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, July 28. 2014
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.
Feeling old? Not Dark Yet (1997). It's some sort of personal hymn or prayer, I think. Just another Dylan masterpiece, hauntingly-rendered, and it can bring a tear if you aren't careful.
The American founders knew that government needed a short leash. So much for that plan.
This essay by Williamson is almost too good to post on a summer Friday afternoon: Property and Peace - The irreplaceable basis for a prosperous and decent society is property. One quote:
Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry.
Thomas Jefferson (H/t Remus)
What's wrong with a little consensual bondage and sado-masochism? Or whatever? A little kink is fun, and everybody knows it. Bedroom games are good things. People are imaginative. As they used to say in Victorian days, "Just don't scare the horses."
Powerline goes puritanical: Time to Pull the Plug on Planned Parenthood
For special kink, I will spend this weekend hunting
If you are in the northeast USA, and not on the water this weekend, you have a bigger problem than Planned Parenthood can solve.
Chemistry Lessons - James Garner, 1928-2014
Inside Man’s Best Friend, Study Says, May Lurk a Green-Eyed Monster
What does Fifty Shades of Grey teach men about women?
The Dirty Practice of Infant Baptism - Cult group uses water ceremony to indoctrinate children
Our Enemy, The Sun: Two Years Ago, A Massive and Potentially Catastrophic Coronal Ejection Just Barely Missed The Earth
How much independence should children have?
More Goldwater: The Birth of Modern Conservatism
Paul Ryan: An opportunity to cut poverty
Cuomo Scandal Exposes NY Corruptocracy (and Gives Hillary 2016 a Boost)
CNN Poll: Twice As Many Americans Were Hurt By Obamacare Than Helped
He is All Fagged Out
So is Matt: If you want to prove you don’t hate gays, all you have to do is worship at their feet
Contemporary Democracy Is a Fraud
Howard Stern Gives Impassioned Defense of Israel
Thursday, July 24. 2014
A few reasons. First, my younger son loves sports and sports analysis. Statistics were something he followed from an early age. My older son did not. Secondly, my older son had different teachers and slightly different math programs. These programs mimicked the comedian's schtick:
I had an extremely difficult time helping him learn his math based on the program offered by his school. I was unable to learn the principles they were making him learn, how could I provide any assistance?
My younger son's experience, on the other hand, engaged a teaching method similar to that mentioned in the first four paragraphs of the article. He was using life experience and discussion with friends to learn the basics. The math program he was taught was significantly different from his brother's, the methods similar to those I from which I learned (I know the way I learned math was different from public school kids - my Catholic school was outperforming other local schools on standardized tests for years).
Ultimately, it's important to realize math is the basis of logic and reason. A deficiency in math skills may go a long way to explaining why so many Americans think they can get something for nothing from the government. Common Core may have fine intentions, but its implementation is a disaster, and is heavily politicized. It is unlikely to solve the issues it is designed to fix.
Thomas is what's happening today!
- The Baffling Economics Of The Island Of Sodor
- Classism, sexism, anti-environmentalism bordering on racism: any parent who discovered these hidden lessons will be glad the show’s star just quit.
No, not satire. Good grief. It's a cartoon! The world must be fresh out of psychiatric beds.
- In Defense of Thomas the Tank Engine The series is aimed at children, who need to rebel and to play but who also need, and crave, rules.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:32 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Confessionals like this one can sometimes help those people blessed with sunny dispositions to have some understanding of those unfortunates without such dispositions.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:54 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
One in every 25 New Yorkers is a millionaire, study says
Microsoft Job Cuts Underscore Hypocrisy On Immigration
France: Europe’s Clockwork Orange State
Families Are Paying Smugglers To Escort ‘Unaccompanied’ Children, Johnson
“Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist”
Federal undercover investigation signs up fake applicants for ACA coverage, subsidies
“Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist”
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