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, October 20. 2014
Danielle Henderson spent six years and $60,000 on college and beyond. The effects of that education? Not as advertised.
What was advertised?
Friday, October 17. 2014
An academic resume may matter socially, but after your first job it doesn't matter much for career. We wish strongly to believe that an elite "education" provides a foundation for more life enrichment and a dream-fulfilling career, but as time goes by I have my doubts. If you really care about intellectual enrichment, the Great Courses is all anybody needs.
Thursday, October 16. 2014
The "Gentleman's A" harms students in the end. Here's what he says:
Those As in the liberal arts used to be expensive, but now you can get them anywhere. That's why it matters to do math and physics - to show what you really have under the hood.
Monday, October 13. 2014
Friday, October 10. 2014
Thursday, October 9. 2014
The wedding industry suggests spending a ton of cash on a ring and
ceremony for marital bliss. Some economists looked into it and say it's
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:50 | Comments (7) | Trackback (1)
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:31 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, October 3. 2014
Thursday, October 2. 2014
Wednesday, October 1. 2014
I was recently driving from New Haven to Boston and picked up the first hitchhiker I've seen in quite a while. He was hitching to Augusta, Maine, a Navy guy on leave.
I asked him why he did it. He told me had hitched since his early teens, and just liked it. I told him I used to hitch all over the Northeast, mostly going to see gals. Nobody gave me use of a car when I turned 16, or even when I graduated from college.
It seems to me that hitchhiking in the Northeast is a disappearing tradition. Too bad - it was a good thing, always interesting, but maybe that was a more innocent era.
Seen any lately? Given any a ride?
Monday, September 29. 2014
Sunday, September 28. 2014
At least in the northern climes, it's the last chance to aerate or plug, overseed, and fertilize if you want a half-decent "grass garden" which is suitable for walking and dog abuse. As I always say, lawn grass is a garden. It's not natural, and needs care just like any garden. Lawns benefit a great deal from fall fertilizing. If lawns are walked on at all, they require aerating. It's not a rug. If you have a small lawn, you can do that by hand with a hand aerator or a spade: stick it in, wiggle it, and pull it out.
A Spring or Fall aeration or plugging, a Fall overseeding, and three fertilizations per year ought to be good enough for any grass lawn, with or without irrigation but using a mulching mower. Readers know that I top-dress in Spring, but it might not be necessary for everybody. I like doing it.
(The only purpose of irrigation is to make a lawn green when it doesn't want to be green. It's fine for ahow, but spray paint might be cheaper.)
I advise doing those chores all at once. Do it now, and if you have a crabgrass problem, you can deal with it in the Spring with crabgrass-preventer. (You can't overseed and use crabgrass-preventer at the same time because the weed-preventer will prevent germination of your grass seed.)
Best, most logical plan? Minimize your lawn and grow lots of trees and shrubs, and mulch the heck out of them. It's a shame that the "gracious lawn" became the American Way, as if our little 1-2-acre plots were English estates. Heck, all anybody needs is room for Croquet and Badminton, some walking paths and maybe a cool little putting green, but the American lawn has become the expected standard.
Friday, September 26. 2014
I am more from the William F. Buckley Jr school:
The regulation-maniacs assume, of course, that we common folk have no sense, no information, and few morals, and constantly need their guidance, rules, and laws. Most of them, I suspect, have minimal contact with us regular folks.
How foolish and depraved are people anyway? We are told that we are an irrational tangle of biases, to be nudged any which way. Does this claim stand to reason?
It's an interesting article. I have always figured that humans are partly and sometimes rational and practical, often emotional, frequently uninformed or misinformed, etc. etc. I feel the same way about the regulators who seem to me to be irrationally obsessed with the idea of controlling others to try to make the world fit their fantasies. I'm sure Psychiatry has a term for that tendency. After all those who like to regulate are heir to the same human foibles and temptations as everybody else. Just more grandiose in their self-esteem and less humble and self-doubting.
Sunstein seems, currently, to be preoccupied by digital regulation.
I wish people like him would worry more about their own lives, and leave me alone.
Wednesday, September 24. 2014
Tuesday, September 23. 2014
Monday, September 22. 2014
Why Girls Tend to Get Better Grades Than Boys Do - New research shows that girls are ahead in every subject,
Does this question require research? Anybody who has ever sat in a classroom knows why.
Thursday, September 18. 2014
Our post on tipping the other day raised the issue. As Christmas season is quickly approaching, I reviewed in my mind all the people to whom I give gratuities (ie material Thank Yous) at Christmastime, and throughout the year.
- our two garbagemen - $50 each before Christmas - horrible job, hard work,
I believe that I am pretty much in the mainstream on this. I am missing a few on that list, can't remember them all.
What do you do?
Tuesday, September 16. 2014
Fascinating vid there from Prof. Hamburger. "Absolute power still thrives on the Continent."
Monday, September 15. 2014
Friday, September 12. 2014
Thursday, September 11. 2014
The Trouble With Harvar
Fine essay, with lots of content. One quote:
Monday, September 8. 2014
Interestingly to me, it's similar to how I dress today, and I was not even alive in 1948.
In 1948, college students believed that they were adults. Many had already been to war and were glad to get into sharp civvies and maybe meet a horny gal at a college tea.
What's the matter with the kids today?!?
Tuesday, September 2. 2014
You like to read serious books. You like to think about them, and to write essays about them. Should you be a literature major in college? Or just read the canon on your own, along with some of the classic critics?
Or, if you enjoy eloquent instruction and guidance, why not just take a Great Courses on Literature? They are wonderful, and the price (and probably the high quality) cannot compare with college.
Sometimes we forget that fiction is written mainly for entertainment and stimulation, whatever its depth or quality, refinement or sophistication. Same goes for music and visual and performing arts.
The English major has lost its way; here is a path back.
Monday, September 1. 2014
Some people (especially Leftists) bemoan how hard Americans work. Boo hoo.
They say Europeans have more leisure time. How's that working out for them? More time to drink in cafes? More time to wear thongs on the beach in Ibiza?
I always relate to farmers, other entrepreneurs, and self-employed people. We are on the job constantly, partly out of ambition, partly for survival, partly out of interest.
I am essentially self-employed, but of counsel for a law firm. I work around 55 hours/week, but only bill around 40. I'm not greedy. When I sit by the stream with a cigar and a scotch, I often think about knotty cases. It's fun.
How many hours do you work at remunerative work? If it's less than 50, you ain't really working.
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