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
Monday, December 4. 2006
Color-coding in schools? I am agin' it. Nowadays, who cares?
Plus it's getting harder to tell what color anyone is, anyway: everybody is getting mixed skin DNA. For example, what color is Derek Jeter? And do you really care?
In our offices, they are all sorts of Indians, Asians, who knows what? You don't even think about it - they are all humans.
Heck, our own Editor Bird Dog is part Iroquois. Do you care? He is part dog, also (which has helped him get into the best dog schools).
Let's arrange folks by character, energy, brains, talent, discipline, interest, etc. This skin thing has got to go. It is just too stupid.
But I see some libs are still trying to count their Crayolas. Eliott Spitzer, for one. NY Sun. Supreme Court. Good case.
Tuesday, November 28. 2006
Friday, November 17. 2006
Discouraging but not surprising stats about US education at Willisms. Take a look.
It's the same old story: spending does not correlate with results.
What does school spending correlate with? Teacher's union votes.
EDUCATION RESULTS ARE CULTURAL.
Math is too hard - can't the kids do something creative? To develop and express their special selves? And to have fun?
Abe Lincoln learned more in a one-room schoolhouse with a wood fire and a only a Bible to read and a teacher with a paddle than kids do today.
Not even air conditioning!
Most American kids want everything to be easy, and they want work to be nothing more than a short path to a second childhood, called "retirement."
I suppose the new way is just not the old Yankee view of life. Our material comfort and success is biting us in the behind: it is both a blessing and a curse. Perhaps, in time, this lazy approach to life will lead us back, against our will, to our true gritty selves.
Image: a Kansas one-room schoolhouse
Monday, November 13. 2006
As one of those employers who supposedly wants illegals for cheap labor, forget it.
I like legal immigration, but I believe that it is up to the people of the country to decide who comes in, and how they enter, and why.
A nation without a boundary is not a nation. That does not make me a "racist," although I do tend to believe that folks with northern European backgrounds seem to understand American ways, traditions, social habits and values most readily and adapt most easily. But everyone knows that.
But let me ask our readers a simple question: Would you enter a country illegally? And if not, why not?
Illegals are simply taking advantage of us (which probably means they are that sort of people), and of our our soft-heartedness. It's as simple as that. But no good deed goes unpunished.
Here's what happens when you decide to base your new life on breaking the law (data from PoliPundit):
Friday, November 10. 2006
Marine Corps gun fighting rules, from Evangelical Outpost, on the Marine Corp's 231st Birthday:
1. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns.
Image: That's a Marine with an M16A2 5.56 mm rifle
Posted by The Chairman in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 18:04 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, November 8. 2006
Long-time readers of Maggie's know that I am an evil Dem, but not an ideological Dem. My advice to my Repub friends after this lousy day at the polls: 1. Dump your baggage of sleazebags. 2. Find some decent leadership who can communicate: Frist was worthless, as was Hastert. 3. Make a stand on illegal immigration, or Hillary will do it for you 4. Show some interest in regular people - how they live and what they worry about. Don't offer them freebies - offer them cheer, interest and inspiration. 5. Iraq may or may not be a good thing - but it's not the only thing going on. 6. Listen to Mike Pence, below (h/t, NRO):
Election day 2006 will be remembered as a turning point in American political history. Twenty-five years after the Reagan Administration came to Washington with a conservative agenda of limited government, the American people chose a different course.
Wednesday, November 1. 2006
Thespis Journal says:
A quote from a piece in The New York Sun, echoing our views:
Good grief. The "legitimacy of the social order"? Deep waters, there, Teacher's College! I believe we live in a democratic republic already - the most free and most prosperous one ever on the planet, with the greatest opportunities for all.
If those profs think they have a better idea than that, let's hear it - before they inject those ideas into our kids' teachers.
Teaching is a high calling, an art and a skill. And much of teaching requires trying to engage young brains which would naturally prefer to be doing other things. That is often a thankless task, but the emotional rewards are when a kid finally "gets it," and the material rewards are a good pension, long summers, tenure, and better net hourly pay and benefits than most jobs.
Propagandizing with worn-out Marxist notions - left-overs from the 1960s - is a much easier thing to do than to teach kids important and useful information. It's easier on the kids too. They learn quickly to parrot this stuff back, if that's what the teacher wants: kids can be quite cynical and practical about such things.
I know, because I have heard it: "Daaaad, but I know Miss Jones wants us to say this!"
One of these days I will sit down and write what I, as an American citizen (and as an employer of thousands), expect a middle school, a high school, and a college graduate to know.
Friday, October 27. 2006
If this is what you like, vote for a Dem on November 6th: (from And Rightly So)
Wednesday, October 25. 2006
Monday, October 23. 2006
There are two phrases which drive me nuts. One is "root causes," and the other is "The common good."
Expensive consultants have advised the Dems that "the common good" might be a good theme for them. They even imagine that wrapping themselves in a virtuous, John Stuart Mill-sounding cloak could help bring Christians on board.
After all, who is against "the common good"? But there are many ways of looking at the common good. I know what the Dems mean by it: they want to increase dependency on the Federal govt, and therefore on them.
In fact, our Bird Dog wrote on this subject one week ago: Is a nation a family? We can expect more of this "It takes a village" stuff over the next two years, I believe.
As Hillary Clinton now-famously said in 2004: "We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that (tax relief) short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."
From a piece by Zoll in The Christian Post (h/t, News for Christians):
The whole thing here.
Thursday, October 12. 2006
Dartmouth's and Columbia's turn to embarass themselves...plus a word on more Stalinist tactics at UW
Now it's our turn, as more Ivy administrations prove their cultural dhimmitude and abandon the wisdom and experience of their supporters, who live in the real world.
Mind you, I love these two schools, and have degrees from each of them. But you know how most donors feel: "I just dare you to give me an excuse not to give you my time and money."
Let's do Dartmouth first. Joe's Dartblog provides a fine, detailed run-down of the sleazy actions of the antedeluvian administration, and their cohorts, as they seek to castrate their uppity, free-thinking, reality-oriented alumni organizations. The money involved is like a political campaign - which it is. Very disappinting to see an administration declare war against their own alumni. But the tactics will backfire, as they deserve to do.
Next, let's do Columbia - the only College in the US besides the great University of Chicago which can guarantee that a graduate knows certain important things.
At Columbia, the administration seems to happily cave in to the disruptors and the chronically aggrieved. It is pathetic to toss open, civil debate overboard because of noisy juvenile delinquents intimidating people with their politically-correct babble. Brownshirts. Remember courage?
Come on, Pres. Bollinger. Stand for something! If Columbia stands for caving in to the most barbaric and aggressive - then at least admit it.
A new feature of campus Stalinism is discussed - and later mocked - on Althouse. They want UW kids to snitch about a long list of things, including "disrespect." Huh? Manners are fine, but respect is earned: I do not hand out respect like Halloween candy, either. I wonder whether they paid Kim Sung Il to write this code for them.
Wednesday, October 11. 2006
Once again: The once-venerable medical journal is at it again with their pre-American election propaganda. Rick covers it. Truly propaganda masquerading as statistics, dishonest, wrong - and shameful for a medical journal whose name still confers credibility to those unfamiliar with their political agenda.
Tuesday, October 10. 2006
I am, in principle, in favor of a universal draft with service required for every young American boy and girl. I know the Armed Forces would not want all of those short-termers these days, as service has grown more technical and requires training well beyond Basic.
Getting rid of the draft was an insidious, politically-motivated move by Nixon, and, as he cynically predicted, it did largely end the anti-war movement.
So, although I do not have a Plan, I think it's an important concept. Service to the country used to be what all Americans (well, American guys) had in common. Now, there is nothing, other than paying taxes.
This comes up because The News Junkie asked me to comment on a piece by Kim du Toit. A couple of quotes:
A coward? Me? Hell, yes. Read the whole thing. How can we be, as a country, comfortable and guilt-free leaving service to "others"? Freedom is not a free lunch.
Wednesday, October 4. 2006
What is the big deal? Clinton did way worse with his young charges (with the sex IMs too), plus the BJs and all the rest.
Why is this any different?
Can't a good ol' Southern boy have his fun? How is flirting "predation?" Boys will be boys, right? Plus it's his personal life, ya know. And no BJs, as far as we know. Like a friendly uncle.
Oh, it's different because Foley is gay! Gay flirting is predation. As the New New Dems wish to say, the guy is a pervert.
Yes, yet another typical youth-stalking gay pervert. "And you gay Dems in the back row - Shut the hell up. We have an election to win."
This would be a business-as-usual non-story if Foley were a Dem, and he wouldn't have quit, either. I am eagerly awaiting Barney Frank's and the Clinton's view of this story, but they are having too much fun watching the Repubs trip all over themselves - plus there's nothing they can say.
Truly, election time is Silly Season. Wake me up when it's over.
Friday, September 29. 2006
Ya gotta love that argument. It's our fault!
They should be upset. We fight back. That is a surprise? Maybe it is, after Clinton/Albright. Let them die angry. Why not? Allah loves that. Let's make Allah happy!
Hey, Ned Lamont! Let's please Allah! Change your ideas, and let them die. They want it, and need it, badly. Be multicultural, and consider their feelings! Let's give them the deaths they long for. It's a form of "caring," plus it meets their emotional needs.
Thursday, September 28. 2006
Tuesday, September 26. 2006
Thanks to Assistant Village Idiot for pointing out what those lies were that the Hungarians are getting steamed about. Because they are ordinary, everyday political lies, and not specific deceptions.
Here is what Prime Minister Gyurcsany said, as quoted in Brussels Journal:
First in Europe? How about first in history? A vigorous wag of the dog's tail to this guy. Whole piece in Brussels Journal.
Saturday, September 23. 2006
Re-posted from August 11, 2005
Interviewing Morons and Slackers - Hot Tips for Senior College Students, Plus the Glory of Maine
Pardon my rant, but I am fed up. I am heading to Northeast Harbor through Labor Day tomorrow, thank God, to play with my little Hinckley Picnic Boat which I paid (!) someone to drive up there from CT, do a little bluefishing and striper fishing, get my three lobster pots out, play a little or hopefully a lot of tennis, read twenty books, go to a bunch of nice cocktail parties, and bang around the woods with the kids and the grandkids, and do some minor bird-watching, but I have been forced to run through what seems like a hundred educated fools over the past few months, so let me blow off a little steam.
We hire lots of folks every year. All we care about is what you bring to the table. We do not care what sex, color, sexual preference, or anything else that you are (as long as you speak grammatical English including correct use of the subjunctive, which I am a stickler about, and can pass our own patented quick-essay-writing test which I instituted. We give you the topic, and you get 30 minutes to write the most penetrating and knowledgable essay you can. Your one chance to show us what you have under the hood - if we're impressed by it, you will have a great opportunity to prove yourself. If you cannot write adequately under pressure, you cannot think adequately under pressure). We'll also give you an IQ test, but none of those psychological tests. We don't even care where you went to school (provided you had meaningful competition to deal with. Third tier - sorry - we just don't have the time for you no matter how good you might be - you probably paid a lot of money for a second high-school-level education. Time is money, sorry to say, and we are beholden to unforgiving shareholders). We really just care about what you can offer us. We expect a lot, but if we get a lot, we'll compensate you well, and if we are disappointed, you'll be gone in a flash. Period. Everyone is on parole, guilty until proven innocent, useless until proven valuable. That's reality. Assume, at least for your first year or so, that your file will contain abundant negatives. You will deserve them, even if we like you a lot. We do it so we can dismiss you if we decide to, and to educate you, and to motivate you, and because you won't understand what you are doing for a while anyway.
Among the other "delights" of my job is the pleasure of interviewing - I decided this year to personally make final approval for employees for two of our our companies, for new hires mainly over $90,000, bonus not included. These are companies that we are trying to aggressively move forward, and need good people. For my own education, and to assess the cut of their jibs, I took on this chore. (I tend to be partial to quirky, brainy, awkward people who love detail but can readily cut to the core of things. I am repelled by smoothies and I like people who will stand up to me, respectfully, of course - I do not find ass-kissers or flatterers useful, but be warned, because many dumb employers love it. At least this is my feedback from my pal in HR, who speaks to me fearlessly since I depend on his judgement so much, and is my tennis partner at home.) This group included plenty of 2005 graduates, BAs, MBAs, and assorted other degrees. A word to the wise in HR: I hereby do not want to waste my time interviewing anyone who has not taken calculus, statistics, macro- and micro-economics, or pre-med biology, and probably chemistry and preferably a few physics courses.
Why? Because these are the only things left that are certain to demand intellectual rigor, and separate the men from the boys, as it were. I don't care about your grades, and I don't care what your major is - just show me you will tackle difficult things and that you have a problem-solving attitude. We can train you to do anything, if you arrive with the goods: IQ, discipline, strong sense of duty, enjoyment in taking on tough assignments, ability to use harsh criticism, and the right amount of ambition - not so much as to corrupt you, and not so little as to not be motivated. I could be missing some great hires, but I refuse to spend another five minutes of my life with a BS artist, basket-weaving major, "really nice guy" from Brown who can play squash. Nothing against squash. But got better things to do, like striper fishing. Well, I might seriously consider a Fly Fishing Major from Brown...do they have that major yet?
Later, Bird Dog. I am on vacation as of right now.
Thursday, September 21. 2006
A Film Not by Ken Burns. Damn funny, whatever your skin color. You will never see a Ken Burns film the same way, again. Dr. Fingeroot is perfect, and the music is not only perfect, it is real good. YouTube at AlphaPatriot
Posted by The Chairman in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 08:07 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Churchill and Global Warming?
Steve Hayward of The Commons did a speech at the American Political Science Association recently, The Use and Abuse of Churchill in History. (Found it before Powerline linked it, but those guys are SCARY FAST.) Link to the whole speech here, but here is a quote:
Monday, September 18. 2006
We are re-posting this item for three reasons: 1. We can't stand Soros, 2. We added this cute photo from Moonbattery, 3. We have this new youTube video link about Soros calling Bush a Nazi. ...complaining about suppression of speech - on national TV! What a jerk.
May I apply the old expression "If you're so rich, how come you ain't smart"? Well, I think he is smart, but not wise.
Who is this hero of capitalism?
George Soros, born Gyorgy Schwartz in Hungary in 1930, fled the Nazis in youth with his family, and ended up educated at the London School of Economics.
Since his arrival, almost penniless, in the US in 1956, he has become a legend of the hedge fund business. His specialty has been laying siege to currencies. His conviction for insider trading, and other financial wrong-doings, never garnered much negative attention and, indeed, it was peanuts - just the cost of doing aggressive business. His Quantum Fund is, predictably, registered in Curacao, an off-shore tax haven.
Soros' extracurricular activities over recent years have been rightly attracting much attention, as he has become more outspoken in his political views, which tend to be anti-American, pro-world-government, and quasi-socialistic. His preoccupation with drug-legalization is well-known, but his efforts to spread abortion among traditional catholic nations is not.
Besides being outspoken, Soros puts his vast amounts of money where his mouth is. Changing the world into his vision seems to be his life mission. His grandiosity, and his lack of respect for American traditions and principles, seem to be his flaws. There is no question that the man who broke the Bank of England understands markets, but that doesn't make him wise about other subjects.
While his efforts to bend the Democratic Party leftwards over the past few years, through his Move On organization, have been most visible, Soros' money has been active through many other organizations which would not exist without it. Many say that Soros has bought the Democratic Party, and now he wants to buy America. Many are not aware of his role in Amnesty International, in getting support for McCain-Feingold, or of his formation of the Center for American Progress and America Coming Together. And that's just the beginning. What's his role in funding Air America?
As a celebrity investor with billions to spend, he can always get a podium, and he can always find a way to support political goals while by-passing McCain-Feingold via the advocacy organizations he supports. Does he always get a pass from the press? Of course. He is one of the "good rich guys," as opposed to the "evil greedy Republican rich guys." They are in awe of him.
Kincaid called him "the biggest political fat cat of all time."
Horowitz and Poe, in a new book, view Soros as the banker of The Shadow Party.
Atlas is always on Soros' case, unlike the MSM who leave him alone.
Here's a good summary of his NGO activities abroad.
But it's time to make "Soros-supported" a dirty phrase. Someone needs to do an in-depth study, and get the word out, more loudly. I do not have the time, but Discover the Networks doesn't do the job on Soros.
We don't mind his being wealthy, nor do we mind his having opinions. We just want people to know what he wants, and what he is doing, and paying for, behind the scenes.
Image of Soros as Dr. Evil stolen from Moonbattery
(Ignore continuation page below)
Continue reading "Soros wants to buy your brain, The Shadow Party, and other things"
Tuesday, September 12. 2006
It is difficult not to dwell on the meaning of 9-11 this week. As a guy who works in NYC (but was in Maine on that date), it hit very close to home. Here are some of my current thoughts, in corporate, bullet-point form:
1. Islam is a dangerous religion to non-Moslems. Unlike Christianity, which is commanded to spread the good news via example and preaching, Islam is commanded to spread their word via submission or death. Westernized Moslems reject that notion, but many no more wish to be Westernized than I wish to be, or my nation to be, Moslemized. "Tolerance of differences" is not in their lexicon.
2. America is only one of many targets of world-wide jihad. When we try to understand it in terms of America and the West, we miss the point. That view is too self-centered. They have many other targets, all around the Moslem perimeter.
3. Traditional Islamic culture is not compatible with Western, democratic, Judeo-Christian culture. Oil and water. Either one, or the other, must compromise its culture to live in the same place.
4. The world bears the US little good will. Not because of what we do, but because of what we are. There is envy, condescension, schadenfreude, and some fear. But they are wrong about us. We are decent, and we will leave you alone if you leave us alone. We can't help it if we're lucky, ambitious, free-thinking, and hard-working, and we need not apologize for that.
5. The Moslem migrational invasion of Europe is a catastrophe for Europe, politically, demographically, and culturally. It seems that when they enter a nation in large enough numbers, they demand that their generous host adjust to them, rather than vice versa. There is no visible gratitude - only demands and threats. So why do they leave home? Why?
6. Traditional Islam feels threatened by Western ideas, ideals, behavior, and freedoms. The less isolated and insulated they are, the more they realize that they are a cultural island, stuck in an ancient past. The world is shrinking, and the more they encounter of the West, the more they freak out, and want to strike out. No doubt they love their traditions and their ways as much as we love ours. Fine, if you don't mind living in the 13th century. But you may not impose them on us.
7. The Bush administration over-estimates the dangerousness of Jihad. However, he, or any President, must do that, politically, because the next 200 or 3000 or 100,000 Americans who are killed by Jihadists will be the responsibility of whoever is in charge. Protection is the first job of the federal government, and bringing the fight to our attackers is not a bad plan.
8. The Left wishes to minimize the danger. Not all of us Dems, but some Dems, and the Lefty fringe. Why? Because they do not love their country and its traditions. Simple.
9. The anti-war folks are not anti-war. They do not mind others waging war, only the US. They are therefore simply part of #8, above: so secure in their comforts and safety that they refuse to take danger seriously - or maybe even welcome some, to mess things up.
10. Of course the Jihadists hate the Western liberation of Iraq from a barbaric tyranny. Political freedom poses a serious threat, and the collapse of Saddam was a humiliating blow. Political freedom in the heart of the middle-east is probably something even the Saudis find discouraging. It is alien, and threatening to the old ways. Another intrusion of "modern" ideas, just like all of the satellite dishes in Iran that Ahmadinejad has been destroying. I suspect that the people of such nations as Iraq and Iran are far ahead of their "leaders."
11. Israel is a scapegoat. Islamist politicians and mullahs get some mileage out of being anti-semitic, but the problem is that tiny Israel with its tiny population is an affront to them - economically, religiously, and politically. However, if you gave Israel to the Palestinians today, in six months it would be a dump like they made of Gaza.
Tuesday, September 5. 2006
Jeff says it more succinctly and precisely than I can:
Thursday, August 31. 2006
The Anchoress sums up all of our thoughts about the press, with an admirably restrained indignation.
I cannot add anything to this piece. Read the whole thing.