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, March 2. 2015
From the article:
Indeed. How long did many gullible people avoided eating eggs and beef when it's been clear for over a decade that the idea was nonsense? People didn't get the message that the cholesterol fuss was just myth.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:29 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, March 1. 2015
Do they hate them? I'm not sure about that. However, the point is that They’re Smart and Successful
It's become difficult to view far-east Asian immigrants as underdogs.
Yummy, quick, cheap and easy for an early winter supper. Best with pancetta, but bacon will do in a pinch. Thin spaghetti, please, always, and more ground pepper than you think. Maybe linguine instead of spaghetti is ok.
Tyler shows you how.
It's sort of a Southern Italian version of bacon and eggs, also good for a 3 am meal after bar-hopping and flirting all night.
But the classic for that purpose is Whore's Spaghetti, the highly-flavored Spaghetti Puttanesca. Capers, olives, and anchovies. White anchovies in jars or fresh, not the disgusting brown ones in tins.
Saturday, February 28. 2015
A good organization: Maine's Chewonki
They might be a bit too Greenie, but mainly outdoor-oriented. All sorts of (affordable) programs for kids and adults. They even have useful wilderness medicine programs.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:09 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, February 26. 2015
Napolitano: What if the government fears freedom? What if Bush and Obama have been wrong about the priority of their constitutional duties as president?
Don't all governments fear freedom? Power, unlike money or sex, is a zero-sum game.
Monday, February 23. 2015
Government regs always disadvantage the little guys. That's why the bigs guys don't mind too much.
A case: The Big Banks
A better example: Sheri's Ranch Versus Sugar Babies
Sunday, February 22. 2015
"... where did the Magnum come from? Again, it was Doug Wesson who made the call. The Major was a renowned connoisseur of fine champagne, and in the vintner’s world the term “magnum” refers to a slightly larger than standard bottle. When Wesson went out to dine, he never ordered anything less than a magnum bottle, and it seemed to him a natural extension of the term to the slightly larger than standard case of the new cartridge. And so was coined one of the most enduring—and misunderstood—labels in firearms and ammunition history. "
Saturday, February 21. 2015
All of us in positions to employ people know that a college degree, in many or most cases, is meaningless credentialism much of the time, these days.
For life-enrichment or for the hard sciences, college can great, especially if money is no object and if the kid is a natural scholar. The latter is, at most, 5-6%.
In choosing friends, we might prefer people who know a lot about a lot of things, but for employees one applies different metrics. We train all of our own people, including our paralegals. We use a marine corps boot camp system. Many wash out, but are better for it. Some even thank us for letting them discover what level of effort and learning is expected from work in the for-profit world.
Many times, college is a negative from a business standpoint. We exist to make money honestly and nothing more. When we hire, all we ask ourselves is "Can this person make, or save, us money?" And in case they do not, can we let them go without a lawsuit? I would never say that we avoid women, older folks, or minorities, for that reason because there are laws, but we have had enough expensive troubles with that in the past. We just want the highest performance and we want you available 24 hrs/day if needed, no excuses.
Do an extraordinary job, exceed expectations, go the extra mile, make yourself attractive, and spread good cheer? We will reward you handsomely with money, benefits, love and appreciation.
When we hire new lawyers (rarely in recent years, unless they come with deep portfolios of corporate clients), of course they have degrees. We ignore their degrees, bearing in mind that legal work required degrees only recently (historically). We see people with recent law degrees working in Starbucks and living with their parents.
All real law is learned in apprenticeship, preferably under a genius mentor. All real learning is, ultimately, self-education.
Friday, February 20. 2015
This education theorist is obviously an idiot. He proposes to teach prepared. synthetic synthesis before those empty brains have any fundamental knowledge. Maybe the foundational knowledge is just too hard to learn or teach. It is both.
Synthesis? Do it on your own time if you can. Got your calc? Got Avogadro's Law? Gas laws? Got the laws of thermodynamics? And the laws of electromagnetism? Got the math of cardiac physiology? If you have these things, and more, maybe we can talk "synthesis." I would wager the author knows none of these.
New ideas about formal education can be assumed to be wrong.
Wednesday, February 18. 2015
It's not so much about bubble-wrapping our precious snowflake kids as it is about municipal lawsuits. "Sled at your own risk" does not insulate. Same goes for skating on ponds, etc. Something is deeply wrong with the American tort system, but it's about politics. The wealthy tort bar fills the Democrat cash register. There will never be tort reform, and all outdoor fun will be illegal except on your own property.
It's a rare kid in the northeast who has not broken or sprained something sledding or skiing, not to mention concussions, etc.
The issues with ski areas are complex, and ambulance-chasers abound. Very few things in life have zero risk and even waivers are limited. In the US, almost anybody can sue somebody for anything and get a settlement just to go away. Generally, a settlement is cheaper than defending a case.
Sunday, February 15. 2015
From Z Blog's The Elite Monoculture:
... the better way of looking at the great divide is between those who think there is a perfect social arrangement and those who do not. The former imagine there is a perfect way to order human affairs to achieve maximum happiness. That perfect way is both discoverable and achievable. Morality dictates that anything and everything be done in order to reach this state of social perfection. The Rousseau-ists are entirely focused on the end and are willing to use any means necessary to achieve those ends. It’s why the body count for the various Rousseau-ist cults is staggeringly high.
Thursday, February 12. 2015
During the Obama administration, the last two goals of the American Left have been set on paths to completion: government control of medical care, and open borders.
So do they announce that their domestic mission is accomplished and that all they need to do now is to be good stewards of what they have done? Nope. They have been busy forging a fresh agenda for the future, just as all organizations tend to do after their goals have been met.
Democrat-Media Complex Issues New Talking Points - Why should only poor people get free stuff?
The Left will begin offering middle-class freebies, and the Repubs will offer the promise of growth and opportunity. Who wins that argument?
Tuesday, February 10. 2015
Friday, February 6. 2015
Thursday, February 5. 2015
Tuesday, February 3. 2015
As anybody graduating from Middle School knows, the US is a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy. It was cleverly designed to limit government power and to prevent mob rule by majorities.
Government has been trying to change that ever since.
Monday, February 2. 2015
Sunday, February 1. 2015
Super Bowl Sunday. Why not Super Duper Bowl? For you furriners, it's a very big deal in the US, as big as the World Cup is to you. These guys are skilled and very strong gladiators if, like gladiators of old, not always model citizens.
Super Bowl is an American excuse for a winter party, and pretty much everybody in America goes to one regardless of football interest. By tradition, Super Bowl party food ranges from disgusting to just plain fattening. For me, I'd be happy to never see any more guacamole in my life. Beer is the required libation, sometimes supplemented by better stuff. Often, people drink and eat a little too much just to endure the forced fun. Games take hours due to the advertising interruptions.
Most importantly, the Super Bowl is about gambling. Therefore, Go, Pats! I put in a bet, Pats by 6, but I won't watch the game and will socialize instead. Football has become too slow and too boring for my ADD.
By the way, why do taxpayers pay for stadiums?
Saturday, January 31. 2015
It's my alma mater, so I think it's a good place. Tough but supportive sort-of: they will certainly toss you if you don't want to get with the program. Many claim that Andover has smarter, more competition-minded kids, but a colder atmosphere. A visit to Phillips Exeter Academy.
The Exeter Harkness table. You can't hide.
By coincidence, Jeb Bush at Andover.
In my view, most of the elite New England prep schools are extremely demanding academically, socially, athletically, and emotionally. The stress and frequent misery and humiliation are part of their mission, like boot camp. Nobody gets As. These schools feel that if one kid gets an A, that is just proof they are not pushing the kids hard enough. I got 2 As in four years, and I worked my butt off. The mandatory 3-hour study hall every evening helped me learn, and the mandatory chapel, formal meals, lights-out, no TV or radios, and other structures helped center me. After class on Saturday mornings we had choir practice, then sports. Sundays, sleep late, then required church, formal lunch, 2 hrs study hall - then free for the rest of the day but you had better be ready to be called on, on Monday morning: "You read the essay, yes? And Madison's paper? So defend Madison's position on ... in light of the new Constitution."
Sad to say, these academies are not as structured these days but remain academically rigorous.
Caught with tobacco, drugs, drink? Sent home for good in shame, immediately. Sports required for 3 hours every afternoon, regardless of ability. Sex? We were not coed quite yet, which helped concentration enormously.
Friday, January 30. 2015
Are we witnessing an epidemic of PC bullying? Of course, and the contagion has spread out of academia to the real world. People have become fearful of what and how they talk, as if we were in the old East Germany. Fact is, you can pass yourself off as a victim, you can bully and intimidate all you want.
The argument is that only certain (usually academic) elites can be rational, so it is the job of our moral and intellectual superiors to protect us from bad ideas, bad words, and unhindered speech. Good, concise piece: Yes, Political Correctness Really Exists - Social media gives new muscle to German Marxist Herbert Marcuse's arguments against free discourse.
There is truth in that notion that the biggest megaphones are loudest, but this concern misunderestimates people - even the benighted hoi polloi like us who believe everything on NPR. As you might expect, here at Maggie's we take some amusement from a world full of loony-tunes and liberal fascists -regardless of the size of their megaphones - because we have faith that good old American common sense and resourcefulness will endure and see through the insanity.
Indeed, I believe the Left would be happy to hinder my free speech. I have no desire to hinder theirs, even though I sometimes feel it is fundamentally malevolent. As we often claim here, the desire to control others is a form of mental illness.
CS Lewis: Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.
For an amusing take on the topic, Another Progressive Self-Excommunicates Over Political Correctness Thugsquads
Thursday, January 29. 2015
In 1880, I suppose my WASP culture (and it is a culture) was still the core, dominant Americanism. Now, for better or worse, it's just one tribe of many.
Eugene Volokh discusses The American tradition of multiculturalism
Wednesday, January 28. 2015
There are several ways, all good.
A nice cashmere scarf like that one from Paul Stuart is fine, but one knitted by one's Mom, girlfriend, or wife is better no matter what it looks like.
Hat, scarf, gloves - ready to go do anything.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:40 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
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