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, June 18. 2017
Saturday, June 17. 2017
Our friend Francis posted a photo of his wife's charming country garden (they also have a charming city garden). Along that garden path she has a wall of peonies and a row of nepeta. I wonder what they have for summer bloom.
I guess his photo gives me a little peony envy. We could use some peonies, but I don't know where I would put them.
Here is Planting Peonies
Warm-ups were stretches and jogs around the parking lot. For the real thing, sprints around the parking lot, lunge and presses around the lot, kettlebell swings, pushups on the grass, jumping jacks, hopscotch (really - it's an adult agility drill), Farmers Walks, jumping squats (ass literally to the grass), planks on the grass, burpees of course - calisthenics are much more fun outdoors. Just ask anybody who went through boot camp...
No rest breaks so you keep the heart rate continuously as high as possible. Darn thing pounds through your shirt in a scary but reassuring way.
Mrs. BD seems to appreciate the effects of the addition of tough calis on my attitude, energy, and physique. She wants a vigorous strong man with high energy regardless of age. She claims only old men sit around and read during daylight. Weights are essential for strength, but an hour of uninterrupted calis are great for body and soul. Good for strength maintenance and vitality, not to mention the cardio aspect. One hour is good enough. I am a believer in the three-legged stool of fitness but if I had to choose one, I'd choose hard calis 4 or 5 days/week.
If you have a sport you love, have a Coke and do it after a workout. You will have power, but a serene, controlled power.
Recommended by a friend: The Durrells in Corfu
Education Failure Is the New Success
Professor reported for question critical of biological men competing against women in sports
Schools: “More Youthful, More Urban, and More Inclusive of Women” - with Evelyn Waugh
“Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.” Parenting advice from Homer Simpson - more Simpson quotes here
Teenager Who Urged Friend to Kill Himself Is Guilty of Manslaughter
Amazon To Acquire Whole Foods
Report: $12.7 Trillion Needed To Meet Paris Climate Accord’s Goal…
Why Are So Many Young Voters Falling for Old Socialists?
Envy and greed?
How Marx Got on the Wrong Side of History
DHS rescinds Obama-era DAPA policy that would have protected illegal immigrant parents
Gallup Poll: 25 Percent See Government as their Biggest Problem
"This is a case of Trump doing something that policy-wise is what the NYT wants. But Trump did it, so why is it bad? Trump broke a promise!"
Yay! It's over. The Russian conspiracy nonsense is finally debunked. Whew!
ERRORS IN TRUMP TWEET SYMBOLIZE MORE COSTLY MISTAKES
How many boneheaded impulsive things can the guy do?
In A Panicky Tweet, President Trump Lies About Rod Rosenstein
I would quit if I were his lawyer
“This Jackass Is Really Ticking Me Off”: Is Coulter The Only Major Right-Wing Media Figure Criticizing Trump?
Trump Was in a Fever to Defend the Legitimacy of His Election
That's right. Emotional, not clever.
Jihadist Arrests in EU Doubled Last Year, Rising for Third Year in a Row
Europeans Are Paying to Subsidize Jihadists
Brilliant explanation of the Trump election from Tucker:
Reposted from 2009. 2009 ?!? Sheesh. This site is getting long in the tooth.
Photo: If you have areas you want mowed instead of just hayed once a year, the trick is to get the kids on the mini-John Deere. They love it. It's easy to teach them how to jump off if the thing starts to tip over on a steep, angled, rocky New England hill - just tip it over when they are on it, and they will figger it out. Child abuse, no doubt. This birch hill looks good as a distant vista from ye olde farmhouse kitchen window when the top of the hill is mowed occasionally. We prefer to keep most of the fields only mowed once-yearly in late August or September for the wildlife and wildflowers, because I know in my heart that God loves meadows - but not lawns.
Yes, that is in the Berkshires and yes, we have big tractors too. Ford and Farmall. I'd never take that old dainty-front-footed Farmall on a steep, angled Yankee pasture hill, tho. The old Ford has a nice, comfortable wide stance.
I think it was in Pogo where somebody said "What is so rare as a steak in June?"
Two verses from Part 1 of James Russell Lowell's (1819-1891) religious epic The Vision of Sir Launfal:
Earth gets its price for what Earth gives us;
And what is so rare as a day in June?
The only problem is that more people know about it now. It was our secret hangout, like a speakeasy.
Friday, June 16. 2017
It's sick out there, and getting sicker.
Living in the NYC area, I have plenty of wacky Progressive friends. They are really wacky these days. Of course, my Republican friends can be just as nutty, at times. It all depends on what you're discussing, though this should go without saying.
What's really crazy, though, is how one Progressive friend mentioned to me that polarization has reached "fever pitch" and the basis of her comment was the recent Congressional shooting. I shrugged and said it had been at that level for 24 years, really, and she'd simply chosen not to notice. Now that she's energized politically, it matters to her. No, no, no, she replied, that can't be it. It most certainly is.
All my Progressive friends are members of the #Resist movement. I am not a Trump supporter, but I'm not suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome, either. He's had mixed results so far. Nothing outlandish, nothing crazy. I think he's accomplished quite a bit (both better and worse) for not passing a single piece of major legislation. His bluster and hyperbole bug me, but that's just talk and Tweets. I've seen and heard worse from regular politicians. Yet it's these words that set off the #Resist people. They go bonkers over every little thing! It's fascinating.
Continue reading "Obstruction By Any Other Name"
Wonderful Herreshoff via Salt Water New England
In praise of pachyderms - Conserve elephants.
My Relationship With My Husband Is the Bedrock of Our Family, Not My Relationship with My Kids
My Trip to a Marijuana Dispensary, the Happiest Place in Boulder
Imagine no possessions...
Cook County businesses warn customers about upcoming sugar beverage tax
Why not include fruit drinks? They are pure sugar too
THE MAD OPULENCE OF DUBAI, FROM WATER VILLAS TO FAKE FORESTS
Besieged by the tolerance bullies: If we’re ever to roll back this insanity we’re going to have to show some solidarity with the victims of homofascism and transfascism
'The cold biological truth is that sex changes are impossible,' says Camille Paglia
Duh. But fantasy is powerful stuff. Humans are all about fantasy.
First transgender woman runs for office in Virginia
Experts warned government against cladding material used on Grenfell
They did it to save the planet
The Disappearing Valedictorian: Another Victim of the Participation Trophy Generation?
It can be true that some people take gut courses to win that race
American Prospect wonders whether people are responsible for their debts
Fred On Everything is fed up with ghetto culture
Is he allowed to say that?
Prometheus Bound: How Regulations Stifle a U.S. Manufacturing Renaissance
ESPN Host Says NFL Injects Politics ‘By Playing The National Anthem’
Fernandez on political antiquities:
One of the many perils of too much government: the belief government is necessary for happiness
THE NEW YORK TIMES’ KNACK FOR MISIDENTIFYING COLLUDERS WITH RUSSIA - A sordid story of hypocrisy and double standards.
Clinton Crew Dripping In Russian Entanglements While Deep State Rolls Snake Eyes On Trump
The stunning truth is that the American political and media establishment allowed a phony story – that they knew was phony — to dominate our political discourse for months....
For Democrats, it's come down to 'Just Get Someone'
MUELLER PURSUES OBSTRUCTION CASE AGAINST TRUMP - The collusion claim didn’t work, so the special prosecutor shifts gears.
Special counsel is investigating Jared Kushner’s business dealings
Can The President Be Criminally Prosecuted For Exercising His Constitutional Duties? Further Thoughts
Presidential Historian: Deep State Operatives Are Attempting Coup d’état of US President
EU Reaches Bailout Agreement with Greece . . . Again
Weekly 3-4 hour hikes are good for mind, body, and soul. Also good for a marriage. Also good for breaking in new leather hiking boots. Meindl Perfekt Light Hikers - not all that light in weight unfortunately but tough enough for all purposes other than crampons. Made in Italy - not Germany.
Lots of Bluebirds on this pastoral and not very challenging countryside hike last weekend - hills but no steeps and well-groomed trails. Many meadows. I love large meadows, despite their being unnatural in New England.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:10 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, June 15. 2017
The intensity of the female drive for sexual pleasure and release of sexual tension ("libido" is a puritanical medical euphemism) varies more across individuals, relationship, time of month, and age, than does the average male drive for sexual activity.
Still, the stereotype of males being always ready to go, and females always having headaches, is inaccurate. All females get horny too and it comes mostly from biology. There is no doubt that males have more sexual fantasies during a day, and it doesn't take much to prompt one. Seeing one charming girl is usually enough. What people seem reluctant to discuss is how strong the female need can be "to get laid" (to use the medical term) sometimes, regardless of context. I say it can be every bit as strong as that of men. Unlike First Wave Feminism, current feminism seems to minimize or deny the motives for female guile, seductiveness, etc., and the ordinary female physical need to be properly taken care of on a regular basis.
In today's era of openness and relatively casual and recreational sex, it is far more likely to hear females talk about their plain need for a sexual experience regardless of context (relationship, romance, etc). Frustrated women masturbate plenty, and the market for vibrators is big business. I have heard plenty of young women tell me that they went out Thursday night with the simple goal of getting some sexual fun. In men it might be termed predatory, and nobody uses the term "nymphomaniac" anymore. "Whore"? Sometimes, but I have heard always-horny young guys describe themselves as whores.
Studies often focus on what turns people on because it is impossible to directly measure the strength of a baseline biological drive in people. For example, subjective hunger is easily highlighted by a chocolate cake and reduced by the sight of vomit on a sidewalk. Similarly, sex drive can be exposed or enhanced by seductiveness or by alcohol (we call it "disinhibited" which may or may not be the right term). Guys talk about "beer goggles" but the sex drive is internally-generated, goes through psychological mazes, and can be externally-amplified.
Shy or gentlemanly men often seem unaware or in denial of female biological needs. If they did, they might not be so inclined to view themselves as the only ones in urgent need of a physical connection. True Romance might be more exciting, and love more important, but let's be more open about one aspect of the supposed mystery of what women want. At the most basic levels, we are animals and, even worse, apes. Semi-civilized with many complex life considerations to consider, but still apes. Even as apes, I think we humans get far more mileage from sex than the other creatures do.
Sex Drive: How Do Men and Women Compare?
Your opinions welcome, as always.
Larry discusses fatherhood in the latter half of this -
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:18 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Hayward: NEW YORK TIMES HITS A NEW LOW
Williamson: The Left Embraces Political Violence
Transgendered Track Star Proves We're All Insane
We Tested 13 Grocery Store Coffees and Here’s the Best One
Key criterion: drinkable if reheated in microwave. I can relate
Why you might want to disinherit your kids
Optometrists Feel Threatened By Technology, So Guess What Do They Do
Walter Williams: Rewriting American History
You’re Hired: Trump Plans to Build U.S. Workforce With Apprenticeships - The president, who hosted NBC’s reality television show ‘The Apprentice,’ will announce an expansion of apprenticeship programs
Excellent, but what does government have to do with that?
Woodpile on occupied territories
Here Are Five Fake Stories CNN Pushed
Russia Hacked our Election! (So what?)
Charlie Daniels: What Would Happen If Liberals Got the World They Wanted Here on Earth?
HuffPo Pulls Article Calling For Trump execution
As we always say, it's evidence that government is too important in our lives
Coulter: THE ‘RESISTANCE' GOES LIVE-FIRE
Virginia Shooting Suspect Was Distraught Over Trump’s Election, Brother Says
Baseball Shooter a Big Wake-Up Call for the Left
Having Solved All The World’s Problems, United Nations Takes On Cultural Appropriation
Let's see them take spaghetti away from the Neapolitans
Meanwhile In Venezuela, Protesters Set Fire To The Supreme Court Building
Wednesday, June 14. 2017
From knee and hip replacements to coronary bypass, there is considerable evidence for permanent brain damage in some individuals.
This phenomenon seems to be not unusual in patients over age 55. It seems to be an unmentioned risk of surgery. I have seen several cases of long-lasting (? permanent) cognitive setbacks after surgeries, so I am glad that people are exploring the topic.
While you have to count man's habitat changes and destruction as the primary driver of decreasing songbird populations, let's just look at direct kills. The top two are windows and outdoor cats.
Neither are "natural" in North America. Ornithologists say the best thing you can do for wildlife is to keep your cat, if you must have one, indoors. Cats are native to Egypt and nowhere else. They have an instinct to kill for fun, so letting your cat roam is a more destructive act than taking your gun and shooting songbirds (which is illegal).
Chart below is from Sibley (Feral includes all outdoor cats):
My Wednesday morning calisthenics teacher varies the program each week for our group of 30-40 guys and gals of all ages - 30-70. Keeps it interesting. Today, this was the one hour program (you can google the names if you don't know what some of those things are):
The game was to start from the top and to do the number of reps corresponding to the number on the list. But not that simple, because after each time you got down to a new exercise on the list, you had to go back to #1 and work down to the next new one. Thus, by the end, you did about 13 Man Makers. Is that clear?
Then, after the 12 Burpee Box Jumps, you had to simply go backwards up the list to end with one final Man Maker if you had time. Everybody at his own pace.
Good workout, fun in a sick sort of way. She had to correct my Wall Walk form. Nver did it before - it's a bitch. Also, no way can I touch my toes in V-ups, but I did my best. I had to lower the box one notch for my box jumps - my legs were just too fatigued at that point to get up very high. In short, I did the best I could, with hopes to improve over time.
Sweat? Are you kidding? I used only 5 lb dumbells this time, but heavy kettlebell. Next time, lighter kettlebell too.
Tomorrow, back to powerlifting where you at least get a chance to breathe.
Good news for redheads: a tanning drug for the pale-skinned
Brown skin looks healthier for everybody. Let's face it: Caucasian skin is not beautiful - but gingers do look cool with their special skin color
Artificial Cartilage Under Tension as Strong as Natural
As Insty would say, Faster, please. But stronger than natural might be better
Moonbats Bark That We Should Give Up AC
Wind power fails in Canada – a 23 year life span not likely to be replaced
Visualizing Baltimore's Opiate Experience
Against American imperialism
Who´s afraid of George Soros? Governments across the globe turn on Hillary Clinton supporter accused of pushing his neoliberalagenda worldwide
Obama’s Meddling in Foreign Elections: Six Examples
White House Makes It Official: It Wants to Keep Snooping on Americans - Trump and group of GOP senators don’t want us to have greater privacy protections from unwarranted domestic surveillance.
“Steely Silence”: Comey Reportedly Confronted Loretta Lynch With Document Claiming She Was Protecting Hillary On Emailgate
FAKE NEWS=> MSNBC Caught Trying to Pass Off Top Obama Campaign Director as Random Passerby
Via NY Post:
The Ugly Question: What If The Russia Russia Russia Story Was Nothing?
Chavista celebrities refuse to say they were wrong about socialism
Britain’s Election Disaster - Theresa May’s political incompetence carries a high price.:
Tuesday, June 13. 2017
An update from our occasional contributor Black Dog:
Your intrepid scribe returned this past Sunday from San Antonio, TX, where I attended the Ducks Unlimited Convention, which celebrated our 80th year. I’ve been a volunteer since 1984, so I remember the 50th Anniversary celebrations well.
My notes from the Convention indicate since DU’s inception in 1937, DU has conserved almost 14 million acres of wetlands across North America. We are in the middle of a five-year capital campaign, Rescue Our Wetlands. The goal is $2 billion and I can tell you we are somewhere around $1.8 billion with 18 months to go, so I’m pretty sure we’ll meet our goal early and hopefully exceed it.
We’ve had to increase our emphasis on public policy efforts in Washington, DC, where we opened a new office on Capitol Hill last year. As you know, we partner with the Federal and State governments here in the US, as well as the Provincial governments in Canada on our wetlands and water conservation missions. I attended the DU Mexico BOD meeting and was amazed to learn how far our donor’s dollars go in Mexico. A number of the DU Mexico staff were in San Antonio and gave presentations on their efforts in the Yucatan, as well as Mexico’s Central Highlands.
Continue reading "A Ducks Unlimited update"
Is marriage about happiness? Peterson is a realist with the tragic view. "If you think marriage is all about your happiness, you are a princess living in a gingerbread house."
Image stolen from Ace
Why Is the Speed of Light So Slow?
Why Derek Jeter doesn’t feel prepared for fatherhood
Euthanasia for existential anguish?
GuideStar Marks Family Research Council as a 'Hate Group'
'Horrendous storm' to hit stocks, Wall Street not rational: David Stockman
Militant Homosexuality: Leftist Politics by Other Means
Rolling Stone settles rape hoax case
Puerto Rico votes in favor of statehood
But the US doesn't want them. Why would we? Give it back to Spain.
WaPo Writes Islamic Terrorism Out Of The Pulse Nightclub Shooting
Robert Mueller should step aside: Friends shouldn’t be investigating friends
Best pals, gunning for the rebel Trump. The empire strikes back.
Steyn: Comey is a 6'8" gummy worm
Best comment I've seen: Comey said that, as he was leaving the room with Trump, Trump grabbed his pussy
Comey Suspected of Other Leaks to the New York Times Dating Back to at Least March
Trump Is Beating the Media at Its Own Game
Kimball: Trumping the narrative
Senator Graham: Trump may 'go down' because of inappropriate statements
Why Are There No Good Samaritans In China?
A tidal creek off the Pitasqua River, from last week's hike
Monday, June 12. 2017
Calcio Storico is June 24th, in Florence.
A friend reports that it is essentially a brawl. Craziest sport I've ever seen. 500 year tradition. Apparently popes used to participate in 1600s. Ended with riot police taking the field and suspending the game after ejected players refused to leave. The crowd was just as tattooed and menacing as the players.