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
Tuesday, October 16. 2018
I stumbled on an article about how people tend to disagree regarding facts. It was clear from the start the author was seeking to explain the hyperpartisan nature of our political divide. I wasn't too impressed with the outcome. The closing paragraph stipulates our liberal democratic institutions are designed for disagreement, but these disagreements hinge on agreeing upon facts, a process which seems straightforward, but which he implies is broken and liberal democracy cannot fix. I'm not sure I agree that the process of agreement is straightforward, and I do believe liberal democracy can fix the issue.
I, however, disagree with the closing paragraph. The problem, as stated, is incorrect. People tend to agree about facts, so the adjudication process remains adequate. The issue seems to be that few people want to agree, even when they know they are wrong and the facts have presented themselves. If you play poker, as I do frequently, you've probably seen exchanges like this. You have 2 Queens in the hole and one on the board. But there are 3 spades on the flop, and betting action convinces you that a flush is in play. You convince yourself the 3 Queens will hold, and shove all your chips in. When you lose, you blame the person with the flush for not folding to the clearly superior bet, rather than analyzing your decision to shove as a mistake in the face of the facts as they'd presented themselves.
Continue reading "Deep Disagreement on Facts"
Women put themselves through more then than they do now
Today, the only hard thing women do to look good is to work out.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:00 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Those were not friends.
It's nicer in the original French, and more subtle: Chacun voit midi à sa porte. It means that everyone sees everything from their own point of view. Adam Smith understood the concept. People have a foremost interest in their own affairs, and see everything in relation to their own worldview, wants, and desires. In commerce, it leads to the generation of wealth whenever a willing buyer and a willing seller get together. In politics, it leads to harridans testifying that someone looked at them funny thirty-five years ago.
I freely acknowledge that my doorstep has a very different noon than my neighbors. When I was younger, I found eccentricity in others piquant. Now I'm the eccentric, I guess. But I can't help noticing, as I search for news stories for you fine folks here at Maggie's Farm, that it's always the same noon in every news outlet on the planet. I also can't help noticing that their noon is my midnight.
On to the links!
After the game, the pawn and the king go in the same box.
Ripping yarns never go stale. Ask Joe Campbell
Petit a petit, l’oiseau fait son nid.
Everyone watches TV in their pajamas, and shops at Walmart in their pajamas, so this would be a perfect fit.
You know, it tipped from opposition to insurrection on day one. Ask Steve Scalise. Bezos just like money. I guess Google figures China will pay more. Speaking of which...
Ils ne sont pas des traîtres. iIs sont de l'autre côté.
I'm sure everyone working at Facebook will resign in protest over this dastardly use of their product, such as it is. This is my "sure" face.
Fewer bugs? Your definition of hyperalarming and mine varies considerably. Chacun voit midi à sa porte.
I don't see noon on the cryptocurrency doorstep.
Punks? L’habit ne fait pas le moine. I'm sure, as always, women and minorities will be hardest hit by this law. Although, isn't it cruel to be nice to goths and punks? It cheers them up. They hate that.
Well, that's Tuesday's slate. Be sure to describe the angle of the sun on your stoop in the comments.
Monday, October 15. 2018
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:48 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Cross Training shoes are designed for minimal cushioning, good floor-feel, light weight and as close to barefoot as possible.
That's what you want for calisthenics, weights, and cardio.
You can Google New Balance Minimus Trainers and see all of their models. Here's one example.
Heather MacDonald discusses the topic of her new book
Will Rogers was one of the most interesting men of his generation (1879-1935), which is saying something indeed. His bio says he was a "stage and motion picture actor, vaudeville performer, American cowboy, humorist, newspaper columnist, and social commentator." There are a lot of people in contemporary society who have gained notoriety trying one or two of those descriptors. Every actor is a social commentator now, for instance. However, as far as I know, Will Rogers was alive in the 1930s, but only acknowledged that Hitler was Hitler. He didn't have a laundry list of Hitlers ready for awards ceremony speeches. And he had the guy's number as early as 1933:
As far as newspaper columnists go these days, none have the resume of Will Rogers. I'm fairly certain George Will was never a cowboy, for instance.
There was a bedrock of observation and wisdom behind the gossamer jibes, but never any malice. I know of no comedian today that could claim that. Malice is on the marquee these days. But malice doesn't last, I think. Malice appeals to the mob, and the mob gets tired from rioting and heads on home when their torches start to smolder and their pitchforks get heavy. No one will quote Amy Schumer in the year 2100. No one quotes her now, and I don't think she'll ripen none in the interim. Anyway, I decided to see if Will Rogers wisdom still applies to the news today. I report, you decide:
There are three kinds of men: The ones that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
We are the first nation to starve to death in a storehouse that's overfilled with everything we want.
Letting the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than putting it back.
When you get into trouble 5,000 miles from home, you’ve got to have been looking for it.
"Don’t gamble"; take all your savings and buy some good stock, and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don’t go up, don’t buy it.
Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.
Never miss a good chance to shut up.
Advertising makes you spend money you haven't got for things you don't want.
When the Judgment Day comes civilization will have an alibi, "I never took a human life, I only sold the fellow the gun to take it with."
We hold the distinction of being the only nation that is goin' to the poorhouse in an automobile.
Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.
Have a great Monday everybody!
Sunday, October 14. 2018
There is no youtube for it, but this guy covered the tune.
We're getting towards Brussel Sprout season. Delicious baby cabbages with a strange appearance in the garden.
A tip or two to make them better: People who grow them in their gardens leave them standing all winter and harvest as wanted. They taste better after frosts or coated with snow. If store-bought, throw them in the freezer for a couple of hours or days.
Four favorite Brussel Sprout recipes:
Easy for Thanksgiving, Brussel Sprouts with bacon. Blanche the sprouts then finish them in bacon fat with chopped bacon in a frying pan.
A secret warm salad family recipe: Steam them (still firm, not mushy), cut in half, toss with pomegranite seeds, pecans, goat cheese, and a maple syrup vinaigrette. Then try to tell me you do not like Brussel Sprouts.
Got any favorites? Post in comments.
I am not talking about either hiking/walking on well-built trails where sneakers are fine or, the other extreme, technical climbing. The great in-between is what we enjoy taking on. Rugged hikes with steeps and some scrambling requiring fitness and hands and knees at times.
Some people claim Tuckerman's to the top of Mt. Washington is a great example of that sort of thing. Most outdoor people in New England have taken it on at least once.
Hiking is an all-weather sport. Our favorite hiking gear:
Pants: Prana and Montane
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:34 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Pic is part of the Giant's Playground/Arching Rocks bouldering route at Mohonk
In Yankeeland we are in prime hiking season. No bugs, no heat.
I am finding rock scrambling to be more interesting than regular hiking or even hill hiking. Demands agility, judgement, full-body conditioning, and a bit of stress-tolerance. I have no interest in technical climbing, though, although it is fun to watch people do it in places like The Gunks.
One item that might help me a bit with scrambling is some knee pads. I have bony knees which do not enjoy too much time on rocks. Scrambling means a fair bit of hands and knees, high step-ups, and steeply-angled boulders. In other words, fun with just a whiff of danger.
A few cool scrambling trails in the Northeast that we are familiar with:
Breakneck Ridge (Hudson Highlands)
Giant Stairs Trail (Palisades Park, NY and NJ)
Labyrinth and Giant's Playground at Mohonk Mountain, NY
Flume Slide Trail (Franconia, NH)
Alander Mountain (Ancram, NY)
Tuckerman's Ravine (Mt. Washington, NH)
Also, New Hampshire's White Mountains have some of the best mountain day hikes in the US. My sis has done 'em all.
What do people do to be in shape for this type of "hiking"? Stair-climbers, 2 steps at a time - and sideways stair-climbers. Rule of thumb for rock hikers: almost never go down the way you came up. Down is rarely safe.
Got any favorites? Let us know.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:23 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Barbour waxed-cotton jackets are made for cool weather and cool drizzle, not for temperatures below 25 degrees (F). They are tough though, and can take a beating. Their appeal is to tradition and style nowadays, while Gore-tex is more practical and cheaper, and take no breaking-in time.
Here is How to re-wax your Barbour jacket - Barbour's step-by-step guide (with good music)
And remember how to clean waxed cotton? With a hose!
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:14 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
You may never have observed one of these predatory songbirds, but it's the time of year when they come down from their tundra breeding grounds for the winter.
They look a bit like Mockingbirds, but their behavior, and a good look at their plumage and beak, makes the ID clear. They are typically seen hunting from a perch or wire over open areas.
Are Italian Gardens English Gardens, or vice-versa? The Brits had a multi-century love affair with Italy. We're in Italy, doing hikes on sections of the Via Francigena, but with my Costco International Mercedes wagon we never pass up famous gardens. Like this one:
I have always loved them. I love ships and boats, and even canoes and kayaks. Some of my life-long favorites off the top of my head:
I learned from O'Brian that the original use of the term "skyscraper" applied to topgallant masts which reached up to catch the highest breezes. What is a mast and what is a spar? You can figure it out yourself.
Whether true stories of fiction, the sea is a dramatic setting for tales. What are your favorite sea stories?
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:09 | Comments (30) | Trackbacks (0)
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:06 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Job 23:1-9, 16-17
23:1 Then Job answered:
23:2 "Today also my complaint is bitter; his hand is heavy despite my groaning.
:3 Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his dwelling!
23:4 I would lay my case before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.
:5 I would learn what he would answer me, and understand what he would say to me.
:6 Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? No; but he would give heed to me.
23:7 There an upright person could reason with him, and I should be acquitted forever by my judge.
23:8 "If I go forward, he is not there; or backward, I cannot perceive him;
23:9 on the left he hides, and I cannot behold him; I turn to the right, but I cannot see him.
23:16 God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me;
:17 If only I could vanish in darkness, and thick darkness would cover my face!
Saturday, October 13. 2018
I have a headache. I have a headache that has zip codes. I have a headache that should join the circus and be exhibited. I have a headache that would make Dante buy a Spirograph and get back to work. I have a headache that can only be described with Latin nouns. I have a headache that makes the back of my eyes behave like a stripper's tits.
But I don't mind my headache, really, because somewhere in the back of my throbbing skull, there's still room for a sunny little spot that reminds me that I have never had a Facebook page.
On to the Saturday links!
I filed this essay under, "Every culture but my own is wonderful."
She's new in town. She didn't know that the Canadian government only accepts Canadian Tire Money to avoid deportation.
Men who yell singsong doggerel into microphones held at a funny angle used LEO surveillance equipment to steal money from boosted credit cards, but their thermostat ratted them out. Man, I have a headache reading that.
Speaking of headaches, sing along with me: One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor...
There's a new sheriff in town, isn't there? Exxon spills a little oil and some birds get gooey, and they get a billion dollar fine. Data loss causes a lot more damage. Start treating it like an oil spill, and these little code monkey CEOs will wise up fast.
You know, I can solve this online privacy problem in about ten minutes. There are stalking laws on the books, aren't there? Make them apply to the internet. One big button required on every website that says, STOP FOLLOWING ME, AND ERASE MY INFO. If they don't, prosecute them like any other creeper ex-boyfriend or jilted bunny boiler.
Please note that Facebook regards these sorts of things as an accounts receivable problem, not a security problem. If you paid them, you could do it all you want. They have an app for that, I bet.
Yes, but you can get into trouble for simply seeding more people at random. Ask Antonio Cromartie.
If my math is good, which it's not, because I have a headache, 10,000 rupees is about 135 bucks American. I think Bezos the Clown can swing it.
I'm a pretty fair writer, even when I have a headache, but this guy has me beat. How does he manage to write about something so mundane while twisting himself into manifold contortions like an origami, short-bus, Ida Tarbell? That's talent. Of a sort
Have a great Saturday, everyone!
Afternoon on a Hill
I will be the gladdest thing
I will look at cliffs and clouds
And when lights begin to show
Friday, October 12. 2018
Give this a listen. It covers child-rearing, victim identities, reflexive empathy, care for the elderly, and the importance of responsibility for meaning in life. Of course, life is difficult and painful. The youth know nothing. Of course life is unfair. You are not all you could be. Everybody is a victim. You have rights so you can meet your responsibilities. Feeling sorry for someone is not a moral virtue. "I don't care about you. I care about who you can be." Be more than you are. Treat yourself like somebody who wants to help you. The consciousness of time. The evil in taking revenge against God for the structure of reality. Etc.
One of his best interviews, I feel.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:19 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Joe Pistone of the FBI infiltrated the New York mob. Calmest guy I have ever seen, takes everything in stride.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:49 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)