Bad Economic News
As is the press
School Cafeteria Employee: 'Seconds' Banned, Extra Food Thrown Away Under Obama Rules
Guns don’t kill people, printers do!
France goes for the gold with a 75 percent income tax on high earners
Here are two reasons most Americans don't trust the mainstream media
Allen West ad: Hey, guess where I was while my opponent was drunk and disorderly?
Get Mad Now, Mitt - Sorrow over Bam isn’t enough
Don’t Look Now But… Obama’s Approval Rating Matches 2010 Right Before Historic Thumping
Dan Mitchell Talking about Elections, Competitiveness, and Protectionism on Fox
Poll: Nearly 80% Think Everyone Should Pay Some Income Tax
Egypt’s Christians facing the fate of Egyptian Jews
Jewish reaction to thousands of antisemitic Arab cartoons: No riots, no injuries, no deaths
The Garden of Proserpine
Here, where the world is quiet;
I am tired of tears and laughter,
Here life has death for neighbour,
No growth of moor or coppice,
Pale, without name or number,
Though one were strong as seven,
Pale, beyond porch and portal,
She waits for each and other,
She waits for all men born;
Forgets the earth her mother,
The life of fruits and corn;
And spring and seed and swallow
Take wing for her and follow
Where summer song rings hollow
And flowers are put to scorn.
There go the loves that wither,
The old loves with wearier wings;
And all dead years draw thither,
And all disastrous things;
Dead dreams of days forsaken,
Blind buds that snows have shaken,
Wild leaves that winds have taken,
Red strays of ruined springs.
We are not sure of sorrow,
And joy was never sure;
To-day will die to-morrow;
Time stoops to no man's lure;
And love, grown faint and fretful,
With lips but half regretful
Sighs, and with eyes forgetful
Weeps that no loves endure.
From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be
That no life lives for ever;
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.
Then star nor sun shall waken,
Nor any change of light:
Nor sound of waters shaken,
Nor any sound or sight:
Nor wintry leaves nor vernal,
Nor days nor things diurnal;
Only the sleep eternal
In an eternal night.
As I read it, the poem is written from the point of view of an ancient Roman or Greek. Proserpine, the Roman version of Persephone who was the wife of Hades, had a garden of poppies - the flower of care-free sleep and blissful forgetfulness. Swinburne was a character, just one more of those brilliant, wealthy drunken Brit writers and critics who liked to ride horses and died of self-inflicted wounds.
Friday, September 28. 2012
Harvard Tells the Freshmen What to Read. It sounds like a Middle School reading list to me.
What are they thinking? Or do they have no faith in their admissions office? The students should feel insulted.
So much of political debates for the past 150 years have been about whether central control by supposed experts is preferable to private efforts to be good caretakers of their resources.
Regular readers know that we tend to have a deep distrust of government, central planning, and centralized power and believe that we are line with the Founders in that regard.
We have regularly posted about The Tragedy of the Commons here. The moral of the tragedy of the commons extends far beyond cow pastures, vast herds of bison, and marine resources. (In fact, it extends to government itself which tends to view the populace as an inexhaustable resource for its own purposes.)
The usually Totalitarian-Left-tending, once highly-regarded magazine Science is beginning to use some logic: Property Rights Are the Way to Save the World's Depleting Fisheries, Reports Science.
"A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty."
Ralph Waldo Emerson on Originality. Speak for yourself, Ralph: my rejected genius eludes me.
Cheating at Highly Competitive High Schools
The Most Boring Man in the World (video)
‘Won’t Back Down’ stars undaunted in face of union protests of school-choice movie
It's Always the Economy, Stupid - Barack Obama wants to talk about his windmill economy. Next week's debate should discuss the one we've got now.
Obama Voter Says Vote for Obama because he gives a free Phone
Lowry: End of the referendum
Tibet’s Transition: Will Washington Take a Stand?
'The Endgame’ Is A Well Researched, Highly Critical Look at U.S. Policy in Iraq
Why a Special Issue on UNRWA?
Thursday, September 27. 2012
We are re-building some perennial and shrub beds this fall. No garden is ever finished; most are usually in transformation. Having lost a large old Sugar Maple a few years ago, a shade border has become a full-sun border.
That's an opportunity, but it takes a lot of wheelbarrow and shovel work to prepare the beds (adding manure, peat moss, etc) and to get it planted before a frost - and I have a busy life. Designing a border is the fun part, and Mrs. BD has kindly told me that "It's your turn" to do it. Right now is the time to get the perennials in the ground, and shrubs and perennials planted or transplanted. Real gardeners try to plant in the fall, not in the Spring.
Most perennials can be bought online now for immediate delivery, while the local garden shop may have nothing but mums, asters, and pumpkins.
Part of the fun of design is ensuring early Spring through fall blooms, contrasting textures and heights, harmonious colors in the various bloom seasons, some degree of repetition, some plants which provide structure to the plan, something for winter interest, etc. It's a challenge, even if you are aiming for an informal "cottage garden." It's like painting.
Perhaps later I will list the plants I am putting in, but today just one of them: the late summer and fall-blooming Anemones (my pic from a NYBG border last week).
Over the transom:
I had to look up "paraprosdokian". Here is the definition: "Figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently used in a humorous situation." "Where there's a will, I want to be in it," is a type of paraprosdokian.
1. Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
Posted by Gwynnie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:32 | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (0)
This is Table Tennis.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:27 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Readers know that I have long rejected the notion of a college-level Liberal Arts-focused education as an economic investment. However, I have praised it as a potentially life-enhancing guided exploration more deeply into our culture and into current knowledge than secondary school can do (although good private schools can do it). "Cultivation of the mind" and all that.
In other words, do I do not think of it as utilitarian. (Colleges were designed for scholars and clery - for the cognitive and/ or financially elite.) I learned much in high school and in college which have never provided me with a penny of profit but which I believe have enhanced my life in countless ways: Geology, Statistics, Intro Music History, Ancient Greek History, Russian Lit, etc.
However, when I went to college the ways of learning these things outside college were not as accessible as they are today. The self-informed scholars of the past had to spend hours in libraries, after work, just to try to figure out where to start. Today, you can get the best Music History course in the world from the Teaching Company for $200. and enjoy it at leisure - with no exams.
So we return to my recurrent question: Is Liberal Arts college about job-preparation, for networking, is it a meaningless credential, is it a way to delay adulthood, or is it a guided exploration into our culture and knowledge for the deeply curious and scholarly with high IQ?
In Obama's economy, the reality hits. Plumbers making $70-150/hr make much more money than most recent college grads and lead more independent and entrepreneurial careers. In fact, more than many recently-graduated professionals.
Coyote has fun in NYC on $20
Open Season on Salt: What the Science on Hypertension Really Shows - Shedding pounds may be a better way to promote cardiovascular health than avoiding the saltshaker
The police blotter in Fort Kent, Maine
Working people frequently ask retired people what they do to make their days interesting
Paddling could soon be back in Marion County (FL) Schools
Markets vs. central planners … learning the lessons all over again
Democrat Senate Hopeful Warren Exposed As Complete Fraud
$1.8 trillion shock: Obama regs cost 20-times estimate
The Morning Plum: Mitt Romney’s conundrum deepens
Kudlow: Mitt’s Take-Home-Pay Message
How to Make 2012 into 1980
Wednesday, September 26. 2012
The great Renaissance theologian, zealot, and political reformer, was tortured, hanged, and burned in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence in 1498. The spot where that happened is well-marked in the Piazza.
Botticelli was just one of his famous followers, and supposedly burned some of his own paintings in the Bonfires of the Vanities.
A new book, reviewed: Savonarola: The Rise and Fall of a Renaissance Prophet
I remember having had this waiting feeling during the Dole and the McCain campaigns. This game requires cojones.
(Page 1 of 8, totaling 190 entries) » next page