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, May 31. 2014
This is fun if you have a little time, have your tomatoes in the ground already, and are curious about the Riemann Hypothesis.
Minimal math required, but it is a million-dollar challenge.
Warning label for sugary drinks passes California Senate
Hope they put the label on orange and apple juice, which are just as evil as Pepsi
Michelle Obama's war on potatoes
Listen to Buffett and Schwab: Be an indexer - Keeping it easy, cheap and simple
Your Gym Membership Is a Waste of Money
A Mayor’s Advice on Bullying: ‘Grow a Pair’
Life does require a little toughness
Couple Fined $746 For The Crime Of Feeding Homeless
The Nations Guaranteed to Be Swallowed by the Sea
Oh, no! Another crisis!
University of Wisconsin given $5 million grant to create climate change fairytale
And yet another crisis: UCLA to Hire ‘Discrimination Officers’ To Tackle Campus’s Alleged Systemic Racism
CI students demand punishment for ‘racist’ fundraiser because students wore grass skirts and coconut bras
Epidemic of mass shootings needs government action
Is there an "epidemic"? A Look at Mass Shootings in the United States
The US EPA is determined to regulate carbon dioxide
Great. It will solve this crisis: Global Warming Causes Married Couples To Cheat
And this crisis: Will record streak without major hurricane landfall end?
And even maybe this crisis: Boy Named Prom Queen
Driscoll: They Hate Us, They Really Hate Us
The Department of Agriculture Deserves the Death Penalty
Linda Greenhouse Accidentally Proves Conservatives Right
The case that Obama is like Ike
That's the plan
Palestinians: BDS Activists Are Troublemakers, Criminals
Is There Such a Thing as an Affordable Lawyer? For many Americans, legal services are out of reach. But that's beginning to change
A Considerable Speck
A speck that would have been beneath my sight
Friday, May 30. 2014
A pal sent me this pic. Does she get free "healthcare" too in Vermont? How about free abortions?
WHEN will The People finally realize that the Veterans Administration is National Health -- what you get when the government runs a healthcare system? Its shabby service and uninterested administration are followed every decade or so by a scandal and the resignation of an administrator or two. Doctors in private practice must build their reputations for quality service, and then their incomes will follow. Doctors in national health are secure in their income, and indifferent to their reputations. When will we ever learn such a simple lesson?
(I am a Vietnam vet.)
"Cory Booker, Chris Christie, and Mark Zuckerberg had a plan to reform Newark’s schools. They got an education."
Yes, they got an education but nobody else did. That was $100 million thrown into the trash.
Did Woodrow Wilson Destroy the American Presidency?
A book: DNA USA: A Genetic Portrait of America by Bryan Sykes
A data-driven exploration of the evolution of chess: Popularity of openings over time
From Eat Without Fear:
The Campaign for Junk Food - Michelle Obama on Attempts to Roll Back Healthy Reforms
Survey: Detroit Needs $850 Million Just to Clear Abandoned Homes
Why the New York Times was right to publish Michael Kinsley’s views about the freedom of the press.
Obama's West Point Speech signals a presidency in deep trouble
Michael Bloomberg Blasts Ivy League For Liberal ´Censorship´
China sinks VN fishing boat; deploys 3 nuclear subs to South China Sea; troops
Congress Funds Army’s Hypersonic Missile After Chinese Strike Vehicle Test
Thursday, May 29. 2014
How many times have I said that here? Life is traumatic, at times it is a vale of tears. That's not illness.
From Lynn Jones, Each scar is different - PTSD has come to signify the moral, social and political suffering of war. But not all suffering is a mental illness
From a brief, important, and depressing essay by David Warren of the above title:
As they say, read the whole thing.
There is genius in action here. Even he has no idea where his words came from, which is what I have heard from others blessed with astonishing inspiration.
Can't sing? Well, he can sing better than I can.
Actually, all of those adjectives come from the New York Times...
Dallas Willard's evangelism
Trucks Are Saving the American Economy
Who’d a-thunk it? Michigan teachers union opposes privatization for others, but outsources itself?
Doctor reveals the VA Hospitals' real problem
VA investigators: Delayed care is everywhere
George, they have put government unhealthily at the center of American life
The incredible shrinking Christie
I liked him better fat
Brilliant: UCLA to host event encouraging students to masturbate instead of studying for finals
Where Zuckerberg's $100 million gift went wrong
Wednesday, May 28. 2014
Sicily photo travelogue #5 of 5, with summary links plus Syracusa and Ortigia, plus lots of food and the most interesting duomo
The final stop on our 2-week driving travels was Syracuse. I neglected a lot of Sicilian food in my previous Sicily posts, but I will catch up with that below the fold along with other interesting stuff.
The links to my previous Sicily posts in the recent weeks:
This final post is Siracusa/Ortigia.
Now that's Italian! There's one of our delicious, succulent Sicilian secondis (details and lotsa pics below the fold):
Continue reading "Sicily photo travelogue #5 of 5, with summary links plus Syracusa and Ortigia, plus lots of food and the most interesting duomo"
"All that has to happen for life-changing innovations to happen as a normal course of events is for government planners to stay out of the way."
“The point is, we are a big country,” says self-described democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders. “The VA sees six and a half million people a year. Are people going to be treated badly? Are some people going to die because of poor treatment in the VA? Yes, that is a tragedy and we have to get to the root of it.”
Well, I think he just did."
"Not every regulation or government program is doomed to fail. But we might consider the slightly terrifying possibility that when government does get something right, it does so by accident, temporarily, and for reasons that it cannot understand or replicate. This may be why the sheer volume of law and regulation has been climbing so rapidly: Intuiting its own inefficacy, Washington is throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks. The Entity with Whom politicians sometimes confuse themselves needed only ten commandments, not the ten thousand a year that Washington produces. Some of those coming down in the near future will be intended to reform the VA. The rational thing to do would be to abolish it. We’d be far better off paying veterans’ medical bills out of the Treasury than trying to operate a network of hospitals and clinics. And no matter what Washington promises to do to solve this problem, it is a good bet that the policy enacted will not produce the result intended. Reform is a random walk."
From Kevin Williamson's The Cloud in the Machine
It began as the Rogue's Gallery, a series of pictures of New York's most notorious criminals, around 1857, some 20+ years after the first photograph was developed. No doubt as the cost of photography fell, the role of a photo as an effective police tool became apparent. It was a critical innovation of Chief Inspector Thomas Byrnes, a man known for aggressive police work, in the 1880s. Byrnes is also known as the developer of "The Dead Line" and "The Third Degree".
The Dead Line referred to an imaginary line drawn across Manhattan at Fulton Street, and based on the concept that criminals would be interested in the banks and jewelry stores south of said line. Any known criminal south of this line would be arrested on sight. In a day and age when 28 detectives were available to investigate the crimes among 2 million inhabitants, the money south of this line dictated policy.
Byrnes' most notable case was linked to one of the most famous serial killers of all time. Byrnes had claimed that Jack the Ripper would find it impossible to operate in New York City without being caught in 48 hours. Those words would haunt him.
Continue reading "Thomas Byrnes, Chief Inspector"
We live in the best of times, so don't buy the media gloom
Related, The Golden Age Is Now - For all the world’s problems, human beings have never had it better.
Where do baby sea turtles go?
Daily Walk Prevents Disability in elderly
The Left's Health Care Paradise
Andrew Klavan: Why Democrats Call You Racist
Andrew, I think it's because calling me "poopy-head" sounds too immature
Why Does Washington Still Suffer From Fatal Conceit Of Central Planning?
NJ “gun control” law would ban small bore hunting rifles
America’s Biofuel Boondoggle in One Simple Graph
New York Times Love Affair with Palestinian Extremists
Tuesday, May 27. 2014
Their appeal is their substantive content, not their political messaging. When it comes to news or politics, just mute the radio or skip the article to protect the heart from sudden, dangerous blood pressure rises. They each still have lots of other interesting stuff for the enjoyment of the effete and the elite like us Yankee rednecks.
Do I feel that NPR or PBS should exist? No, not unless entirely listener- or other-sponsored.
Way I think about it, Maggie's Farm has interesting stuff too, besides politics.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:58 | Comments (18) | Trackbacks (0)
It's articles like this that remind me Jean Baudrillard was right and I realize this isn't reality. It is an alternate reality, though. It seeks to simulate what the rest of us live. Kanye may feel comfortable calling out people like George W. Bush, or anyone else he doesn't like, but it's pretty clear he hasn't been in touch with reality for a long time.
The real question is why people like this continue to get coverage. My guess is they fear slipping into obscurity, and the best way to avoid it is to be outrageous and 'make news'.
Since real news isn't important to many people anymore, people like Kanye and the Kardashians can continue to dominate. Analysis is meaningless, the only thing important today (and don't think Obama isn't well aware of this) is a good photo, a headline, some Tweets to your peeps, and positive coverage on "The Daily Show" and any other Comedy Central program that purports to 'deliver the news'.
I forget where I found that image (ok, reader reminds that it was our friend Vanderleun)
Can homeopathy 'work' even when there's no evidence?
Packing your kid for camp for $1000
From Williamson's The Cloud in the Machine,Or, you can never have the same traffic-jam twice.
Ben Carson on Progressive Tolerance: 'Only Works in One Direction'
Rethinking Tax Benefits for Home Owners
European elections 2014: This is one peasants’ revolt that Brussels can’t just brush aside
Thailand: Economic growth is not enough
Monday, May 26. 2014
Cleaning and cooking pan fish, Louisiana-style. She has an appealing earthiness and earthy humor which are lacking in your debutantes.
Re-posted because I failed to follow my own instructions and my rhubarb patch bolted. Dealt with it today - a bit too late.
I am a fan of Rhubarb. It's tangy. Best rhubarb dish? Rhubarb cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Rhubarb won't grow much in the southern US. It requires cold winters and does not enjoy long, hot summers. A good thing about the plants is that they are perennial and last for many years. In fact, a rhubarb patch will last forever if you divide the plants every few years. They are fairly heavy feeders and like a good dose of manure regularly. The leaves are so dense that a patch doesn't really grow weeds.
When I was a kid, my Mom had the rhubarb patch right outside the horse barn, and she would routinely toss some horse poop on it. The fresh poop did not seem to bother the rhubarb.
The only problem I have had with growing rhubarb is its bolting and rapidly going to seed. That needs to be prevented by cutting off the flowering stalks promptly before they grow tall.
Often, people add strawberries to rhubarb. I think it's a sin to dilute the pure rhubarb flavor. Lots of rhubarb recipes
About internet security, government spying, etc: Everything is Broken. He begins:
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