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
Monday, February 24. 2014
The future of Windows: where will Microsoft take its OS next?
Maria von Trapp, last of famous singing siblings, dies at 99
Top Ten Pistols of The World (vid)
After 400 Years, Math Finds New Class of Shape
Angels Unawares: A Baby Box
The Woes of Wall Street: Why Young Bankers Are So Miserable
EPA Wood-stove Proposal Prompts Rural Backlash
But it's biofuel
There have been times when the CNN host Piers Morgan didn’t seem to like America very much — and American audiences have been more than willing to return the favor
Asylum Fraud in Chinatown: An Industry of Lies
A lively place, full of criminals
McGill faces massive backlash after ‘ridiculous’ apology for microaggression over emailed joke Obama clip
Gee thanks, KGB. I blame Bush for creating this monstrosity.
NY State Steps Up Its Surveillance on… Little Kids
THE IRS SCANDAL: TIMELINE
Big Government and Tipping Points: Is America Doomed to Become a Failed European-Style Welfare State?
How a Fanatical Environmentalist Deliberately Caused UK Flooding
I blame global cooling
Progressive Insanity and the Global Warming Cult
Sunday, February 23. 2014
In colleges this year, first it was Swarthmore, now it's Harvard: Let's Just Eliminate Academic Freedom
Related from Goldberg: Attacking Diversity of Thought - Liberal students have a funny definition of "diversity."
As Andrew Klavan memorably noted, the Liberal argument often tends to be "Shut Up!"
Let's Just Eliminate Academic Freedom
Good animation: How a Handgun Works: 1911 .45
Into Great Silence (2005)
"One of the transporting film experiences of this or any other year." --Boston Globe
It's a mystery to me. Ukraine crisis: Opposition asserts authority in Kiev
Saturday, February 22. 2014
It was one year ago that my Mom died of complications from a hip replacement. Dad died four months later from the same thing, but he didn't really desire to live without her sparkling, upbeat, and charming company.
I learned at her funeral, from one of my sisters, that she had been writing a weekly gardening column for two newspapers for 25 years. Had she been younger, she might have had a gardening website.
A little snobby and discriminating, perhaps, but she had good taste and she had good pals from every walk of life, and lots of them. She had a talent for connecting with people, so home always had friends and neighbors stopping by unannounced for tea or cocktails. You would never know who might stop in but it was always fun and interesting. As a kid, all sorts of people came by: old farmers, Leonard Bernstein and his "Mrs.", Robert Penn Warren, neighbors, bankers, the local Pediatrician, retired yard guys, lonely widows, the Pastor looking for a glass of Scotch and a jolly chat. Relatives looking for a warm chair by the fire and a hot toddy. Robert Frost and his family stopped by too, but I was hardly conscious then. Mom was pals with his daughter, I think, or his niece. Their two homes - town and country - were open houses, and everybody knew it. Their kitchen (with fireplace and comfy chairs) was rarely empty of people.
Ol' Rodney stopped by too, at least twice a week for a morning coffee. The autistic son of a local farmer who had died, farm sold out to developers, he rode his bike year-round all around town. Mom would let ol' Rodney do some yard work, but he would not accept payment. He just wanted connection and to be useful. Rodney was a true old-style New Englanda' with the old accent, and he never missed Sunday at church.
"One could do worse than to be a swinger of birches." My wish is that my kids will absorb all of this family tradition.
My pic is a cocoa bean pod (aka Cacao), growing in a jungle area which was once a plantation
Remembering the indispensable man
And Capt. Capitalism takes a shot at the topic: Leftistwhitegirlsaveafricavolunteer-itis
Escape from New York - with a twist
9 Reasons the U.S. Ended Up So Much More Car-Dependent Than Europe
Who needs it? The Copernican Theory
Jimmy Fallon, Democrat Political Asset
Cultural exemptions for Muslims?
An argument against Favored Tax Treatment of Capital Gains
Fred Singer: Climate Consensus Con Game
The Moment When The Fed Admits It Has Become The Market's Muppet
Good grief, what a joke
Obama defenders deny pain of job losses
A Lady at her Mirror (Translated by Len Krisak)
As spices blend into her sleeping-drink,
Krisak's translations often appear in The New English Review, with this: Len Krisak has published in The London Magazine, The Oxonian Review, PN Review, Standpoint, Agni, The Antioch Review, The Sewanee Review, The Hudson Review, The Dark Horse, Agenda, The Hopkins Review, Commonweal, Literary Imagination, The Oxford Book of Poems on Classical Mythology, and others. His latest book is Virgil’s Eclogues, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010. Forthcoming: The Carmina of Catullus, Carcanet Press, 2015, Afterimage, Measure Press, 2014, Rilke: New Poems, Boydell & Brewer, 2015 and Ovid: The Amores and The Ars Amatoria, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.
Friday, February 21. 2014
Many of my medical colleagues would agree with this, more or less: Science tells us that taking most vitamins is worthless—but here's a few that buck the trend.
Of course, recommendations like this change all the time, just as do all dietary recommendations. I take it all with a grain of salt or, I should say, with plenty of salt. I love salt.
Using it can void your car warranty, and destroy your gas-powered tools. This ethanol fad is a government/farm crony scam, and is hurting all of us except the Big Farmers who quit growing food to get in on the deal. Heck, those farmers are rational businessmen:
Coming Soon: Free Internet From Space
Edgar Allan Poe, Interior Design Critic
Shape-Shifting Wing Design Prepares For Testing
McArdle: Go Ahead, Let Your Kids Fail
One Investment Allocation Everyone Should Avoid - See more at:
“Marry Him” author Lori Gottlieb: “I don’t think anything I’ve written is controversial”
Open Relationship Gives Couple Freedom To Emotionally Drain Other People From
New guidelines urge fewer caesarean births
Krauthammer: Obama's Pivot to Climate Change for Political Gain 'Quite Insane'
Is Cuba starving its population?
Old politicians and old voters may never change their minds. But libertarianism grows fastest among the young.
Over FCC Plans, MSM Finally a Bit Curious re Obama Admin
Salon Writer: ‘White Thuggery Marches On, Mowing Down Black Folks’ -Time for Violent Response?
De Blasio’s Caravan Caught Speeding, Violating Traffic Laws - Embarrassment Comes Just Days After Mayor Announced New Traffic Safety Initiative
Venezuela: The Game Changed Last Night
Spain, land of 10 pm dinners, asks if it’s time to reset clock
Troops left to fend for themselves after Army was warned of flaws in M4 rifle
Thursday, February 20. 2014
It's not a tourist town, just a working town. My pic is from a hillside above the town. "Sulfur Town," from the volcanoes. Empress Josephine grew up there. I asked a cab driver where all the white people were. He said that they are around during the workday, but go home after.
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised to read this is how far we've sunk. Obama's true colors continue to show as the economy slumps further.
Can you say Pravda?
"Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil."
Charles Krauthammer, MD, previously a Mass. General Psychiatrist, via Driscoll's Kirsten Powers Meets Krauthammer’s Law
Scott Johnson provides a brief history of the evolution of extra-legislative bureaucratic power in the US.
In college basketball, this was best exemplified by the Larry Bird/Magic Johnson NCAA Final in 1979. The NBA had Bill Russell and the Celtics in the 50's and 60's. When a reboot began with Bird and Johnson, Michael Jordan joined them and created an era of his own. Football experienced a similar revitalization with the arrival of the West Coast Offense and Joe Montana. Baseball has gone through multiple reboots recently, though few have had a positive spin. Steroids and strikes have had bigger impacts on the face of baseball than the arrival of a dominant player or a new method of playing the game. Sabermetrics have been a net positive, and even my interest in the sport has grown over the last 15 years because of the new math which opens a window onto what real productivity is in the sport.
I haven't watched much of the Olympics, but I've been fascinated with Ted Ligety for some time. In a sport which is usually decided by hundredths of a second, Ligety crashes down slalom courses with seeming abandon and winning by what can only be called massive margins. His dominance is of the type rarely seen in any sport, let alone skiing.
Ligety is one of those people who has reinvented his sport. I did a limited amount of downhill racing in my youth, and I remember the coach telling us the point was to find the fall line and make the course as short and fast as possible. For years, that was the formula for reaching a victorious finish, often by slim margins of a second. Giant Slalom, in particular, was usually a visual of tight turns around the gates and keeping as close to a straight downhill line as you could accomplish.
Ligety, on the other hand, takes wider turns and gets as parallel to the ground as he can. This approach has turned the US team into a powerhouse. Ligety creates power on short portions of the course where others coast briefly, and as a result he is able to smash the competition by moving rapidly, and effectively, from turn to turn. Long ago, someone told me Beckham was a geometry genius because he could figure out how to get a ball from Point A into a goal around the wall. I doubt he understood much about geometry at all, but he certainly understood how to make a ball do what he wanted it to do. Ligety, by the same measure, is a physics genius. He's determined how to turn portions of his run from potential to kinetic energy and power himself faster than others are able.
Most of the Olympics has been a bore, outside of hockey and Ligety.
She is an impressive lady.