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, August 28. 2006
Re-posted from September, 2005 (it seemed to be on topic)
A Sentry Gun
Is this cool? Website here. HT, Ace of Spades.
Put a couple of these
And plenty of raccoon, too, which, if marinated properly, is great on the grill if you can conjure up the right red-neck attitude. Plenty of rosemary and garlic.
The only thing more
Israel could use a few thousand of these, along their border. A good border perimeter tool.
Posted by The Chairman in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 09:23 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, August 21. 2006
I would say that the sentiments expressed in this Barone piece explain, in large part, why Maggie's Farm exists. We are sick of this crap, as is Barone. One quote:
He writes gooder than any of us. Read it all.
Thursday, August 10. 2006
Statement from CAIR today h/t, Atlas):
Ya never know what those Dubuque grannys might be carrying on their trip to Altanta to visit the grandkids. Am I retarded? Check the Moslems, and leave my granny alone. We might be stupid, but we aren't insane.
Wednesday, August 9. 2006
Churches that give you what you want, not what you need. A guide for the cineplexed, at Touchstone. Is marketing a church mission? Wish I knew.
Jonathan Edwards' "Blank Bible" for sale. Could be mighty interesting - it contains all of his Bible notes.
Monday, August 7. 2006
Photo from the Hudson Highlands, looking down at the Hudson, just north of West Point, yesterday. (Not photo-shopped. All I know about photos is how to push the little button.)
Posted by The Chairman in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:52 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Revisited the sculptures at Storm King Art Center yesterday, up in the Hudson Highlands.
Mrs. Chairman remarked that "Isn't it funny how often, when people talk about abstract art, they tend to translate it into metaphors about representation - and when they talk about representational art, they talk in terms of line and shape and flow and abstract form and dynamics?"
This is one of their Calders, about 30-40' high:
Posted by The Chairman in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:52 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, August 4. 2006
VDH's latest on the War, in NRO -a quote:
Tuesday, August 1. 2006
A few interesting pieces:
First, from this new piece by Jimmy Carter, a man who has always been in utter denial of evil and detructiveness in the world and the easiest con target on earth. He blames the war on Bush (wasn't it great the way the "Peace Process" worked before Bush?):
All I can say is this: if these terrorist guys were calm, rational, and humane, the problem would have been solved by Jimmy Carter himself - if not by Nixon. No need to read it all - the guy is in LalaLand. He had his chance, and he kissed Yasir Arafat. Decades later, he still wants to drop love bombs.
Second, Tracinski at RCP, asks "If the Iranian strategy is so clear, why can't we deal with it?" Damn good question.
Third, a quote from Dershowitz in The Front Page:
For salt-water flyfishing, everyone says the Seychelles are the best. Miles of flats, and no fishermen.
It's a bit of a trip, but Frontiers can arrange it all for you.
(This is a free advt. for our friends at Frontiers.)
Friday, July 28. 2006
The Mainline Churches are still crazy: Listened to "Imagine" one too many times while stoned in college or seminary
The anti-Israel and anti-American trend of the mainline churches continues apace. In a disturbingly lock-step manner support for Hezbollah and the Palestinian terrorists flows out of these churches, as listed here, with their recent statements, in Camera. And let's not forget the loony tendencies of the dying Anglicans.
Dr. Bliss wrote about the phenomenon here. The co-opting of the churches (along with all sorts of non-profit orgs) has been going on since the late 60s, but it hasn't run its course yet. (We recently discussed the WCC here.) In the meantime, more people are attending livelier churches with more conservative approaches to life and politics.
Why is this a Left-Right issue? Beats me. I've read lots of explanations, but none of them seem to stick. Heck, Israel is basically a socialist country, while the Arab countries are paleo-capitalist and paleo-everything else. The only clue I have is that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." And America is their enemy, for some reason and, of course, Israel is just an American military outpost.
Or it could be that these ministers and priests listened to John Lennon too many times:
Imagine there's no heaven
Maybe we should broadcast this song to the Palis and the Hezzies and Ahmadinejad and Osama 24 hrs/day - it is a good tune, but the lyrics are those of a wealthy, drug-addled infant. I tried to satirize this song once, but it satirizes itself too well.
Wednesday, July 26. 2006
Joe on the Trilemma and Thomas Jefferson:
Whole thing here. Good comments.
Tuesday, July 25. 2006
Sunday, July 16. 2006
Even a half-man would hit the jerk on the head with their camera and leave their brains on the floor. Or, at least, not return from this photo-op alive - but with honor intact.
These guys are a source of shame for all Americans, today - and every day. What would you - or I - do? I would GPS the address and call in air support - before I got there, of course. Lose a photo - save a life.
This is The End, for the NYT. Full story, with details on Pinch "Let the American die" Sulzberger, and photos here.
Friday, July 7. 2006
There always seemed to me to be a contradiction to have small-government conservatives and libertarians in positions of power, because ideologically they supposedly dislike and distrust government power - especially Federal power.
Even Reagan was unable to get rid of the Dept of Education, which has no reason for existence as far as I can tell other than to announce, in FDR-style, "We care; we try," but of course at our expense, so we end up paying dearly for the BS that is fed to us. And I am a Dem, but not a Lib. I do not dislike George Bush - in fact, I sort of like his casual style. But he is neither a Repub nor a Dem - he's our Pres. - not an easy job, with the full force of the Lefty press against him and with plenty of big-mouths getting angry about every single decision the guy makes. He is only human.
The wacko Left, who damage us Dems badly, try to deify every Dem president, like the Romans did. False gods. Wrong approach for free-thinking Americans. Our pols, like most pols, are egomaniac smoothies with nothing better to do, or nothing else they can do. That's the deal. There is One God, and I hope He can find humor in some of our preoccupations.
Both Bush administrations disappointed conservatives deeply, not because they are tricksters, but because politics and governance seem to require at least the illusion of a "can do" Federal govt. And, since FDR, Americans have learned to look to Washington to "fix it," or at least to look as if they are trying. They (we) will never un-learn this, since it is built into human nature to lean on power for help and protection while, as Dr. Bliss has taught us, striving for personal goals and independence.
In democracies, where people can vote themselves free stuff - something the Founders never imagined in their wildest dreams because their culture of the time could not have imagined such weakness of spirit existing in a free new world of boundless, classless opportunity and freedom to own property - conservatives are at a disadvantage, whether "good govt" Dem conservatives like me, or conservative Repubs. Thus Buckley's conservatism "stands athwart history, yelling Stop..."
Boston College Political Science Prof. Alan Wolfe has written a piece, Why Conservatives Can't Govern. It is an over-heated, hyperbolic, and fact-twisting anti-Bush rant (for just one example, he makes it sound as if K Street were a Repub thing - it's not. K Street just follows the influence - they don't care who it is) rather than a calm, thoughtful essay, but he does have some good points. A quote:
Despite the partisanship and erroneous rhetoric, there is a point or two in this piece. What he omits is that the Liberals do no better - or worse.
(Clinton, and his abandoned wife, are, in my opinion, left-tilting, amoral pragmatists for whom power, money, and self-importance is the goal, not ideolology. Both have more cojones than they have wisdom, and not only am I smarter than they are, but they couldn't run the businesses I run for five minutes. Truman, at least, ran a haberdashery.)
I do believe that if our Liberal Dems had full power, the US would be a train wreck like France. (I have yet to see the Liberal "world-class boeuf bourguignon." World-class things - like great restaurants - are produced in the private sector.) But I will not donate the time to refute every Lefty talking point in this piece - just see if you can find the good stuff in it.
Which is more foolish: Antagonism towards government, or faith in government?
Wednesday, July 5. 2006
We have been rough on the New York Times since Maggie's Farm opened for business. I think it is because many of us grew up with this newspaper, and had come to rely on her.
But she done us wrong.
Things have changed, since Pinch took over. So many feel betrayed, and played for fools. And have cancelled, despite missing much of their unobjectionable, good, well-written material on non-political matters.
We, and others, have caught them many times with their pants down, but now they are caught dead to rights: Powerline
It's a damn shame that they chose this route.
If you have an opinion, send it to the public editor at firstname.lastname@example.org, but do not expect any satisfaction. They have already drunk the kool-aid, and have left objectivity far in the past, with Abe Rosenfeld. Now, they are not only flagrantly partisan, but dishonest and anti-American.
You might almost think they were French, but, God knows, they might take that as a compliment.
Tuesday, July 4. 2006
Rhode Island's multi-talented George M Cohan sent the following letter to a show biz paper on July 4, 1906 (borrowed from a Steyn piece):
Posted by The Chairman in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 06:04 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, June 28. 2006
Repost: originally posted on Oct 19, 2005
From piece by Zinsmeister at The American Enterprise:
Asked which countries are the biggest threat to world peace, Europeans name the U.S as often as North Korea and Iran (each are picked by 53 percent). Countries characterized by Euros as less menacing than the U.S. include Syria, Iraq, Russia, China, Afghanistan, Libya. As one American living in Britain, Anglican minister Dwight Longenecker, summarizes: "Our cultural ancestors have become unrecognizable, even hostile, to us."
Tuesday, June 27. 2006
I'd like to acknowledge whoever linked to this piece, but
Take a look, and see how they did, or are doing. Looks like their goals are doing just fine.
Saturday, June 24. 2006
Diana West's Deluded America in the Wash. Times echoes our Run Away post this week (scroll down). I notice Powerline thought this was good, too. A quote:
Read the whole thing.
Friday, June 23. 2006
Lieut. Watada refuses deployment. This is a very serious matter, of course. The Lieut. surely would not be pleased when his team refused his orders on the battlefield. And he will not be pleased with the consequences of disobedience - just like any job, but in this case, more severe.
If this guy is so much smarter and wiser than his commanders, then why is he not a professor at West Point?
"Obedience to lawful authority is the foundation of manly character." - Gen. Robert E. Lee
War is a very good way to separate the men from the boys.
Thursday, June 22. 2006
So we did find hundreds of chemical WMDs in Iraq, BUT....
- they aren't new
...and so it goes on. The US is always wrong. Oh, and there are no terrorists in Iraq.
Sunday, June 18. 2006
It's tough to be a Dem these days, because Bush has squeezed us/them out of the center.
As they drift, or are squeezed, Leftward, they alienate voters both on the "social" issues and on defense. (Don't ask me what I mean by "leftward," since much of it isn't really "Left:" there is nothing intrinsically Left about Jihad-denial, for example.)
Or is there? Our bred-in-the-bone Repub Mrs. Chairman feels that it is always a tactical imperative of the Left to disparage the US, because they have an agenda of social change. Thus anything that smells of nationalism, patriotism, pride, or which focuses on external rather than internal evils, delays the movement towards their quasi-socialist agenda, which can only be based on the "What's wrong with America?" question. For the country that everyone in the world wants to come to, and to be like, it is a bit odd. When we Dems begin standing up for America, and abandon socialism, we can begin winning national elections again.
Most honest people who take risks to come here, and do so legally, want economic and political and personal freedom, not hand-outs, and not an easy lfe. Indeed, it is remarkable to what extent the Dems no longer tout the US as the bastion of individual freedom, opportunity, and good values, the way JFK always did. (Mrs. Chairman is smarter than me, but she will not blog.)
We need two lively parties to make a good game of "Capture the Flag." In the end, the struggle is always for the non-ideological "center," (which has always been fairly conservative outside of the MSM, academia, union loyalists, California, and New England/New York, and the ridiculously wealthy for whom redistributional taxes are no concern), but which has slowly drifted "rightward" - I think mainly in reaction to the alarming "Leftward" drift of the Dems since JFK - and the high visibility of their irrational and often wackily colorful fringe elements and "lens lice," as Curtis Sliwa terms them.
That "Leftward" drift is a major political error, especially in a time when the rest of the decadent and spoiled Western World is so visibly and desperately trying to undo their socialist errors of the past. I call it "trying to take candy from babies." You get a lot of "boo hoo hoo" from the dependency voters - but they are not the centrist voters the Dems need. Nor are the Mexican illegals. Shameful. We (yes) Dems should be a proud patriotic party - not sycophants and ass-kissers and vote-buyers for whoever wants a free ride on somebody else's nickel and effort.
And we should be the party of JFK and Truman - not limp surrenderists but tough against threat, and tough administrators at home. Not socialist - but helping to spread opportunity. Not negative - cheerful. Not hateful - appreciative and respectful - normal. I have little respect for JFK as a person, but as a politican, the guy was damn good for an amateur rich kid. In Vietnam, we all failed his vision of freedom. I was there, opposing desperate totalitarian Marxist loonies. But we were undercut by our surrenderist Marxist "hate America" loonies at home, and it has taken Vietnam many years, many deaths, much sorrow - to finally come around.
I should remind our readers that I worked for JFK's campaign, and made my mother come with me to drive an hour to the Bridgeport, CT train station to hear him on a campaign stop. I remember how red his hair was, in the sun, and how my Mom, and the other ladies, all said "He's so young and handsome." He was elected by women (if he was, in fact, elected: Daly had quite a powerful dead-voter Chicago scam going then, and I remember how he proudly "guaranteed" Illinois - "whatever it takes." I confess, at the time, I thought that was pretty cool. Not now, not funny.).
If anyone recalls, JFK "won" that election by appearing stronger on defense and anti-Soviet, and just as conservative and Federal tax-cutting, as Nixon - who won the guy vote. Yes, I remain a Dem - Bird Dog calls me a limo liberal - but I am not a liberal. I just want my party to give me candidates that I can vote for. Why still a Dem? Don't ask: it is personal.
Well, want I want to do is to direct you to an excellent and thoughtful piece by Shulman at American Future on the struggles going on in the Dem party. It deserves to be an op-ed in the NYT, along with another must-read which Shulman links - Beinart's piece A Fighting Faith in the always-interesting New Republic.
Thursday, June 15. 2006
What do you do if you own a hedge fund, and your ship comes in? Well, if you have no taste, no modesty, and no sense of proportion, you build a 35,000 square-foot palace in Greenwich. (No, I am not envious: these places are about as homey as Versailles - I just find this sort of thing to be an embarassment. The money they make is fine with me - they earn it.) Greenwich is not a Yankee-style town. Piece in Vanity Fair.
Speaking of hedge funds, if you have any interest, Barton Biggs' Hedgehogging is a good, quick, entertaining inside look at this new world of high-risk, high-reward investing.
As India and China crawl out from under the rock of their socialist ideas, they are beginning to rock the world. In time, the rest of Asia will follow. The old European/American Left and the old European-American Greenies are beginning to get it, but very slowly. The Berlin Wall fell in the 1980s.
As Capitalism, and hence individual freedom, goes global, the old social planning ideas are obsolete, and the massive state welfare systems destroy the human spirit. They do not work and do not matter. Thus Old Europe is slowly become a museum area, like Thailand used to be.
Perfect case in point - we will not drill for oil off the coast of Florida, but China will. Economics drive the world, and free-market economics drive freedom - eventually. Why? Because people in government are not as smart as markets. They have the guns, but they cannot control markets for long.
Markets are not God, but markets rule human economic interactions. Markets are facinating things, amoral, enormously powerful, but completely reflective of human interests.
I recently heard from a radiologist friend that his hospital has begun outsourcing their radiology to India on an experimental basis. In India, they have MDs working around the clock, for $20 US per hour, reading emailed American x-rays and CAT scans. They provide instant readings. Our guys make at least $500-1000/hour reading these images in their own good time. In a few years, our guys will be out of work or retired, but the new graduates here are doing Interventional Radiology, which requires a human presence. That is markets.
The Left of America just doesn't get it, and they would drag us down into the economic dark ages like Old Europe if they had the power. Socialism is dead. It is time to compete, and the era of decadent, self-satisfied and self-indulgent Euro-American supremacy is passing. It is time to use our brains again.
Image: MRI of someone's head, with a brain inside
Tuesday, June 13. 2006
We have plenty of beefs with George Bush (his open-borders idea, and his big-government country-club liberal Republicanism), but his persistence against Islamist Jihad is not one of them.
He secretly arrived at the Green Zone today, bless his heart. Good politics, too.
He is no Charles Martel, but we are re-fighting the Battle of Tours, today. I have not a single doubt that we are, or that they would happily kill you or me, with a dull knife, given half a chance - just for existing. Who needs more proof of that?
As John points out, a Mr. Rogers foreign policy is not the solution! And I have never been able to understand the Left's apologetics, if not sympathy, for the Jihadists, who are woman-hating, gay-killing, oil-intoxicated, religiously fanatical, theocratic, primitive-capitalist, Christian- and Jew-hating stone-age ignorant murderers. Except that they hate Amerikkkka too. No, being "nicer" to them doesn't seem to work too well, nor does being "liberal." They have contempt for that kind of simpy weakness. Clinton and Albright tried it, and it only encouraged them. The Jihadists are as liberal and as multicultural as Atilla the Hun, and as conniving as a rug dealer. The world is not a nursery school.
Politics makes strange burkha-fellows.
Image: The (first) Battle of Poitiers (732), with Charles Martel, mounted, leading the fight against Abdul Rahman al Ghafiqi, in the heart of France. If you want to invade a country nowadays, LEAVE YOUR GUNS BEHIND - just ask the Moslems, or the Mexicans, for advice on manipulating the nursery-school teacher-politicians: they are easy, and they go down as quick as a prom dress on a warm June evening in the shrubbery beside somebody's pool in East Hampton.