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, May 12. 2013
Overprotective schools, overprotective parents. What is "therapeutic" about that?
Ultimately, the school of hard knocks is the best teacher. My failures and errors have taught me a lot, my successes have taught me little.
1. Dang compressor died in our icebox. Replacing it would be a few thousand $, half the cost of a new one. OK, get a new one. The KitchenAid lasted 20 years. Nice timing, it died 2 days before our Mother's Day party and cook-out. Ribeyes on the grill for 12. But why, I wonder, does the 55 year-old Frigidaire at the farm still work fine? The very pleasant, amusing, and smart refrigerator repairman (retired NYC cop on 75% salary) explained that it's because the old ones were low-tech. He said KitchenAids are the best, and Sub Zeros are just for show, not worth the $. He said modern refrigerators require surge protectors. Besides the cost, worst thing is that the failure defrosted my year's supply of frozen cranberries.
2. Gwynnie always tells me I need to get out more. Mrs. BD drags me out constantly for social events. Whenever I go, I meet charming ladies and guys who are far smarter and more accomplished than I am. That is life-enriching and humbling. At a cocktail party on Friday nite, besides touching base with old pals, I met a guy who builds nuke plants around the world and a physicist who loves modern dance and speaks intelligently about Thomas Nagel. He kept pressing me on whether I was a materialist (in the metaphysical sense), but his lovely wife said he had had too many gin and tonics. I kept saying "I don't know," which made him think I was smart.
3. Worked on the vegetable garden yesterday, with the lad. Deconstructing parts of it to make it smaller. It just got too big to keep up with. I realized that all I really care about growing are tomatoes, cucumbers, rhubarb, and herbs. Everything else is just as good from the store, and no weeding required. In the afternoon, I split logs from a tree we took down in the winter. I ache all over. The good kind of ache. Some days I feel like I'd like to bring back slavery, but it just wouldn't be right in today's political environment. I don't mean black slavery - any color would be fine.
4. This morning, we had a Mother's Day wren in the bedroom. The house painter had not put the screens back on the windows. I figured it was a good luck thing of some sort. At least it wasn't a rabid bat. It was indeed a House Wren. Kind-of funny, because I saw this morning that a pair of Chickadees are nesting in one of my wren houses. We love to house the homeless here at Maggie's HQ. Still hoping that a pair of owls will use my Screech Owl house. I've heard them around a couple of times in the early morning, but I am not sure that they like my placement of the thing. My experience is that they seem to like their houses in full sun.
That's the news from Yankeeland.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:01 | Comments (20) | Trackbacks (0)
Two movies that reliable recommenders have recommended lately:
A Royal Affair (2012)
Una Pura Formalita (1995)
We now officially have a "scandal-ridden administration" in Washington. That is not a good thing for us citizens.
97:1 The LORD is king! Let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!
Readers know that my Mom died this winter, but we still have lots of Moms in the family.
Furthermore, when a Mom dies, she doesn't die in your mind. She stays there, and memories flow and flow.
Well, I do know that Mother's Day is a phony Hallmark Holiday, but what the heck. Moms deserve thanks every day of the year.
Saturday, May 11. 2013
Via Zero Hedge:
Educating on the Constitution seems very dangerous. Subversive. The populace can not be trusted to read it because they won't understand that it doesn't mean what it says. Something like that.
The IRS never got to auditing Maggie's Farm's accounts as far as I know. Whew. Under the radar. We're just a bird-watching site, anyway. We hide our vast advertising income in the Caymans, like everybody else, and it is delivered to the contributors to Swiss accounts, in gold bullion carried on private sailboats to the port at Zurich and thence by courier to our private bank.
Posting for Maggie's is a good, tax-free gig if you don't mind spending the income overseas. But who would mind doing that, as long as it's done quietly at the craps tables in Monte Carlo?
Latest at Drudge: IRS also targeted Jewish groups
Going after the Jews too? To get serious for a moment, political corruption of the IRS is about as bad as it gets in America. Criminal at the least. Not funny. Heads must roll for this. I will assume that smart lawyers are on top of this already because it is an outrageous abuse of power in a free country.
I suspect they tasted very good.
They are on their way north to raise their chicks in the tundra and boreal forests right now, and will begin to trickle back down in August on their way to the Southern US and South America.
Experts can tell a Greater from a Lesser by call or bill length, but I find it difficult unless they are in a mixed flock. Sometimes they are in flocks, sometimes solo.
Nice birds found in the nicest places: marsh edges, mud flats, water edges, etc.
It is, indeed, looking much worse than Watergate.
Oh Good Grief… Jay Carney Blames Romney for Benghazi Scandal
David Gelernter: Who is on trial for Benghazi?
Unlike Watergate, an unremarkable political dirty trick with a dumb and unnecessary White House cover-up (if a handful of people had been fired it would have been a big nothing), in this case American public servants died seemingly because of State Dept and possibly White House incompetence or indifference, and both may have been complicit in an attempted cover-up a few weeks before a national election. Possibly the CIA too. People have been intimidated about speaking out, but maybe no longer.
In a week in which the IRS finally admits that they were harassing Conservative organizations prior to the elections, the administration is looking terribly corrupt. Whatever happens, I think this Chicago administration has blown itself up and lost whatever credibility it ever had. Plus, with the low-life Putin making John Kerry wait three hours to meet with him, it's looking sort of pitiful too.
Buddy suggested that I add the tar and feathers image to this post. Seems right. Even though we disagree with the administration on most policies, we take no pleasure in seeing our US govt in this position. An embarassment for all of us. Respect must be earned, and these people thought they could easily fool us low-information citizens.
Farm gal above is Theo's new girlfriend
7 Kinky Sex Tips For Curious Vanilla Girls
Are you old enuf to remember the Police Gazette?
What depression is like
Should Retirees Avoid Blue States?
I've noticed it's mostly the Liberal grey-hairs who get their spots in Florida for half the year plus one day.
Will Harvard Law School also be adopting a strict 50/50 quota for intellectual diversity? Is this sort of quota appropriate for gender?
Samuelson: Overselling ObamaCare
How could insurance make you healthy?
How the IRS Wrecked Your Pension - Don't blame the fund managers, blame the tax code.
Call me anything you want as long as you call me for dinnertime.
Dershowitz: Ted Cruz one of Harvard Law’s smartest students
Democratic strategist: Dem Party 'in decline'
IRS apologizes for targeting conservative groups
State Department Removed Terror, al-Qaida References in Benghazi Talking Points:
I think Peggy Noonan has it right: The Inconvenient Truth About Benghazi - Did the Obama administration's politically expedient story cost American lives?
How Stephen Hawking Abandoned Einstein and Turned on Israel
Thanks to a bombshell report from ABC News, GOP accusations that the White House politicized a tragedy no longer seem so unsubstantiated
Liberal lefty dude at her gym does not approve of the Jews
Religion of peace, ya know
Gerard has probably the only other site on the web which would feature Gregory Corso.
Friday, May 10. 2013
I hate bubbles. I am 100% out of equities right now. My self-directed IRA. Market is just floating on hot air. Just my humble opinion, of course. Time will tell whether I was lucky or unlucky.
What a character he was. He embodied all contradictions and futilities and was possibly the best pub or dinner companion of all time. Boswell's stuff is great fun to read (Boswell was quite a character himself), but nobody has run out of things to write about Dr. Johnson.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:47 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
On reading the article, one might be left with the impression that California higher ed is afflicted with a crisis-sized epidemic of destructive racism and sexism. I would doubt that. From what I have seen and read, the U of C is mainly afflicted with a crisis of poorly-educated and ignorant kids whose four years of Fun 'n Indoctrination is largely thanks to the abused California taxpayer.
"Our problem is we can’t have everybody in the world who lives in a hell hole coming to America."
Sen. Lindsay Graham, via Sailer. As we always advise here, show some gumption and fix your own darn place. Otherwise, we'll just import hell holes.
VDH: How To Lose A War - Before the United States enters Syria, it should consider the lessons of history.
Wine-tasting is bullshit
I don't know much about wine, but I know I prefer the expensive red-colored stuff
105-Year-Old Woman Says Bacon Is Key To Longevity
Duh. That's old news.
Cicada emergence map
The cicada crisis is coming. I blame global warming. They haven't emerged here, yet.
The new VW Camper Van
Never hike. Stay home and read Maggie's Farm.
Your son has a weapon!
Students Told Not To Drink Tequila, Eat Tacos on Cinco de Mayo
Is the FDA heading toward age limits on caffeine products?
Tornado activity hits 60-year low
I blame global warming
The Price Of Copper And 11 Other Recession Indicators That Are Flashing Red
Yes they do. It's vote-buying.
How wealthy is Fidel Castro? Up to $900 million
Almost a billion, but nothing to buy except Tequila, rum, cigars, tacos, and chicks.
Harrison H. Schmitt and William Happer: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide - The demonized chemical compound is a boon to plant life and has little correlation with global temperature.
What sorts of nervous nellys would worry about a little warmth anyway? Myself, I worry constantly about the coming Ice Age. Visions of an advancing glacier towering over ye olde cabin. It keeps me up at night. The science is definite on this. It's just a matter of time.
DOE Spent Over $11 Million Per Permanent Green Job
Beware the Dictators of Virtue
Liberal media spin Benghazi scandal to protect Team Obama
Of course. Their job is to protect the powerful, isn't it?
Thursday, May 9. 2013
Should the youth "follow their passions" in career direction? And what if they have no career passion? And is "passion" necessarily a wise guide to major life decisions anyway? (It's definitely a good guide to hobbies and avocational pursuits, but not always a good guide to talent.)
The topic is raised here: I Know I'm Supposed To Follow My Passion. But What If I Don't Have A Passion?
I have more to say about it, but I don't have the time. Our readers probably have some thoughts.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 18:26 | Comments (15) | Trackbacks (0)
She imagined she was on the side of the angels until she began thinking for herself. It's a good story, along the lines of David Horowitz' excellent Radical Son and David Gelernter's Drawing Life. If a person's view of the world does not change between age 20 and age 50, they haven't been thinking or challenging their assumptions very much.
Most of us here have changed our views on things many times. It's called growth, accumulation of information, experience, and, one hopes, wisdom.
People mostly wish to leave when they realize they will never be able to afford to live comfortably there. Too many other people want to live there.
New York’s War on Food Trucks Rolls On
Everybody loves the food trucks. Amazing variety, ethnic, cheap, and in NY nobody has time to sit for lunch.
Amusing, from Derbyshire. Weiner's a dick and everybody knows it.
Hollywood "Script Evaluators" Now Being Consulted to Punch Up Scripts into Box Office Gold
Eastern US about to be overrun by Cicadas
Birds love to eat them.
Free school breakfasts: Another Destructive Liberal Idea
Europe's Bureaucracy Warns That Resistance Is Futile
Related: CBS News Bosses Irked by Correspondent's Thorough Benghazi Reporting
Benghazi stinks – but it won't be Obama's Watergate. As Dennis Miller put it:
Whatever happened to "sticks and stones..."?
Lefty wants government bailout of homeowners
Isn't the mortgage interest deduction enough of a bailout?
Sultan on amnesty and the Food Stamp Nation
New White House amnesty campaign: “Unless you’re a Native American, you came from someplace else”
The Indians came here from somewhere else too, Mongolia or something, and totally screwed up the ecology, killed off all of the big animals and set fires to the prairies
Wednesday, May 8. 2013
Haydn had an interesting, challenging, and remarkably productive life. Papa Haydn composed 14 Masses - along with everything else. Music flowed out of this happy, devoutly religious man's brain until he died.
The Agnus Dei from Haydn's 10th Missa , The Missa in Tempore Belli (1797):
Good advice. The rentier economy is going nowhere but downwards.
On the other hand, the President advises abandoning your personal ambitions. Sort of odd for him to be saying that: Graduates, Your Ambition Is the Problem - Obama's commencement speech at Ohio State on Sunday would have perplexed the Founders.
The worst news yet: The Jobs Of The Future Don't Require A College Degree
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:59 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Fast police dog takes care of business.
If you have the ambition to energetically create the life you want, clarify your goals, clarify your principles, learn all you can from your errors, be a helpful but tough manager of yourself and of others. It worked for him.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:20 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
“If prices are information, then subsidies are censorship.”
Russ Nelson, stolen from Samizdata
Incredible: European Commission to criminalize nearly all seeds and plants not registered with government
Needed to link this a few days ago: About Cinco de Mayo, the American holiday
A thorough rebuke to the anti-gun emos
States, in fact, can “pick and choose which federal laws” state officials will enforce
Is it time to drop your health insurance?
We're having twins and I'm not happy about it, thought about aborting one twin.
NY Times John Harwood Channels Jayson Blair
Michael Barone: The Meaning Inside the Political Numbers - With black and Hispanic support clustered by district, Democrats in 2014 will have a hard time retaking the House.
There are two obvious ways to start fixing income disparity, and neither seems to interest the president.
Dem says Constitution implies right to healthcare, education
She needs to re-read the foundational document
California could become the first state to guarantee that transgender students are allowed to play school sports on teams that match their gender identity.
Weird. And what about androgynes? Where do they play?
How Obama Betrayed America - Obama's support for the Muslim Brotherhood belongs at the forefront of our political debate.
New York Times Ignores Benghazi
Si Se Puede!… One in Ten LA County Residents In the US Illegally
Tuesday, May 7. 2013
I doubt that anyone in the CIA and other agencies of government wants to go to jail for Barack Obama or Clinton.
A few relevant and interesting links:
- The Real Problems With Psychiatry - A psychotherapist contends that the DSM, psychiatry's "bible" that defines all mental illness, is not scientific but a product of unscrupulous politics and bureaucracy.
Not to mention the pharmaceutical industry. Always question Authority!
- Psychiatry’s Guide Is Out of Touch With Science, Experts Say in the NYT via 1 Boring Old Man's Groundhog Day
Like many fields of endeavor, good Psychiatry is part art, part science, but mixed with much life experience, much interpersonal experience, and as much painful self-knowledge as the doc him- or herself can handle to "sharpen the scalpel" as it were. We are called upon to be experts in real life, relationships, religion, the brain, the mind, the body, and the soul. It's a tall order which is why it is often termed "the impossible profession."
Readers know that I have trademarked the term "psycho-utopianism" to refer to the naive and reductionistic notion that, if all our our chemicals and all of our neurons were straightened out, and if we docs could fix it all by a cookbook, we'd all be some kind of "normal" and some kind of moral and some kind of "happy" of a serene, bourgeois sort. It ain't never gonna happen, and it's for the best that it cannot.
It would not be human, and it would not be real life. I recently was referred an evaluation for depression. Patient fit the DSM perfectly, but it didn't "smell right" to me so I took a chance and ordered her a total body MRI. She had an undiagnosed gastric cancer.
As we have said ad nauseum, if this had happened under Bush, imagine the media uproar. However, they are attempting to run interference for Hillary ("at this point, what does it matter?") Clinton.
Were she male, would they love her so much?
Live, 1986. An energetic performance (thanks, Gerard). I think that's Tom Petty on guitar.
Play list (In The Garden is a Christian song. I'll Remember You is a magnificent song. That Lennie Bruce song is stupid):
1.In The Garden
Link here. Can't embed Japanese
If you have been raped, you dial 911. If in danger of being raped, you try to use 911 or else pull out your Derringer or your Glock if you have one. Rape and assault are felonies. Why one would phone a campus administrator is beyond me because law enforcement is not their job. They do not live in reality.
Also, I am also entirely opposed to the idea of minimum wage, especially for people under 18 or 20 years old. All it does is to deprive the youth of valuable work experience. Labor is a market, same as cars or arugula. Child labor is a good thing, much better than teen tours. Work never hurt anybody. Not working seems pretty bad for people unless they are Moms raising a young litter.
Who was Robert Ripley?
Bad Science is everywhere. It's about the money.
Preposterous Waste, Pentagon Style
Free Speech on the internet?
New York Times execs on hot seat - Shareholders question wages, Globe sale
Al Gore, richer than Romney
German Finance Minister Who Launched Euro, Calls For Euro's Breakup
Senate Dems prepare to throw Obama under the Obamacare bus
Rise of the Republican Governors - A new liberal era? Not according to these reformers.
From Jim Rogers' PARAMOUNT ADVICE TO ALL INVESTORS:
Tech guru Jaron Lanier prophesies a chilling virtual reality:
The short-lived fort and town of Frederika on the river/marsh side of Saint Simons stopped the Hispanic (Spanish) invasion from Florida into the English colonies in 1742. Its purpose having been served, the population, including many of the Scottish Highlander soldiers, moved to the mainland. The Spanish never tried to invade the coast again.
Most astonishing factoid about Frederika: The Wesley brothers preached there, John and Charles, more or less the founders of Methodism in England. Charles, of course, best known for his splendid hymn-writing. (I once lost a bet of an expensive bottle of wine at a dinner party when I bet that the Wesleys never preached in Georgia.)
A nice Live Oak on the site of the old abandoned village:
Since we had a little time on the road, we also checked out Amelia Island briefly, for lunch. Instead out scouting out the Amelia Island Plantation, we went into Fernandina. Charming little town. Amelia Island is termed the land of eight flags because it has been claimed by eight nations over its history. I'm sure they all wanted to own the golf courses.
A few pics of Fernandina below the fold.
Continue reading "Side trips along the road: Fort Frederika and Fernandina"
Monday, May 6. 2013
“Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.”
Thomas Paine, Common Sense. h/t Michelle's Obama commencement address: Reject voices that warn of government tyranny
I heard this piece performed Sunday afternoon by a group from the Eastman School. First saxophone quartet I've ever heard.
Related, Rubio and McCain are being played for fools by Shumer
Too busy today to comment, but these of interest:
In the meantime, I was groping for a fun, upbeat subject upon which to write; a topic that's almost guaranteed to provide warmth, merriment and a sense of joy and wonder in you, the Maggie's Valued Reader™.
Obviously, the search didn't take long.
There's a style of AGW propaganda that I call the 'Little Lie, Big Truth' format. This is when some tiny lie of the AGW campaign is soundly debunked, making the author look 'clinical, scientific and impartial', then, almost as a 'P.S.', it's noted that, by the way, man-made global warming is here, real, and must be dealt with now. One little lie debunked, but one grand truth revealed.
Allahpundit (aka 'God's Critic') over on Hot Air has linked to a number of these articles over the years in their 'Headlines'. Whether he's just skimming over the article and failing to spot the Big Truth paragraph at the end, or actually believes in AGW and is posting these links to appear clinical, scientific and impartial, is anybody's guess.
He's in good company, though. Matt Drudge does the same thing:
Damn good question, right?
Continue reading "AGW Update: The "Little Lie, Big Truth" edition"
Architecture: Underpants and an erect penis in China
Bars Are the Secret to Thriving Downtowns
Michelle Obama: USDA working on 'delicious' school lunches
The Benghazi Talking Points - And how they were changed to obscure the truth
Sen. Graham: Benghazi Testimony 'Going to Make You Mad'
Imagine if this story had happened with Bush
What's with these "Ag-Gag" laws?
Interesting comments here: Suicide Rates Rise Sharply in U.S.
Cornell vs. Cornell: Turns out shale gas emissions really are lower than coal
Report: 35% of German Muslims Have Multiple Wives, All Funded by Welfare
That makes for a darn good income without working
Top ten US newspapers and their circulation–a six month update
Tornado spike in 2011 attributed to climate change. So what to make of this year’s tornado drought?
The Climate’s Right for Whining - California’s wine scare isn’t the first and won’t be the last
Douthat: What Health Insurance Doesn’t Do
Sarah Palin insults Poodles
Image below via Moonbattery
Sunday, May 5. 2013
The Sultans of Swing, live. Not sure what year this was. I do remember the first time I heard this tune on the car radio. It blew my mind. I do know that I was driving east, into eastern Kentucky and the coal country. Good times.
I like the tropical fish and seashell one.
There seems to be something wonderful about something new.
We recently picked up a new car, an SUV of course to help prevent global cooling. (I wanted a Suburban but that is not what She fetched - thought it was too long for her to park.) An off-lease car, because we like the idea of letting the previous owner take the hit on the depreciation nowadays. Stupid not to, since they all come with 4-year warrantees anyway.
Happily, we are down to only three - or 2 1/2 - vehicles and, finally, no boats to worry about.
However, it got me to thinking about the charms of new things. New camera, new car, new house, new dog, new gun, new girlfriend or boyfriend, new painting for the wall, new horse, new piece of furniture, new iPhone, new place to visit, new landscaping plan and new plantings, new paint job, new chain saw, new tweed sport jacket, new TV. New sexual position.
The charm of the new never lasts, but it delights for a while before it lapses into the routine. Unless your new car is a Maserati, perhaps.
What is it about the new that so enchanting, when we know that new becomes old and familiar so quickly? I ask this as someone for whom old things are the most comfortable.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:25 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Mohonk. New Paltz, NY. Visited many times growing up. One of my Grandpas loved it.
The Quakers who own it even finally gave in and began serving booze. It used to be that you had to smuggle your cocktails in there and have them in your rooms.
I neither know nor care who or what Sinko de Mayo means. If it means a day to drink Corona beer with a lime in it, that's fine with me.
Honey, don't forget my limes.