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, June 20. 2014
Have any of our readers read this book? Still Life with Woodpecker
The elite “carriage parade” in 1860s Central Park
Walmart debuts new clinic concept
Mistresses are big business in China, where no official is a real man without his own ernai.
Warnings on antidepressants may have backfired
Washington Wants To Regulate ... Everything
The IRS isn't Watergate; it's worse than Watergate.
America’s cultural journey from actual hero Audie Murphy to DemProg “hero” Bowie Bergdahl
TX Man Told to Take Down US Flag From Balcony – “It’s a Threat to Muslim Community”
America Should Stay Out of Iraq and Stop Trying to Fix the World
Reid: Billionaires? We don’t have no stinking billionaires, or something
John Doe prosecutors accuse Scott Walker of running 'criminal scheme' during recalls
Reporter: Editor Buried Story on Hillary Defending Child Rapist Because 'It Might Have an Impact'
Jesus, Republicans and NRA banned on school website
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IRS Scandal Update: Many In The Media Avoid IRS Story As Scandal Heats Up - The Kelly File
Read that Still Life with Woodpecker back when it came out... seem to remember enjoying it... wasn't that the one Tom Robbins while high on mushrooms?
Read Another Roadside Attraction, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Still Life with Woodpecker. I think they were great. Started Jitterbug Perfume. Don't think I finished it.
Big Tom Robbins fan here. I've read them all and loved every one.
Add me to the Robbins readers. I enjoyed 'em all, even the one with the tanuki - "Villa Incognito."
"America should stay out of Iraq and stop trying to fix the world"
There are two good reason to do this: 1. We can save American lives and money. We have enough problems of our own right here and at our border to deal with.
2. We will find out if Bush was wrong to go into Iraq in 1993. If the oil prices don't skyrocket and refineries don't burn and the Middle East doesn't become a regional war zone then, hell, we should have stayed out of there and let them do whatever they want to do.
"ISIS reportedly captured Saddam's chemical weapons stockpile"
Now we know that story is phony. Didn't the American press and the Democrats spend the last 11 years telling us that there were no WMDs? We all know now that the steady stream of trucks crossng into Syria prior to the Iraq war were carrying Christmas presents for the Syrians. And those Russian cargo planes and Spetsnaz troops flying out of Baghdad airport day and night were just bringing vodka for religious ceremonies. And France and Germany tried to block the war in the UN because they are such great humanitarians not because we would find out that they had built the equipment to refine uranium and make chemical weapons once we were in country. Of course Saddam didn't have a WMD program.
Cruising in the 1860's? Sounds interesting. Did they have low rider carriages and spotless Everest climbing ready 4x4s?
Walmart clinics, sounds interesting. Even more fun will be watching the reaction of the usual suspects. When Walmart got in the pharmacy biz, they said the generics used for the $4/$10 scripts were inferior until Obamacare talked up generics.
Hipsters may want tradition and order? Who knew? The converts to Islam, the growth in Eastern Orthodox and fundamental congregations may have been a clue.
Reid, his reality must be a wondrous place.
Life in America, circa 1900, not just in Central Park:
But horses were everywhere, pulling surreys, democrats, buggies, cabs, delivery wagons of every sort on Main Street, and pulling harvesters on the tractorless farms out in the countryside.
The sights and sounds and sensations of horse-and-carriage Iife were part of the universal American experience: he c!op-clop of horses' hoofs; the stiff jolting of an iron-tired carriage on a stony road; the grinding noise of he brake being applied to ease the horse on the downhill stretch; the necessity of holding one's breath when the horse sneezed; the sight of sand, carried up on the tires and wooden spokes of carriage wheel, spilling off in little cascades as the wheel revolved; the look of a country road overgrown by grass, with three tracks in it instead of two, the middle one made by horses' hoofs; the special maIe ordeal of getting out of the carriage and walking up the steeper hills to lighten the load; and the more severe ordeal, for the unpracticed, of harnessing horse which could recognize inexperience at one scornful glance. During the Northern winter the jingle of sleigh bells was everywhere. On surmmer evenings, along the tree-lined streets of innumerable American towns, families sitting on their front porches would watch the fine carriages of the town as they drove pst for a proud evening's jaunt and the cognoscenti would wait eagerly for the glimpse of the banker's trotting pair or the sporting lawyer's 2:40 pacer. And one of the magnificent sights of urban life was that of the fire engine, pulled by three galloping horses, careening down a city street with its bell clanging.
Of course, left out of the elegant description of the Central Park parade is the piles and pools they left behind.
Really, blocking the Vatican while permitting Islamic sites? At a "public" school? That seems ripe for a First Amendment lawsuit. Where are the separation of church and state warriors who arise anytime a cheerleader cites a Bible verse or child bows their head in prayer?
At a minimum, such a suit could force school districts to implement contract language with their content provider that prohibits such promotion of one religion over another.
To bad the article didn't call for other students to probe their school online content control regimes.
RE: America’s cultural journey from actual hero Audie Murphy to DemProg “hero” Bowie Bergdahl
The ritual George MacDonald Fraser (author of the Flashman novels) describes is more practical than Bookworm lets on. The surviving soldiers are upgrading their own kits by swapping nonpersonal equipment with their dead comrades that would be more useful on the front lines than back in quartermaster stores.
I remember my grandpa saying the exact same thing from his time in France in 1944 - one would fall, and it would be a rush to get to the body, and salvage the kit.
One of his buddies had a Thompson, and it grabbed it right-off, before others grabbed it.
I started reading Still Life with Woodpecker...put it down in disgust after slogging through about 40 pages. So boring, despite (or because of?) its hackneyed, juvenile style.
I've got a copy of Still Life with Woodpecker on my bookshelves. It's different. Quite different.
Note that I did not find it unreadable, and I still have the book, which means that I'll read it again one of these days. It's quite humorous, if you are just slightly warped, and I'd have to plead guilty to being that. Things that are skewed about 30 degrees off of plumb often appeal to me.