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, April 16. 2014
From a physician's report:
The competition for full-tuition foreign students.
Higher Ed follows the money. Greedy non-profits, are they not?
During a recent lunch, my wife and I were discussing the growth of small distilleries in New York. They are making a comeback because of a change in the law which lowers the fees necessary to be a small output distiller. This has been a job growth engine for the state, while also producing some much needed state revenue. It is a classic example of how less law can increase economic growth and opportunity.
The conversation with my wife, however, revolved around any laws which may exist (and they do, in some states) that limit production to using only agricultural products which are produced in-state. My wife had no problem with this, saying it would grow more jobs. I pointed out any state putting such limitations on distilling or brewing would hurt the economy, because if a distiller wished to use product from another state to start up, he couldn't, and since the law would force him to purchase only in-state product, prices for those products would increase dramatically as more brewers or distillers opened, becoming a prohibitive factor in new business.
I'm all for local-grown product, if that's what you like. But everybody, from consumer to brewmaster to distiller needs to have choices. If I might like a product which is made in one state, but utilizes grain from another, I may never have the opportunity to try it. Laws which limit inputs are, by definition, limiting economic growth. Which is why protectionism is always a bad idea. Limiting opportunity can only limit growth. This concept can be applied across a broad swathe of legislation which seeks to 'create' equality by creating new inequalities.
That said, it is nice to see small pockets of legislators learning "less is more" when it comes to laws and jobs. As for my bourbon, I'm still a fan of Buffalo Trace and Maker's Mark. However, I've tried Widow Jane, out of Brooklyn, and it's quite good. I also received some Hillrock as a gift and it, too, is very good, though the cinnamon aftertaste is a bit different than I've had. Still another recommended Hudson Baby Bourbon, though I haven't tried it yet.
Still looking to try my first Pappy Van Winkle, though.
Posted by Bulldog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:51 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
We have snow this morning. How about you?
Image is via Am. Digest
Critics of the SAT and other standardized testing are disregarding the data.
All tests are elitist and racist. The science is settled.
What I learned as a liberal talking head on Fox News
Progressive Puritans - From e-cigarettes to sex classifieds, the once-transgressive left tries to criminalize fun.
Rand Paul’s foreign policy extremism
Donald Rumsfeld declares war on IRS
Terrible Tenure - Are 98 percent of California’s teachers worthy of jobs for life?
How the Obama administration turned the latest IPCC report into meaningless gobbledegook
“I just filed my taxes and I’m getting 400 dollars from the federal government!”
Tuesday, April 15. 2014
A room, anyway, which a youth might be able to afford. The NYC pupette thought you might be amused:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:46 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Three cool new sites for the handy-dandy Maggie's blogroll -
The otherwise-useful article concludes with the notion that "government could do more."
I have no idea what government has to do with it. After the basics, most lines of work are learned by apprenticeships and "practice" of various sorts. Just consider auto mechanics, cooking, gunsmithing, machine-tooling, law, medicine, bond sales, garden design, preaching, playing music, carpentry, jewelry design, flower arranging, cattle-raising, horse-grooming, dog training, leather-working, road-paving, politics and sales in general, fashion, etc., etc., etc. The list is endless.
I am very much in favor of the term and concept "apprentice," but I don't know what the heck government has to do with it. Why do so many people have this reflex that "government ought to do something"? As if it could.
People can figure these things out on their own.
From a Jewish friend:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:27 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Image via Our Psychodramatic Campuses
Mad Men's Creator: Don Draper Represents American Society - A conversation with Matthew Weiner about anti-heroes, why
Tax Day! Now Comes the Great Refund Rip-off - Steal an identity, file a return and, presto, the IRS wires cash to your prepaid debit card.
Brit Hume: Holder's, Obama's Racial Appeals "Crybaby Stuff;" Both
How Being a Doctor Became the Most Miserable Profession
Food Stamp Recipients Outnumber Women Who Work Full-Time
Company unveils first age-verifying, pot vending machine
Ten Welfare-Reform Lessons from NYC
Vermont's Single-Payer Dream Is Taxpayer Nightmare
Obama Admin Bans Junk Food in Schools
Explain to me how this is the Federal govt's job
90% of NY Gun Owners Refusing SAFE Act Registration?
A Century of Anti-Semitism on the American College Campus
Chart below via How To Get A Job Despite The Economy
A Century of Anti-Semitism on the American College Campus
Read more at: http://spme.org/book-reviews/century-anti-semitism-american-college-campus/ | SPME
Monday, April 14. 2014
That's Big Government for you.
As they fled from Egypt, the Hebrews stared at the Red Sea in front of them and the Pharoh’s army closing on their rear. Now, that was a really fearful barrier to aliyah, the act of rising up toward Jerusalem and living one’s soul fully. That border from slavery to freedom caused many to tremble and consider surrendering.
We conduct the seder, the traditional prayers and meal by which we celebrate and remember that G-d liberated us, as a central continuation of our bond with G-d and the rediscovery of the relevance of that liberation across the generations. At the same time we can expand on that central group meaning by remembering and celebrating the other yearnings of our soul to live in freedom as an individual.
We spend most of our lives in “shoulds” that we were taught or acquired. Most of the shoulds are worthwhile and meaningful. However, many are needless limitations on exploring what lies beyond the borders to which we’ve grown accustomed. They are self-imposed chains on our souls. There is a simple way to know if you are living your soul: do you feel at peace and contentment, pretty much regardless of external stressors? If you do not, you are not living your soul.
We each have a unique soul, too often quite smothered under shoulds and only faintly known to us and lived. Passover provides a time to consider what we knew as children, what we feel when in moments of exaltation, what we yearn for, what we can accomplish, how we can be freer. This does not mean being excessive or abandoning responsibilities. It just means living truer to our own nature and to how we wish to be with others in order to have a more meaningful and richer life experience, which also attracts others to do so in their own way.
During the seder we point at the matzoh and say, “For the sake of this, G-d did so much for me when I left Egypt.” If any that we know about, Jewish or other, are less than free, we pledge ourselves to bettering their lot. That is our duty, carried over many centuries. Our duty to ourselves is no less important, as the freer each of us is to live our soul in peace and joy, the moreso we can carry that blessing to others.
A Messiah may come and bring us all peace. Meanwhile we can make a personal aliyah and rise up to bring ourselves more peace by living our soul -- freeing the better side to feel and constructively channeling the assertive side -- and from that bring more peace and freedom to others by our example and deeds.
Thanks, reader. I didn't realize about GMT etc. Worldwide Times to view.
Around here, it's viewable 3 AM tomorrow morning. Try a triple espresso, or set the alarm. Blood Moon, etc., perfect for tax day.
A new disease? Sluggish Cognitive Tempo
I have that - and ADD. Perfect combination.
Sears is dying. Why?
I think it's more about an obsolete business model than it is about the middle class. Home Depot is packed with people, same with Target, etc.
Total Lunar Eclipse tomorrow
Should the U.S. Adopt the German Model of Apprenticeships?
Chicago Teachers Union to
The college degree gap: women earned a majority of degrees at all levels in 2012, and the degree gap for blacks is stunning
Whether it's bikes or bytes, teens are teens. There's a reason teenagers are so reliant on technology: They don't have the freedom their parents did.
Sharyl Attkisson: When I'd Begin Getting Under Surface of an Obama Scandal, CBS Would Pull Me Off
Where is the feminist anger at Brandeis?
The remarks that the students at Brandeis will not hear
The remarks that the students at Brandeis will not hear - See more at: http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=53281#sthash.FS49XPfj.dpuf
Why Aren't Public Officials Held to Account for Lying?
Harry Reid's 'Koch Brothers' Addiction—in Two Charts
UN food program inflated amount of oversight it gave to ensuring food really went to the starving in North Korea
Hoping for Asylum, Migrants Strain U.S. Border
What now for European defence spending?
The celebration of Passover is not only by Jews but by many others of different religions. Passover's message of freedom is universal.
A new song-video by the a capella group Maccabeats, done in a Les Miserables way, brings forth another important lesson from Passover. If Moses had not risen to the challenges within himself and from others, his name would have been unknown and Hebrews left in slavery to disappear from history.
There are some scientific critiques of the details of the Exodus in the Jewish Bible. The fine film Life Of Pi brings forth another important lesson, from India, but just as well from Passover. We choose how we remember our lives and travails, and that choice shapes the rest of our lives dramatically.
May you all have a good Passover.
Sunday, April 13. 2014
It's in the planning stages, no date set.
I think urban hiking in cities with a little history can be just as interesting as rural hiking. More interesting, really - and I am an informed amateur naturalist.
There is no such thing as suburban hiking, though. That is just walking.
Due to my route's meandering nature with crosstown zigs and zags, street crossings, and opportunities for refreshments, photo stops, and pit stops, I think it could take 6-7 hours from South Ferry (Battery Park) to Central Park then back down 5th ave to Grand Central Stn. Good walking shoes required, and rain-or-shine. This will not be a stroll. The main point is not the landmarks, but the random stuff and people and colorful life and historical architecture in between.The landmarks are just for waypoints.
Preliminary route plan:
- South Ferry, Battery Park, with view of Statue of Liberty (easy to get to via IRT or whatever)
Does this sound like fun, and a good work-out? Is it overly-ambitious?
If it's too much, there's always the subway or a taxi - but we are subway people.
A lively city full of wonders, packed with attractive, high-energy young people and all sorts of other interesting humanity. Not a great work-out, because it's all pretty much flat but it's hours of walking through a variety of neighborhoods. I am open to suggestions. I'm sure my son, wife, daughters, sisters and brothers-in-law will be game for this event. Sipp & Co. might be, too, and Bulldog. And our Men's Bible study group.
Photo: I like that house on top of that building on 3rd Ave and 13th St. Rus in urba.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:08 | Comments (18) | Trackbacks (0)
Why don't they simply raise lamb in fields of mint, saving us the trouble?
Well, the answer is probably because making your own mint sauce is fun, easy, and quick. That artificially-colored sweet mint jelly from the supermarket is to real mint sauce as canned cranberry jelly from the supermarket is to fresh homemade cranberry sauce.
Since everyone's garden mint is probably growing like crazy right now (but not up here, yet - is mint an herb or a weed?), here's the right way to make mint sauce for lamb. Make it when the mint is new, and it will last at least all summer.
Then you pick up that excellent butterflied lamb at Costco, marinate it overnight in a garbage bag (the best marination tool ever made) with olive oil, crushed garlic cloves, white wine, lemon juice, pepper, thyme and rosemary - then throw it on the charcoal, cook it on hot coals - blood-rare in the middle but almost burned on the surface, sliced thin, and have a feast fit for kings.
Got any leftovers? Not likely, but good for the best sandwiches in the world. White bread, salt, pepper, and mayo.
I like grilled lamb best with oven-roasted potatoes, and I will eat regular mashed potatoes or garlic mashed potatoes with anything. Salad first maybe, but no nasty vegetables to detract from the lamb. Perhaps olive-oil-and-garlic marinated grilled vegetables with the lamb if you are one of those people who think eating vegetables enhances life.
By the way, serving white wine with lamb is a crime. Why do people in America ever do it? Lamb is neither an oyster nor a lobster, and it demands a high-octane, heavy bodied beverage.
Photo: Sheep grazing on summer mountain pastures in 1912 near Casper, Wyoming.
50 acres on its own peninsula. Looks like a lot of lovely manicured gardens, but I'd prefer it with plain meadows with horses. Otherwise, of course I would have made an offer.
Sorry, I can't download the pics, and sorry again - it just sold. It's almost enough to make you hate and envy the wealthy. Almost, but we all need those folks.
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:19 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Pope preaches on spiritual warfare: Pope Francis: ‘The Devil is Here, Even in the 21st Century’
Spent yesterday trout fishing with Gwynnie down in CT. We took a few photos to give our out-of-Yankeeland readers a little taste of CT in April:
Trout Lily, in bloom:
Continue reading "A Connecticut April Show-and-Tell, re-posted"
Saturday, April 12. 2014
There are plenty of them on the market these days, and most people have their favorites. I still have my first Peterson. It's hard-bound. The pages are falling out, but I won't throw it away.
The newer guides are, in many ways, more useful than the original Peterson guides which did often did not include immature, molting, hybridized, or non-breeding plumages. Those things can often confuse the experts - but the experts rely on more than appearance. Experts rely on the gestalt of the bird - habitat, sound, flight pattern, posture, behavior, etc.
I am an amateur, not an expert. Mrs. BD remembers that, when I was first dating her and showing her birds, I told her that bird species behavior is like individual human behavior: they tend to do the same sort of thing all the time so if you see a behavior or habitat once, it's safe to assume that they do that all the time.
Here's the good article about the field guides: Knowing a Hawk From a Handsaw.
Image is from Peterson: male Blackburnian and Hooded Warbler in spring breeding plumage.
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