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
Friday, October 26. 2012
The pinup girl of Maggie's Farm, Marianne Matthews, who in so many ways epitomized our ideals, educated the uncouth, and lifted our spirits has died. I and you hadn't heard from her in a month or so. I just phoned the police in the city where she lived and they checked her house. She passed about a month ago. Her dear husband (87), who had been failing, is now in a nursing home. (If anyone is in the Houston area and is able to do a bit of traveling nearby, please email me via the Comments and I'll get back to you offline.)
Here's a photo she sent me in 2011, when Marianne was 82, with a, to use Marianne's description, "surrogate daughter." Marianne never had children of her own, unless you count the thousands and thousands who have known and loved her.
Marianne was a highly trained and accomplished musician, as well as a highly educated lady (Columbia). Several years ago she sent me photos of her first guitar that her father bought her as a child. Marianne also was a noted folksinger during the 1940s and 1950s. Several years ago a friend of hers rescued some tapes of her singing in the 1950s. I chose one cut, "The Last Rose Of Summer", and uploaded it and a photo of Marianne (when she was 44, taken in 1972) to Youtube. Here it is. With love to a very lovely lady. They don't make roses like that anymore. We are all saddened and diminished by her passing.
If you care to share your memories of Marianne, please Comment.
Here's the lyric to "The Last Rose Of Summer" and a bit about the poem.
'Tis the last rose of summer,
I'll not leave thee, thou lone one!
So soon may I follow,
The cumulative evidence is now evident to all with even bad eyesight that Benghazi is sad proof of what conservative critics have been saying for the past four years, that President Obama, his appointees and administration lack the dedication, insight and guts to defend the United States honorably or resolutely.
Democrats were known as the Party of national security weakness for a generation after their betrayal of South Vietnam and Jimmy Carter’s callowness in the face of the Iranian radicals. Aging memories, war tiredness, and big lies from the Obama administration managed to recover some national security credibility.
Now, it’ll take another generation for Democrats to, depending upon circumstances, recover some national security credibility. How focused and resolute Republicans behave will be important. Otherwise, abandon all hope for the US.
The latest revelation of betrayal of the men on the ground fighting desperately in Benghazi makes every veteran I know furious, makes every conservative voice howl in anger, but has yet to break the silence at Yahoo News, Washington Post, New York Times. They may be trying to run out the clock to November 6. That finger in the dike will not hold, possibly before November 6 and certainly after. The maggots in the chain of command in the White House, Pentagon, State Dept., and CIA responsible deserve to have their names engraved on a prominent monument to cowardice.
UPDATE: Petraeus Throws Obama Under the Bus That's where he and his minions who sent the American heroes to their desperate death belong, literally. Obama Ducks Questions On Why Help Wasn't Sent To Benghazi Maggot-in-Chief
A old, experienced friend emails me this:
Something like that might explain the frenzied confusion of stories.
I wrote a review on the beta version here. It's morphed into an operating system designed for tablet computers, but as I note in the review:
So even the things that make it handy and tablet-y are semi-worthless. And while the Desktop is still available for 'normal' computer work, it's missing a few things. Otherwise, it's just Windows 7 right down to the exit sound.
My guess is that the New Wave crowd — those who just gotta have the latest trinket, like a tablet computer — will rave about it, but otherwise I think it'll be something of a flop. Regular (also known as 'normal') computer users will just stare at the opening screen...
...and wonder why the hell they should want to check the weather (when a glance out the window should suffice) or their vast stock portfolio (that's your stock broker's job) when all they want to do is get their damn email and hang out on the web for a while.
If you have, or are thinking of buying, a tablet computer, by all means read some reviews and buy the best tablet software. If you're just a regular ol' slob like me using one of them archaic desktop computers, forget you just wasted two minutes reading this post. Sorry. Blame Microsoft.
Like most individuals, institutions can always find new "needs" to spend money on. About three years ago, my alma mater announced a $600 million bequest. Two months later, their fund plea arrived in the mail, hoping I would increase my annual donation.
Did they lower tuition? No. For greedy government and greedy non-profits, it's never enough and never will be.
It's looking more likely that Sandy will attack the northeast US:
This is what climate change looks like! The Pilgrims experienced one of these. Stock up on
Wind industry boom going bust
Father of Slain SEAL: Who Made the Decision Not to Save My Son? On meeting Obama: “Could not look me in the eye … like shaking hands with a dead fish.”
The enlightened Democrat Mead's excellent News From Obama’s Home State. He begins:
The Democrats’ Squirrel a Day Plan
As key Senate races get tighter, Republicans’ hopes rise
Obama's Apology Tour Was Crafted By Handful Of Radical Advisors
Massive Voter Fraud in NC
Obama's pathetic picture book
DWS says Romney never mentioned Israel in the debate, and if you don’t count the 14 times he did, she’s correct
WaPo/ABC Poll: Romney Cracks 50
A Brief History of Obama - How sarcasm and insult took over the Democratic Party
U.N. Human Rights Council Calls for Boycott of U.S. Companies
A Whiff of Weimar: The Greek Crisis Gets Worse
Germany dedicates memorial to Gypsy victims of the Nazis
Thursday, October 25. 2012
Friends of Maggie's with Salmon, on the beach of their summer house on Camano Island, Washington State, this week:
There are some major races in some states that are so predetermined that the opposing party has a sacrificial candidate. That's the case in California, where longtime US Senator Diane Feinstein (D) is an easy win for re-election. Feinstein is not so in-your-face obnoxious as her fellow California US Senator Barbara Boxer, and occasionally seems moderate. But, get down to the votes in the Senate and Feinstein is a party-line liberal. Her opponent on November 6 is Elizabeth Emken. In another race, Emken's personality and positions would be a winner. Feinstein has not even deigned to debate Emken.
Via a tip from Bookie (whose mother has a decades-old gripe against "lazy" Diane Feinstein), here's Emken's mock-up debate with Feinstein. If for no other reason, watch the 2-minutes so you'll be aware of Emken next time:
First Galileo, and now this.
As you might have heard, a court in Italy has convicted seven scientists of manslaughter because they failed to predict an earthquake that struck some village and killed a bunch of people.
People living in non-earthquake-reinforced buildings in an area known for having violent earthquakes, I might add.
I think this sums it up pretty well:
More articles on this travesty of justice, sensibility and reason:
Italian court convicts 7 scientists for failing to predict earthquake
On the up side, I'm sure Galileo will be glad for the company.
Most recent NOAA storm prediction for the Northeastern US here.
Looks like they predict a major Nor'easter fueled by Hurricane Sandy. The dramatic prediction of perfect storm conditions will likely be wrong but heck, it's time to get your boat out of the water now anyway.
Mrs. BD's pic of central Ohio on Sunday
Stormy weather may be headed to the Northeast
When humans broke off sex with neanderthals
End of the road for Volkswagen camper - Safety legislation is to kill the Volkswagen Kombi after 63 years of continuous production
8 Of The Richest Dictators In History
Consumer reps: Medigap is not the bad guy
US could soon overtake Saudi Arabia as world's biggest oil producer; output is booming
Fair Weather Federalism in the Forecast
A Vote for Election Day - Early voting doesn’t decrease partisanship or give us a “better” electorate.
Kill Lists, the Disposition Matrix, and the Permanent War: Thoughts on the Post Article
ELECTILE DYSFUNCTION - CNN hastily pulls article explaining how hormones affect women's votes
McArdle: Why It's Hard to Control Health Care Costs - Our wonks say "No, no!" while our regulators say "Yes, yes!"
Climate change still a no-show at debates
Not a single mention of Europe either
Anti-Mormon Bigot Behind Obama/Allred 'October Surprise'
'Mom, go upstairs. We're all liberals.'
Foreign Debt Has Nearly Doubled Under Obama
A Second First Term - Meet Obama's new agenda, same as the old agenda, only less.
Why Romney Wants Public Jobs to Meet Performance Goals
Harry Stein: The Democrats’ Jewish Problem
Is Newly Appointed Libya Investigator an Islamist-Sympathizer With Ties to CAIR?
Obama's real record on Israel
Wednesday, October 24. 2012
Men and Women Can't Be "Just Friends"? The age-old question is addressed in a sloppy study in Scientific American.
Humans aren't Bonobos, but in human connections there is always some sex in the air. The popularity of "friends with benefits" relationships among the youth, and now middle-aged singles - makes that clear. Lots of other things are in the air too, like competitiveness, childish emotional wishes, familial-type feelings, feelings of tribal affiliation. loneliness, delight or amusement in another's company, shared intellectual or recreational fun, exploitative aspirations, etc., etc.
My profound and earth-shaking point here is simply that human interactions and connections partake of all aspects of being ... human.
There's one thing I know for sure: Put a guy and a gal who are pals in a comfy place away from home, add alcohol, stir, and anything can happen. Alcohol numbs the prefrontal cortex.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:30 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Don Harrison is the editor of the San Diego Jewish World, widely influential in this area and widely read elsewhere. Don Harrison is what I have often called him, "an open-minded liberal." Indeed, he has often published me! He is thoroughly politically liberal, and can be counted upon to with very rare exception endorse the Democrat candidate for any office. However, in the case of Romney Vs Obama, Harrison tells me that he agonized for a long time. The deciding factors for Harrison are that Obama can't be trusted to be a firm supporter of Israel in its existential danger from the development of Iranian nuclear weapons while Romney can be trusted more, and that domestically Harrison feels that there will be enough constraints on social conservative agendas to avoid the worst fears raised by Democrats during the campaign.
I'll let Don Harrison speak for himself now:
Continue reading "Jewish Newspaper Editor's First Ever Endorsement Of Republican"
Last week we posted about how higher ed is simply job preparation. Here's the other point of view: The Liberal Arts, Economic Value, and Leisure. A quote:
While I am somewhat sympathetic to the feeling of the article, I also find it foolish in several ways.
First, it is not only the elites who have access to the liberal arts. With 70% of current job seekers holding higher ed degrees, that no longer applies.
Second, any public high school offers an abundant introduction to the liberal arts, enough to prepare anybody to pursue their intellectual interests for the rest of their lives.
Third, "leisure to study"? That's ridiculous. Full-time college offers leisure to drink, to attend football games, and to pursue the opposite sex. Best students I've known had no leisure.
Fourth, the idea of a "public good." Last I heard, that just means that somebody else ought to pay for it, preferably my neighbor via taxation. Why my neighbor should pay for my kid to "pursue at leisure the things that speak to him" is utterly beyond me.
Needed his sleep before fund-raiser in Las Vegas in the morning. Staff and press covered for him. This goes beyond "scandal" into other more serious categories like abrogation of duty.
The Way To Prosperity toon via Bearish
The 'New' Old Age Is No Way to Live - The ancients had it right: Reflection and friendship are the bounties of old age
Will your piano end up in the dump?
Brownstone: Bidding Farewell to a City’s Precious Stone
16 Ways I Blew My Marriage
ObamaCore’: Radical Education Bill Set to Take Effect After Election - Taxpayers will foot the bill for lowered standards and leftist tracts.
Why Romney took Monday debate risk in base to win undecideds
Here come the anti-Mormon smears:
Boston Herald: Romney’s the one
Lying means nothing to them
Heard it before:
Tuesday, October 23. 2012
A treat for our Nigel Farage fans: "total subjugation of the states to a completely undemocratic structure in Brussels."
Via Nigel Farage On The Total Subjugation Of Europe. Everybody knows that the EU is an empire.
George McGovern was hard not to like, but his politics were naive in the extreme. Late in life, he decided to go into business, and wrote about it: George McGovern in the Journal - A Politician's Dream Is a Businessman's Nightmare: A 1992 column on the realities of running a business.
I think it must have been painful for him to accept that many of the Liberal policies he had stood for during his career were plain destructive and exasperating to the ordinary citizen who just wanted to make an honest living.
I think the Romney people are looking at their inside numbers, and believe that they are winning, or close to it, with momentum on their side. I think the Obama people are watching their lead of the summertime slip through their fingers with little they can do about it other than to sling one more $100 million worth of slime at Romney. Going all-negative and throwing hopey-changey under the bus.
Hence the nature of the "debate" last night, with Romney rising amiably above the fray while Obama irritably yipped and yapped and snapped at him like a sharp-toothed puppy trying to get a rise out of a big dog.
A pleasant ramble through the topic of hurricanes of the past, engineering, beaver dams, and related topics from a guy who enjoys stormy weather: Hurricane Warning; McKibben Alert. A quote:
Sectors funding Romney and Obama (via MarketWatch):
Note: These are individual contributions, not organizational.
Pic is a Sugar Maple, on fire yesterday
Somebody throw these minstrel boys a coin
Guy does have talent
Althouse live-blogged the debate, if you skipped it
Will anybody risk giving Italy earthquake advice again?
Suddenly, a natural gas glut
Wilma Dickfit having tea at Yale
A Prof teaches how to take offense about tiny things:
Joe Scarborough: The truth about the tea party
A commenter at Pajamas:
And The Winner Of The First Lady Debate Is...
Bloomberg says Warren’s policies could ‘bring socialism back’
Chris Wallace: “You Would Have Thought Romney Was The President”
Re Ohio at Goldberg:
Genocide's Definition Revisited
Monday, October 22. 2012
I was talking with some twenty-somethings before the debate. They thought it funny to call tonight's debate as between zombies. From their viewpoint both candidate are bitten and not to be trusted, but Obama is further along in the transformation that is a US apocolypse. I chuckled, and then I saw the opening intro by debate moderator Bob Schieffer. They were correct, it's a zombie debate.
Romney avoided being cornered, by Obama or Schieffer. Projects calmness and desire for peace. Obama comes off angry and offensive. The CNN tracking of "undecideds" in Florida relatively neutral between both. That means Obama failed to paint Romney as dangerous, Romney succeeded in coming across as moderate. That makes this debate a victory for Romney, and a failure for Obama to change the game or impressions of Romney.
So, on with the debate. It shapes up as do you believe what you saw for four-years or what Obama says happened. Only Obamazombies can choose the latter.
On Libya, Romney: "We can't kill our way out of this mess." Need a comprehensive strategy. (Well, duh!)
Obama: We're able to transition out responsibly and rebuild alliances. "We did everything we can" to help the Americans in "harms way" in Benghazi. (BS meter goes off the dial.)
Romney: "Attacking me is not an agenda." Then aims head shots at Obama.
Continue reading "Romney Wins Zombie Foreign Policy Debate As Obama Fails To Change Game"