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
Thursday, December 25. 2014
A few fine Christmas treats:
Christmas at Bastogne - Seventy years ago, American heroes spent the day halting Hitler’s advance in Belgium. A now-elderly friend of ours was there, in the medical corp. At age 16. He lied to get in, and so did his mom. I've seen his letters home because his mom saved them all. Carried lots of stretchers of bleeding through snow during artillery barrages. What are our 16 year-olds doing? Went on to go to medical school later.
600 BC Greek pottery comes to life
Was Robert Frost an obnoxious person? Yes
Damocles Had Nothing To Do With It. It Was Cassandra All The Way For Sippican
Ice in the Arctic and Antarctic is 'not melting', says global warming expert
Daniel Hannan for President! We love this guy:
And from Prof. Alan Kors, "Who's Too Weak to Live With Freedom?" American kids need to be raised to freedom and independence. This fellow is enjoyable -
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:33 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
All humans on earth - believers, cultural Christians, atheists, other-believers, etc - are the beneficiaries of the Christian tradition of individual dignity, justice, and of worship in all of its forms from the intellectual to the artistic to the civilizational.
A dear favorite of mine:
Wednesday, December 24. 2014
I am heading up to western MA to be with family and for our Christmas Mass, thence to Stowe with friends to ski, drink beer, chase girls, and get away from the intertunnels and all of the insane news about the protesting retards.
A special Christmas thanks to all American law enforcement. Cheers to you guys and gals. I'd be scared witless to do your jobs.
But first, two items of interest.
and this from Zero:
Clement Moore (1779-1863) inherited his grandfather's estate, named Chelsea, which now constitutes NYC's wonderful neighborhood of Chelsea where the gays walk their mini dogs, the moms push their strollers, the hipsters do their hipster thing, the Pearl Theater produces lots of cool dance concerts and other good things, the old Chelsea Hotel which sheltered so many artistic and musical luminaries like Bob Dylan - and where Dylan Thomas died - is still there, and everybody in that neighborhood has a fine youthful, ambitious, capitalist time. Ha - including one of my artistic and literary daughters - and one fierce capitalist daughter who did live there in the past.
Wonderful city. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.
Moore led a movement to block the running of 9th Ave. through the middle of his rural estate, but NYC progress could not be stopped. He hated Jefferson for his apostasy. His summer house was in Newport, RI. He was buried in the Trinity Church graveyard.
His dad was a bishop and president of King's College, now Columbia University.
Writing The Night Before Christmas was the least of his academic and cultural accomplishments and generosities, but it did end up inventing an American version of Santa Claus which has endured until now. He's the guy who made Santa fat and jolly.
An email from a daughter:
You know the words of his delightful doggerel, so I do not need to print them out. Like people such as Conan Doyle or Lewis Carroll, inventive people never know what they will be remembered for.
Moore's house in Chelsea -
Moore founded St. Peter's Church in 1838 on his estate. It is still there, on W. 20th St. I've been there for performances of the Chelsea Opera. Lovely old Anglican church, now sort-of Episcopalian.
No, not really, even with all-wheel drive.
In the back woods of the Northeast, most local people drive crappy little old RWD rusty GM sedans and zoom around nicely with snow tires while the skiers from the cities slip and slide their Subarus and 4-WD Suburbans, Range Rovers, and Escalades all over the roads and into the ditches.
A well-bred, gracious gent
Happy Holidays: FDA Moves to Ban Cake, Donut ‘Sprinkles’:
4 Things That Are Hurting Your Wife and Killing Your Marriage
Crazy music: Please, For The Love Of God, Stop Hitting It, Joe
I double dog dare ya to read this
and to understand it. I think the point is that the U of Michigan is a hotbed of institutional racism.
Never have liberal ideas been so firmly entrenched within America’s core elite institutions. Never have those institutions been so weak and uninfluential.
Minus rape, feminism is rather too obviously a list of trivial complaints by comfortable yet hysterical semi-affluent white women.
As Congress Lawyers Up Harvard’s Cass Sunstein Defends the Technocrats
How much economic potential does Cuba have?
Is Obama getting the last laugh on Cuba?
Steven Pinker on the Boycott Israel Dispute at Harvard
How much economic potential does Cuba have?
Tuesday, December 23. 2014
Divinum Mysterium (Of the Father's love begotten) - h/t Nice Deb
Here. It's good fun.
Great to make, but easier to buy one at your baker
Best Macaroni and Cheese
The best side with any juicy, fatty, succulent meat
5-Minute Peanut Butter Frozen Fudge
We changed our Christmas Day menu. Our neighborhood butcher is making us a crown roast of pork with 18 chops - and each chop 2 inches thick. I'll stuff the roasts with sausage-apple stuffing, and we'll make some applesauce. Few winter foods are more succulent and delicious.
Insty: We don't need more laws
America has more laws, rules, and regulations than anybody could learn in a lifetime - or could obey without a large team of lawyers on hand at all times. I'm in favor of a ten-year moratorium on new laws, giving time to roll back old laws.
A great Christmas present: 1994 AM General M998A1 Humvee HMMWV
But could it pull a plow and milk a cow?
Pic: A pal is building a cabin in the Vermont woods, on weekends, with his wife's help. Kitchen is finished
8,000-Year-Old Olive Oil Found in Ancient Clay Pots
Joe Cocker, RIP
E-cigarettes are good
A Galilee Christmas tour, in the footsteps of Jesus - The New Testament comes alive along the shores of Lake Kinneret
If Joseph and Mary tried to reach Bethlehem today, they might get murdered by Palestinian terrorists
Mark Harmon interview - seems like a fine fellow
Some might disagree
New editor says TNR will be 'more diverse'
Warren's positions far more closely reflect the sensibilities of the modern-day Democratic Party than Hillary Clinton's.
Despite Recent Job Growth, Native Employment Still Below 2007 - BLS data show all net employment growth has gone to immigrants
Cuba before Castro
EU judges decide being fat is a legal disability
Monday, December 22. 2014
Christmas card from Alma Mater. I like it.
We are not daily beggars
"Old English wæs hæl, literally 'be you healthy.'" Here's an alcohol-free Wassail recipe but anything similar would work. In its classic form, it was made with ale or mead, and often nowadays with rum or vodka added to cheer up your guests.
but you will not be happy with it. Say Goodbye to the Family Doctor - Young doctors are increasingly becoming employees rather than independent practitioners.
Not only will they not know you (other than your chart data), but they will have no connection with you. We are approaching the tail end of a long era of personal and personalized medical care.
A physician can not be commoditized, but they can try. A physician is more than a technician.
I tip my garbage men, the mailman who is kind enuf to deliver stuff to my front porch, and a much bigger tip than normal to the early morning Dunkin gals. I'm not sure who else I have to Christmas tip these days.
"Legendary Mad Magazine Illustrator Jack Davis Calls It Quits at 90″
Mad Magazine Illustrator Jack Davis Calls It Quits at 90″ - See more
Autism Moms Have Stress Similar To Combat Soldiers
2015 GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado Test Drive
The United States of Anxiety - Sony brass might be cotton candy, but they are iron men compared with the American college student.
The key to understanding Environmental Economics is understanding unintended consequences
On Halloween, or all the time?
Sultan: Saving Comrade Castro
President Obama’s ‘betrayal’ of Cuban democrats
Funding the Castros’ tyranny
Mead via Insty:
Sunday, December 21. 2014
Santa (who is clearly an obese white male in this accurate photo) is well-known to prefer Coke to Pepsi, but in our family he preferred brandy, Scotch, or Irish Coffee. Why Pepsi in this photo of him? Somebody must have paid him off.
Christmas became a federal holiday in the US in 1870. When people talk about the secularization and the material and food and booze indulgence of Christmas, I laugh because it was ever thus even though, in my family tradition, it's a pleasant if hectic blend of religious - with goodies and parties with friends, friendly acquaintances, and family.
We've been thinking about all of the charming pagan Saturnalian, and especially the pre-Christian Germanic, aspects of modern American Christmastime. A fine history of the modern Christmas here. Lots of interesting details.
My conclusion at the moment is that it's an ancient winter solstice Pagan holiday - with the baby Jesus added to the mix as Roman marketing. I have seriously-Jewish friends who do Christmas. Heck, even atheists love Christmas. My atheist Dad loved it: his entire life was about giving to others and more so than almost any Christian - or anyone of any religion - I know.
Every culture needs party seasons too, festivals. The real Christian holy day is Easter. I never heard of an Easter Party, and Easter parades are only in the movies.
No, I am not a Grinch. I love Christmas, especially Christmas Eve in church during which I shed tears every year. Advent is important to me, but far less so than Lent. I like all the parties, too, to catch up with my million best friends. Just one more, tonight, with carols. Yesterday was family pre-Christmas brunch to accommodate those who would be away, and last night's jolly party had carols too, with a neighboring pastor on the pianny and great and abundant food and drink - Champagne and wines, multiple turkeys and hams, all sorts of cakes and pies and cheeses, huge rounds of Stilton with Port. Good, memorable fun for the whole family, ages 1 to 90. Christmas balloons, lots of little kids underfoot, crazy reindeer hats and Santa hats, etc. And, finally, the carols to end it up.
In 2013, both of my parents died. That puts a damper on family things and leaves a large hole in family get-togethers, but Christmas goes on with times of its holy meaning and times of its secular delights:
Good clean fun.