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
Tuesday, April 30. 2013
I feel bad for the kids of the Obama Generation, but they elected him.
Yesterday, Jason Collins came out as the first openly gay, active, NBA player. Collins is a center for the Washington Wizards and is supposedly the first active professional sports player to come out. I don't think that's true. After all, several female players, such as Brittany Griner who is going pro this year, are openly gay. I'd even argue that if you didn't know Martina Navratilova was a lesbian during her time on the pro tour, you just weren't paying attention. Of course, she wasn't 'open' about it. Not sure how more open she could've been, but it was pretty evident to me and I was only a teen.
But Collins is, supposedly, big news. Big enough to be a top story on every major sports and news broadcast. In fact, I can't get away from it this morning. It's getting more than a reasonable amount of coverage on every morning TV show.
Continue reading "Coming Out in America"
I know our friend Sippican up in Maine is getting ready. Scientists say period of 250 years of global cooling ahead due to changes in the sun.
After that, presumably the warming crisis will resume to great alarm. No wonder they have changed the name to "Climate Change." Can't go wrong there, because weather happens. Here in the Northeast, climate tends to change daily, and seasonally too.
The Unluckiest Generation: What Will Become of Millennials?
35% of Mexicans would emigrate to the US
Come And Get It: USDA Pushes Food Stamps To Illegals
Tsarnaev family received $100G in benefits
Daniel Kessler: The Coming ObamaCare Shock
No flight delays, system worked like a charm. Flew into JAX, rental car, got to Saint Simons in time to catch the small outboard out to Little Saint Simons Island. 12-24 guests, 10,000 untouched acres of maritime forest and 7 miles of ocean beachfront without a soul on it - unless shore birds have souls. No roads, just sand tracks. For a Yankee, that ocean water was balmy in April.
At Dr. Merc's request, I will get organized and gradually post a few of the over 60 pics I took. Those barrier islands have interesting ecologies.
And I will post my bird list (our team easily went over 100 species in just a few days).
Thanks to all for pitching in at Maggie's.
Monday, April 29. 2013
I never have done so even though stretching makes you look like a serious athlete. Reasons Not to Stretch
Jumping Jacks or Jump Rope are excellent warm-ups, if one wants it.
"Good," of course, excludes freedom considerations from the equation. I'm with Coyote: Individual freedom is the greatest social good.
A commenter said this:
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:46 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Do not miss this speech - it is fascinating video: The State of White America. It's 60+ info-packed minutes. Murray is like a statistically-armed de Toqueville for our time. I needed to hear it twice. The guy is delightful to listen to.
It's not really about politics, but he does mention American principles, American Exceptionalism, and what is required for a self-governing citizenry. "Self-governing," of course, has a dual meaning.
A lot of it is about class and "social capital" in America.
One quote from him: "The upper middle class seems to be keeping all the good stuff to itself: religion, marriage, morality, civic and social engagement, industriousness, and long work hours..."
Another: "The federal government can be accused of confusing itself with the rooster who believes that his crowing is what makes the sun rise..."
Another: "Marriage civilizes men." (Yes, the gals do try, don't they? And we guys fight back, pathetically, by not shaving on Saturday morning.)
Another useful phrase: "The people who makes things more difficult for their fellow citizens..."
All very interesting and relevant. I don't care much about class, college degrees, or elitism, but I do care about integrity, responsibility, curiosity, industriousness, and a number of other character traits. And of course I do care about traditional American culture and the work ethic. Like Murray, I do not buy into the European "relaxation" ethic and the aspiration for a stress-free life: humans are not cattle, and cannot have dignity or pride without being productive or constructive in whatever ways they can find. Anybody can make themselves useful if they want to.
Early 19th C. American fiction was wild and crazy: Philip F. Gura’s ‘Truth’s Ragged Edge: The Rise of the American Novel’
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:39 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Well, I suppose we should start off with the serious stuff, like how soon we're all going to die from global colding. If you read my article here, you're aware that science has now established that all of the warming over the past century is a direct result of global colding, and estimates of our continued existence range anywhere from 35 years to 35 minutes.
As if any further proof was necessary.
How To Start A Black Market Industry In One Easy Lesson:
Colorado resident: "Hey, man, wanna buy an ounce of pot for $500?"
Other resident: "What? Are you crazy? It's now legal in this state!"
"In that case, I'll take two!"
Breaking News From 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012:
You could set your watch by it.
In regards to our slow deployment from Afghanistan over the next year, from the movie 'Rambo III':
So at least we're in good company.
And to think; we're still using discs 128 years later. Alex, old boy, you were way ahead of the curve.
Speaking of oppressed minorities, my buddy Shutterbug is a Mac aficionado and incorporates all things Mac into her life (iPhone, iPad, iCar, iHubby), so I sent her the following iArticle which she iAppreciated so much I thought I should iPost it here.
I thought the third suggestion, "Knock off all that stupid 'i' stuff!" was a bit over the top, but the rest of it seems like solid advice.
And speaking of phones...
On the other hand, why a phone that can connect to the greatest collection of lies, half-truths and outright spin in the history of mankind is called 'smart' is anybody's guess.
Excuse me, I meant peoplekind.
On the blogger scene, I think it'll be interesting watching to see if any right-wing bloggers pick up on a certain parallel.
Prior to our 2003 invasion of Iraq, it had been estimated that Saddam Hussein had murdered somewhere between 200,000 and 350,000 Iraqi Kurds with various weapons of mass destruction, Sarin gas (a cousin of the Mustard Gas used in WW I) being at the top of the list. There were also clues that Hussein was starting to think about putting together an atomic bomb, but the real factor was stopping a mass murderer the likes of which hadn't been seen since Cambodian Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge purge in the early 70's.
After the invasion, the liberal, anti-Bush MSM conveniently forgot that the term 'weapons of mass destruction' includes three categories; nuclear, chemical and biological and, when literally tons of Sarin gas was found but no nukes, Bush lied, thousands died! I covered this here.
So, here we are with a Democrat in the White House when suddenly...
In other words, if some half-baked Mid-Eastern potentate is using weapons of mass destruction on the citizenry, then we need to step in and stop him!
I haven't seen any of the right-wing bloggers pick up on this massive hypocrisy yet, but I assume they will as the story progresses.
Personally, I think Michelle looks simply fabulous in bangs, so it appears not all of the news coming out of Washington this week is good.
Sunday, April 28. 2013
Interesting song, written about Texas' War of Independence from the vantage point of a black Texan soldier. Later, adapted and adopted as a Confederacy song.
Executive decision-making is a skill. Good executive decision-making seems to be a talent. These are neither skills nor talents that I was blessed with, but that's probably just as well. I've never been much of a leader, and never a good follower either. My major life decisions have always made me nauseous. Medicine has been the right field for me. Independent work, endlessly interesting, and cautious, careful, conservative decision-making comes easily to me.
From Harvard Biz School, "While elevated narcissism and self-promotion has been shown to result in quicker promotion early in one's career, its negative impacts are revealed in positions of higher authority."
As in the sports world, in the biz world, if you cannot produce winning decisions consistently and with integrity, you will eventually go down. It's rough out there. I hear all of the stories and all of the excuses, but the most talented and honest do pretty well and never make excuses for their disappointments. Competition is a big part of life, and an exciting part of it.
The growth of school administrators, from public primary schools to private colleges, has been much commented on. I have no idea why it has been such a strong trend.
From Dalrymple's Destructive Creation:
It's all interesting, but I think Dalrymple's larger point is that, in life, unpleasant things: poverty, ugliness, cruelty, dishonesty, etc. are the default settings. Special qualities are required to move the dial above the default setting, whether for an individual or for a society.
But back to the arts: there is no "progress" in arts. Just changes of fashion.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:23 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
In honor of this lofty occasion, it's only fitting that we hear directly from this raving beauty, herself:
If we presume the gang at People Mag are just as liberal as the rest of industry — which wouldn't be much of a stretch — it's no wonder they fell in love with this woman. In their minds, speaking truth to power like the above earns her the honorific of Heroine.
For pics of the runners-up and the ravishing Ms. Paltrow, take your trembling hand and...
Continue reading "In honor of the world's most beautiful woman"
Saturday, April 27. 2013
It's written in a lively style, one page per "place."
Heard a Screech Owl calling early in the morning last week. I hope he finds the nest box I put up. They didn't find it last year.
The tiny Screech Owl lives across America, as long as there are plenty of trees around. If you want to attract a family of them to live at your place, put up a nest box for them. They do not mind living in suburban areas. I recently learned that they are breeding in New York's Central Park.
Now would be the time to do it. The box pictured is from Best Nest.
From this site:
I greatly enjoy hearing them at night. A Great Horned Owl hooting had done the same to me a few weeks earlier. Good stuff. The mysterious world of the night.
That's right. He's a Connecticut Yankee in King Southern's Court.
So, lucky you, I'll be doing the morning links today and Monday. Although I appear to be the only blogger in the Western Universe who believes it, I don't think Sundays should be filled with the same bad news that the rest of the week is, so I'll skip it.
Well, I suppose we should start with what many are calling 'The Scandal of the Decade'.
I just love this picture:
I can easily see myself doing the same thing. "Well, howdy, Prez, howzit goin'?" Real geeks really are on a different plane than most people, and royalty, prestige and position simply don't carry the same weight that tight code, a quicker boot-up time and a well-designed web site do.
I hope the Koreans understand.
Under the heading of James Taranto's "Two Papers In One!", we have:
Three Cheers for the Internet Tax! - Daily Beast, 4/24/13
The Real Problem With the Internet Sales Tax - Daily Beast, 4/24/13
She's lying, of course, but this is The Daily Beast, so one would expect that sort of thing. In this case, it's a lie by omission, because what she's not telling you in the above sentence is that she's only referring to small-time online retailers, like those guys who try to make a buck reselling stuff on eBay and Amazon. And just what percentage of the industry, Ms. McArdle, is that?
1%? 2%? 0.00031%?
For further information on why this is no big deal, please read my post here.
And extremely good news from the food front:
Twinkies and cupcakes are back — and unions get screwed. It just doesn't get any better than that.
On the down side, there's bad news for the printer industry:
This whole things smacks of a 'freedom of speech' violations and I'm sure the ACLU will immediately spring into action.
And, in a recent horrific event, the nation held its breath while we awaited the outcome of the...
If you've been paying any attention to this fraud, you'll have noticed that the MSM jumped right on board, boldly touting the serious repercussions when government spending is actually lowered. If I'm reading this right, the evil Republicans caused little children to cry because their White House tours were cancelled and the odds of your being eaten by a bear at Yellowstone Nat'l Park have increased dramatically.
On the subject of 'Lying To The People', in case you didn't catch the two AGW links in my post the other day, both of them are excellent.
That damn ocean. You just can't trust any
And I highly agree with this:
If the Paparazzi Convention of 2012 gets nuked by some activist, I won't shed a tear. These have to be the scummiest people on earth. Their excuse is "But I gotta make a living!", failing to note that, at last count, there were approximately 7,304,346 different ways to make a living. All they're really saying is, "I gotta make a living... being scum." This strikes me as a serious mental disorder.
Speaking of which, I'm glad Rand Paul finally cleared the air on that drone business.
So, to review, it's perfectly okay if a drone murders someone over a crummy fifty bucks — as long as it doesn't fly over your hot tub.
This guy's coming across just like his dad; brilliant 75% of the time, a total moron the other 25%.
So there is good news coming out of Washington these days.
Often titled "The Gladiator," the verses are originally from Childe Harold's Pilgrimage - Canto IV - Stanza 140.
I see before me the Gladiator lie:
He leans upon his hand—his manly brow
Consents to death, but conquers agony,
And his droop’d head sinks gradually low—
And through his side the last drops, ebbing slow
From the red gash, fall heavy, one by one,
Like the first of a thunder shower; and now
The arena swims around him—he is gone,
Ere ceased the inhuman shout which hail’d the wretch who won.
He heard it, but he heeded not—his eyes
Were with his heart, and that was far away;
He reck’d not of the life he lost nor prize,
But where his rude hut by the Danube lay,
There were his young barbarians all at play,
There was their Dacian mother—he, their sire,
Butcher’d to make a Roman holiday—
All this rush’d with his blood—Shall he expire,
And unavenged?—Arise! ye Goths, and glut your ire!
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