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
Thursday, December 27. 2012
It should come as no surprise that certain people didn't especially take to this.
Make that 'outright attack on the Second Amendment', to be precise.
More fun and games below the fold, including a link to the petition. We're currently at the 82K mark.
Continue reading "Going for the big 100K"
"Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him had better take a closer look at the American Indian."
This morning's art photo stolen from Moonbattery
Disabled Workers Hit New High in December – Nearly 90,000 Apply For Federal Benefits
The ‘Open for Business’ Tax Plan - Let’s eliminate tariffs and corporate taxes.
David Gregory should be arrested for violating DC’s gun law
End the Food Protectionism Racket - Food protectionism is harmful, rampant, and stupid.
Look At All These Guns People Got for Christmas (h/t Insty)
Not your father's UK: Arrested for having Swiss Army Knife in car
US lambasts China for breaches of trade rules
Wednesday, December 26. 2012
From Texas. He complained that the darn Christmas moon interfered with his nice photo of the power lines.
iPhones take pretty nice pics these days.
Those of us who served in Vietnam have fond memories of the traveling cover bands, usually very good, and their female dancers and singers, also very good and sexy. I saw a quote earlier that although we are now old, at least we got to see the great music groups. I'd include these show people who brought fun into our horny lives in Vietnam.
Cinammon Stillwell is an accomplished reporter. Her mother made this documentary about the entertainers who visited us wherever we were in Vietnam. It is one of a kind, something that to my knowledge has not been documented before. The film does not have an embed, so you have to go to this site to watch it. I know that us Vietnam vets will, and I think others out there will enjoy it and learn something different than many misconceptions.
Just for the heck of it, here's one of my blurry (I should say beery) photos in the 1st MarDiv HQs E-Club from back then:
Do American citizens require everything in their lives to be controlled by their "betters" in government?
We always say that "freedom is messy" and that "Freedom is not for sissies." From Sultan's A Perfect Prison:
(Hizzoner, of course, has been surrounded by armed men since he got rich on Wall St, long before becoming Mayor. Must be nice to afford armed bodyguards and armed drivers of your Lincoln Town Car while you sip single malt Scotch in the back with your latest squeeze while denouncing legal gun owners.)
The eternal problem with widespread freedom from state control is that some small minority of people can't or won't handle freedom, personal independence, self-control. For whatever reason, they do not buy into our social contract or are unable to fulfill it. Perhaps they never even heard of it, never were informed that a person makes a deal to be a citizen here and that it is a historically-unique privilege, responsibility, and challenge. How come nobody told them that life in America is supposed to be difficult and risky, but filled with opportunity? It's not about safety and comfort and was never meant to be based on anything but virtue and freedom. Our streets are not paved with gold, but with blood, sweat, and tears.
These failures of a minority of bad apples to get with the program invite the state to step in in an effort to provide controls and supports externally. Thus we all lose a bit of freedom each time some jerk, idiot, sociopath, addict, or lunatic abrogates his American dignity and fails at running his own life in the manner of an honest, free, law-abiding and upstanding citizen. It's a shame - and wrong - that the least moral and worse-behaving of our population should have the power to deprive freedoms from the vast majority of decent citizens who aim to construct honorable, dignified, and independent lives by following their consciences or God's will as best they can.
Go ahead and ask me why I might want a 30-clip magazine, or a Big Gulp Coke. Well, I don't really want those things, but I don't want them forbidden me. I have a handgun carry permit, but I don't walk around armed all the time. Rarely, in fact. I might as well ask why you need a car that goes 110 mph, when car deaths in the US are far higher than gun deaths (32,000, vs 600 deaths by rifle - half of them suicides and others accidents).
(For other stats: Swimming pool drownings in the US: Approx. 3000 per year, mostly young kids. Backyard pools frighten me far more than guns do. I hate pools and I like guns... Also, firearm murders with illegal handguns thus far in the gun-banning village of Chicago, 2012: 470.)
Leftist control freaks often try to find signs of "market failure" to justify government intrusion into the free and voluntary exchange of goods and services. Similarly, they seek signs of "freedom failure" with the same goals. It's about power of the elites over us little people - always for our own good, of course, because we are "the masses." However, there are no "masses" in America and there is no aristocracy of any sort, political or otherwise.
Isn't obesity a "freedom failure"? Of course it is. North Korea has no such problem because they enforce "food control." So my final thought on this topic tonight: Why does the government allow Medicare-aged people to be overweight? 500,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease per year. Surely some controls are called for to address this crisis of excess freedom which results in so much disability and death, and burdens everyone else with their medical bills. Easy for the government to fix that: just offer to pay for medical care based on your BMI. If it's over 27, no free doctors. They are heading that way in the UK already. My view is that if you want to be heavy, do so and enjoy it. Not on my nickel, though. My freedom to life and property should trump all else because it is a gift from God.
Image is via Theo
Winter in central New England entails jump-starters, oil lamps and lanterns, snow-blowers, snow plows, flashlights, snow shovels, plenty of firewood, hats and long-johns, and good gloves and boots of all sorts. Global cooling will be here soon. Oh, and 4WD for the sissies and the city-folk for whom a little snow and ice are daunting - and for your plow truck. Gas generators? We country folk don't go in for those.
I keep one of these charged up in the garage, and it came in handy when one of the tractors, rarely used this summer, had both a dead battery and squishy front tires Saturday. I had been using the Ford all summer, and figured I ought to get the Farmall moving a little to prevent Tractor Arthritis.
What was my chore? Heading up into the woods with the wagon to clear our cross-country ski trails of fallen trees, and to accumulate some more firewood in the process.
This cool thing solved both problems easily:
On the other side are people who apparently want to see eagles starve to death. I'm honestly not sure why these virulent animal haters are even given a say in the matter, but such is the nature of a modern society that allows the voices of all to be heard.
The seizure of the child was caught on smartphone. I think it should be obvious that this is not for the squeamish. Management strongly urges all liberals and young children to immediately leave the room.
Luckily, there's not a lot of blood.
I think it's safe to say the eagle learned a valuable lesson that day in nutritional management.
But for an inside look into this horrific nightmare, let's go to the video:
I thought it amusing that both sides of the interview said something quite naive.
"Did it surprise you that everybody thought it was real?"
No, you mental midget, six people spent over 300 hours on it so it would look fake!
But one of the guy's comments was even more innocent.
"We never thought people would analyze it frame-by-frame."
Guys, I was analyzing it frame-by-frame the first time I watched it expecting it to be fake!
Not in the exact sense he means, but as an acknowledged video guru, I know what to look for. I bought the whole thing right up to the close-up of the
I suppose it was also a point of naivete when the teacher set the grade of 'A' at a mere 100,000 views. When something goes viral these days, it's almost always in the millions.
But huge kudos for an outstanding fake-out.
Kids these days, huh?
Among the more irritating manifestations of political correctness, at least to this historian, is the attempt to replace the terms AD and BC with CE and BCE.
Tom Brewton's new book: The Liberal Jihad: The Hundred Year War Against The Constitution
How the Welfare State Traps the Poor in Dependency, the British Version
Time for Some Common-Sense Publishing Controls - What would Second Amendment bloviators say if we applied their logic to the First Amendment?
Prof. Richard Parncutt: Death Penalty for Global Warming Deniers?
Prince Harry in Taliban 'kill' mission
Driscoll: Two CNNs In One
I nominate Ann Althouse for the Light of Reason Award.
Glenn Reynolds is still awaiting answers from gun-control advocates Rupert Murdoch and Michael Bloomberg about the guns used by their security details in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook massacre.
CHANGE: In 2012, Generation Y voted to impoverish themselves
With full implementation of Obamacare, the bureaucratic cost will rise to ≈50%.
Merry Christmas: a (partial) list of Obamacare taxes, fees
Fathers disappear from households across America-Big increase in single mothers
With Election Over, Americans Find They Were Duped By Democrats And Obama
Steyn: Tapper’s promotion to CNN a lesson for the ‘J-school zombies’ in the WH press corps
California’s Largest Corporation is Headed for the Exit
Timbuktu: When the Saints Go Marching In
The Waqf is continuing to destroy Jewish antiquities on the Temple Mount in a direct violation of a court ruling, new report finds.
Christmas in Indonesia: Savage Muslim mob pelts Christian worshippers with rotten eggs, bags of urine and dung
Christianity 'close to extinction' in Middle East
Postcard from Myanmar, the world Obama left behind after visit
Tuesday, December 25. 2012
Well, my favorite for this year. Renata Tebaldi: Tu scendi dalle stella
Lyrics plus translation here. See whether you agree.
No, not that gift, silly.
That was just the warm-up.
This is a serious gift.
After first learning the tragic news that this is the last Christmas in America from News Junkie, then hearing that this is one of the most depressing, gloomy Christmases that many can remember from Barrister, then discovering that our modern Christmas is just a cheap, commercialized mockery of its former glory from Bird Dog, I realized something.
I realized I had a very special Christmas gift for these very special people.
The gift is, thankfully, you're all dead wrong.
You're very welcome. Merry Christmas, after all.
And greetings from the incredibly awesome state of California.
You remember California, don't you? From the tall virgin forests of the Trinity Alps in the far north, to the Death Valley deserts in the far south. From the eerie volcanic fields of Mt. Lassen in the Sierras, to the pristine white talcum powder sand of Pismo Beach on the central coast. From the majesty of the sharp, towering mountains above Lake Tahoe, to the greatest agricultural valley the world has ever known.
You know. That California.
Current temperature back home in the Florida Keys?
A delightful 71.
Current temperature here in Palo Alto, California?
I sure wish that global warming stuff would hurry up and get going. Overnight would be preferred.
Best Christmas wishes to our readers all around the world.
Monday, December 24. 2012
It's very brief, Here. (Don't tell the kids.)
Nast, 1863, Santa in Camp
This used to be my favorite Christmas hymn (h/t NYM):
As we light the candles in church on Christmas eve, we recite "Come, Lord, dispel my darkness" as each candle is lit and as each sin of the spirit is confessed. Those without dark corners of the soul need not attend. The upside is that you get to sing all of the carols. In church, you get the carols just one night each year - unlike in the dentist's office and the mall where you hear cheesy versions of them for a month.
Image below is Hunt's The Light of the World.
I have attempted to lure readers with some Christmastime totty ( I just do not have it in me to post any half-nude hunky guys in Christmas outfits for our gal readers), but I would suppose that most Christians are now either frantic with last-minute gift- or food-shopping, or preparing for evening church services.
The B team will be out of range, skiing and cavorting in beautiful snow and invigorationg cold for a week after Christmas, but I have pre-posted mostly to keep my generous paycheck coming from Maggie's.
So perhaps only our Jewish, Hindu, Ba'hai, Buddhist, and Muslim friends will be reading this post, but that's fine with me.
Top pic of global warming is via Pirate. Pic of the super-special Christmas present below is probably from Theo but I am not sure.
In my view, the Christmas Eve candlelight service is not to be missed, even though I do not think of Christmastime as a particularly holy day in the church calendar. Christmas is a magical, miracle, beautiful time, but not too holy really, as least in the Protestant tradition.
The prayer: Be born in us today.
Our family doesn't do gifts, but we will assemble to church tonight to squeeze in, and will host a fine Christmas feast for 32 tomorrow at the Barrister homestead. The feast is the gift, bringing home-made foods are the gifts to eachother. Family, friends, and neighbors, coat and tie dress code including the youth, plenty of eggnog and good wines but no Festivus Pole.
First, Mead's annual Yule Log post. One quote:
Indeed. FYI, Prof, I may be an older Ivy-Leaguer but I read a Bible verse each morning, contemplate it, and pray. Before the morning coffee. As I always say, it has never harmed me to follow that discipline. Find a church tonight, you agnostics and atheists and unbelievers, etc. It won't hurt you at all.
Second, an excellent essay our loyal reader Buddy found: Is America Becoming a Pagan Kingdom?
My pic is the Congregational Church of lovely and quaint Lyme, CT last week.
D.C. has power and wealth while the rest of the country suffers. It's not a question of who the odds favor.
The federal government has emerged as one of the most potent factors driving income inequality in the United States - especially in the nation's capital.
Do women need marriage anymore?
Obama Uses Funeral Service to Talk About Himself
Gun control advocates are utopians. Their perspective is that, if guns are no longer readily available, that violence will evaporate.
Should Americans Learn From Israeli Gun Laws
Police Officers in School Don’t Work, That’s Why Obama’s School is Hiring One
Gun Control Advocates' Loudest Voices Are Most Heavily Protected
Social Security and Medicare Are Already Welfare
Tax code milking cash cow dry
DEMOCRATIC OFFICIALS in Maryland, NJ, NY and Massachusetts Face Prison Time for Voter Fraud
New Study Finds Democrats Fully to Blame for Subprime Mortgage Crisis that Caused 2008 Financial Disaster
Sen Tim Scott: A party that doesn't think with its skin
Is Shear serious? The GOP should abandon it’s principles because Obama is more popular?
Tom Friedman's view:
This Just In: John Wayne Is Dead
Sunday, December 23. 2012
Must be Theo's house, but it looks more like Jackson Hole or Sun Valley than like back-country Yorkshire:
I had this at a very good Italian restaurant the other day. They served it on top of some thin potato slices sauteed in olive oil. A couple of slices of fried polenta on the side would be an alternative. Or gnocchi. Pasta, I think, a poor fourth choice but readers know that, with a few wonderful exceptions, I think of anything with pasta as being a low form of Italian cooking. Call me a snob, but I think I've had more great, pasta-free Italian food in Italy and Sicily than the average American bear.
In my view, for this sort of recipe, stew the chunks of meat until you can cut them with a fork.
Here's another version: Stracotto (Pot Roast) with Porcini Mushrooms
The Folly of Scientism. Prof. Hughes begins:
2012: The Year in Bans
Why is English spelling so wacky?
How Capitalism Made the Christmas Tree Better
Why Some Kids Have An Inflated Sense Of Their Skills
Do Cities Densify or Disperse as They Grow?
Fired for being too attractive
American Dream Fades for Generation Y Professionals
Government Destroys Buckyballs, Assaults the Mind
Why Is Public Nudity Illegal?
Luke 1:39-45, (46-55)
Saturday, December 22. 2012
This is one of the most depressing Christmases many can remember. Many feel that way this year, and not just Libertarian-Conservatives. It seems gloomy out there.
There are many factors, Mrs. B. theorizes. A world of kids with lousy job opportunities, higher taxes, decreasing incomes, the horrors of Newtown, unemployment, the election, etc.
She is quite shrewd about politics. From a political standpoint, her view is that a tipping point has occurred. Yes, Repubs won some elections, yes, it was fairly close, etc., but her main point was the decline of marriage and the rise of childbirth outside of marriage. The single woman vote. Emily or whoever she was.
She says African-Americans and immigrant Hispanics will trend Progressive for the indefinite future because their political goal is to get stuff from the government, but that is nothing new. Not everybody understands what America is all about. Married white people, and especially married white Christians with self-reliance as a fundamental socio-cultural goal, are descending towards a minority.
Many men are no longer in any hurry to get married despite marriage's provision of the comforts, partnership, social circles, and supports needed in life in general and for child-rearing in particular. Single women emotionally look to government for what they once looked to men for. She believes that American acceptance of dependency has reached a tipping point, predicted for over 200 years, which will forever alter American politics.
Her somewhat defeatist view is to hunker down and just to take care of your family as best your can, and to stay away from the news.
Related, here's a fine and heavily-illustrated history of government vs. freedom.