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
Friday, November 20. 2015
I'm supposed to read the papers and paste some of the more interesting items on this page for you to peruse. We're all supposed to have a few laughs, go tsk, tsk, or on the odd occasion, applaud what we see. Today I was brought up short, as they say. Like a baby midget in the circus. I'm still capable of being shocked, I guess. The papers are full of man's inhumanity to man these last few days, but nothing about a terrorist attack surprises me anymore. Doesn't even move the meter, I'm ashamed to say.
The Newspaper neglected to mention that the "fugitive Santeria priest" suspected of murder had raped a child. All the news that fits, I guess, and the fact that the rape victim was a child can't compete with everything else the headline has going on.
I can't say I blame the news organization. They have a lot of ground to cover. I didn't even bother listing all the plain old murders I found on that page. There was a kind of monotony to them. The KTLA news page even tried to get me to pay attention to a car wreck. That doesn't even register as bad news to me anymore after reading the rest of the happenings from one little corner of our world.
Well, don't worry, you can count on me to keep bringing you the news, but as soon as I'm done, I'm shaving my head, putting on flowing robes, and fashioning a placard that reads REPENT, THE WORLD WILL END TOMORROW. You'll find me out on the sidewalk, waving at passing cars, and apologizing to everyone for not making the sign 50 years ago when it would have been timely.
I see. He's terrified of producing a beneficial trace gas, or any "waste." He will, however, propose the mining of lots of manganese, a material that causes permanent neurological disorders, tremors, facial muscle spasms, difficulty walking, acute bronchitis, aggressiveness, and hallucinations. But he'll make enough juice to charge his phone, so it's all good.
I don't have any questions about the viability of Obamacare, and never did, but thanks for playing.
Let's make a deal, college kids. I'll help you jackhammer his name off the building if you'll help me erase his signature from the Revenue Act of 1913.
I have no sympathy -- none -- for a college graduate that can't pluralize "buddy."
I have only one observation. If a man and a woman are in separate bathtubs, no amount of medication will initiate sexual activity between them. That's a cast iron fact.
Sounds great. I'm all for a return to mid-Victorian Napier-style foreign policy, too: "Come here instantly. Come here at once and make your submission, or I will in a week tear you from the midst of your village and hang you."
I have another theory. The emissions rules to limit CO2 are stupid and unattainable, and Volkswagen workers had to choose between fibbing and mass ritual suicide in the parking lot.
Half say they are barely getting by, and the other half didn't hear the question because their head is in the oven.
That is a nifty piece of work. After the zombie apocalypse, he'll be an emperor-god because he'll be the only man on Earth able to program an LED register to show the vague outlines of a naked woman.
Well, that should tide you over until tomorrow. Remember, Maggies Farm loves you and wants you to be happy, so if by some twist of fate you accidentally enter the broadcast area for KTLA, roll up the windows, lock the doors, and keep driving.
Thursday, November 19. 2015
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:02 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Every person's list will vary due to geographical, climatological, financial, and cultural matters, but I think it's a good topic to think about, especially for parents.
Regardless of their genitalia or gender identification, what are the basic life skills you want/wanted your kids to attain before they are/were kicked out of the nest and sent on their way in life?
I'll begin with my How To list which is probably somewhat New England-oriented (my partial list, as an example), How To:
Ride, handle, and care for a horse, ski, sail a boat and handle a powerboat in rough weather, ride a bike, handle all types of firearms, catch and clean a fish, train and handle a dog, change a tire, drive a tractor, tap a Sugar Maple, swim, golf, play tennis, play some team sports, throw every kind of ball, tie knots, play some card games, play an instrument, split wood, identify basic local birds, trees, and animals, go to church, exercise daily, basic cooking, try every sort of new food, perfect table manners and social conversation, dress appropriately to occasion, write a thank-you note and a condolence note, deliver a brief speech to a crowd, make a garden, pay attention to geography and geology, cement a post, use basic tools (and chain saws for boys), do laundry, clean a house, start a fire, tell a story without boring the listener, drive a stick shift, and, not least, travel internationally with confidence.
Put your ideas about basic life skills in the comments, please.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:46 | Comments (25) | Trackbacks (0)
Probably not. What they excel at is attracting higher percentages of talented kids.
the elite colleges really any better? (education sentences to ponder) -
See more at:
the elite colleges really any better? (education sentences to ponder) -
See more at:
We used to be rather better at this cloak and dagger stuff.
Perhaps it was because we were all sure we were on the same team back in the day. Kennedy was a bit of a dolt compared to Eisenhower, but he wasn't any kind of friend to the commies. The Bay of Pigs was about as dumb an attempt at exercising American power as you could come up with, but he didn't mess it up on purpose because he was secretly hoping the other side would win. I'm not sure you can count on that brand of My mother, drunk or sober patriotism anymore.
Not too many years earlier, Eisenhower was able to go on national television and admit he was the one that sent Francis Gary Powers to spy on the Soviet Union from the edge of space. He knew that everyone on the other side of the aisle wouldn't impeach him over it. It was, after all, in the United States' best interest. Well, if it worked it was.
While terrorists are raging all over the landscape, our intelligence experts are busy in nondescript buildings in Virginia rifling through Tea Party tax returns. Anyone that understands opportunity cost knows that when some tasks get done to the last jot and tittle, others get the back burner. The Rumford Meteor japed that the massacre in Paris had an effect: France Finally Uses the List of Terrorists They’ve Been Keeping at the Bottom of a Locked Filing Cabinet Stuck in a Disused Lavatory With a Sign on the Door Saying Beware of the Leopard
If that's funny, it's because it's true. France had a list of 168 locations they had identified as possible terrorist hideouts. They used the list to conduct raids the day after the bloodbath. What exactly was a more important use of their time the day before the massacre? Putting someone in the clink for working 36 hours a week?
Even the entertainment about dealing with an implacable enemy used to be better. I'm sick of rogue CIA agents. I long for the good old days of CIA agents who were rogues. Not the same thing, is it?
On to today's news:
C'mon, admit it. Public School is obsolete. It serves only as an academy for depravity at this point.
Yeah, and the burglars are 100 percent less likely to shoot your dog.
Once a week? Maybe. I'll reserve judgment until they clarify whether that means at least two people are in the room.
You're not allowed to drink alcohol when taking this drug. No one's getting any action under those circumstances.
You mean Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun aren't nursing homes?
There's always plenty of weather in bodice rippers. Otherwise Fabio's pectorals wouldn't glisten with sweat as his hands slowly made their way up inside her chemise, the faint aroma of the sodden garden surrounding them like the perfume of Aphrodite, and all that sh*t.
In his defense, he did say, "No sprinkles."
I'm fairly certain the first and only taco I ate at Taco Bell hasn't moved an inch since I swallowed it.
No one should ever go to jail for copyright infringement, which is a civil violation, or should be. Same goes for tax evasion. If you can't collect the money upfront, willingly, you're not entitled to it. Jailing people for owing money is medieval.
"The Spy Who Came In From the Cold" with Richard Burton and Claire Bloom is the best spy movie ever made. Discuss.
Wednesday, November 18. 2015
An interesting topic. There is no doubt that schools are there to do the things that parents are not equipped to do or might not have time to do: acculturation, academic skills, some practical skills. Foundations for life.
Tyler says Education is about self-acculturation.
Education is about self-acculturation.
Those old-time pensions are a thing of the past, except for some government employees.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:00 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:57 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
My Headmaster, in fact. He had a pet otter which followed him everywhere. An old school fellow. The Rev. Seymour St. John. Nice photos via Salt Water.
Look, I know you mean well, and some of you look quite fetching in a lab coat, horn rims, and high heels, but I am not interested in your "studies." You do not seem to have studied anything but grievances in school, yet you publish studies by the ream as soon as you escape. I do not care a fig if you think my cell phone is giving cancer to my autism. I am not all that interested in your theories about the correlation of causation with the cessation of sensation in my foot as I drop off to sleep at night.
I sleep when I'm tired and I eat when I'm hungry and I drink when I'm thirsty and I read when I'm curious and I wonder what you're on about. If you've got evidence, trot it out, but I warn you I'm going to want to inspect your test tubes before I throw away my office chair and sit on a beach ball.
Now, on to today's studies:
This article is only sorta-correct. It's true you'll live longer if you don't get in my way when I'm trying to get coffee.
This is the equivalent of breaking into a bank to steal the deposit slips. Ted Williams frozen head is never going to bat .400, either.
Another paid advertisement masquerading as a news article, but I'll play along: America doesn't have "access" to water. We have a population of capable humans who consider an inexpensive supply of potable water for its citizens to be an important, if trivial, undertaking, and then makes it happen. Well, except California.
Yet another fake ad, but I'll play along. This woman believes she needs a handheld supercomputer wirelessly attached to an electronic cup in order to get herself a drink of water. She's the target audience for the last fake article, I imagine.
The article says startup owners are cashing out before they've sufficiently bilked investors out of enough money to fund still more startups. Welcome to the fabulous new iAmway economy!
The United States has always been an endlessly interesting place, and continues to be so.
The United States has always been an endlessly interesting place, and continues to be so.
If a couple more Republican candidates quit, they're not going to be able to field a baseball team.
I've noticed that gruntled people never attack anyone with their penis.
I know they're scientists, but I doubt I'm related to Julia Roberts.
Well, there you go. If I were you, I'd blow off work, get hopped up on pots of coffee, build a house out of corn shucks, and then ride a bicycle covered with LEDs in circles around it. If you don't, the terrorists have won.
Tuesday, November 17. 2015
It seems unlikely to me that government could manage medical care there because it can't manage anything else. India Is Training Quacks to Do Real Medicine
Well-trained paramedics and EMS-type people can do a lot of good, if they have the skills to decide what needs more expertise and what does not. Even the best-trained MDs often get that wrong.
Limitations I have found in my (recent) mixed cardio-resistance-endurance program are strength and power in my extremities, ie forearms and lower legs. Those tend to be neglected in resistance work. They are more or less expected to respond in strength to the other things you do.
That is true to a point, perhaps, but, for examples, but my dead lifts and kettlebell walks are limited by my grip strength. Lower leg strength is needed for everything you do, posture and agility, and especially to prevent injury.
What I am learning is that I have to strengthen everything to pursue my maximum functional endurance. The two go hand-in-hand.
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:17 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
The passionate endeavors to eliminate the classical studies from the curriculum of the liberal education and thus virtually to destroy its very character were one of the major manifestations of the revival of the servile ideology.
It is a fact that a hundred years ago only a few people anticipated the over-powering momentum which the antilibertarian ideas were destined to acquire in a very short time. The ideal of liberty seemed to be so firmly rooted that everybody thought that no reactionary movement could ever succeed in eradicating it. It is true, it would have been a hopeless venture to attack freedom openly and to advocate unfeignedly a return to subjection and bondage. But antiliberalism got hold of peoples’ minds camouflaged as superliberalism, as the fulfillment and consummation of the very ideas of freedom and liberty. It came disguised as socialism, communism, planning.
No intelligent man could fail to recognize that what the socialists, communists and planners were aiming at was the most radical abolition of the individuals’ freedom and the establishment of government omnipotence.
Ludwig von Mises, The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality, 1956 (h/t Reader)
Since the entire world has quickly settled on singing a dreary, infantile ditty written by a wife-beater that extols the state religion of Nazi Germany and the USSR as a response to an existential threat, I guess it's time to move on to new topics. Speaking of existential, didn't those Frenchmen invent existentialism? No, I think that was Kierkegaarde. Maybe it was Nietzsche. Whatever. It was one of those grouchy fellows. I was doodling in my copybook and trying to get a peek down a girl's blouse that day in school, and must have missed it. At any rate, Europe is just a bunch of zebras at the watering hole watching a lion eat their little sister while mumbling, "Wasn't me, don't care." Who am I to bother about it? Let's read the papers:
Like Obama, Hollande looks at terror attacks through the lens of self-interest. If it affects their personal reputation, they get peevish and start talking like a fop's idea of Audie Murphy. Otherwise, they really don't give a sh*t.
I'm sure a multinational terrorist organization is shaking in their sandals over the prospect of a deluge of fake one-star reviews on Yelp.
In my experience, machine snow is half-frozen filthy retaining pond water sprayed all over you if you deign to ski on a weekday.
Silly me. I thought holding up an inexpertly lettered sign with a preachy message and a hashtag was the pinnacle of human achievement.
Bombshell? You guys don't get out much. She reminds me of homely girls who go to Star Wars conventions.
Ever hear of the Fourth Amendment? Cute little thing. It was popular around here 200 years ago. It almost seems like you have a problem using probable cause to determine who to surveil because then you'd have to admit who is probably gonna cause a problem.
Judge: I need to know which one of them liked that dreadful song in order to rule against him or her.
Round up the Friends of Eddie Coyle
Don't worry. ISIS will crack those open like a pinata after their next Mahdi connects the Sudan to Vienna.
"Brutal" prehistoric world? Compared to what? My housecat will kill anything it can catch, and tortures it first, too. Your goldfish would eat you if it could fit you in its mouth.
Be careful out there in the brutal posthistoric world today.
Monday, November 16. 2015
Biceps are not major functional muscles. There are only three good reasons to strengthen biceps in isolation: arm-toning for middle-aged women, showing off in wife-beater Ts - and, usefully, to provide some complementary balance for the far more useful and important triceps.
However, fact is that most upper-body chest, core, back exercises, and full-body exercises and body-weight calisthenics like pull-ups and ropes activate biceps enough without needing to do very much of those muscle-isolating "curls for girls."
As BD has said, the Maggie's fitness philosophy for sedentary-working people is about overall fitness, muscle and cardiovascular endurance, athletic functionality, posture, core strength, and good body-weight management rather than body-building and body-sculpting. Maximally-functional for life, not for the gym, prison yard, or for the Gay Parade..
In my view, the more muscles an exercise stresses, the better. Besides intense interval cardio, what kills me but makes me fitter are pushing the full-body, mixed cardio+strength+core exercises like ball smashes, ropes, lunges with kettles, pull-ups, burners, and the like. You just do them until you break.
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:25 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Yes, birds are still seen as essentially dinosaurs. Lots of new interesting evolutionary details though. The Cretaceous Extinction had a major impact on birds (and everything else) with which we are still living.
Well, it's Monday. Your favorite team lost, so the water cooler is looking less like an oasis and more like an enemy gun emplacement. Hey, Bob, did you see Peyton Roethlesberger throw a pick six and a tantrum on fourth down with the game on the line? You know, the one that caused my team to win, and your favorite team and their benighted fans to be consigned to ignominy and defeat? What did you think about that Bob? Did you enjoy it as much as I did? Whaddya say about that, Bob?
Me, I don't mind Mondays so much. I don't root for Jameis Manziel or Cam Bradford or Russell Brees, so it's of little consequence if the Green Bay Pacers fall to the Dallas Drovers. The first day of the work week holds no terrors for me. I kind of like it there. No one makes me rake leaves at the office. I don't have to change every battery in every smoke alarm in the building at 4 AM because I can't figure out which one is beeping. It would be silly to be required to paint the outside of a skyscraper, wouldn't it? I don't even know where to look for the gutters on a 50-story building, never mind clean them out. No, the office is just fine. Besides, the Internet connection is better, and I get to read the Maggie's Farm morning links while pretending to be working, instead of pretending to be asleep on the couch when my wife gets home with groceries.
Silly me. From what I've observed, I would have assumed that a "fraudulent H-1B case" would involve NOT bringing illegal aliens into the country to work like coolies.
Um, it's really only necessary for your audience to be stoned, not you. Sober or not, your records sound like Sesame Street on Seconal, dude.
I have always found that the only way I could measurably increase other people's intelligence is by drinking heavily. The girls get better looking, too.
Well, those psychics certainly measurably increased that guy's intelligence. While $718k isn't exactly cheap, it still cost less than a Head Start class.
I've blocked Reddit from my computer under an uncontroversial lack of interest in the opinions of neckbeards law.
The Paris gig has been cancelled. I wouldn't worry about it, though; it's not a big Cinema Verite town.
Occam's Razor: he needs coasters and finally ran out of AOL discs.
First sentence begins with "And." Second sentence begins with "But." The author then uses parentheses to enclose a dependent clause instead of commas. The rest is all stupid, useless Schiit. So the answer to the second question is 01101110 01101111! Whoops, forgot to convert it to analog. NO!
Adblock won't ever stop things like that Popular Science "article" about a particular brand of audio converter. Me, I just want a parentheses blocker.
I wonder. Is it no longer possible for a tech company to survive in the market without pretending the entire business is a Gymboree?
That should be enough information to tide you over until lunch. If you fib and say you have a doctor's appointment right after, you might make it until 3:30 before you're required to do any actual work. Make sure to leave early, too. As they say on the Department of Public Works crew, "No sense killing the job."
Sunday, November 15. 2015
Born in 1933, Francine Christophe was deported with her mother at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1944.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:42 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
A repost -
Some readers may remember when that was a bumpersticker. (It's on the same order as Bird Dog's old school football cheer: "Repel them, repel them; make them relinquish the ball.")
It is a theme on this blog to think about the things that people hold most dear and the things they hold to be sacred. I tend to judge such things based on people's behavior, not on what they say. I tend to believe that God should come foremost in my life, but I can be a hypocrite at times.
Karl Reitz at TCS looks at secular religions - systems of belief which can play as strong a role in shaping people's lives as loving God can for the religious. His piece is consistent with several things we have written over the past week or two. A key quote from An atheist's defence of religion:
As I wrote earlier this week:
There are two utopias - the womb, and Heaven (if you can get there before they close the door). Life is bracketed by utopias, but in between we must toil and strain and sometimes suffer. It's "the way things are", as the mice say.
Bliss and ease are only momentary during this brief spell on earth, and it has something to do with how reality was built. Specifically, I think it has to do with finiteness, limits, and scarcity - of just about everything, and not just of material things. I know only about four things that do not fit that: air, a dog's love, God's love...and blogs. No scarcity of good blogs.
Mitchell's translation is astonishingly poetic and powerful, and his commentary is excellent. I can not recommend the (short) book more highly.
As a commenter says, "...he deals with the so-called "problem of evil" by simply dissolving it."
A repost -
All humans are thought to be descendants of one woman, Mitochondrial Eve, who lived around 140,000 years ago - 4600 generations ago - in West Africa. Our cellular mitochondria follow the female genetic line.
In the linked piece, our Berkshire friend also notes, interestingly, in a quote:
Pic is by Masolino, c 1426, in the Brancacci Chapel, Florence