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, January 31. 2015
It's my alma mater, so I think it's a good place. Tough but supportive sort-of: they will certainly toss you if you don't want to get with the program. Many claim that Andover has smarter, more competition-minded kids, but a colder atmosphere. A visit to Phillips Exeter Academy.
The Exeter Harkness table. You can't hide.
By coincidence, Jeb Bush at Andover.
In my view, most of the elite New England prep schools are extremely demanding academically, socially, athletically, and emotionally. The stress and frequent misery and humiliation are part of their mission, like boot camp. Nobody gets As. These schools feel that if one kid gets an A, that is just proof they are not pushing the kids hard enough. I got 2 As in four years, and I worked my butt off. The mandatory 3-hour study hall every evening helped me learn, and the mandatory chapel, formal meals, lights-out, no TV or radios, and other structures helped center me. After class on Saturday mornings we had choir practice, then sports. Sundays, sleep late, then required church, formal lunch, 2 hrs study hall - then free for the rest of the day but you had better be ready to be called on, on Monday morning: "You read the essay, yes? And Madison's paper? So defend Madison's position on ... in light of the new Constitution."
Sad to say, these academies are not as structured these days but remain academically rigorous.
Caught with tobacco, drugs, drink? Sent home for good in shame, immediately. Sports required for 3 hours every afternoon, regardless of ability. Sex? We were not coed quite yet, which helped concentration enormously.
One of my favorites: Braised Lamb Shanks
The sweetest meat is near the bone. Cook the heck out of it until fork-tender. You can bake or slow-cooker it. Some people like to brown the marinated meat before cooking.
Generally one whole shank per person is plenty. Serve one whole shank, bone in, with a pile of sauce over polenta or white rice.
I have not made it with venison shank yet, but I should. Maybe soon. A saw would save the trouble of cutting the meat off the shank bone. Yes, I do know how to butcher a deer.
Northern North America, from Jacques Cartier's explorations (image changed to put north on top): "North is at the bottom:" Once Again We Learn That the Map is Not the Territory
Pic above from Old Gas Stations
A day with Chef Daniel Boulud
Dog shelters running out of dogs
“Middle School Reading Lists 100 Years Ago vs. Today Show How Far American Educational Standards Have Declined”
Students assigned to erect new porn genre at Carnegie Mellon, grades based on arousal
It is hard to look at this data and see anything but a positive story, but apparently the New York Times and the rest of the media only see tragedy.
ALMOST HALF OF U.S. HOUSEHOLDS CAN’T SAVE, SPEND ALL OF THEIR INCOME
Illinois’ New Republican Governor Just Declared War On Government Unions
Thanks Obamacare: This Is What Americans Spent The Most Money On In Q4
The GOP’s Long Love Affair With Schmucks - Why Republicans fall in love with inexperienced, no-hope candidates every four years.
Mitt did the right thing. Jeb will not be nominated either: Jeb Bush Fails Common Core Test
Amusing, re global warming crisis
The Hack That Warmed the World - Europe’s carbon-trading market was supposed to be capitalism’s solution to global warming. Instead, it became a playground for gangsters, international crime syndicates, and even two-bit crooks -- who stole hundreds of millions of dollars in pollution credits.
Douthat: Does Political Correctness Work?
Krauthammer: Do We Really Mean ‘Never Again’?
ISIL’s Rise in Libya - The country’s descent into chaos is getting harder for the United States to ignore.
Good essay on the future of eastern Europe
Friday, January 30. 2015
The basic (written for 10 year-olds) biology of scents, emotion, and memory: The Neuroscience of Our Nostalgia
But since you already stocked up on batteries, ice-melter, snow shovels, bread, milk, beer, spinach, and eggs for last week's Blizzard of the Century, you'll probably be all set.
Are we witnessing an epidemic of PC bullying? Of course, and the contagion has spread out of academia to the real world. People have become fearful of what and how they talk, as if we were in the old East Germany. Fact is, you can pass yourself off as a victim, you can bully and intimidate all you want.
The argument is that only certain (usually academic) elites can be rational, so it is the job of our moral and intellectual superiors to protect us from bad ideas, bad words, and unhindered speech. Good, concise piece: Yes, Political Correctness Really Exists - Social media gives new muscle to German Marxist Herbert Marcuse's arguments against free discourse.
There is truth in that notion that the biggest megaphones are loudest, but this concern misunderestimates people - even the benighted hoi polloi like us who believe everything on NPR. As you might expect, here at Maggie's we take some amusement from a world full of loony-tunes and liberal fascists -regardless of the size of their megaphones - because we have faith that good old American common sense and resourcefulness will endure and see through the insanity.
Indeed, I believe the Left would be happy to hinder my free speech. I have no desire to hinder theirs, even though I sometimes feel it is fundamentally malevolent. As we often claim here, the desire to control others is a form of mental illness.
CS Lewis: Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.
For an amusing take on the topic, Another Progressive Self-Excommunicates Over Political Correctness Thugsquads
Rod McKuen, mega-selling poet and performer, dies at 81
Dartmouth College Banning Possession and Consumption of Hard Liquor
No One Knows How to Stop Campus Alcohol Abuse - It's hard to put much faith in Dartmouth's ban on hard liquor.
Alcohol has been part of higher ed since universities were invented in 1088. Bunch of youths without enough to do.
The blizzard of 1899 - on film
For your heart, maybe
Set an example, Al
End the Boondoggle - Even Greens Can See the Folly of Biofuels
Building Toward Another Mortgage Meltdown - In the name of ‘affordable’ loans, the White House is creating the conditions for a replay of the housing disaster
Obama’s Allowing More Drilling, But It’s Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be
The American epidemic of hate-hoaxing
Real Middle-Class Economics - What the people need is regulatory relief.
Reagan’s OMB head: Wealth inequality is a problem
Multicultural Meltdown in the UK
France's False Choice - Can liberal societies come to terms with religious illiberalism?
White House unhinged over Netanyahu speech
YouTube flooded with terror content - With 300 hours of material uploaded every minute, Google says screening for jihadi videos impossible
Thursday, January 29. 2015
In 1880, I suppose my WASP culture (and it is a culture) was still the core, dominant Americanism. Now, for better or worse, it's just one tribe of many.
Eugene Volokh discusses The American tradition of multiculturalism
Often, as my Mom taught me, the best way to observe nature is just to sit in the woods or meadows silently and inconspicuously for an hour or two. Things will happen. A Box Turtle will wobble past. An upwind fawn will walk ten feet from you. A Redtail will dive on a mouse. A Blacksnake will slither over your warm Wellies. Dragonflies and butterflies will perch on your hat. A Marsh Hawk will pass just over your head, startling you.
A lot of quiet outdoor sitting takes place on deer stands, in duck blinds, etc.
Yesterday, I watched from my office window, a Sharpie attacking sparrows 5 or 10 feet from my window. That's not unusual. What I had never seen before was the frustrated Sharpie just settle on the ground and to begin stalking the sparrows on foot through the hollies where they had fled for safety. He walked with a long slow stride, very alert, just like a Velociraptor.
Have you ever seen that?
After a few minutes of stalking, he somehow flushed a flock of about ten sparrows from a holly and tore off after one. I couldn't see whether he was successful. Wish I had taken a photo.
I am astounded that there are still people, even family members of mine, who truly believe government is here to do good things. I've ceased to be fooled by that illusion.
Today's photo is shown to help promote multicultural understanding
CUNY: Don’t Call Students ‘Mr., Mrs. or Ms.’ Because That’s Maybe Disrespectful - Don't do anything that someone could find offensive!
A book: Building the Workingman's Paradise: The Design of American Company Towns by Margaret Crawford
Medical conferences feel like funerals. Here’s why.
The Sorry State of 'Good Samaritan' Laws - Whether you can safely help a stranger during a crisis largely depends on where you live.
Claiming E-Cigarettes Kill, California Legislator Pushes Vaping Ban - Mark Leno's bill would prohibit vaping everywhere smoking is prohibited.
California Might Replace Gas Sales Tax With Mileage Tax
Awakening to the damage done by teachers' unions
Watch Obama Refer to Himself 133 Times in a 33-Minute Speech
Can the Media Please Stop Quoting Bill Nye as a Science Expert
Greek Socialists to Send Lump of Coal to the EU?
Europe's Real Resistance: The truth is that the Europeans do not really care about the Palestinians, only about destroying Israel.
Wednesday, January 28. 2015
There are several ways, all good.
A nice cashmere scarf like that one from Paul Stuart is fine, but one knitted by one's Mom, girlfriend, or wife is better no matter what it looks like.
Hat, scarf, gloves - ready to go do anything.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:40 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
The meaning is entirely symbolic. If Greece quits or is tossed out of the
When they lived at home, I'd try to convince my less intrepid boys to do the same thing, to no avail (some of us have that entrepreneurial gene, others don't). As much as I enjoy the effort of digging and spending time outside, I was pleased to see younger folk scrambling for a buck. I paid them $30 and they cleared the walk and driveway in about 40 minutes. I don't even have to listen to people complain that I didn't pay minimum wage. Though if I'm ever up for public office this may haunt me as I didn't pay their taxes.
What really surprised me was they asked for my phone number, in case they get another snow day they can call to ask if I need to be shoveled. After checking with their parents, I agreed to give them the house number. Norman Rockwell is not dead, no matter how much our politicians try to kill his vision of our nation.
Pic from old pics of Cape Cod Snow
The first official biography of TS Eliot, covering his life up to The Waste Land, is both compelling and revelatory
From The Blizzard of Oz:
70 years later, Hitchcock’s Holocaust footage airs
How the seven dwarfs of Auschwitz fell under the spell of Dr Death: The hideous experiments carried out by Nazi Josef Mengele on seven trusting brothers and sisters
Why Science Is Anti-Antioxidant Supplements
Small driveway with turntable
Apple posts blowout quarter, will ship Watch in April
In Index of Economic Freedom, U.S. Is 12th Freest Economy
Estate Taxes Are Indeed Immoral
Mankiw: Why did employment grow by about 3 million in 2014? Here is the answer.
Insty: "Despite their superficial attachment to multiculturalism, our elites don’t really want to think of other cultures as, you know, thinking differently, for fear that it might somehow be racist to take that into account."
"People make an enormous mistake if they underestimate the potential of
Profs on Paris Attacks: Je Suis NOT Charlie!
Is Greece already seeing some fiscal collapse?
DANIEL HANNAN: What's the Eurocrats' real fear? Greece quits and thrives
Is Greece already seeing some fiscal collapse?
Tuesday, January 27. 2015
From lefty Jonathan Chait: How the language police are perverting liberalism
I'll dedicate this one to the rugged Sippican family
David J. Theroux, founder and president of The Independent Institute and the C.S. Lewis Society of California, discusses the writings of C.S. Lewis and Lewis's views on liberty, natural law and statism.
Not a great speaker, but good content.
Their models were wrong. They apologize for freaking people out, say they were afraid to underpredict.
Wasn't even a storm, much less a blizzard - just an ordinary New England winter snow dump. No ferocious winds, no 2-3 feet of snow. No big deal, a nice treat for the ski areas but a bummer for those with flights planned.
I had supposed that the weather wasn't being over-hyped this time. Fooled again: Millions hunker down as Northeast storm was downgraded to "snowy day".
Who do you blame for all the stormophobia these days? Drudge? Weather Channel? What?
The pols over-hype these things so they won't be caught being wrong. The news over-hypes them so you will keep your TV and radio turned on. Of course it does make sense to try to keep drivers off the roads for a few hours with big snows so the plows can do their work efficiently.
The driving is fine out there this morning. Everybody without a government job is going to work this morning.
Good grief, Charlie Brown.
Now, on to morning links -
Check out KFC’s latest food abomination, the “Double Down Dog”
Sounds pretty good to me
The power and importance of the ruthless consumer – ‘they make poor men rich and rich men poor’
In free markets, the consumers hold all the cards. They can buy - or not.
When Artists Fear their Audience - On campus, students now stand up for censorship.
Scouts too Evil for CA Judiciary
MIT professor sparks culture war by saying feminism attacks ‘nerds’
Davos’s Destructive Elites - “None of us is as dumb as all of us.”
Scott Walker—Conservatives’ Consensus Choice?
Old white party is in trouble. Good
What, exactly, is Hillary Clinton’s strategy to get voters excited about her candidacy?
The lack of penis seems to be her main selling point - plus her husband's name
‘Sex Slave’ Claims Bill Clinton Visited Epstein’s ‘Orgy Island’
Duh. Wild horses couldn't keep him away
The real story is not complicated
Jonathan Gruber Faces Questions About ‘Phantom Billing’ and Tax Reporting
Obama Films Anti-Oil Drilling Video–From a Jet
Atomic Scientists Say Humanity Is Closest to Destruction Since 1984
Obama, the Committed Income-Redistributionist (Though the Media Swore He Was No Such Thing!) Now Expressly Going After the Middle Class' Education Savings to Shower Money on His Constituents
Death test' could predict chance of dying within 30 days
Why only 30?
BBC branded ´mad´ by critics after refusing to call Paris killers ´terrorists´
NYT: Muslim Criminals in France Turn to Terrorism Because They Feel Dissed; White People at Fault
New Saudi King Named In 9/11 Suits
Obama’s National Field Director Running Anti-Netanyahu Election Campaign
Monday, January 26. 2015
What? It's winter, and it's snowing. Why the hysteria? Of course it's inconvenient but it is lovely and great fun for kids.
Hey - stock up on terlet paper and canned goods! NYC grocery stores cleaned out. Sheesh. Where do these weenies come from? If you run low on caviar, go to a restaurant.
I wasn't angry at all, Dr. Dean, but that comment did annoy me. Saw the movie last night with friends. It was ok, not a great film by any means from a film or drama standpoint, repetitive, I thought, but certainly exciting at times. Cowboys and Indians, on steroids. I have heard from those in the know that it does capture the reality of what Fallujah was like so they did have some good advisers on set. Urban combat in a hostile and sneaky environment in which nobody can be trusted except your buddies.
The film is not about politics at all. It's just about a certain kind of warfare through one man's eyes. Sultan said this: "Hollywood tried to “Vietnamize” Iraq in the popular imagination. American Sniper shows they failed." Well, I dunno. We won in Vietnam, then we gave it away. We sort-of won in Iraq, but they couldn't keep it without us. A lot of these crazy, unstable places in the world are tar babies. Is it worth it? You tell me.
I would have been interested in what Kyle's PTSD was about, but I didn't read the book. It would have been good to include more about sniper rifles, windage, distance shooting, etc. Perhaps what I left thinking about most was that these servicemen in the movie, SEALS, Marines, etc. - the sharp end of the spear - do not so much do heroism as they do a professional risky job for which they are highly-trained in body, mind, heart, and soul. Yes, I think that feeling of professionalism and trust in buddies is accurate, and is what most stuck with me.
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