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, July 26. 2014
Saturday morning links
Politicizing Watermelon Salad
Everyone Wins When You Buy a Rotisserie Chicken
Delicious and cheaper than DIY
Summer in the city: How to outsmart the heat in summer 1899
Obama is right on this
The economics of cross-the-grave romance
Steve McQueen's stunt double
The shrink is carrying, saves lives
What a 12-Year-Old Has in Common With a Plagiarizing U.S. Senator
Are Teachers Underpaid? Let’s Find Out
The Long-Awaited Investigation into Alexander V. Litvinenko’s Murder
UPDATE: Feminist Studies Professor Pleads No Contest to Attack on Pro-Life Teen
Krauthammer: The Vacant Presidency - The world is aflame and our leader is on the 14th green.
Maybe it's for the best
Entitled to What? - Hillary Clinton’s long march through the institutions
Reports: Massive New Year's Terrorist Invasion of Israel Thwarted by Security Forces
US violent crime is lowest in 44 years and half the rate in 1991, so why have we become the United States of SWAT?
Pelosi: Moses Was a Refugee Too, Just Like Baby Jesus
Wrong about Jesus Christ, but didn't the chosen people have to go to war to live in Canaan?
Rep. Jan Schakowsky subsists on tuna salad, chicken, pasta and baked beans for the people
That's supposed be be hard? Sounds fine to me.
Move Over, Oswald: Salon Says Tea Party Types Killed Kennedy
Surprise: Enviro-wacko Groups Call For End Of Capitalism, Notes
Japan gets big drones
Illegals: Earth to House Republicans: Don’t Blow It Now!
Take your stupid pill today yet? How about your meat-repellent pill?
Group Given Nearly $300 Million To House Child Immigrants; Improperly Disclosed Lobbying
The drug that’s forcing America’s most important – and uncomfortable – health-care debate
The Israeli System That Could've Saved MH17
LET'S GIVE 'EM A STATE: Hamas announces it will give 250,000 grenades to Palestinian Children
Surprising Ties between Israel and the Kurds
WaPo: Israel must be permitted to crush Hamas
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 05:57 | Comments (23) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday Verse: Robert Browning (1812-1889). Pippa wonders "How spend my day?"
The year's at the spring
Those famous lines are from Browning's 1841 Pippa Passes. It's Pippa's song. Pippa is a silk mill worker in Asolo, and has three holidays per year. The poem goes through the morning, noon, evening and night of Pippa's day off. She treasures her precious free time. This is from "Morning":
Oh, Day, if I squander a wavelet of thee,
O'er Jules and Phene, what care bride and groom
Worship whom else? For am I not, this day,
The entire piece is here. Yes, Browning specialized in the dramatic monologue. I can easily imagine Pippa as a one-person stage performance. Off topic, but I always got a kick out of the name of Pippa Passes, KY, aka Caney Creek.
Posted by Bird Dog in Saturday Verse at 05:00 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, July 25. 2014
Comedic Minimum Wage Wars
Reason TV didn't wait for this to go viral before they provided a smackdown to both Kristin and Funny or Die:
It's doubtful Remy's exposure of the hypocrisy of Kristin's work will get as much exposure.
While Funny or Die, or Kristin Bell, may start lobbying to make other people do what they want via government diktat, it would behoove them to start living up to their own sense of moral superiority. Minimum Wage Laws are a primary reason so many teens are unemployed, as are the vast array of other restrictions preventing them from working. I held my first job at 13. Today, you can't get a job at 13 and it's just as difficult to find one at 15. Neither of my sons worked before the age of 16, not for lack of trying.
More importantly, studies have shown very few people actually 'live' on a minimum wage. Most minimum wage earners are under the age of 25 and are the second or third wage earner in a home.
What happens when automation pushes all these low wage earners out the door? I don't know. Perhaps we should ask the blacksmiths, since they all lost their jobs with the advent of the automobile. Why wasn't their union looking out for them so we could all be riding horses today? To be honest, I have a friend who is blacksmith. He does quite well for himself today, since there are few people with his skill set. Maybe Mike Rowe is on to something.
Posted by Bulldog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects, Our Essays at 20:15 | Comments (14) | Trackback (1)
Free ad for Bob
Feeling old? Not Dark Yet (1997). It's some sort of personal hymn or prayer, I think. Just another Dylan masterpiece, hauntingly-rendered, and it can bring a tear if you aren't careful.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Song and Dance Man at 16:39 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Freedom is Property, and government is a necessary evil
The American founders knew that government needed a short leash. So much for that plan.
This essay by Williamson is almost too good to post on a summer Friday afternoon: Property and Peace - The irreplaceable basis for a prosperous and decent society is property. One quote:
Posted by The Barrister in Our Essays, Politics, The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:30 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry.
Thomas Jefferson (H/t Remus)
Posted by Bird Dog in Quotidian Quotable Quote (QQQ) at 12:29 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
50 Shades of Planned Parenthood
What's wrong with a little consensual bondage and sado-masochism? Or whatever? A little kink is fun, and everybody knows it. Bedroom games are good things. People are imaginative. As they used to say in Victorian days, "Just don't scare the horses."
Powerline goes puritanical: Time to Pull the Plug on Planned Parenthood
For special kink, I will spend this weekend hunting
If you are in the northeast USA, and not on the water this weekend, you have a bigger problem than Planned Parenthood can solve.
Posted by The News Junkie in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects, Our Essays at 11:20 | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday morning links
Chemistry Lessons - James Garner, 1928-2014
Inside Man’s Best Friend, Study Says, May Lurk a Green-Eyed Monster
What does Fifty Shades of Grey teach men about women?
The Dirty Practice of Infant Baptism - Cult group uses water ceremony to indoctrinate children
Our Enemy, The Sun: Two Years Ago, A Massive and Potentially Catastrophic Coronal Ejection Just Barely Missed The Earth
NOAA – 28,504 Low Max Records Set in Last 365 Days
How much independence should children have?
More Goldwater: The Birth of Modern Conservatism
Paul Ryan: An opportunity to cut poverty
Cuomo Scandal Exposes NY Corruptocracy (and Gives Hillary 2016 a Boost)
Breaking News: ‘Socialists Are Cheaters, Says New Study’
CNN Poll: Twice As Many Americans Were Hurt By Obamacare Than Helped
He is All Fagged Out
So is Matt: If you want to prove you don’t hate gays, all you have to do is worship at their feet
Contemporary Democracy Is a Fraud
Maine GOP Gov. LePage To Make “Able-Bodied” Welfare Recipients Work For Their Food Stamps…
Howard Stern Gives Impassioned Defense of Israel
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 05:01 | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, July 24. 2014
Why Do Americans Stink at Math?
A few reasons. First, my younger son loves sports and sports analysis. Statistics were something he followed from an early age. My older son did not. Secondly, my older son had different teachers and slightly different math programs. These programs mimicked the comedian's schtick:
I had an extremely difficult time helping him learn his math based on the program offered by his school. I was unable to learn the principles they were making him learn, how could I provide any assistance?
My younger son's experience, on the other hand, engaged a teaching method similar to that mentioned in the first four paragraphs of the article. He was using life experience and discussion with friends to learn the basics. The math program he was taught was significantly different from his brother's, the methods similar to those I from which I learned (I know the way I learned math was different from public school kids - my Catholic school was outperforming other local schools on standardized tests for years).
Ultimately, it's important to realize math is the basis of logic and reason. A deficiency in math skills may go a long way to explaining why so many Americans think they can get something for nothing from the government. Common Core may have fine intentions, but its implementation is a disaster, and is heavily politicized. It is unlikely to solve the issues it is designed to fix.
The article carried this anecdote and seems to be a tremendous summary. This is the source of that anecdote.
Posted by Bulldog in Education, Our Essays at 17:17 | Comments (25) | Trackbacks (0)
All about Thomas the Tank Engine
Thomas is what's happening today!
- The Baffling Economics Of The Island Of Sodor
- Classism, sexism, anti-environmentalism bordering on racism: any parent who discovered these hidden lessons will be glad the show’s star just quit.
No, not satire. Good grief. It's a cartoon! The world must be fresh out of psychiatric beds.
- In Defense of Thomas the Tank Engine The series is aimed at children, who need to rebel and to play but who also need, and crave, rules.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:32 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
A tale of woe
Confessionals like this one can sometimes help those people blessed with sunny dispositions to have some understanding of those unfortunates without such dispositions.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in Psychology, and Dr. Bliss at 15:10 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
That's so bourgeois
Posted by The Barrister in Our Essays, The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:54 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday morning links
One in every 25 New Yorkers is a millionaire, study says
Microsoft Job Cuts Underscore Hypocrisy On Immigration
The Vindication of Barry Goldwater
France: Europe’s Clockwork Orange State
Eat-the-Rich Socialist Michael Moore Owns Nine Houses
Families Are Paying Smugglers To Escort ‘Unaccompanied’ Children, Johnson
“Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist”
Federal undercover investigation signs up fake applicants for ACA coverage, subsidies
“Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist”
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 05:57 | Comments (15) | Trackbacks (0)
That's The Bradford on the right. Do we love Wellfleet? You betcha.
From The Wellfleet Blog:
Posted by Bird Dog at 04:51 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, July 23. 2014
Don't Send Your Kid to the Ivy League?
Few kids would turn down an Ivy scholarship, but, after your first job out, you are on your own and nobody cares about it anymore except for you and your narcissistic needs. Done right, wonderfully life-enriching, speaking as an older Dartmouth fellow from the era when your Ivy BA meant something; many things, really. Lots of social signalling and networking, because everybody likes a Dartmouth lad (or lassie). Those were the good old days when elitism gave you a leg up in the sport of life. Clubs, jobs, friends, grad school, social acceptance, deals, etc. Of course, being a Col. or above in the US military offered similar perks. Respect.
It reminds me of the oldie, "Don't send my boy to Harvard, the dying mother said, Don't send my boy to Harvard, I'd rather see him dead, but send him to Columbia, or better yet Cornell, but as for Pennsylvan-i-ay I'll see him first in hell."
Don't Send Your Kid to the Ivy League
He begins, In the spring of 2008, I did a daylong stint on the Yale admissions committee...
Posted by The Barrister in Education, Our Essays at 13:53 | Comments (14) | Trackbacks (0)
Reminder for book lovers in the Northeast USA
The best book sale in New England begins this Friday in Southport, CT. It's good fun, and I have stumbled on some random life-enhancing goodies there.
See ya there. I'll be the goofy jerk with the Cape Cod t-shirt and the 16-gauge baseball cap, and I'll be carryin', of course, so don't try to take my precious book.
Everybody judges you by what you read: read Maggie's Farm.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:45 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
A July stroll on the High Line
NYC offers countless sights and countless sensory delights - many of them free (someday I may make a list of our favorites for those readers with vehement New York-ophobia - they just never did NYC right), but we have come to make strolls on the High Line an annual pleasure. This July, the perennial beds were wonderful to see. Why can't we make gardens this interesting at the farm?
Well, I thought the idea of making the High Line trail out of the old elevated railroad which was built to bring animals from the Hudson ferries to the slaughterhouses and meatpacking factories (the now-popular and fashionable Meatpacking District) was foolish was stupid (from the West 30s to Gansevoort St.), but I have been wrong a few times in the past. Only a few times.
More pics below the fold -
Continue reading "A July stroll on the High Line"
Posted by Bird Dog in Our Essays, Travelogues and Travel Ideas at 12:28 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday morning links
The power of dust
For the gals, Top 10 Items You're Too Old to Wear
I Saw You With My Wife (video)
Bill Clinton accused of having a busty blonde mistress code-named 'Energizer'
How to Make Introductions Like a Gentleman
The Ambitious Plan To Break California Into 6 States – A Model For The Future?
Oh, by the way: Obama just quietly suspended ObamaCare’s individual mandate until 2016
Burlington, Iowa City Council to Consider Ban on Open Carry of Toy Guns
Keeping Iowa safe from squirt guns
Prof. KC Johnson's closing remarks on his Durham In Wonderland blog
Salon hates "America"
Good news, guys. Feminism is over
Venezuela's Transformation To Socialist Utopia Is Nearly Complete As Its Factories Grind To A Halt
New climate alarm mascot – white ringtail possums
The mascots have to be cute - but isn't it racist that they are always white?
Dalrymple: Practically all journalism is forgotten the day after it was written, even by those who wrote it.
Obamacare’s Meaning Is Not Subject to the President’s Whim - Halbig rebuked the administration's lawlesness, but what happens next is far from clear.
Mr. Z: The Immigration Bomb
Sir Ian McKellen Says Struggling Actors Deserve “Living Wage”
What about struggling poets like me? Why is government so mean?
Is it ever acceptable to talk about "Chinamen"?
For second time, rockets found at UN school in Gaza
Sultan: The Noose Around Israel's Neck
"Moral Idiots” from Code Pink Disrupt Israeli Ambassador’s Speech at CUFI Gala
Christian purge in the Middle East: The Price of Inaction
An abundance of riches at American Digest
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 05:00 | Comments (12) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, July 22. 2014
Peter Wood reports on the new AP American History program.
Posted by The Barrister in Education at 17:01 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
“Nice is different from good.”
Stephen Sondheim, as quoted in Is the Quest to Build a Kinder, Gentler Surgeon Misguided?
Posted by Bird Dog in Quotidian Quotable Quote (QQQ) at 14:14 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Lefty worries about governmental power
We naturally think of Lefties as being statists, but even some of them have their limits. Law Prof Jonathan Turley says it all:
Posted by The News Junkie in Politics at 12:41 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday morning links
Anti-GMO Activists Are Harming Hungry Africans (image via Am. Digest)
An outbreak of political correctness in science
Re-linking Barone's Liberalism turns against liberty
Because it is so to-the-point
NYC Pushing to Get Rid of Merit-Based Admissions for Prestigious High Schools
The media is drafting Elizabeth Warren to run in 2016
Related, this song is not parody
Speaking of non-parody, If Only Harper Lee Had Moved To Greenwich Village
Why Are Teachers Unions So Opposed to Change? As a former union leader and a lifelong Democrat, I am deeply troubled by their rhetoric and strategy. (WSJ paywall)
Clegg: Racial Preferences Are Falling
How Matt Drudge Changed The World
Audio Interview: Ed Klein on Blood Feud
What If Everybody Worked for the Government?
We already do, for up to 5 months/yr, for no pay unless we are poor.
Hayward: The Morals of the Welfare State
Thanks, Bill Gates: How to Keep Dictatorships Alive, Squelching Liberty on a Global Scale
Jeremiah Denton, Vietnam War POW and U.S. senator, dies
Spengler: Why Israel Needs to Finish the Job Now
The New York Times: Apologist for a Terrorist Organization
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 05:45 | Comments (12) | Trackbacks (0)
Need help with scat ID
Found at Maggie's HQ. I told Mrs. BD that it looked like Mountain Sheep scat. I put a medium pine cone there for sizing.
Any ideas? I know some things it's not, but I do not know what it is.
Posted by Bird Dog at 05:00 | Comments (29) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, July 21. 2014
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 19:41 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
But is this the first real Rock 'n Roll tune (with Ike Turner in youth)?
Posted by Bird Dog in Music at 16:33 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
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