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, November 23. 2015
Sunday, November 22. 2015
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:58 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Intellectuals called him "a people-pleasing boor." In his bicentennial year, the long-overshadowed novelist finally gets his due.
Overshadowed by Dickens, of course, who was a consummate people-pleaser. Was, and is.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:25 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, November 20. 2015
For charming relaxed long-weekend getaways, it's Bermuda for people on the east coast.
Bermuda is nearby and a cheap, quick flight, is warmed by the Gulf Stream, is surrounded by wonderful coral reefs, and remains entirely British in custom and manner. There is world-class golf year-round, but in spring and fall it's perfect for everything - snorkeling, rent a whaler, tennis, motorbiking and exploring. It's not just for honeymooners and sailors. Dark and Stormys, Bermuda Fish Chowder, baked Grouper. Good stuff. Not to mention the location of The Tempest.
A marriage needs a little Bermuda sometimes.
Maggie's Farmers like Cambridge Beaches. It is understated, modest, traditional, and where the Brit royals have always stayed. Yes, you dress for dinner. It's not your Caribbean or your Hawaii.
Thursday, November 19. 2015
Every person's list will vary due to geographical, climatological, financial, and cultural matters, but I think it's a good topic to think about, especially for parents.
Regardless of their genitalia or gender identification, what are the basic life skills you want/wanted your kids to attain before they are/were kicked out of the nest and sent on their way in life?
I'll begin with my How To list which is probably somewhat New England-oriented (my partial list, as an example), How To:
Ride, handle, and care for a horse, ski, sail a boat and handle a powerboat in rough weather, ride a bike, handle all types of firearms, catch and clean a fish, train and handle a dog, change a tire, drive a tractor, tap a Sugar Maple, swim, golf, play tennis, play some team sports, throw every kind of ball, tie knots, play some card games, play an instrument, split wood, identify basic local birds, trees, and animals, go to church, exercise daily, basic cooking, try every sort of new food, perfect table manners and social conversation, dress appropriately to occasion, write a thank-you note and a condolence note, deliver a brief speech to a crowd, make a garden, pay attention to geography and geology, cement a post, use basic tools (and chain saws for boys), do laundry, clean a house, start a fire, tell a story without boring the listener, drive a stick shift, and, not least, travel internationally with confidence.
Put your ideas about basic life skills in the comments, please.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:46 | Comments (25) | Trackbacks (0)
Probably not. What they excel at is attracting higher percentages of talented kids.
the elite colleges really any better? (education sentences to ponder) -
See more at:
the elite colleges really any better? (education sentences to ponder) -
See more at:
Wednesday, November 18. 2015
An interesting topic. There is no doubt that schools are there to do the things that parents are not equipped to do or might not have time to do: acculturation, academic skills, some practical skills. Foundations for life.
Tyler says Education is about self-acculturation.
Education is about self-acculturation.
Those old-time pensions are a thing of the past, except for some government employees.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:00 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, November 15. 2015
A repost -
Some readers may remember when that was a bumpersticker. (It's on the same order as Bird Dog's old school football cheer: "Repel them, repel them; make them relinquish the ball.")
It is a theme on this blog to think about the things that people hold most dear and the things they hold to be sacred. I tend to judge such things based on people's behavior, not on what they say. I tend to believe that God should come foremost in my life, but I can be a hypocrite at times.
Karl Reitz at TCS looks at secular religions - systems of belief which can play as strong a role in shaping people's lives as loving God can for the religious. His piece is consistent with several things we have written over the past week or two. A key quote from An atheist's defence of religion:
As I wrote earlier this week:
There are two utopias - the womb, and Heaven (if you can get there before they close the door). Life is bracketed by utopias, but in between we must toil and strain and sometimes suffer. It's "the way things are", as the mice say.
Bliss and ease are only momentary during this brief spell on earth, and it has something to do with how reality was built. Specifically, I think it has to do with finiteness, limits, and scarcity - of just about everything, and not just of material things. I know only about four things that do not fit that: air, a dog's love, God's love...and blogs. No scarcity of good blogs.
Mitchell's translation is astonishingly poetic and powerful, and his commentary is excellent. I can not recommend the (short) book more highly.
As a commenter says, "...he deals with the so-called "problem of evil" by simply dissolving it."
Saturday, November 14. 2015
Thinking by post: Isaiah Berlin's letters reveal how his ideas still hold relevance - One of the great liberal thinkers of the post-war period, Affirming: Letters 1975-97 makes clear the continuing relevance of Berlin's thought.
Berlin is an inspiration.
Friday, November 13. 2015
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:51 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
A whike ago I referred to "the tragic view of life" (as opposed to the utopian) in Social problems without solutions and the police state.
Thursday, November 12. 2015
The social justice warriors (known now as SJW) have a big problem with how you think and how you talk. Even one or two of them can express "outrage" or feign feeling traumatized, and then you become controversial in the press.
It should all be funny, but it's not funny because you could lose your job. Freedom of speech does not protect your job - even in academia. People tiptoe around the office as if in an Orwellian world, and nobody says what they really think.
So my query to readers is this: What are the thought crimes today which could get you in trouble?
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:54 | Comments (13) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, November 11. 2015
However, scientists are human, live in a given culture of knowledge and assumptions, and become attached to their ideas. Nobody wants to see his pet theory, worked on for 15 years, blown away by fresh data.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:16 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, November 10. 2015
Monday, November 9. 2015
The American death tax is a terrible thing. It doesn't apply to most working class people who slide their possessions past the tax man - and the very wealthy avoid it, but it kills families with savings, large farms or family businesses which have appreciated over time. For a recent example of how the wealthy deal with it, Estate Taxes And the (Clinton) Family Business.
One might think that American policy-makers would want more independent families, building up businesses and assets, but no. Only the filthy rich can afford to do that. Death tax drives Dems to dementia
Who is "we", Kemosabe? Oh, it's me. I have no problem with loans for cars, houses, boats, school, or anything else. Government-subsidized loans? No. Not necessary and distorts the price structure the same way mortgage interest deductions do.
Sunday, November 8. 2015
If you love the ocean, and if you like good deals, Holland-America offers deals on their repositioning voyages. I highly recommend the trans-Atlantic. Spend 2 days in London or Paris, and then fly home. It's all about being at sea, watching the ocean and the birds and the whales, and being served hot drinks on the deck chairs. Repositioning Cruises
Also, very good deals with very good service via Travel with Alan
Also, large discounts from the best hotels: Amoma.com
(You also can use Trivago.com, which will display Amoma results.)
Thursday, November 5. 2015
See this video?
Not from the Onion, but from Veritas. Sheesh. Maybe they should hand out those smart pills, because the Stupid Pills are not doing any good.
Did time begin at that instant, so that there was no time or space "before"? Or are space and time human constructs? Of course they are. Humans have been making up our understanding of the universe forever. We are wired to do that although we know that it is all beyond our comprehension and our feeble animal senses.
Good fun to contemplate, especially with medical marijuana: Video discussion at Aeon.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:11 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, November 4. 2015
Monday, November 2. 2015
One thing that stood out to me was the arrogance of the academics quoted. Like this:
I think Herman Melvlle, Mark Twain, and even Bob Dylan might dispute that.
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