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, January 26. 2013
What are you cooking today?
I'm doing the cooking today and not doing Mommys of America cheap 'n easy - I am making Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon for the kids. I browned the meat, carrots and pearl onions (doubled the amount of onions because I love them) and prepped the lardons last night. Also threw in some porcinis because I hate a meat stew without them, and a couple of dashes of ground clove. I do it the French way - large chunks of meat (2 1/2" or 3" x 3" - they shrink) and large chunks of carrot. It's meant to be about the stewed meat. I used a Chianti Classico because I had a glass last night and an open bottle, but should have used a Cab I think. Why not a Burgundy, as the name says? I don't know. I used a 3-pound chuck roast instead of venison, and cut it into large hunks. I don't know why I used the pearl onions because big old onions work just as well, or better.
Then it all goes into the big new crock pot for 7 or 8 hours, adding the pearl onions near the end. Since we old folks are going out to dinner tonight with friends, I hope the kids appreciate my efforts and will leave us some leftovers. I'll have egg noodles for it. They are the best thing for beef stews.
The only real hassle with Julia's recipe is having to drain the stew and reduce the sauce instead of just ladling it out of the pot. Worth the trouble, though.
But this is a post on lardons. Or was. While catching up on the subject of lardons, I noticed this country-style French bread: Fougasse de Foix. Baked into it is Gruyere cheese, creme fraiche, and lardons. How good does that sound?
More good info about Wolves.
There are no "mass extinctions" going on
Being armed is a sign that we are neither slave nor serf nor willing victim
Unintended pregnancies on the rise in servicewomen
Obama: Reagan of the Left - The president sees himself as the unabashed apostle of the ever-expanding federal state.
The Worst Five Years
Aussies Strike Black Gold
Milwaukee Teachers Earn College Credits for Taking Class to Heal Their Racism
In America, the government does not confer rights. The ideal of freedom, and self-reliance, preceded government. Many immigrants and descendents of more recent immigrants from lands with authoritarian histories don't understand that, nor do many African Americans whose ancestors were involuntary immigrants and even less free than indentured servants or serfs. My ancestors, however, did invent a government to ensure our freedom, and deliberately handcuffed government power for the same reason. Americans do not have delimited rights - the government has delimited powers. That was the radical idea which remains too radical for statists. Such was intended by our Constitution, anyway. Since then, government, intoxicated with its importance, has been at war with our radical Constitution.
There's not much of his voice on this reconstruction of an old wax cylinder recording, but Whitman fans will relish
Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,
All, all alike endear’d, grown, ungrown, young or old,
Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,
Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love,
A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother,
Chair’d in the adamant of Time.
Friday, January 25. 2013
Gun Laws and the Fools of Chelm† - The individual is not only best qualified to provide his own personal defense, he is the only one qualified to do so. By David Mamet. A quote:
In arguments about government intervention and control, it is usual for the Leftists and statists to produce straw men with whom to debate. There is a lot of space between government intrusion and life in the jungle. Lots of space. None of us Libertarian/Conservatives want no elected government, but we do want to be left alone. We have morals and we have brains. I always thought that a function of government was to provide the basic conditions (eg protection from foreign invasions, etc) so that we can go it alone in life. Americans are not raised to be Euroweenies, but we gather plenty of resources to help us get along in life, and give us avenues in which to do good deeds, which have nothing to do with government: friends, family, neighborhoods, churches, organizations, business affiliations, etc. All the things which so impressed de Toqueville about the American spirit.
We have posted in the (ancient) past about what Greek temples and sculpture looked like when they were built. Vividly-painted.
Smithsonian used chemistry to recreate Aphrodite removing her nightie.
It's a Roman copy of a Greek sculpture, but "what difference does it make"?
No doubt about it. The press has abandoned their function. Ace's We Must Do Something About The Media:
Related to the post we linked this morning from (the Liberal Dem) Mead on one of the assumptions of modern Liberalism (ie the notion that most of the masses will never do much or reach full self-sufficiency in a modern economy), here's A nation of takers.
Naturally, we wonder to what extent that could be a self-fulfilling notion.
Somewhat related, from Dino: Innovation and technology are killing the economy?
Rotten to the Core: Obama's War on Academic Standards
Europe’s Dream Becomes Its Nightmare - The EU and a less imperialistic U.S. are not proving to be a boon for Europe.
Cameron: I don't want a country called Europe
Cuomo: Governor government
Walter Williams: Experts Aren’t Deities
Student uses AR-15 to fend off armed home invaders
Mead: Futuristic Blues:
Via Drudge, the Pope tweets in nine languages
Thursday, January 24. 2013
Ed Glaeser has a fine essay up, The GOP and the City - Conservative policies have greatly benefited urbanites. Why won’t Republicans seek their votes?
I doubt that even Rudy Giuliani, to whom a generation of New Yorkers owe gratitude, could have won NYC in a national election. As Glaeser notes,
Why is that, when Republicans have demonstrated effective answers to urban issues in the cities in which they have had influence while most deep blue cities are either dying or drowning in red ink?
Whenever I do a movie review, I always include a clip highlighting the main actor doing his or her thing.
What a disgrace.
It seems as though I'm bedazzled by star power, completely ignoring all the lesser actors; those who really make the movie click.
But not this time.
No, this time I'm determined to focus on the supporting cast, those who really make the movie work; those who provide the surrounding aura so that Keanu Reeves may shine.
It's only fair.
I don't believe any further review is necessary.
By 1880, New England had been almost completely deforested. Moose, Wolf, Black Bear, and Wild Turkey were gone or limited to tiny habitat islands. Deer were rare. Then profitable farming moved west to the rich plains of Ohio and Indiana. Good-bye to rocky New England.
With reforestation, Moose and Wild Turkey have rebounded, and Beaver, Bear, and White-Tailed Deer have become pests in some areas. So have the highly-adaptable coyotes, who moved into wolf territory (coyotes were never native to the Northeast) and are now considered pests in New England with generous hunting and trapping seasons for eastern coyotes, coydogs, and coy-wolves if any.
Those critters are all Wolf food, including coyotes. Maybe not the bears.
The new coyotes of the Northeast are larger than those of Western US and Canada, may have a few wolf genes, and a large male is easily mistaken for Wolf or German Shepherd.
There is only one species of Wolf in the world - Canis lupus. The species has - or had - a global reach, with all of its various subspecies (subspecies means races - of which the domesticated Dog is one. The Grey Wolf and the Eastern Wolf are probably the same subspecies, but there is much controversy about wolf subspecies genetics).
All domestic dogs in the world were genetically engineered from the Eurasian Grey Wolf subspecies, including African domestic dogs, beginning around 14,000 years ago. Wolves - dogs - were domesticated before any other animal but your average wild wolf cannot be civilized, even if raised from birth by man. Humans must have found the rare wolf individuals with civilizable genetic flaws as in photo below:
North America's Grey Wolf was an immigrant across the Bering Strait from Siberia and, along with the Cougar, were the dominant predators across the entire US and subarctic Canada.
Dominant predators require large ranges of undeveloped land, preferably without roads and cars. The Cougars will have a tough time repopulating the Northeast, but the Wolves can come down from Quebec. In dribs and drabs, they have been doing so. Probably lone wolves. Visual reports are not reliable, but DNA testing is so the animal has to be shot or trapped to be tested to distinguish the animal from a coydog, a coy-wolf, etc. I don't know why coyotes and wolves can interbreed if they are separate species.
There are no records of confirmed Wolf breeding or pack-forming yet in New England, but these occurences would not be surprising, and would be welcome to many. Wolves remain common enough in Canada to have popular hunting seasons for them. Wolves leave people alone, unlike foolish Cougars who sometimes confuse a jogger with a deer and eat them up.
Here's one report from the Adirondacks
About wolves in Maine
Some reports re wolves in New England
About the Taurus Judge. That's what Marianne had. It will shoot a .410 cartridge.
Mayor Bloomberg never goes anywhere without his firearms
If the GOP wants to regain political power it will also have to find a middle ground on abortion. The demographics insist.
Where did European Jews come from?
'What Difference Does It Make?' Mrs. Clinton finds herself in a familiar, if ironic, role.
Indoctrination about "white privilege" probably won't make kids into little liberals.
Hinderaker: Is Liberalism Doomed?
Top Obama Aide: U.S. System Not Worthy of Obama
The High Cost of Obama’s America
If They Were Baby Seals Instead of Just Babies...
NBC Panel Scolds Prince Harry: 'Why Do You Need to Antagonize the Taliban?
Heather on women in combat: "I am not aware of any comparable crusade to create gender-integrated football teams. At least America knows what’s really important."
Wednesday, January 23. 2013
Cabin Fever Brown Ale from New Holland Brewery. It's cold outside.
The government now is on track to control medical care. What next? Michael Lind has just two items on his wish list: Voting rights for felons, and universal government child care.
However, we know that Leviathan's hunger for money and control is never sated. If you imagine that there is ever "enough," just ask a Leftist where the endpoint should be, the point at which government's task is complete.
There will always be a list, the job will never be done, and, still, utopia will never arrive because dystopia always arrives first.
Related: Gerard found that One Cosmos has reviewed Our Logophobic President, with his sarcasm button turned on. One sample:
Females today are "overrepresented" on almost every educational metric.
I propose affirmative action for boys to compensate for adverse impact.
Prof. of Philosophy and Law (NYU) Thomas Nagel's classic short essay What Is It Like To Be a Bat? (1974) is a fairly deep reflection on mind and consciousness. Take an extra Adderal before studying it. One key quote:
He is certainly one of the most provocative and interesting philosophers around today.
Prof. Nagel has a new book out: Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False. One graf from the review by Orr at NYRB:
Epistomology becomes a whirl, or a whirlpool. "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." I'll put Nagel's new book on my 2013 reading list, which continously expands. Too many books, too little time.
Despite what Obama claims, we are headed directly towards that European model of slackers: Not a 'nation of takers,' Mr. President? Check the numbers.
We are so far from JFK's "Ask not what your country can do for you..."
Tyler Durden: The Socialism Of Europe Has Arrived At Our Shores...
Bring on the cold weather
Sarkozy's plans to dodge new 75% French tax rate by moving to London
Connecticut: Bridgeport Versus Greenwich
Only the rich can afford to work?
Of course not. Just changes in fashion.
We want them back. They would kill the dang coyotes, and our overpopulation of Moose, White Tail Deer, and raccoons.
Charter schools, like private schools, avoid hiring staff with teaching credentials
It's a problem
Good stuff at Thompson
Inaugural: not a word about jobs or the economy
If everybody is on the dole, who will pay the bills?
Health Insurance Brokers Prepare Clients For Obamacare Sticker Shock
"after the Sandy Hook murders I felt compelled to do something, even if it was only symbolic. So, last month, I joined the NRA, the nation’s most effective civil rights organization, for the first time."
Tuesday, January 22. 2013
In the past two weeks, I have spoken with two people who have been stunned by this book: Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife.
It sounds like memories of a delirium to me, but who am I to gainsay a Harvard neurosurgeon?
"Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and given him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the new wonderful good society which shall now be Rome’s, interpreted to mean more money, more ease, more security, and more living fatly at the expense of the industrious."
Marcus Tullius Cicero (h/t Vanderleun)
As I have mentioned here before, I don't know how it is possible to run a complex household effectively without two or more adults in it. We know that marriage has seen a marked decline in the lower socioeconomic strata, thus contributing to a vicious circle of poverty, malfunction and dependency. From what I have read, marriage is still going strong in the middle and upper-middle strata. I suspect that is because middle class people desire a coherent, orderly, busy life which is enriching to everybody in the family - and one reason why divorce is so traumatic: it's not just about money, it's about structure.
From Exodus from Marriage: