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, November 25. 2014
It looks like we're down to only 20-25 (not counting rug rats) of friends and family for Thanksgiving this year at the Maggie's Farm HQ. Some of my sibs are doing TG at their new vacation house on Cape Cod, appropriately-enough.
The way we do it is like the Indians did: everybody brings part of the feast. We rent a few round or long tables with chairs to put in the parlor, light up a couple of fireplaces, decorate things a little, and warm up the grill.
Best holiday of the year - no presents, just festive get-together. No TV allowed, generally-speaking.
Our home team is, as usual, providing 2 turkeys, stuffing, gravy, wine and beer, green salad, and Mrs. BD's pumpkin pies and Indian Pudding. Oh, and whipped cream. Soup is just too much trouble. Guests are bringing apple pies and ice cream, grilled brussel sprouts, pickled beets, sweet potatoes, mashed taters, mashed rutabaga, roasted parsnips, cranberry relish, champagne and Martinelli's, and hors d'oevres.
Of course she does...what else could it possibly be?
Giving Thanks at Cracker Barrel (h/t Althouse)
" poverty is the normal condition of man"
This is what a Feminist looks like — The university system as The Village of the Damned
Renewable Energy Will Never Work, But Can Nuclear?
is what a Feminist looks like — The university system as The Village of
the Damned - See more at:
"... the Democrats’ current Hillary problem: everyone in the party seems to be supporting her, and yet nobody can articulate exactly why."
Morici: Whites Face a Government Working Against Their Interests and Their Children's
So do African Americans
Who Paid for Astrid Silva to Go to College?
Sultan: Amnesty for Unamerica:
State Senator: This Is St Louis' Race War
She wants to catch up with Detroit?
Let no excuse for looting and rioting go to waste. Social justice requires burning a lady's cake shop.
Memo From Middle America | Obamnesty Not Approved By Congress? No Problem, It’s Been Approved by Mexico And Central America!
White House Quietly Releases Plans For 3,415 Regulations Ahead Of Thanksgiving Holiday
You had better read these, citizens
An economist explains what the heck is happening to the global economy
20 Ways Media Completely Misread Congress’ Weak-Sauce Benghazi Report
Monday, November 24. 2014
The 12 Wildest Songs to be Played at the Benefit Concert for American Digest's Gerard Vanderleun
Thad McCotter wrote a book
Wild turkeys have made a comeback and are ruffling some suburban feathers
Why Are America’s Poorest Toddlers Being Over-Prescribed ADHD Drugs?
The Truth We Won’t Admit: Drinking Is Healthy
The Unilateral Presidency - Obama may be right on the substance of immigration reform, but he's setting a dangerous precedent.
Democrats bet on diversity - Rallying behind the president on immigration, the party hopes to expand Obama’s winning coalition in 2016.
Ed Gillespie: An Obamacare Do-Over
Colleges struggle with protecting students without being accused of victim-blaming
Ice to close upper Mississippi from November 20, earliest on record
They are killers
What Big Wind Doesn’t Want You To Know
Shocker: Top Google Engineers Say Renewable Energy ‘Simply won’t work’
Penn’s gaydar admissions project goes back years: Gays are ‘blue-chip recruits’
White House Points to Decades-old Data on Immigration Benefits - Other studies show immigration reduces wages, employment
Cuban migrants head off from Caymans, bound for Honduras
Maine's Anti-Sanctuary Governor Blasts Obama Amnesty, Calls it ‘Very Shameful’
Salaita and The Historiography of Victimhood
Philosophers Behaving Badly: Brooklyn College BDS Edition
The European Parliament Threatens To Break Up Google
Sunday, November 23. 2014
A slice of village life in the Macedonian mountains. Wonderful.
Lots and lots of 'em but the hook brings you back.
When I was discussing the crops of the early north American colonists, I wondered what exactly Rye is. It's not ryegrass. Rye.
A very fine American state, Kentucky. But the guy left out gravy. They make serious gravy for grits or biscuits in Kentucky. I'd have it for any meal (but not that disgusting hot-dog gravy they like in coal country).
It's not the same as ADD. It's simply undisciplined:
95:1 O come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
95:2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
95:3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
95:4 In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.
95:5 The sea is his, for he made it, and the dry land, which his hands have formed.
95:6 O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
95:7a For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.
Saturday, November 22. 2014
Tight Connection To My Heart (Has Anyone Seen My Love) - 1986
This is a re-post:
One historical detail I picked up in reading Philbrick's wonderful Mayflower is that the Pilgrims only permitted civil marriage ceremonies - no religion involved, and no preacher present.
As Calvinists, the Pilgrims/Puritans/Separatists of colonial New England viewed the Anglican sacraments as Papist, and thus representative of the Anti-Christ - and they meant it. As a consequence, Congregational Churches, the heirs of the Puritan movement, still have no sacraments per se, although many have liberalized (or backslided?) to the extent of doing baptism, communion - and, of course, weddings which, even if not technically sacramental, are viewed as sacred vows. People long for a touch of the sacred and sacramental.
It is fascinating to be reminded that our nation's deepest roots are in Calvinist theocracy: pre-enlightenment, for better or worse. They viewed the Indians as equals (though living in spiritual darkness), but they hung some Quakers in Boston as blasphemers (but mainly tried to just send them away).
They even hung an ancestor of mine, who ran away from her husband and kids in Kingston, Rhode Island and was caught on a trail outside of Boston, headed north. Her crime? She refused to return home. We suspect she was not overly fond of her husband, who had previously been suspected of throwing his first wife overboard on the way to Rhode Island in 1640.
Tyler Cowan's favorite 2014 films
Larry the Cable Guy: ‘How come Cosby is toast and Clinton is toast of the town?’
Poverty Causes Crime?
Colleges struggle with protecting students without being accused of victim-blaming
Ferguson – Race Baiting for Political Power and Profit
Meet the Washington Snobocrats
Americans Don't Want Government to Guarantee Healthcare, Again - Voters used to heavily favor federal intervention to ensure coverage. What happened?
This Is Why Rand Paul Is Hillary Clinton's Worst Nightmare
You Have to Give It to the President - It’s a brilliant, brutally cynical near-term gambit.
Despite highest poverty numbers in 50 years, Obama okays illegals to compete for jobs in US
President Obama has liberated the GOP from passing an immigration bill
Should Republicans Embrace the Obama Non-Enforcement Doctrine?
An utterly shattering video about the moral depravity of students at UC Berkeley
TAKING ON THE SICILIAN MAFIA WITH GANDHI TACTICS
Oxford cancels student-group-organized debate on abortion after the student union “voted to inform College Censors about the mental and physical security issues surrounding the debate.”
Talk is Cheap: U.S. Response to Jerusalem Synagogue Attack
NSA director: China can damage US power grid
Israeli Police Busted A Massive Shipment Of Knives, Tasers, And Swords Bound For East Jerusalem
Image below via Zero:
A Winter Night
It snowed and snowed, the whole world over,
Friday, November 21. 2014
I have been perusing this out of print book: Truro - Cape Cod, Landmarks and Seamarks by Shebnah Rich (1888). I have a copy of the book, and wonder how in the world it got online.
Cape Cod began growing in European (English) population around 1630.
Farming and fishing were the main occupations. The soil was rich then due to the old forests. Today, there is no topsoil left. By 1750 there were few trees left on the Cape due to lumbering, land clearing for farming, and for fuel. The scrub oak and pine that predominate today is not the tall virgin hardwood forest that the colonists encountered.
Everybody grew things and raised animals. There was not much cash except from fishing and boat-building, and there were no shops. Main subsistence crops: orchards, maize, pumpkin and squash, root vegetables, beans, rye. No wheat, no flour, no sugar unless very wealthy - but there was molasses from the West Indies. Also, pigs, steer, milk cows, chickens, and horses for transportation. Cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries grew wild. There were plenty of deer and rabbits too, and of course abundant shellfish. Beans with a little pork was a standard meal. People baked their bread once a week, made of mixes of corn (maize) and rye flour. Food: Early American food and drink
When you slaughtered a hog or steer, you shared the meat with neighbors. They did the same.
You were allowed to shoot a wolf or a "problem Indian" but the Indians were not much of a problem and soon settled into Indiantowns and learned English. King Philip's War was not a big deal on Cape Cod.
A village Meeting House served many purposes including local government meetings and church. Most of the early congregations were "united," ie Methodist and Congregational worshipping together. In the early days there was a hot market for pastors and Harvard began grinding them out in 1636 to meet the demand. Like the Boston colonists, the Cape Codders were not Puritans like the Plymouth group.
Other than local rules made in town meetings, there was no "government" in evidence at all. Town officials were by vote, and volunteers. There were no police but there were informal militias. Every adult male citizen was required to own a firearm (mostly matchlocks). Later on, recruiters would pass through towns demanding recruits for the French and Indian War. The structure of grammar schooling varied widely from village to village.
Truancy from church was a crime. So was swearing. Sunday church services generally had two one-hour sermons and around an hour of prayer. The service was around four hours in all. No music, of course, and no communion. Those were Papist things. Each church had a guy assigned to wake up drowsers with a long stick with a feather on one end (for the ladies) and a knob on the other end (to conk the drowsy men on the head). A fun task, no doubt.
Thanksgiving: There were fall harvest Thanksgiving feasts all over the Cape. Nothing to do with the original Pilgrims, just a traditional harvest time thanks to God. The Pilgrim Thanksgiving? They had very little to be thankful for with half their group dead in that first winter, but they were anyway. Remember, they were headed for the already established town of New Amsterdam (New York), not Massachusetts. Got blown off course.
There were windmills all over the Cape, very early. Their main purposes were making corn or rye meal, or for filling up salt flats for salt production (to make salt cod).
Fishing meant mostly Cod on George's Bank, but later Mackeral too. Some guys were fishing schooner skippers by 25. Some of them went on to be transoceanic ship captains. There was some near-shore whaling, and the occasional stranding of a pod of Blackfish (aka Pilot Whales) was hitting the jackpot.
Death: Mainly infectious diseases of early childhood. Some TB in young adulthood. Also, puerperal fever killed a lot of wives so men often went through a series of them. After that, fishermen drowning was the main cause - which provided widows for the widowers. If you escaped those things, most people lived into their 80s. (Those childhood death rates and accident death rates are what skews old-time life expectancy data and thus the averages are meaningless.)
Illumination and heat: Fireplaces for heat, and one in the kitchen for cooking. Wood stoves came much later. Bayberry candles, whale oil lamps.
Transportation, etc: Roads were terrible. Transportation was mainly by water and to be a town you needed a harbor. With its fine harbor, Provincetown was the largest on the Lower Cape. Early on, there was regular travel and mail, via Boston packets.
We might consider these settlers poor and deprived, but all they saw was abundance, faith, and hope. Life was hard and highly uncomfortable (by our standards), and was expected to be. You fended for yourself. If judged utterly helpless, the church came to your aid.
Housing: The history of colonial housing is an interesting one, mostly borrowed from England and from Holland in areas around New York. However, the rural Cape Cod cottage was an American invention and typical on colonial Cape Cod. No plumbing. Every village had an amateur post and beam carpenter in an era where most trades were amateur and everybody was a farmer, including schooner skippers, pastors, and doctors.
Photo on top is the Jonah Atkins house, Truro, Mass.
ICE readies 2,400 beds for new surge of illegal immigrants through Texas
Fukuyama: Immigration Unilateralism - A Bad Call
After Barack I Issues His Amnesty Decree, The Ball Is In The GOP's Court
McArdle: "As an act of rare semantic derring-do, this was a towering achievement. As a political speech, I don't think it was very effective."
How Obama got here - The president, the Homeland Security secretary and their secret 9-month project to remake American’s broken immigration system.
Newbrough: "Opposing amnesty doesn’t make me heartless, selfish, or cruel, because the U.S. Constitution, our nation’s law, is not mine to give away. It’s not mine, yours, or anyone’s to simply hand over."
Thursday, November 20. 2014
Immigration: Obama’s royal scam
And his f- you to the voters
Stories from around the world illustrate how immigration is a very difficult moral issue for liberal democracies today.
I hear from an expert friend that this is the best show the Met has ever put on
Colossal Mistake: Trivializing the Past
I disagree with the article. Old Roman constructions are used for modern activities with much success
Polar Bear update
If you go Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving, you should be deported
That's a mistake
This Gruber-gate supercut video is positively enraging
Purity politics, Democrat-style
Purity politics, regardless of viewpoint, is not politics
NYT (!):As Sharpton Rose, So Did His Unpaid Taxes
Sultan's Life Under the Victimocracy
HERE’S WHY WOMEN IN COMBAT UNITS IS A BAD IDEA
Admiral Greenert Speaks: What Should the U.S. Navy’s New Maritime Strategy Look Like?
Germany Abandons CO2 Targets
Is NATO obsolete?
Murder of 4 Jews praised by Abbas' advisor and Fatah
Being Jewish in Turkey
South Sudan, Samantha Power, and the Failure of Liberal Internationalism
Is Palestine a State That the US Can Recognize?
Wednesday, November 19. 2014
She pulls up a chair next to me at the bar and says "You're cute" then proceeds to ignore me and orders a few rounds of whiskeys for herself and the band. I do not know whether I was cute but she was not cute at all. They were all obviously drugged on something. I always thought Janis was a stoner suburban phoney. She could screech, though, and let it rip, which is not nothing.
Vanderleun on the general topic: Barnhardt-Van der Leun Musical Awesomeness Cagematch: Round Two!
Apparently, it is a protected opinion against religion and thus religious in some sense: Atheists and Secular Humanists are protected by the First Amendment regardless of whether their belief systems are “religions” or not.
It is legally interesting, but in my experience most atheists have faith in some thing or some things as a life foundation, mainly pagan or materialist sorts of things. In the US, most atheists live on a Christian foundation.
In New England, Indian Pudding is as essential a part of Thanksgiving dinner as Pumpkin or Squash Pie. Great stuff, if you like the flavor of molasses. It's not just for Thanksgiving.
It's called "Indian" because it is made with corn (maize) meal - the staple food of North American Indians.
Simple rustic ingredients. No sugar? You use molasses. No flour? You use corn meal. The only trick is to make sure it is neither too firm nor too runny. Serve warm.
Here's a bit of the history of this dessert, with a good recipe.
Masters of Love - Science says lasting relationships come down to—you guessed it—kindness and generosity.
The Modern Supermarket Is a Miracle - Finding euphoria in the bread aisle.
Weather Channel Co-Founder Predicting Snowier, Bitterly Colder Winter Ahead
Is New York the New Model for Startup Cities? Its rise has been remarkable. But should aspiring tech hubs really emulate the Big Apple?
Roadblock on Main Street - How federal housing policies run downtowns out of business
Promises Made, Promises Broken 2014: Unfunded Liabilities Hit $4.7 Trillion
Calling on the Brooklyn College Administration - Academic and administrative bias have, in the last few years, spread like a virus throughout the CUNY system. Stop the lies!
Under Obama, U.S. personal freedom ranking slips below France
Canada: How free market ideas went from marginal to mainstream in our neighbor to the north
Too-Big-To-Manage Emerges As New Concern In the Financial Crisis
Why Does Washington Want to Hide Science Data From the Public?
Why Dems Lack Working Class Appeal: It’s Immigration, Stupid
Tuesday, November 18. 2014
Princeton's Professor Will Happer, video at Powerline's Teach liberals not to hate).
It can be simple or complex. Here's simple.
Classic way to serve it is with spaetzle, a dollop of sour cream on top, and a side of sliced cucumber and onion marinated in vinegar.
Stolen from Vanderleun:
Nearly 36 million people are slaves, Qatar in focus: global index
Number of Foreign Students in US Hits Record High
Letter to a Manhattan Resident - A view from that big country outside New York
Once Thought Extinct, North America's Rarest Mammal May Bounce Back
Article makes no sense to me: The Pipeline From Hell: There’s No Good Reason to Build Keystone XL
Ice Visible on Lake Superior Weeks Ahead of Schedule
What the mainstream media wont tell you about global warming
Climatologist: 30-Year Cold Spell Strikes Earth
Gruber has exposed what liberals really think of the American people.
(Page 1 of 479, totaling 11969 entries) » next page