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
Sunday, October 26. 2014
Charles Murray: Ayn Rand was a philosophical hypocrite, but a magical novelist.
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:15 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17
Saturday, October 25. 2014
A repost from last November -
A great hunt this morning at a pal's rod and gun club. Heavy snow flurries and a stiff breeze made things interesting. Had two good Labs working for us today. Had to break the ice in their water tubs. Being Labs, naturally one insisted on climbing into the water tub to play with the floating hunks of ice and was not eager to come out.
Before a late lunch we had some venison sausage and I fixed myself a Clamato Bloody Mary while we cleaned and oiled our weapons. For lunch, they made us rare roast beef with Onion Pie, with a nice Chateau Simard '86 (Simard remains an excellent wine for the price). I do not know whether it was just the effect of a long cold day in the field, but this onion pie was about the tastiest, most savory thing I have ever eaten. The cook made it with a plain white-cracker piecrust and maybe sprinkled cracker crumbs over the top. This pie is to a kiche as a Grizzly Bear is to a Teddy Bear. Rice Pudding for dessert, of course: what else would you serve at an old-fashioned guy's club where women are not allowed?
As my friends know all too well, it's great to have somebody else to drive so I can indulge a post-prandial, post-hunt snoring snooze. I do not know why my friends put up with me.
1 unbaked pie shell - try a plain cracker crumb crust
2 or 3 very large white onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 lb. Swiss cheese cut into 1/2" or 1" chunks
1 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. milk or light cream
1/8 tsp. pepper
Prepare unbaked pie shell. Start heating oven to 400 degrees. Saute onions in butter and dump into pie shell. Toss the cheese with flour, sprinkle over onions. Beat eggs well. Stir in milk or cream, salt and pepper. Pour over cheese. Sprinkle crack crumbs on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Then reduce oven heat to 300 degrees and bake 25 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve hot, in wedges.
That is soul food with a rare roast beef. Might be a good treat for a holday, too, as an alternative to creamed baby onions (which I also love).
We have seen plenty of marble quarries up on high hills around Italy and in Sicily too.
Here's an up-close view (video)
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:01 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Frank Serpico speaks
Thirty-Three-Hit Wonder - Billy Joel still lives on Long Island, still rules the Garden.
Big Taxi is doomed
Idaho city ordinance bans distribution of Bible to children
Study Says Deer Hunting Helps to Replenish Forests
Problem is that we eliminated their natural predators
Save the fishes! Drill offshore
Prohibition Redux: Pennsylvania to Destroy Thousands of Bottles of Wine - Owner violated archaic liquor laws
Krauthammer: Barack Obama, Bewildered Bystander - He’s angry, but not angry enough to fix what’s wrong.
Hillary Clinton Says, “Don’t Let Anyone Tell You It’s Corporations and Businesses That Create Jobs”
Dems on FEC move to regulate Internet campaigns, blogs, Drudge
The UK wants people to exercise to save $ for the NHS
But aren't people cheaper if dead?
John Kerry Thinks Climate Change Causes Radical Islam
North Korea warns against anti-Pyongyang leaflet drop
Shooting balloons is the most fun you can have in NoKo
The House Of Clouds
I would build a cloudy House
For my thoughts to live in;
When for earth too fancy-loose
And too low for Heaven!
Hush! I talk my dream aloud
I build it bright to see,
I build it on the moonlit cloud,
To which I looked with thee.
Cloud-walls of the morning's grey,
Faced with amber column,
Crowned with crimson cupola
From a sunset solemn!
May mists, for the casements, fetch,
Pale and glimmering;
With a sunbeam hid in each,
And a smell of spring.
Build the entrance high and proud,
Darkening and then brightening,
If a riven thunder-cloud,
Veined by the lightning.
Use one with an iris-stain,
For the door within;
Turning to a sound like rain,
As I enter in.
Build a spacious hall thereby:
Boldly, never fearing.
Use the blue place of the sky,
Which the wind is clearing;
Branched with corridors sublime,
Flecked with winding stairs
Such as children wish to climb,
Following their own prayers.
In the mutest of the house,
I will have my chamber:
Silence at the door shall use
Evening's light of amber,
Solemnising every mood,
Softening in degree,
Turning sadness into good,
As I turn the key.
Be my chamber tapestried
With the showers of summer,
Close, but soundless - glorified
When the sunbeams come here;
Wandering harpers, harping on
Waters stringed for such,
Drawing colours, for a tune,
With a vibrant touch.
Bring a shadow green and still
From the chestnut forest,
Bring a purple from the hill,
When the heat is sorest;
Spread them out from wall to wall,
Whereupon the foot shall fall
In light instead of sound.
Bring the fantasque cloudlets home
From the noontide zenith
Ranged, for sculptures, round the room,
Named as Fancy weeneth:
Some be Junos, without eyes;
Naiads, without sources
Some be birds of paradise,
Some, Olympian horses.
Bring the dews the birds shake off,
Waking in the hedges,
Those too, perfumed for a proof,
From the lilies' edges:
From our England's field and moor,
Bring them calm and white in;
Whence to form a mirror pure,
For Love's self-delighting.
Bring a grey cloud from the east,
Where the lark is singing;
Something of the song at least,
Unlost in the bringing:
That shall be a morning chair,
Poet-dream may sit in,
When it leans out on the air,
Unrhymed and unwritten.
Bring the red cloud from the sun
While he sinketh, catch it.
That shall be a couch, with one
Sidelong star to watch it,
Fit for poet's finest Thought,
At the curfew-sounding;
Things unseen being nearer brought
Than the seen, around him.
Poet's thought, not poet's sigh!
'Las, they come together!
Cloudy walls divide and fly,
As in April weather!
Cupola and column proud,
Structure bright to see -
Gone - except that moonlit cloud,
To which I looked with thee!
Let them! Wipe such visionings
From the Fancy's cartel
Love secures some fairer things
Dowered with his immortal.
The sun may darken - heaven be bowed -
But still, unchanged shall be,
Here in my soul, that moonlit cloud,
To which I looked with THEE!
Friday, October 24. 2014
I believe that evil exists. I have seen it in myself, and I think I understand the human desire to externalize it or to deny it. Denial of evil is dangerous.
From The Guardian (really): The truth about evil - Our leaders talk a great deal about vanquishing the forces of evil. But their rhetoric reveals a failure to accept that cruelty and conflict are basic human traits
One quote from this good essay:
It's the time of year when I stock up on bags of Cranberries and throw them in the freezer.
The canned cranberry "sauce" pictured is garbage. It's just congealed sweetened cranberry juice.
The recipe on the Ocean Spray bags is pretty good, but I cut the sugar they recommend in half. It's nothing but water, fresh or frozen berries, and sugar.
A great food, the Cranberry. I love to put them in pancakes (the combination of the sweetness of the maple syrup and the tartness of the cranberries is perfect).
Here's our old post on Cranberry Season and the Heart.
Funny thing about Cranberries: not many animals or birds like to eat them. Maybe bears? I've seen Box Turtles take a bite out of one, but I've never seen anything else eat them. I love Cranberries, as long as they aren't cooked too sweet. Here's a tiny Massachusetts Cranberry bog, flooded for harvest:
Here's how it's done on a larger scale:
I suspect he missed a lot of interesting stuff, but he got the competency.
There are plenty of reasons for "seat time" in many areas of study, but certainly not in all. For example, there really are no valid criteria (in my view) for competency in Art History, or in history for that matter.
Here's the idea: Hacking Higher Ed With Competency-Based Education
Related, competency exams may be racially-biased via disparate impact. Here's that whole story, from Bill McMorris: How the Supreme Court Created the Student Loan Bubble - It all starts with Griggs v. Duke Power Co.
Weather Channel Founder John Coleman: There is no significant man-made global warming at this time
Football Coach Fired Because Eating Watermelon Is Racist - Parents from other schools felt smashing a watermelon and eating it after games was inappropriate.
Related, architecture is racist too
Most racist thing? An architect eating a watermelon
Death Threats Aimed at Boy, 11, Who Bagged Rare Albino Deer
Can't Afford a House? Don't Buy One
Op-Ed: What Would Toscanini Do?
Andrew Klavan: Just Say No To Feminism
The War on Poverty Turns 50 - Are We Winning Yet?
Sex and politics: poor Lewinsky didn't know the game
Michael Brown’s Granny & Mother Brawl in Street Over T-Shirts & Swag
Mark Steyn: Doesn’t Matter If GOP Win Midterms, Liberals Winning ‘Other 364 Days,’ Culture Wars
Yucca Mountain safe for nuke storage
Syria tribal revolt against Islamic State ignored
H.R. McMaster: Thinking Clearly about War and the Future of Warfare – The US Army Operating Concept
Navy's Top Admiral: Long Deployments are 'Unsustainable'
Thursday, October 23. 2014
Aren't they our employees?
Does Everybody Want Freedom? Most do, even those who appear to enjoy slavery.
My experience in life has taught me that many or most people would accept some form of feudalism in exchange for safety and security for themselves and their families. Serfdom, if you will.
Caught as most of us are between a job and the government, it's all still basically feudal is it not? Not what the American founders had in mind.
The most valuable and unequal things we inherit are not dollars, but dollars are good too
The Dodge Brothers and Henry Ford: A Brief History
Confessions Of An AP Teacher: College Board’s New History Curriculum Is Terrible
Abusing Federal Paid Leave
Union enrollment plummets for Wisconsin teachers under tough law
"Tough"? The old law was tough.
Special interest licensing: A Confused Progressive Case Against Occupational Licensing Abuse
The Real Story on How Much Obamacare Increased Coverage
The incredible cost savings that are possible when patients can actually shop around
Infected by Politics - The public-health profession is more committed to social justice than to sound science.
Obama the conservative
US Spends 30 Times More on Welfare Benefits Per Person Than Communist China
Thomas Sowell on ‘predatory lending’ and ‘predatory journalism’
Election season: Holder DOJ expert witness: blacks are dumber and less civic-minded than whites
Election season: Dem GOTV Group Caught on Camera Endorsing Voter Fraud
Election season: Scott Brown Nails Shaheen on Immigration: 'I Want to Fight for Jobs for New Hampshire' over Jobs for Illegal Aliens
Election season: Kimball - Dem Panic According to the New York Times
Why the Teenage Girls of Europe Are Joining ISIS - Because they want the same things that teenage boys want: a strong sense of meaning and purpose
No mention of devotion to Allah in that calculation?
Traffickers use abductions, prison ships to feed Asian slave trade
Defensible Borders in the Age of IS - What does the upheaval in the Middle East mean for Israel’s territorial needs?
Wednesday, October 22. 2014
Dem Strategist: Obama Has ‘Removed Threat of Deportation' for Most Illegals
Pic is this 1959 Porsche-Diesel Junior Tractor
There's More to Life Than Being Happy - Meaning comes from the pursuit of more complex things than happiness
It's about Viktor Frankl
The Externalization of Responsibility: Monica Lewinsky’s Personal Shame
Election season: Dildos and Lynchings: Wendy Davis, Kay Hagan Campaigns Go Insane
Election season: CAUGHT ON TAPE: Dem Operative Stuffs Ballot Box in Arizona
Election season: Obama Admin: We May Need 'Surge' Of Millions Of Immigrant Ids 'For Any Number Of Reasons'
Green cards on the table -President Obama lets slip his scheme for a permanent majority
Future election season: Hillary Clinton Raises Record $2.1M At Jeffrey Katzenberg Co-Hosted Hollywood Fundraiser
Klavan: Knucklehead Row:
Tuesday, October 21. 2014
"My therapist (social worker, Psychologist, whatever) asked me to phone to come in to get a prescription."
"Do you take my insurance?"
"Do you take Medicare?"
"I need help with my Disability application."
"I need a doctor to renew my Adderal."
"I'm sorry, no, but I would be happy to talk with you" to all of the above.
This is a 4 year old story discussing why reconciliation is "good", in particular as it applied to the ACA.
It is a certainty, as Lord Acton once said, that power corrupts. In many cases of political activity, that corruption isn't just apparent in bribes, graft or other rackets that take place. It's visibly evident in the hypocrisy of power. In reality, reconciliation is probably bad every time it is used. I say this because it was mainly designed to overcome filibusters. Filibusters exist in order to extend debate on contentious issues on which neither side can claim a clear and overwhelming majority agreement (read as "bipartisan" - a term I despise since I view it as a means to push a slow growing Progressive agenda, but which many people think is a "good").
If a system's success depends on having the 'right people' in place, there's probably something wrong with the system. As our republic is aging, it seems there is a distinct and overwhelming stench coming from Washington because both parties are putting people in place who are perceived to be the 'right people'. Yet things just keep getting worse.
America's founders never promised us a rose garden. Quite the opposite. They offered, to the world, a novel and very difficult life breathing the air of freedom and independence from government and any other powers.
Adventurous people from all over the world have been attracted to the ideas of dangerous freedom, opportunity, risk, insecurity, and self-reliance.
Those things bring out the best in people.
You all know all of this. In my view, if you want anything from the federal government other than legal justice and protection from invading powers, you lack the vibrant American spirit and perhaps might prefer to live elsewhere, where a more feudal state plays a more parental, controlling role. It's a big world out there and the American idea is not/was not for everybody.
American people do not have delimited rights. American governments have delimited powers. That was the idea and the ideal, anyway.
Freedom or rights for stuff rather than from stuff? It sickens my soul. Quit helping us, please. Our ancestors did not come here for help other than help from God and maybe from our neighbor if we had one. They struggled and endured freedom, and so should we all. "Gimme" is not American: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Gimmedat: