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
Sunday, July 20. 2014
Took a trip to Queens on Friday evening to see some theatrical performances celebrating the 50th anniversary of the most recent NY World's Fair. The site is now Flushing Meadows Corona Park. A bit bedraggled but very pleasant large park filled with Queens people, mostly with kids. We spoke with a proud resident of Queens who had attended both the 1939 and the 1964 world's fairs sited there. At the edge of the park, the Mets' new CitiField, and the National Tennis Center.
A cool place. The futuristic remnants of 1964 are strange, rusting, and apocalyptic in a way. None of the fountains work. The Space Center is all gone now.
The Unisphere fountains are now a place for kids to practice bike-riding and roller-blading. The lights and structures behind the treeline are the US (Billy Jean King) Tennis Center:
More below the fold -
Continue reading "A visit to Queens"
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:00 | Comments (13) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, July 19. 2014
A repost -
Fried Squash Blossoms are a wonderful summertime traditional Italian treat. I harvested this platterful of them last night and we fried 'em up. When served hot, and lightly browned and salted, they leave French Fries in the dust.
On summer squash like Zucchini and Yellow Squash, the blossoms on the long stalks are the males, and thus expendable. However, I use both because there's always too much squash anyway. In fact, the blossoms are tastier than the squash. (I am fond of yellow summer squash steamed with salt, pepper, and butter, not so fond of zucchini except in soup.)
Almost forgot to mention that squash blossoms prevent arthritis, dementia, laziness, neurasthenia, depression, obesity, heart disease, and cancer - and most other sorts of death and disease. Guaranteed. For a few minutes, anyway.
This site explains how simple this is, using Marcella's method. Do not wash them at all because they need to be dry - just check them for bugs inside but a few tiny bugs just adds a little protein to the mix. Brown them lightly, drain, and eat sizzling hot. Photo below from Marcella's site -
First Cicada Week:
Heard my first cicadas of the summer yesterday - just a few, and just for about an hour or two, but these are probably early risers - first emergers from the soil, practicing playing their instruments. Maybe this will be a good year for them.
It means that in a few days we will be hearing the remarkably loud raspy buzzing from the tree-tops on every hot sunny day - the characteristic sound of high summer in New England, until replaced by the more refined Katydid's evening song as late summer comes.
We have both 13-year and 17-year cicadas - that's how long the two species live as larvae underground, sucking on tree roots, before they emerge to mate, breed, and die.
Their life is a metaphor.
Cicadas are edible, but I don't know anyone who eats them regularly except birds who have great sport chasing them when they fly from tree to tree. We often find their empty exoskelatons attached to tree trunks - as they grow, they crawl out of their old coat.
Toon via Hit & Run
Billionaires Who Bought Congress Say They Feel “Shortchanged”
Burt Shavitz, the World’s Most Famous Retired Beekeeper
Are Hookups Psychologically Healthy?
That extramarital affair is costing you a fortune
The Big Mystery Behind the Great Train Robbery May Finally Have Been Solved
Dietary Guideline Committee ‘Quadruples’ Down on Moving Americans to ‘Plant-Based Diets’
The potato chip and French Fry diet? Or is it "Let them eat cake"?
Quotations of the day on racial profiling in college admissions
Mommy Police With Real Handcuffs:
How did we get the schools we have? The K-12 Conspiracy
The Obama Albatross - Playing pool in Colorado rather than visiting the Texas border is not very presidential.
This idea that we live in a world where government cares about us is just the biggest propaganda ever.
Iraqi Christians Told to Convert, Submit, or Die
New Islamic Caliphate Declares Jihad on … Muslims
Religion of death
US Marine Corps commandant openly blasts CIC Obama
Not sposta do that
Fly them all to Minneapolis
How to win in Gaza
The treacherous task of tunnel demolition
CNN reporter reassigned for crude manifestation of anti-Israel bias
Break of Day
'Tis true, 'tis day; what though it be?
Image is Picasso's Meditation, 1904
Friday, July 18. 2014
Some good history and some good thinking about the modern (and ancient) administrative state with its extra-legal powers. I have no doubt that the founders hoped to prevent a Versailles-like giant central bureaucracy, but they failed at that. Why? They wrote all they could to prevent it.
Very enjoyable interview with law Prof. Philip Hamburger. I know you probably hate podcasts as much as I do, but this is a goodie which will make you think.
The USA Progressives borrowed our public school structures, and developed our central governmental administration, from the Prussian models. As Hamburger says, "as American as Bismarck."
"There is always a 'necessity' for increasing government administrative power."
Iowahawk tweet below via Am Digest:
Millionaires don’t use Astrology, billionaires do.
Arthur C. Clarke.
John Kenneth Galbraith.
Well, maybe not happy but a chance for self-respect
63 Years Ago, We Knew That 'The Catcher in the Rye' Was Insufferable and Overrated
Indeed it is, but nobody cares.
Guy wants more government regulation
NYC Can't Afford to Build the Second Avenue Subway, and It Can't Afford Not To
Big mistake was taking down the 2nd Avenue El in 1942
Uber Upstarts: Technological Progress and Its Discontents
Time to Rethink Government Unions
VDH: The summer of 2014 will go down in history as the season when America fell apart. Let’s take a tour of the disasters.
Chris Edwards: Reducing Wasteful Federal Spending
CBO’s Long-Term Budget Projections Show a Substantial Imbalance in the
Backgrounder: Students for Justice in Palestine
Those rockets hidden in a UN school
The Bizarre Moral Criticism Against Israel
Thursday, July 17. 2014
This via Althouse. It's not the speed, it's the passion:
And covering Dylan's Highway 61
A Conservative case: The case for allowing these debts to be erased via bankruptcy.
Makes some sense, as long as that doesn't get dumped on the taxpayer. Of course, having a bankruptcy on your credit report will not do much for your future prospects.
Terrible about that Malaysia flight today, but here is something beautiful in flight: the Boeing 787 "Dreamliner" in test flight (h/t Synth):
And VDH reports from southern California: Do We Want Mexifornia? A quote:
Two images from around the web this week that, I think, capture how many see this:
Image via sWINDle
How to Make Small Talk with Strangers: My 21-Day Happiness Experiment
Birds of a feather: Study finds people's friends genetically similar to them
The anonymous men who built Central Park
Mom Jailed for Letting Her 9 y.o. Play at Park Unsupervised
VDH:An American Satyricon - Our elites would be right at home in Petronius’s world of debauchery and bored melodrama.
The University of Wisconsin's latest diversity plan calls for "equity" in high-demand majors and the distribution of grades.
The Grey Lady Punctures Obamacare Myth
Annals of Government Incompetence
Millennials Desire Government That Provides All and Costs Nothing - The Unicorn/Dragon ticket should snag the youth vote.
Fake Indian Bashes Wall Street
Fake Indian has $7 million invested on Wall St. Fake Indian speak with forked tongue.
Time for States to Reclaim Their Sovereignty - Hey Feds, we states made you, and we can unmake you.
How to Lie with Statistics: Florida School Spending Edition
8 Myths In The Immigration Debate - Stop Saying That. It's Not True.
Barry Goldwater, 50 years ago
Fake Indian: The government shutdown was over birth control
100% of Dem Senators Vote for Late-Term Abortion up to Nine Months of Pregnancy
How Americans Feel About Religious Groups - Jews, Catholics & Evangelicals Rated Warmly, Atheists and Muslims More Coldly
See Why Rolling Stone’s List of ‘Most Dangerous Guns’ Is Being Called ‘Maybe the Worst Piece of Journalism of All-Time’
Wednesday, July 16. 2014
Educated people often make doctors’ worst patients: anti-vaxxers, cancer treatment rejecters, herbal remedy enthusiasts. Why do otherwise brilliant minds ignore science and reject modern medicine?
Read the article. I think people tend to be skeptical because "the science" is always in flux so many would rather go with their relatively-uninformed judgement than with the expert judgement of the day which may be obsolete next year. Remember the big scare about hormone replacement? Remember when they claimed that broccoli was good for you? Etc. People do know that physicians are smart and well-educated, but they like to make their own decisions for better or worse.
The Limitless Drug: What If It Were Possible to Learn Any New Skill as If We Were Children?
It reminded me of this one:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:16 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
One quote from the article:
I hear they are great to work for, but you need to be prepared for an interview: 140 Google Interview Questions
How to Get the Respect You Deserve at Work
Just try working for yourself - no respect at all from the boss
Hyper-Efficient Indoor Vegetable Factories Prove Malthus Wrong, Again
Why you might resent your partner
Why your next boat should be someone else's
We are indeed stardust
Totally retarded about firearms
Totally retarded English Prof
Financial advisers, show us your numbers!
It's not simply to hide their results, it's because each client might have different goals. For many people, the goal is simply to not lose money to inflation.
A Brief History of Houses Built Out of Spite
2014 is the centenary of lots of bad things, but also of A/C
Transethnic, like Michael Jackson
University editorial board: students 'don't need' to study America's founding documents
The Hill: Immigration Reform a Loser for Democrats in 2014
My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant
Mr. 'I, Me, My': Obama Oughta Know He's Not the Hero
Black Conservatives to Hold Event to Counter Annual NAACP Conference
Cool. It's about time.
19 Illegal Immigration Facts You'll Never Read in Legacy Media
What percentage of the U.S. population is gay, lesbian or bisexual?
FEC Employee Linked to Lois Lerner Investigation Claims Her Computer Crashed Too
Obama Lost Friends in Europe and Influence Globally - See more at:
What, Exactly, Is Hamas Trying to Prove?
Tuesday, July 15. 2014
So is life. What We Really Taste When We Drink Wine
I don't know much about wine but I know what I like, and it tends to be old, French, and expensive. That's the problem.
In recent history, sexual interests and inclinations outside of bourgeois Judeo-Christian monogamy have been labeled as immoral and "perversions" in the Western world, and in Western Psychiatry. Western Psychiatry has even categorized them in detail but some (such as homosexuality, which I find to be often a dubious categorization of people) have fallen out of favor due to political pressure.
Among the things which the Western world has relatively-recently and variously considered antisocial (lacking in normal conscience) or perverse (defined as outside local social norms) and/or illegal are polygamy, adultery, promiscuity, nymphomania, rape, incest, pedophilia, necrophilia, miscengenation, internet pron, homosexuality, orgies and wife-swapping and related debaucheries, cross-dressing, childrens' pre-pubertal sexual interests, transgenderism, paraphilias and many fetishes like masochism, etc, prostitution, whoremongering, zoophilia, and so forth.
These are all culturally and/or religiously-determined categories of the wacky and disorderly, Bonobo-like vicissitudes of the human sex drive and of human psychology. Many humans successfully repress their inner Bonobo and happily adhere to their local cultural and moral codes, more or less. Many others lack a strong Bonobo streak, but it's not as if normal people never have wacky and aberrant fantasies and "curiosities".
As a Psychiatrist in the Western world, I can easily accept that many such things are statistically abnormal (ie at ends of bell curves), but high IQ is "abnormal" too.
I recently read this: 'Pedophilia is natural and normal for males'. Not "normal," I think, but certainly culturally-normative in parts of the Arab and Asian worlds. Some of our readers are quick to label perversions as "sick" if not just plain appalling or revolting. So is my natural inclination, but I think that inclination is culturally- and religiously- determined. Many human cultures view things otherwise.
Is there a Western socio-cultural trend to normalize previously-perverse and antisocial behaviors and to abnormalize conventional morality? I think so. In Psychoanalysis, we think of these things as embedded in problematic personality structures, but we could be wrong.
Planned Parenthood Teaches 15 Year-Old on Bondage, Whipping, Gagging & Defecation
A judicial move to normalize incest
I am not claiming that I do not make moral or social judgements about behavior. All I claim is that it's complicated because living in a culture is part of being human, so "natural" loses meaning.
I will await discussion, but I may need to tie you up with duct tape and whip you. Here's your fun fetish joke du jour:
It's not so much the drinking that bothers me - it's that he was not doing his job and it sounds like he still is not. For him, it's all about him. I would not want this jerk "teaching" my kids anything. Since I am sure he is in a government teaching union, he can't be fired.
Related, Narcissistic Personality