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, July 30. 2014
Grilled marinated pork chops and grilled asparagus with some steamed yellow squash on the side. Here's a tip: There's no need to cook the heck out of a nice 1 1/2-inch-thick Costco pork chop anymore. Trichinosis is a thing of the past. Pink inside is perfect.
I don't know what practicing clinician has time to write guidelines for other docs, but guidelines are nothing but trouble. The best medical care is both art and science. Knowledge is always incomplete, patients are individuals with unique situations, and all docs have their own preferences and points of view. Guidelines end up being little more than fodder for tort lawyers and time-wasters.
Worst of all, young docs feel as if they have to follow them. Many things go wrong when practicing by the book. Medicine is an art and a science.
A while ago, a reader made the point that schoolteachers rarely teach kids to read and to do basic arithmetic these days because most people learn these things from their moms and/or dads, at home.
In a society with essentially-universal literacy, is it a school's job to do those basic things anymore?
Photo: A friend's pic of a fruit dish for a baby shower
"Even knowing Charles was juggling multiple partners, I never doubted how important I was to him..."
Now it's called "juggling"?
Study Finds That Men Like Nice Women, But Not the Other Way Around
Amazon Is Unprofitable — and It's Completely on Purpose
The Battle of Alexandria - How riverside parks & hotels threaten a model of American urbanism
Common Core Supporters: We’ve Just Been Too Darned Principled!
Collect More Than $7,000 Per Month for 'Fostering' Adult Illegal Aliens
Democrats Admit Amnesty Is For Political Purposes
Scientists blame the polar vortex alternatively on global warming and global cooling
Just TWO climate committee MPs clash with IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
Government Paying $140,368 to Take 10 Students on a ‘Climate Change Journey’
Dodd-Frank’s Achilles’ heel
By the way, Hamas is using a hospital as its operations hub in Gaza
Spanish Writer Says Israel's War in Gaza Justifies Expulsion of Jews
The Demand and Supply of Sex
The Demand and Supply of Sex
Tuesday, July 29. 2014
The two best uses of big Quahogs are Stuffies and Chowda.
Here's a good Stuffy recipe from Emeril (who is from Fall River - in the general neighborhood).
Pic on loan from the NYT article -
I've been a Roger Angell reader for most of my life. Whether interested in baseball or not, I recommend his prose to you. He just turned 93, has retired to Maine, is planning a second marriage, and is being honored in Cooperstown for his contributions to baseball.
Maureen Dowd (of all people) interviewed him, and it's a nice interview.
For even more fun, he wrote a piece for The New Yorker in February: This Old Man - Life in the nineties. He begins:
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:11 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Are there any nations which have willingly voted for open borders? Or for entry from a foreign place with no passport, or for any residency without a visa?
Many pundits from across the political spectrum are advocating open borders for the US, most recently George Will.
Now with Central American, and Chinese, immigrants coming via Mexico, my question for the open borders crowd is "How many, who, and from where?" Or is there no limit and no choice to be made by Americans? I thought we ran this joint.
There are an estimated 3 billion in poverty on this planet, many living without WiFi or big-screen TVs, and I am sure a large fraction of them would welcome the opportunity to take advantage of American material abundance.
Why don't people just fix their own places?
Image via Eratosthenes
The Myth Of College “Hookup Culture”
Is One of the Most Popular Psychology Experiments Worthless?
As Recalls Mount, Was It Worth Bailing Out the 'Old GM'?
Harvard Prof Flies Around Globe, Decries Climate Change ‘Deniers
The Government Is Cracking Down on School Bake Sales
Children crossing border: 'Obama will take care of us'
And Now... Europe's Kristallnacht
Why a Gaza Cease Fire Doesn't Help
Meet the Hamas billionaires
Why More Israelis Should Die: The Left's Twisted Logic
Monday, July 28. 2014
It took me a little while to realize why.
I was doing some cleaning up to clear some space for my computer expert who needed to do a few essential jobs for me. Had to move some things out of the way, eg vacuum cleaner, book piles, chairs, piles of papers, baby stroller, etc.
Also two gun cases. That's what did it. Gun cases mean, to him, the best fun in the world. Find the bird! Reacts the same way when I pull boots out of a closet. I hate to disappoint a good dog, but he is going to Cape Cod in a few weeks and he'll get plenty of salty-dog swimming with the family out there. No hunting, alas.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:50 | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)
Shut Up, Please - One man’s approach to a problem of modern music
P J O'Rourke on beaches: The water is freezing, the people are fat, and the sun will kill you.
Comparing Alcohol and Marijuana: Seriously
Eleanor Holmes Norton says 'you don't have a right to know' what's going on in government
NEW ENGLAND’S BLUE-STATE BLUES - Once known for its stiff-lipped prudence, the region is now a case study in fiscal insanity:
Ben Stein - Castrated by our president
Typical US Household Worth One-Third Less Than Under Bush
President’s “Corporate Deserters” Pay High Taxes
Russia Is Sick - Until someone lances the boil of denial by telling the truth, no one will be safe.
As Libya Implodes, “Smart Diplomacy” Becoming a Punch Line
Hamas Killed 160 Palestinian Children to Build Tunnels
In two hours, I splurged and spent a grand total of $17.50. Then we got hot dogs at Rawley's in Fairfield - best hot dogs in the world.Give them a try - right off I-95. Trust me on this because everyone I have ever taken there loves it, including Mrs. BD.
Sunday, July 27. 2014
"Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance."
Low-information voters often willingly confess that they know nothing despite their college paperwork, but in general ignorance begets confidence and wisdom destroys it. It's Dunning-Kruger.
We must be stupid. Year after year, we invest gardening effort to produce delicious home-grown varieties - and, if we're lucky, get to eat them for maybe 6 weeks. And part of that time, you are elsewhere.
Does that make sense? No, but it makes hobby-sense in the same way that trout-fishing does. Hobbies are not economic - which is why we term them hobbies. Do the math.
All that those good garden tomatoes do, for a few weeks from August to September, is to make you hate store-bought cardboard ones and restaurant ones for the rest of the year. Nobody in my large gardening family has harvested a single tomato yet this summer (OK, it's been a cold summer due to climate change), not even a single cherry tomato.
There are lots of vegetable crops one can grow successfully up here, and harvest sometime between June/July to frost in October: rhubarb, peas, beans, summer squash, winter squash and pumpkin, greens of all sorts, fruit trees of course and grapes, berries, root crops, onions, cucumber, corn, etc. Why bother with all that when those things are dirt-cheap at the store? What we really grow best in our gardens are fat deer, fat chipmunks, fat rabbits, and fat woodchucks.
Tomatoes? Not a one yet. I love a tomato sandwich: white bread, mayo, salt and pepper, and fat slices of tomato hot from the garden.
Why do we persist? I think it's about the power of intermittent positive reinforcement from a few of those tomato sandwiches. That's how fishing and hunting work, too.
We New England Yankees may have no sense, but we have our traditions and our seasonal habits which are the fabric of our lives, rational or not. Well, not rational at all if you value your free time above zero.
One tip for those in my situation: Buy big fat beefsteak tomatoes at the supermarket and grill them, sautee them, or bake them. Some flavor appears. Better than nothing.
A skilled writer can make anything interesting and absorbing.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:50 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
"Fishiest of all fishy paces was the Try Pots, which well deserves its name, for the pots there were always boiling chowders. Chowder for breakfast, and chowder for dinner, and chowder for supper, til you begin to look for fish bones coming through your clothes. The area before the house was paved with clamshells. Mrs. Hussey wore a necklace of polished codfish vertebrae and Hosea Hussey had his account books bound in superior old shark skin. There was a fish flavor to the milk, too, which I could not account for, till one morning happening to take a stroll along the beach among some fisherman's boats, I saw Hosea's brindled cow feeding on fish remnants, and marching along the sand with each foot in a cod's decapitated head, looking very slipshod, I assure ye."
Herman Melville, Moby Dick. It is The Great American Novel. There is no need to try to compete with him, so don't bother trying. Give up. That job is done.
They liked JFK, probably because he was Catholic (in name, anyway). They still refuse to hear anything about what decadent, manipulative and predatory sleazes that family consists of. Glamour. Rich. Sexy. Low-lifes. Catholic. Dem Party.
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
At the family compound in the Sierras where the snow is still slowly melting, the trout in the stream are tiny appetizers, my grandkids and nieces and nephews are all bright, cute, and well-behaved, and all is right with the world in the moutains.
Anna's mostly, I believe.
In a few months, there will be over 10' of snow here.
Saturday, July 26. 2014
10 Great Things About the Burqa, from a guy in Brooklyn.
Indeed, it does protect men from constant erotic turmoil, distraction, and temptation. I blame the gals for that.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:46 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Well, so they claim.
But who are "the poor"? How can you "help the poor" unless you know who they are?
Some are probably mentally-disabled, some are college or grad students, some are young people starting out, some are Maine Guides, some are hippies, some are single moms in rural or urban areas, some are lazy or feckless bums or addicts, some are ambitious new immigrants (legal or otherwise), some are retirees, some have low income but have assets, many get paid off the books, some may be quite content, some are temporarily down on their luck, some are struggling artists, some are ill, etc., etc. "The poor" is not a unitary category. I used to be poor, and probably most Maggie's readers have been poor at some point in their lives.
That 92 year-old in Florida, now a WalMart greeter, had 10 million with Madoff. Poor, now.
How come nobody ever talks about who they are, and whether it's a temporary situation, or a life-style choice, or whatnot? And how come the value of government and charitable benefits are never included in figuring poverty in the USA?
From the article:
I doubt Ryan, a fine fellow I am sure, ever perused such data. He just wants to care but caring for others requires a discernment and art. Money is not everybody's life goal although perhaps only a noble few have the conscience to refuse free money from their neighbors.
Plain emotional "caring" doesn't deserve any moral credit, and when governments go parental they are the worst parents in the world.
Politicizing Watermelon Salad
Everyone Wins When You Buy a Rotisserie Chicken
Delicious and cheaper than DIY
Summer in the city: How to outsmart the heat in summer 1899
Obama is right on this
The economics of cross-the-grave romance
Steve McQueen's stunt double
The shrink is carrying, saves lives
What a 12-Year-Old Has in Common With a Plagiarizing U.S. Senator
The Long-Awaited Investigation into Alexander V. Litvinenko’s Murder
UPDATE: Feminist Studies Professor Pleads No Contest to Attack on Pro-Life Teen
Krauthammer: The Vacant Presidency - The world is aflame and our leader is on the 14th green.
Maybe it's for the best
Entitled to What? - Hillary Clinton’s long march through the institutions
Reports: Massive New Year's Terrorist Invasion of Israel Thwarted by Security Forces
US violent crime is lowest in 44 years and half the rate in 1991, so why have we become the United States of SWAT?
Wrong about Jesus Christ, but didn't the chosen people have to go to war to live in Canaan?
That's supposed be be hard? Sounds fine to me.
Japan gets big drones
Take your stupid pill today yet? How about your meat-repellent pill?
Group Given Nearly $300 Million To House Child Immigrants; Improperly Disclosed Lobbying
The drug that’s forcing America’s most important – and uncomfortable – health-care debate
The Israeli System That Could've Saved MH17
LET'S GIVE 'EM A STATE: Hamas announces it will give 250,000 grenades to Palestinian Children
Surprising Ties between Israel and the Kurds
The year's at the spring
Those famous lines are from Browning's 1841 Pippa Passes. It's Pippa's song. Pippa is a silk mill worker in Asolo, and has three holidays per year. The poem goes through the morning, noon, evening and night of Pippa's day off. She treasures her precious free time. This is from "Morning":
Oh, Day, if I squander a wavelet of thee,
O'er Jules and Phene, what care bride and groom
Worship whom else? For am I not, this day,
The entire piece is here. Yes, Browning specialized in the dramatic monologue. I can easily imagine Pippa as a one-person stage performance. Off topic, but I always got a kick out of the name of Pippa Passes, KY, aka Caney Creek.
Friday, July 25. 2014
Reason TV didn't wait for this to go viral before they provided a smackdown to both Kristin and Funny or Die:
It's doubtful Remy's exposure of the hypocrisy of Kristin's work will get as much exposure.
While Funny or Die, or Kristin Bell, may start lobbying to make other people do what they want via government diktat, it would behoove them to start living up to their own sense of moral superiority. Minimum Wage Laws are a primary reason so many teens are unemployed, as are the vast array of other restrictions preventing them from working. I held my first job at 13. Today, you can't get a job at 13 and it's just as difficult to find one at 15. Neither of my sons worked before the age of 16, not for lack of trying.
More importantly, studies have shown very few people actually 'live' on a minimum wage. Most minimum wage earners are under the age of 25 and are the second or third wage earner in a home.
What happens when automation pushes all these low wage earners out the door? I don't know. Perhaps we should ask the blacksmiths, since they all lost their jobs with the advent of the automobile. Why wasn't their union looking out for them so we could all be riding horses today? To be honest, I have a friend who is blacksmith. He does quite well for himself today, since there are few people with his skill set. Maybe Mike Rowe is on to something.
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