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
Friday, August 22. 2014
Life has become a complicated muddle, hasn't it? There are many big decisions. Should you become a newsreader because you have a lisp? Should you become an athlete because you're missing limbs? Should you join the military because you're a pacifist?
College calls. It needs deconstructivists like you. The NBA needs midgets, and the NFL needs gay men. International politics needs a low handicap, and international banking needs wizened ovaries, bad. There's a place for everybody, and you just have to follow the signs and portents to figure out where you fit in.
The only really big question is if you should have any hair below your eyebrows. The rest is easy.
Attention bosses: Set up a strong hierarchy and your workers will function better.
Thursday, August 21. 2014
I only read the "newspapers" when I cover for Bird Dog. Do you people really read that stuff, and act on what you've read as if it's informative?
Oops, did I just call our readers "you people"? Jeez, I'm sorry. I meant to say, Do us people really read this stuff...
No, that won't do. Does we people really reads that stuff...
I can't remember all that subjunctive gobbletygook from my McGuffey's Reader, so let's just agree that the newspapers all suck and move on. On to the news -- or whatever it is:
There's a lot of words until you get to that paragraph right there, the only one worth mentioning: It really doesn't matter what crazy people believe. They're crazy.
A Norwegian extrovert looks at your shoes when he's talking instead of his own.
Wow, Nancy Sinatra sure was a sh*tty singer.
Wednesday, August 20. 2014
Running kind of late this morning. I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts! IT WASN'T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!
On to the links:
40 maps that explain the Roman Empire
This is where Janet Yellen's funny money ends up, one way or the other: Dissipated when there's nothing productive for it to do.
Have a nice Wednesday.
Tuesday, August 19. 2014
I've decided not to riot today. I'm fairly certain I'm not going to loot anything. I don't feel like overcoming, or singing about overcoming. I'm overcome with not overcoming, actually. I believe I can resist the urge to lock arms for days at a time. I do not wish to be quoted in the press. You can quote me on that. On to the news.
In the Image of God: John Comenius and the First Children’s Picture Book
Baseball Bat With an Axe Handle Brings More Power, Fewer Injuries
There is a story about the great Catalan surrealist painter Salvador Dali. It is said that in the last years of his life, when he was already famous, he signed checks knowing that they would not be submitted to the bank for payment. Rather, after partying with his friends and consuming the most expensive items the restaurants had to offer, he would ask for the bill, pull out one of his checks, write the amount, and sign it. Before handing over the check, he quickly turned it around, made a drawing on the back and autographed it. Dali knew the owner of the restaurant would not cash the check but keep it,put it in a frame, and display it in the most prominent place in the restaurant: “An original Dali.”
My new hero.
History may be evolving away from the Westphalian State, with its unitary national culture, flags and traditions and moving towards affinity groups whose allegiance is primarily to themselves; which only form temporary alliances based on expedience in competition with other affinity groups.
I know a couple of daycare centers like that.
It’s hip, it’s entertaining—but where are the families?What is a city for? Ever since cities first emerged thousands of years ago, they have been places where families could congregate and flourish.
A city is a place where everyone is lonely together.
Monday, August 18. 2014
Well, happy Monday to you. That's Bird Dog at the beach. He's older than that now, and the trucks are rustier. He left me in charge, and I ran out of his bourbon yesterday, and he won't be back for a week. He asked me to look after his Australian Goldfish, too, and that's not going so well, either. I assume they're Australian, because they're floating upside down right now, and they're so somnolent, I think they think it's nighttime. Ah, well, here's the links:
When deciding whether Google should spend millions or even billions of dollars in acquiring a new company, its chief executive, Larry Page, asks whether the acquisition passes the toothbrush test: Is it something you will use once or twice a day, and does it make your life better?
Venture Capitalists Get Paid Well to Lose Money
Feds: Red light camera firm paid for Chicago official’s car, condo
Starbucks to Revise Policies to End Irregular Schedules for Its 130,000 Baristas
15 Signs You're an Entrepreneur
SF cabdrivers vote to unionize as industry continues to take beating from ride services
Also from San Fran: Soccer program gives homeless chance to succeed
How To Make An Animated GIF From A YouTube Video
I Quit Liking Things On Facebook for Two Weeks. Here’s How It Changed My View of Humanity.
Well, why not go out there and change your view of humanity today. Drive to a Starbucks in a unionized cab, and try not to run over the homeless people playing soccer in the parking lot. But whatever you do, don't like anyone on Facebook.
Sunday, August 17. 2014
Well, Bird Dog must be halfway to Canobie Lake Park by now, wearing black socks and flip-flops and an "I'm With Stupid" T Shirt his wife gave him for Christmas back in Reagan's first term. It's faded a bit with washing, and the arrow on the belly under the text that used to point to his companion has been worn away entirely by the rusty chrome arm of the mower every Saturday, so it's kind of a Zen thing now. Have fun, Bird Dog.
George Orwell reviews Mein Kampf!
Known in its heyday as the capital of coal, Yubari has lost 90% of its population in 50 years.
The Happiest Regions In America
Frustrated Mom Creates ‘Ignore No More’ App To Get Teen Kids To Return Calls
A Google employee forgot to remove Post-it notes and it’s fueling a lawsuit
Competitor dies in the middle of a match during Chess Olympiad in Norway and another is found dead in hotel room
They've awarded this year's Fields Medals.
The Street’s Secret Code What asphalt tags say about the city
Close the Book. Recall. Write It Down.
$1,000 a month for tiny room, bedbugs, seedy surroundings in the Mission
Have a great Sunday. After the aspirin, I mean.
Saturday, August 16. 2014
Well, Bird Dog has abandoned the farm for, er, greener pastures, and left me in charge again. You reap what you sow, big feller. I’m going to link to sites without tone. I’m going to link to sites without sand. I’m going to link to sites without panache. I’m going to link to sites without cachet. I’m going to link to sites without je ne sais quoi. I’m going to link to sites that don’t know which fork to use. I’m going link to sites about sausages. You heard me: sausage links!
Still the greatest website on these here Interwebs: Zombo.com
It’s the Swiss Army Knife of nothing.
Gerard at American Digest tells stories from time to time.
Let he who has never ended up in a sketchy motel room with a donkey cast the first stone.
I live under one of this guy’s dots, but my realtor assured me there would be no math.
Nice little credit rating you got there. Shame if something was to happen to it.
Don't say that he's hypocritical. Say rather that he's apolitical."Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down; that's not my department," says Wernher von Braun
Buoys? Don’t they put those over hidden obstructions and traps for bottomfeeders?
Oh, that’s a shame. If he loses his amateur status, he can’t play Scrabble in the Olympics
How Boston Police Used Facial Recognition Technology to Spy on Thousands of Music Festival Attendees
Calm down, civil liberties traditionalists. Policemen have been looking at your face as you walk by since Robert Peel invented them. Besides, if you fill out a 1040 form, you have no rights. The rest is conversation.
Sounds like blogging.
Writing everyone a check for $12,000 is cheaper than all federal and state poverty programs combined. But then who would write $12,000 checks to re-election campaigns for politicians? Won’t someone think of the poor politicians?
I’ve never seen Spengler be wrong about anything. And he’s right in advance, the only kind of right that matters.
Sunday, May 11. 2014
It's Sunday. Have a pleasant Sunday. But remember, Sunday is Monday's mother. She seems nice, but she's just as likely to smack you with a hairbrush as not. Happens almost every week.
On to the links:
Everyone winces when work, marriage or police are mentioned now.
A schoolteacher wrote that, and put it on the Interwebs where anyone could see it.
“Let justice be done though the heavens fall” may be an appealing slogan, but probably only if you have never actually been in the neighborhood when the heavens did fall. --Derbyshire at Taki Mag, on Gerry Adams
Never fight ugly people—they have nothing to lose
There are some fairly bright people abroad in the land that don't understand that if the velocity of money is zero, as far as inflation is concerned it doesn't exist.
He thinks if 14,000 people listen to his song on Interweb radio, he deserves more than $4.20. I heard the song. He's overpaid.
The horror. If they're not careful, they'll have to govern.
I think Brazil should sue Amazon and say they used the name Amazon first. Or maybe a really tall woman should.
**Insert Globalistical Warmening joke here**
Yelling at your customers is fun. For a while.
Plastic tennis racquet? Young man, tennis is played with a wood racquet, in long pants, on grass.
And now for something completely different:
Happy Mother's Day!
Saturday, May 10. 2014
Check out their blog. As with all such schemes, the only people who want to show themselves naked are the only people you don't want to see naked. And the books suck.
A Channel Nine toilet? Boy, cable TV shows have really reached a new low.
It would be unchristian of me to point out who the little darlings voted for twice, wouldn't it? Pardon me while I go find a pagan to laugh at them and tell them to stop sh*tting where they eat.
Erm, I don't want to rain on your parade, but that's only earthshaking news to people who Occupy public parks.
Just leave the Vatican's front door unlocked for one night, Frank, and you'll get your devout wish.
At my house, Bill. Duh.
There's more than a hint of Two Minutes Hate when the media mob gets interested in any particular thing. The object of their vitriol is chosen at random, by persons who stand to lose nothing, at the expense of the usual innocent people. And by the way, when I have sketchy outlays from strip joints and casinos I need to put on my expense report, I prefer listing them under "Entertainment", not "My sick mother in Vietnam." It's good accounting practice.
Interestingly, this story is not about Janet Yellen.
Remember our rule from yesterday: Obama, at Walmart, touts efficiency with a straight face.
There are US experts in hunting for schoolgirls? Nice to see former President Clinton has found work
Friday, May 9. 2014
I'm in love every day, generally when I shave. But you? You? You look mahvelous, dahling. Keep it up.
On to some links!
I was into Bach before it was cool.
Hey, code monkey entrepreneurs: Any bricklayer could have told you that.
PHYSICIAN, n. One upon whom we set our hopes when ill and our dogs when well.
Almost enough to convince you the world isn't entirely malignant. Then you notice 39 people downvoted it on YouTube, and you realize your mistake.
I hereby declare that all headlines about our current administration will have "with a straight face" added to the end of them.
I think I've heard this line of reasoning before. My toddlers experienced it the first time they went boom boom by themselves.
She was and is the female standard of beauty this end of the Universe. If you need me, I'll be in my bunk.
I see a flaw in their cunning plan: They got caught. And yet another web monkey that doesn't know what "begging the question" means.
Scrabble players hardest hit.
Thursday, May 8. 2014
I'm taking turns lifting my eyelids. One seems to force the other down, like a teeter totter would.
I dislike teeter totters. Playgrounds should be free of physics examinations. Weight, lever arms, torque... bah! Archimedes has ruined my life. Taken the whimsy right out of it.
On to the links. That is not a golf metaphor.
Assume everything on the Interwebs is a lie, including this sentence.
I'm not your buddy, guy. If you need a friend, get a dog. A doctor is supposed to give you competent care and then leave you alone.
Duh. Writers like money. Writers really don't like anything but money. In this country, the man who gives victory in battle is prized beyond every other man.
The politics are so vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.
In the new Internet economy, pious leftist code jockeys found companies that do nothing but put people out of work, then use the money they make to support redistributionist leftist politicians. It's the circle of life.
I see the scientific community has discovered the Taco Bell drive through lane. Keep up the good work, guys.
In my day, you whippersnapper, "walk up music" was salsa music I heard through the door, being played at 90 decibels by the guy in 7A when I walked up the stairs to my third floor apartment. Don't get me started on the trumpet player.
Let's have a good day, people. And be careful out there
Tuesday, May 6. 2014
I tried to read the Drudge Report this morning but it's like TMZ from some alternate universe where slime molds sit on golden thrones and the statues in their temples are fashioned from earwax after a Pantheon of lesser gods like the god of thunderjugs and the demigod of Big Gulps. But other than that, Happy Tuesday!
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
Visa and Mastercard hitched their wagon to Obama's Dead Horse, also known as "sanctions." That's a lot of oats to feed a dead horse.
And all the ones that are being created are just four Asperger agoraphobes in San Francisco that haven't run out of angel funding yet for their potential Twitter app that will let you post reviews of artisanal pottery clay in real time.
I'd steer clear of that hedge fund.
Don't fret, legislation to combat income inequality will return us to feudal stability soon.
Every syllable uttered during a town meeting results in a tax increase. Any intelligent citizen would pray after the meeting, not before.
My family can narrow that down even further. We use prison records.
Stoners aren't good with matches? The devil you say.
Also, Asian Carp is not the preferred nomenclature, Dude. We're not talking about the carp that built the railroads, Walter
The world is entirely too silly today. Better luck tomorrow.
Monday, May 5. 2014
Ah, remember Orson Welles? Not skinny Orson Welles. I mean Fat Orson. He grew a big beard so he'd have the semblance of a chin, and hawked cheap wine on television in between reminding Merv Griffin (thanks, Bulldog) or Mike Douglas how big a deal he used to be. Whatever those brigands at Paul Masson paid the talented dirigible to utter their slogan, it wasn't enough. I remember it as clearly, and with affection, as the day it was uttered. I remember the only glass of Paul Masson I ever tried too, for other reasons.
On to the links:
I wish they'd promise something near me. My Internet provider needs to get the hell promised out of them.
Took that long to get the tar and feather out of his clothes, I expect
Oh look: The Great Unread wants to point out their competitors for ad revenue are the Great Unwatched. Awesome concern trolling.
That's not a musical instrument, is it? A series of tubes like that is Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning where I come from.
I could have run Newsweek into the ground for half that, easy.
Let's be jerks. Let's read it, and then run away without leaving a quarter.
There you go. Have a great Monday. I have no idea why I said that. And I have no idea in the hell what a great Monday might look like. I've never seen one.
Sunday, May 4. 2014
Happy Sunday. I advise you to go to church and pray for the sins you're planning during the sermon.
There's apparently a lot of money to be made by standing next to Barney Fife.
I thought that was his job description. Good luck with that show without him. He made a hit out of the equivalent of describing naked women to blind teenage boys. I'm sorry, was that offensive?
After all these years, after all those predictions, the shit has finally hit the fan. I'm sorry, was that offensive?
Yeah, but it outlasted you, you decadent and depraved crank.
How appropriate, it's in Politico. Politico now matters more than the New York Times does.
If you even hesitated to answer this question, there's something wrong with you. You shouldn't need to see the picture of a child with smallpox to answer it, either.
We used to shoot enemy combatants found out of uniform. Now we just round up the other army from time to time to ask them questions like The Usual Suspects. Turn to the right...
He's the only author on the Internets I find essential. It was nice of him to write that list for me, to save me the trouble.
No one understands social media less than "tech savvy" teens.
Well, there you go. Have a pleasant Sunday. Oh, and you really should have figured out the punchline to our headline on your own by now, I think.
You can hide, but you can't run, you bastard!
I'm sorry, was that offensive?
Saturday, May 3. 2014
Well, we all hate Chicago Transit Authority, don't we? When did it become OK for wedding bands to get real, live, rock band careers? Who signed off on that? I know I wasn't consulted. Maybe it's not Chicago's fault. Maybe they thought they were just going to play the Bernstein wedding at another Mediterranean-themed stripmall function room; four hours, twenty minute breaks each hour; chicken and shells for dinner. Perhaps their agent bollixed it up and sent them to a recording studio instead. Back before GPS, it could happen. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Besides, Blood Sweat and Tears was much, much worse, and sooner.
Anyway, time to colour your world, with links
Hmm. He's an astrobiologist. Really? Me? I wanna be a astroquarterbackpornstarsecretagent.
I sort this sort of thing out the old-fashioned way: If suspicious, I punch them, hard, on the nose without warning. If they cry, they're usually innocent.
He was handed the greatest cash cow in the history of the world and tried to ride it in the derby. Should go on the Rushmore of incompetence,
The Internet is 99.9 percent drivel. This is the other 0.1
Whoah, hold on there. Do you mean regular old laws apply on the Internet now? I'm in big trouble.
So it's come to this. Now we're being ironic ironically.
Pardon my skepticism. I'm fairly certain Ben Affleck's lips move when he read Highlights Magazine.
Extreme sports, extreme dysentery; whatever.
Ah, yet another science article, claiming the greatest breakthrough since campfires, without any math in it.
Consider, if you will, how much education it would require to find yourself dumb enough to be "anti-capitalist." It's like being anti-gravity.
Don't I know it. Preach it, brother. It's getting so I have to skim my pool twice weekly.
Well, there you go. Hope your Saturday goes great, and I trust someday you find the peace and contentment seldom found outside a Nork rice paddy.
Friday, May 2. 2014
When Bird Dog told me he needed a rest, and was heading out to "take the waters," I pictured him going to one of those fancy hotels with lots of ceramic tile on the walls, within sight of the Danube, where all the women speak with a heavy Bavarian accent and they smear you with the local mud. Silly me. Let's get these links out of the way so I can go post Bird Dog's bail. Apparently, to him, "taking the waters" means shoplifting a couple of bottles of Poland Spring and some beef jerky in a convenience store on Staten Island.
Why single out walking? No one has any purpose for much of any activity anymore.
Sure, if you think a profound sense of fairness, coming and going, is "weird."
Yes, I can walk into any operating room in the country and sneeze into some poor sod's open chest cavity if I feel like it. What's your point?
Who says Barry doesn't have a sense of humor? That's hilarious.
The author's confused. Nothing much has changed. Instead of paying a carney in a booth to see the geeks and freaks, you pay a transit worker.
Now what am I going to do with my 43-Man Squamish uniform?
Why do Americans worship the layabout? Bill Gates gets more bad press than street bums ever did.
The modern young urban American seems entirely incapable of dealing with other human beings face to face. This is Exhibit A.
Never mention to these people that none of the Star Wars movies were any good. It upsets them greatly
It's an enormous misappropriation of the word to call software designers "engineers." You're stressed because your stuff doesn't work, you're incompetent, and people notice it from time to time.
God, I hope it's a closed-door session. John Kerry's weird facelift fetish has morphed him from plain old Lurch to full-blown Frankenstein monster.
Young feller got schooled.
There you go. Read all that stuff. It won't make you any dumber, I promise. After I bail out Bird Dog, I'm going to ask him to chain me to an oar on the other side of Maggie's Farm's Trireme. My left bicep needs work.
Thursday, May 1. 2014
Bird Dog needs therapy, so you're stuck with me. I imagine he's
Sounds low. Hell, I wish I could move to Illinois, just so I could move out of Illinois.
Retronym? Hmm. The term the author is looking for most of these terms is "a debasement."
The photographer, and her audience, aren't accustomed to regular people.
I don't know about you, but Ahmad Jamal seems cooler than I am.
The Supreme Court wants to ensure lawyers get paid, coming and going. Duh.
I'm not saying he should have done it. I'm saying I understand.
I got it wrong. I hereby apologize to my cat.
People who can't do much of anything are always astonished that people than can do something can do something else, too.
Take it from me. Entrepreneurism isn't easy, but it's a porcupine, and all the needles face out.
Institutional memory is important.
Lots of things shock the Times -- except shocking things, generally. CEOs get a piece of the action, and talking about it like it's wages is stupid. Me? I just like saying "Marissa Mayer's remuneration" over and over.
What happened to you NASA? You used to be cool.
Install of labeling it, threading it, full-screening it, and adding it Google Hangouts, I just answer my emails. Seems easier.
He and Marion Barry should star in a buddy picture.
Tuesday, February 11. 2014
I know, I know. If you're from New York City and you hear Iowa mentioned, you think it stands for Idiots Out Walking Around. But Maggie's Farmers know the value of a good Farmall driver, and farmers in Iowa can square dance with their tractors. Ain't that America?
Saturday, March 23. 2013
Sunday, February 24. 2013
Just a closer walk with Thee,
Tuesday, November 27. 2012
Fox News is a little behind the curve on this one:
Of course, Maggie's Farm featured the original artwork back in 2009. It's much less offensive and blasphemous and trite than Fox suggests, and it's got a beat and you can dance to it. The seventies had much better music than the 2010s, and we can only dream of Carter-era levels of commerce at this point, but a bunch of sons of the desert dragging Americans out of our embassies really puts me in that nostalgic mood.How about you? Just like old times.
I wonder if Ted Koppel will show up on TV late tonight?
Thursday, November 22. 2012
Tuesday, November 6. 2012
It's been sort of amusing watching people from the right side of the blogosphere weigh in for over a year with political advice for Willard Romney. They'd take a flurry on the pizza guy. Look over there, they'd say! If only Romney was a fat, loudmouthed ex-congressman, smug for no reason, then he'd get somewhere. Yelling RON PAUL! would solve everything. Why doesn't he foam at the mouth like the porcine blowhard from New Jersey? Romney just smiled and kept going. Let's face it: Romney is the Amiable Terminator. He won't stop until he's shaken the hand of every Sarah Connor in the phonebook, and asked each in turn if she needs some canned food to tide her over until payday. Then he goes back to the phonebook and starts in on all the Sarah Connellys.
Romney is a rare thing in American public life. He is what he is. You can see how pleasant, but stiff, he is in that video. He cannot be what he is not, even while his position requires that he mix with people who are not like him. Some might call that good manners. People who have no manners don't recognize good manners in others. They call it standoffishness, or aloofness, or call you a robot for being polite. Many see decency as a kind of accusation. There's no other way to evaluate the Republican response to Romney. They don't know what to make of a decent, earnest person. They were hoping for devious so they could win. The other side does that constantly, why shouldn't we? Romney's not interested. He owes you nothing if he loses. You owe him a lot for him even taking up the cudgels on your behalf. He's successful and happy and politics is bucket of guts to step in for a person like him.
Blog writers are just blog commenters that go first, and they all know what Romney should be doing. They envision the perfect candidate -them. I might point out to these kings of that rock there to this clod of earth under their shoes, that Romney got himself elected Governor of Massachusetts. You're giving political advice to a Mormon Republican who figured out how to be elected governor of Massachusetts.
Romney's detractors on the left aren't worth talking about. Romney and his family could be defamed --and Lord, weren't they -- but there's close to nothing in his personal or public life that isn't above reproach. People are imperfect creatures of course, but every once in a great while you meet people who seem incapable of deliberate misbehavior. The human foibles we are all subject to can be teased into imprecations of malice, but any reasonable person can see there's no there, there in the Oakland of Romney's misdeeds. He's a nice person, a capable and commendable businessman, a competent and genial public administrator, he's married to a nice person, they raised a large crop of nice people together, and so forth.
I come not to praise Romney, nor to bury him in predictions and advice. I'd just like to express my thanks to him, here, where he surely will not see it, for allowing me, once in my life, to vote for an entirely decent, honorable, and capable person to be the chief magistrate of the United States. That has never happened to me before. To me, he cannot lose. America might. It won't be his fault.
It's just gravy that a vote for him is a vote against his opponent, who is, and always has been a malicious, callow, greedy, grasping, low-rent A-hole. I won't even mention it.
Monday, October 15. 2012
Thursday, October 11. 2012
Hey, if you've been hoarding Krugerrands since Nancy Pelosi hove into view, have I got good news for you! Marketwatch says gold's at $17,727 an ounce right now. Think of all the ammo and beans you can buy with a pound or two of your wife's melted jewelry today.
Into each life some rain must fall, though. I wonder what a gallon of gas is going to cost tomorrow now that a barrel of oil is worth $9228. I'd fill up today before they change the signs, if I were you.
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