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
Wednesday, March 12. 2014
Governing for Poetry - Can nothing be done without the public fisc?
It's a hobby, for heaven's sake, just like posting at Maggie's.
The point Obama makes here is valid, but begs a larger question, because it impacts his argument in support of a higher minimum wage.
The caller on this program made $36,000 per year, more than double minimum wage (and likely due to multiple household earners). However, if minimum wage is so low, can people on minimum wage who have cable and a cell phone (and many do) make the same choices? Minimum wage is providing enough for certain 'luxuries' which, in the grand scheme of things, are really just trade-offs for what we consider important in our lives. Obama's response indicates even the most leftish of liberals recognize this.
The discussion on minimum wage is much larger, of course. Most people earning it are not Head of Household, and most live in larger family groups with several earners. Regarding the president's response, however, we exposed to insight on the man's psyche. He realizes that managing your life is a series of choices, some better and some worse. But he's unwilling to allow people to make most of those choices on their own. It must be on his terms. His healthcare, his minimum wage, his regulations must all be in place before you or anyone else is allowed to make the necessary choices needed to run your life.
Me? I'd rather have health care than a cell and cable when my finances are strained. But you may not. Right now, Obama's argument to raise minimum wage is that you shouldn't have to make this choice. But we all make choices, Mr. President. It's how an economy works.
Whatever happened to the word “sin”?
Related, How to enjoy an orgy
The Romans knew how to do it right. So did the Greek followers of Bacchus.
Sausages and the Protestant Reformation
61% Of Young Republicans Favor Marriage Equality
There is not one single country on planet Earth that America has better
New York Times: California Drought Not from Global Warming
Year-Round Part-Time Teen Employment: A Pathway to the Middle Class
Tuesday, March 11. 2014
Forever Young? 20 of the Hottest Women Over 60 Years Old. 65 is the old 45. All it takes is some care, some flair, some estrogen, some exertion, and a little cash for teeth, hair, and skin.
Re the below by Peter Arno, Are you? Is he the young man you married?
Top predators are essential to maintaining some sort of wobbly balances in ecosystems, but is their role overrated?
As Moose populations gradually rebound in New England, and as White-Tailed Deer become pests in some areas because of lack of hunters and of predators, I am all in favor of bringing Wolves back to our neighborhood. Wolves kill coyotes, so there's that benefit too.
The earth is an ecosystem, not an organism. Volcanic eruptions and asteroid collisions have serious consequences on the planet, on species (extinctions, for example), on climate and who knows what else. If the carbon density is a factor leading towards an environmental disaster, and it is a big if, what suffer you to reduce your carbon footprint? Or would you rather be the thirty-five year old who doesn't buy health insurance because "statistically I am at low risk for serious illness." You do the math.
Also, and this is dicey, no one factors the amount of carbon dioxide put into the atmosphere every minute by 7 billion plus people not to mention the bovine methane from the cows contributing to your McDonald's diet. I'm just sayin' . . .
Image stolen from Never Yet Melted
Dozens of Americans who claim to be allergic to electromagnetic signals settle in small West Virginia town
Big Government will help you eat - The busybodies know what’s in your best interest.
Jane Fonda, Sex Guru for Teenagers?
Medical Scientists Build ‘Orgasm Machine’
How to invest like a billionaire - Opinion: The world’s richest people didn’t make their money trading stocks
The Paralympics: A Freak Show Called Generosity
The 99 Cent Non-Recovery: McDonalds US Sales Post Longest Negative Streak In Over A Decade
Jane Fonda, Sex Guru for Teenagers?
Nicholas Eberstadt and Michael W. Hodin: America Needs to Rethink 'Retirement' (WSJ paywall)
Kudlow retiring from Kudlow Report
Incredible but real lawyer's ad: "I May Have a Law Degree, But I Think Like a Criminal."
The New Glenn Beck - He’s taken on a cultural mission.
Black Teen Unemployment 32.4%
Science in the service of politics
Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS, partly due to “liberal bias”
I tend to agree
Monday, March 10. 2014
Money from the Koch Brothers is not welcome, even if it brings jobs and saves lives. That's not good enough.
Clinton, however, is acceptable because he takes money and jobs away. It's not optimal, but it's close enough to optimal.
Gwynnie is glad that it wasn't her buck that slid on dry grass about 90 yards to the bottom of this ravine. The guy who shot it is glad it stopped within range of a winch cable plus 100 ft of line.
My new favorite venison recipe, Venison with Blackberry Sauce, is below the fold
Continue reading "More Venison"
I think it's a biennial annoyance. Why Can't Daylight Savings Time be Repealed?
Posted by Bulldog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:09 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
A good website: Ask A Naturalist
How a River Otter Can Bag an Alligator for Lunch
Cornell’s Inaugural ‘Sex Week’ Offers ‘Explicit’ Fetish Workshop, Sex-Toy Demos, Porn
+1 Million Children Stopped Eating School Lunches Because of Michelle Obama
What would Salon think of an article called, ‘Why I can’t stand Asian musicians who play Beethoven’?
Smoke in the Water - Should e-cigarettes be regulated like tobacco?
Some Connecticut police refusing to enforce AW law
Is Obama the first woman president?
The IRS’s behavior taxes credulity
Cheat and Eat Food Stamps - How liberal states are already gutting the GOP's farm-bill reform.
How the Other California Lives - Some of the most productive farm land in the world is going fallow thanks to a man-made water shortage. A long-time grower explains.
CNN poll: 58% oppose abortion in most or all cases
Williamson: The Destroyer Cometh - A dumbed-down Democratic party runs out of ideas.
Sunday, March 9. 2014
1 1/2 hours of history, including the Ukraine, the Nazi-Soviet pact, and how the Soviets learned mass murder from the Nazis, and vice versa.
The most recent dinner we had in Sicily was swordfish stuffed with herbs and pignoli nuts on a bed of couscous with a sweetened wine and raisin sauce. That was outside Agrigento on the southwest coast. To this day, western Sicily is "Arab" and eastern is "Greek." The local cuisines of Italy reflect the history.
The history of Sicilian cuisine is the history of beautiful, wonderful, and profoundly-corrupt Sicily - and also the history of the Western World. No problema - they only hassle eachother - and we must be multiculturally-tolerant. Put Sicily on your bucket list. They love Americans there and, like the Irish, they all have a cousin in NY or NJ. We are returning there soon.
For some dumb reason, I decided to codify the dominant carbs of Italy, which, like Sicily, still has large variations in regional cuisine, sometimes varying almost completely over 50 miles in terms of wines, cheeses, sausages, meats, carbs, etc. As readers know, in Italian tradition the Antipasto is tasty little treats, the Primi is generally a carb (a pasta, risotto, gnocchi, etc) or a soup, and the Secondi is meat or fish, with a veg on a side dish only if you ask for it.
What is suppertime in Italian culture? Late, like 8 or 9 pm, after the passagiata with lots of vino and friends and relatives and kids. As I have said before, the cuisine of all of Italy is designed to be accompanied by wine. Without sips of wine, it tastes less wonderful.
Bread? Everywhere. "North" and "South" roughly mean in relation to Rome. (Umbrian bread is terrible: they quit using salt after a salt tax argument with the Pope in 1540 and still don't use it. That's a long Italian grudge for ya.)
The North: Polenta, Rice and Risotto, Potato, Gnocchi, fresh-made egg noodles (eg Pappardelle) including ravioli and tortellini. Mainly butter for fats, but some olive oil too.
The South: Plain (no egg) dried pastas, beans. Pizza. Olive oil for fats.
Sicily: Couscous, rice, some plain pastas. Olive oil.
Now I expect some arguments and exceptions from readers, but I think this is generally accurate.
Image is a very fine Umbrian Primi that I had in Assisi - Gorgonzola and Porcini Risotto. Nothing better. Arborio Rice only. Italian women have strong arms from stirring Risotto and Polenta. You can't stop stirring them until done.
Everybody wants water, but there is never enough of it for everybody, especially in a basically dry state. I guess that's what politics is for.
Here's a better link to a choice of 3 free online Lenten studies.
"Christianity is no philosophy..." From the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Birmingham Alabama, last December, the goose-bump-producing funeral homily here.
Saturday, March 8. 2014
Our occasional contributor Kondratiev posted this recipe as a comment the other day:
Here's a simpler recipe for marinated loin steaks. (Loin is just tenderloin steak without the bone.)
Or for a stew, this sort of thing is good - if you use red wine instead of water. We would use shank, or any haunch or shoulder meat for this.
We hope all of our hunter readers, or friends of hunters, have some meat in the freezer. Please send us your favorite venison recipes in the comments -
Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala
High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society by Dr. Carl Hart. Amazon comment below:
High Price is the harrowing and inspiring memoir of neuroscientist Carl Hart, a man who grew up in one of Miami’s toughest neighborhoods and, determined to make a difference as an adult, tirelessly applies his scientific training to help save real lives.
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