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
Sunday, March 29. 2015
The Big Life of Captain Donald Alexander Malcolm Jr., 60: Not the Years in Your Life but the Life in Your Years
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 07:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, March 28. 2015
Now that we have finally been informed by our intellectual superiors that a real breakfast is healthier than fattening grains and fattening fruit, a new heresy appears to attack the dietary consensus: Breakfast is not important (unless you are a growing child or do physical labor all day)
Of course not. I thrive on coffee for breakfast, maybe with a cigar or some tobacco. A good diner breakfast, much as I love it on the rare occasion, puts me to sleep instead of giving me energy to do things.
Friday, March 27. 2015
Thursday, March 26. 2015
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:46 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, March 24. 2015
I agree with his sentiments, but times change. Everything is more technological. Farmland Without Farmers - As industrial agriculture replaces men with machines, the American landscape loses its stewards, and the culture they built
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:22 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, March 23. 2015
"Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it’s a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.
There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe. . . .
There is no Eden. There never was. What was that Eden of the wonderful mythic past? Is it the time when infant mortality was 80%, when four children in five died of disease before the age of five? When one woman in six died in childbirth? When the average lifespan was 40, as it was in America a century ago. When plagues swept across the planet, killing millions in a stroke. Was it when millions starved to death? Is that when it was Eden?"
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:34 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
People maximize their advantages, because it produces choices. Choices are good. Everybody has some advantages, talents, gifts. Building social capital is what intact, functional families pursue because it makes life better and more fun for everybody.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:17 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:30 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, March 22. 2015
I don't know about sainthood, but G K Chesterton (a member of the Maggie's pantheon) certainly deserves to be read and to be remembered.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:44 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Maple sap begins to flow when there are sufficient daily temperature swings between below and above freezing. That tends to be towards late February-early March in New England, depending on latitude and the weather. Curiously, Sugar Maple sap does not just flow up from the roots - it flows both downwards from the branches and up the trunk, depending on the time of day and the whim of the tree.
Our Vermont friends have been busy getting ready for sugarin', so it's time for some info. We tend to think of Vermont maple syrup, but Canada is the major producer. We consume it abundantly in New England and do not approve of the cheap substitute goop in the supermarkets. We buy the real stuff by the gallon when we can, especially the Grades below Light Amber. You can buy the rather intense Grade B here, but I think I prefer the third level of Grade A - Dark Amber. This place sells all of the grades.
- Put it on oatmeal like the Pilgrims did.
Thursday, March 19. 2015
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:15 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, March 18. 2015
"The German language is sufficiently copious and productive to furnish native words for any idea that can be expressed at all."
Selections from Schottenfreude: German Words for the Human Condition by Ben Schott:
Witzbeharrsamkeit - unashamedly repeating a bon mot until it is heard by everyone present
Abgrundsanziehung - toying with the non-suicidal idea of jumping from a height
Frohsinnsfascismus - the awful mediocrity of organized fun
Clashsyndrom - moments of etiquette perplexity when there is no polite way of behaving
Fetanlaushangriff - tuning in and out of a number of conversations at a party
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:32 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:58 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, March 17. 2015
Who is "we," pardner? While attacking straw men, bringing race into a non-racial discussion, and demonizing "individualism", he seems to be arguing for a top-down, one-size-fits-all, centrally-organized system of primary and secondary education in the USA. He suggests that it be oriented ideologically, and claims it would be "for the common good." He is a Bismarckian with that Prussian control attitude towards the masses.
Thus it's a little dissonant to read his views, coming as they are from the president of hippy-dippy, free-spirit, granola-ridden and hugely expensive, and private, Bard College. But maybe it's not odd.
I'd bet home schooling drives him nuts. As usual with Liberals, "I know how to deliver your pursuit of happiness and I would like to shove it up your butt." I hate hearing the elites and the experts pontificate about what "we" should do. I'd rather hear myself pontificate about freedom and free choices in life. Even the freedom to apply to the somewhat offbeat Bard College if you want to.
Sunday, March 15. 2015
The discussions in the comments are quite good. Conservatives often idealize the independent, self-sufficient family, but there is a debate, and not all families can measure up to that. We're not in pioneer days. Government charity and freebies can be life-saving, but they can also be "enablers" for dysfunction and immature attitudes towards life.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:12 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, March 14. 2015
I always used 22/7 for Pi, myself. Close enough for government work. It's the sexiest magical number so everybody in the world is fascinated by it.
The genius Sicilian Archimedes is said to have first identified Pi. Celebrating pi - our favourite non-whole number
Here are some ways of calculating Pi.
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:30 | Comments (10) | Trackback (1)
Wednesday, March 11. 2015
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:35 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, March 9. 2015
Don't argue, just give them a listen. Ray Dalio explains how he does it, and what "open-minded" means to him.
It's about humility, it's not just about money, and it certainly works for him.
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:51 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
I thought we knew the answer (in leftist politics), but it's getting muddled because "identity groups" can be so darn confusing. Now the Jews are hated on campi too because they are said to oppress Arabs, which makes Arab religion ok because they are termed a victim identity group even though religion of any sort is a negative for the left.
Almost every illegal hispanic immigrant is Roman Catholic, so does that make RC ok?
Sunday, March 8. 2015
"It is with the deepest regret that we announce the passing of the physician healer. While there was no exact date provided, it was believed that his death occurred sometime during 2013. This was preceded by a long illness that began in the 1970s and appears to finally have taken him in the last year."
Compared to their cohorts around the world, American millennials come in last or near-last by just about every metric.
That never made any sense to me. It's a myth.
"The picture of science and religion at each other’s throats persists in mainstream media and scholarly journals, but each chapter in Galileo Goes to Jail shows how much we have to gain by seeing beyond the myths."
Thursday, March 5. 2015
"Emotion" is sort-of an artificial construct, is it not? It - whatever it is - can rarely be separated from cognition, perception, ideas, and all other mental processes and biological instincts. We easily can identify, in ourselves, lustful desire ("urge to merge"), rage, despair, joy, fear and anxiety - but these extremes are rare and still more expressible by poets and musicians than by scientists.
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