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
Thursday, April 24. 2014
Our favorite designer of professional womenswear (see Forbes: Nora Gardner Turns A Careerwear Challenge Into Winning Looks) has come out with...
... a line of men's polo shirts with her seahorse logo.
I'm gonna get me one, in black. Be the first on your block to have one. Those Brooks Brother's dead sheep logos are so dorky, and the Ralph Lauren polo player is just plain gay. A seahorse is cool, like Neptune.
Photo is a Nora Gardner day-to-night dress.
My initial thinking was that air flight is still safe, so if the issue is safety, that's odd. My wife replied, "It's perfectly rational. They think the Malaysian government has mishandled this and their punishing the government by not traveling."
At first, I thought this was a good reply, but then I thought again. It's still irrational. For two reasons.
The first is a soft reason. 'Punishing' a government is something we all need to do. Governments very rarely do anything right or useful. One could argue the corruption and mismanagement in China is so pervasive, it would do the Chinese tourists well to fix their own government first. I don't know what they are doing, but given the state of affairs there, one could reasonably argue 'not much'. The same is true here, in the U.S., for us. It's a reasonable point, but it doesn't fully make a strong case for how irrational the Malaysian tourism behavior is.
The second reason is that the tourism isn't really hurting the government. Boycotts real people and businesses and rarely send a message to governments. People and businesses who had nothing to do with the missing plane or the mismanagement of the search are impacted. These people rely on tourists, particularly wealthy Chinese, to maintain themselves and their businesses. While it's true this impacts the Malaysian government in terms of taxes, and it could lead to a reversal for the ruling party in the next election. This may impact the current politicians, but is unlikely to yield any meaningful reform. Most importantly, along these lines, it's not expected to be long-lasting. For any meaningful impact, behavior like this would have to be consistent over time.
In the past, I've been guilty of thinking along similar lines when a foreign government didn't do something I thought was right. Over time, I've learned, assuming the government is the people is the wrong attitude. The two are frequently very different things. Chinese tourists may feel better about themselves by not traveling to Malaysia, but it's odd to think they are having any kind of impact, except on the business owners who rely on the stream of visitors they usually get.
We all know that chopping wood requires not necessarily strength, but style and positioning.
Sometimes a new design can help, too. Hooray for physics!
Posted by Bulldog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 10:20 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
The US geography of chain coffee shops
Get Ready for Powdered Alcohol to Hit Liquor Stores This Fall
Bridal Lingerie Trends 2014
The Salmon are back! But the enviros are not happy
DH Lawrence, the f-word, and cold-hearted sex
The world-wide Rise of the Fatty
Is Sitting For Long Hours The New Smoking?
Cuz of global warmening, of course
Adding to ye olde blogroll: The Federalist
Matt Walsh hates affirmative action
The Dem Mead on Inequality Today: The Left-Liberal Narrative
Justice Sotomayor and the affirmative action bitter-enders have lost bigtime
I'll ask it again - what race is Obama?
Science and politics in the academy today
Yuk. Why do Republicans always do that?
Wednesday, April 23. 2014
Yikes! A friend of mine forwarded me this video. Not sure if it was a competition, but it seems to be given the spectators and the stunts. This not the kind of mountain biking I do, but I am impressed at the skill and guts. Can you smell the fear? Oh, that's me...
Posted by Bulldog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 18:42 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
A stunning brief (14 min) documentary.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:38 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
I have written about Psychiatric diagnosis often here, and I re-post my pieces each year. It is a complicated topic, because Psychiatric complaints originate from all sorts of sources and usually multiple sources, and an exhaustive psychodynamic formulation is not always relevant to minor life problems.
When it is relevant, a serious formulation is a difficult thing to do unless one just casually links history to current complaints. That's not a real formulation.
The current fad in Psychiatry is the DSM, which a robot could do. In many situations a DSM "diagnosis" is nothing more than a list of complaints useful only for an insurance claim and has nothing to do with understanding an individual person.
Continue reading "You Didn't Build That, and We Want More"
Dr. Bliss queried about challenging and difficult things which can be intrinsically rewarding despite their effort, complexity, difficulty.
Making music has to be the highest of all hobbies, and understanding music perhaps comes second, but fly-fishing is one of the more humble but still somewhat complex things as are most absorbing hobbies, like woodworking to photography to baseball. Anybody is blessed to have one or two hobbies.
For those to whom fly-fishing is a mystery, here's one example of complexity: Fly Fishing Knot Tying Basics.
A reader sent that pic of an American Egret in New England, with dramatic breeding plumage.
Nepal's Sherpas Cancel the 2014 Climbing Season
Good riddance. The entire Everest Carnival is plain stupid. Unemployed Sherpas are welcome to apply for work at the Farm.
The 7500 Square Foot Soho Loft That Just Sold For $27 Million
Exploding student debt threatens families
The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest
We need more capitalism, not less: Piketty Gets It Wrong - Instead of berating capitalists, we need to make it easier for workers to join their ranks.
In the US, it's not the 0.01% of movie stars, rock stars, sports stars, hedgie stars, and NYC heiresses. It's the other end - single parents. Anyway, Piketty is French and thus not worth thinking about.
Mozilla, Duck Dynasty, Chick-fil-A, and the politicization of everything
I entirely agree with the administration on that. In fact, I would go much further.
Re Sotomayor: "Her argument amounts to an assertion that a ban on racial discrimination
CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend - Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
Tuesday, April 22. 2014
If you don't have the sort of habitat that Bluebirds like, the houses will likely be inhabited by Wrens, House Sparrows, Tree Swallows (if there is any water nearby), Chickadees - or mice.
The point of Bluebird houses is Bluebirds. They will only nest in holes, and there's lots of competition for holes because lots of critters who need holes are not able to make them.
What's Bluebird habitat? They do not live in the woods, and they don't live in suburbia unless it's 5+ acre zoning. They like woodland edges, hedge rows, meadows with fences and large (5+ acres) lawns, large gardens, old apple trees. They do not mind living with humans, and often seem to like having barns and sheds around. To make it simple, if you see them hanging around in April, it means it's the right area for them. You can't really attract them - they have to want to be there in the first place. Like their competitor Tree Swallows, they like their nest boxes in open spaces, not so much on trees but on barns seems OK.
Another factoid about Bluebirds is that, if you have one pair around, there are probably more, and they do not seem to mind sharing an area: you can put up two boxes per acre, maybe more. People build Bluebird Trails in exurban, semi-rural, and rural areas because everybody likes to see them.
At the Farm, I have my own Bluebird Trail of around 20 nest boxes, mostly nailed to fence posts, some to utility poles. Generally about half of mine are used by Bluebirds, half by other things. In a good year, Bluebirds can raise two broods. Snakes are the main predators of nestlings, so metal poles are probably best but I don't bother much about that.
I recommend the one pictured, via Best Nest. The extra piece of wood is to deter predators. Easy to make them yourself, though. Just make the hole the right size (1 1/2" diam), and place them properly. When I was young, my brother and I made them on an assembly line, using Dad's table saw and the free pine scraps from the lumber yard. If you do, don't paint or stain them. Birds prefer plain wood, rough and un-sanded preferably.
Who doesn't want free stuff, especially if your kids get to pay for it?
Another Maggie's Farm Springtime Scientific Survey: Difficult, exertional things with intrinsic rewards
A few weeks ago, we did this: A Maggie's Farm Scientific Survey: Things we often want to avoid doing, but feel better after we do them.
This week, we'll do the sorts of things which are tough to do, require exertion of some sort, self-discipline, and can be frustrating or exasperating, but in which the process itself contains gratification as well as a (hopefully) somewhat gratifying result. In other words, a mix of intrinsic and delayed gratification.
Here are a few (or maybe most) of mine:
- Practicing piano
What are some of the things you find difficult, frustrating, or exertional, but take pleasure in the process too, not just in the completion or the result?
Or does looking good matter, in general?
Oh noes: A salt crisis
Government intervention needed immediately to improve the plebs against their will!
Oklahoma will charge homeowners who generate their own power
...if it moves, tax it....
Jim DeMint: ‘Big Government Benefits the Rich’
George Will: Democrats are making income inequality worse
Sen. Harry Reid’s baseless ‘domestic terror’ accusations
Does the need to maintain a successful political community create an obligation to obey the law?
Rudolf Havenstein Draghi Speaks: Debt Default Is Our Aim; Hidden Wage Depreciation Is Our Means
Tackling ‘Placetimematter’ - Educational researchers study the darnedest things.
Climategate in review
That will help the kids improve themselves
We drove through Millington (CT) Green en route to fishing last weekend. Appealing Yankeeland architecture. The village was settled in 1704.
Here's a Saltbox:
A few more below the fold -
Continue reading "Around Millington Green"
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:05 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, April 21. 2014
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Tech
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 19:37 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Spring Peepers. They aren't called Hyla crucifer anymore, but I stick with the old name. They are the first musicians in the spring chorus emanating from the vernal pools, swamps, and ponds at night as soon as the ice begins to melt.
People rarely see them because they are so tiny, and nocturnal. After breeding, they leave the water as do Wood Frogs, Grey Tree Frogs, Leopard Frogs, and of course the toads.
Those two pics are Spring Peepers. They are usually grey-brown, but I have seen them turn green on a leaf.
It's worth living near a marsh in the Eastern US just for the two months of free nachtmusik from our amphibian friends. By mid-May, the toads and larger frogs will join the chorus.
Here are the frogs and toads of the Eastern US. Mostly northeastern. I've never seen a Mink Frog, but we have all of the others at the Farm. The Grey Tree frogs make a racket, but they are rarely seen because their camo on trees and bushes changes to match the bark. All you can see are their eyes.
I think it's fun to identify them all by their Spring mating calls, especially because (like owls) you rarely see them. This site gives a brief description and a recording of their individual calls.
I have come to think that it's not so much about ideology and abandoning the canon of mankind's works over the past 10,000 years, but it's more about marketing to the kids. It's disgusting, and it saddens me.
If the U of C were in Big Ten football, they could and probably would keep their core and their soul. They are selling their soul for a bowl of lentils. It's greed.
More Decline in the U. of Chicago Core
When Lenin backtracked on Bolshevism
Hottest magazine right now for young women: Real Simple
Why It's a Big Deal That Half of the Great Lakes Are Still Covered in Ice
Shortest US graduation speech ever? Nobel economist Thomas Sargent’s list of 12 valuable economic lessons
De Blasio vs. carriage horses
What about the Amish horses?
Under The Streets Of Naples, A Way Out For Local Kids
An Obituary For High Frequency Trading: The Adaptive Genius Of Rigged Markets
I don't think HFT is so bad
Marxism is back, and Thomas Piketty’s new book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” might be its new Bible. But both
Politics as class warfare
Our Nudge in Chief: How, and why, Cass Sunstein believes laws and public policies should help save us from our irrational impulses
His faith in the sublime wisdom of politicians, bureaucrats and experts amazes me.
Hinderaker: The War On Standards Comes to College Debate
Liberals now love Barry Goldwater, but his 1964 loss won the GOP’s future
Resegregation in the American South - Sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education, the schools in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, show how separate and unequal education is coming back.
Taranto: "This column probably isn't the first to notice a recent intensification of liberal and Democratic rhetoric about race."
Krauthammer on how campaign disclosure got screwed up
WH Counterterror Chief: Parents Need to Watch for ‘Sudden Personality Changes in Their Children’
Dem consultants telling candidates not to use the word 'recovery'
Or the word Obamacare
Warmists explain that skeptics have mental problems
The United States of SWAT? Military-style units from government agencies are wreaking havoc on non-violent citizens.
“86M Full-Time Private-Sector Workers Sustain 148M Benefit Takers”
Pro-Labor Media Group Resists Own Staff’s Unionization
The Middle East War on Christians - Muslim-majority nations are doing to followers of Jesus what they did to the Jews.
Big Revamp of Pentagon’s Troubled Mission to Find Missing Soldiers Looks a Lot Like Old Revamp
Full-Time Private-Sector Workers Sustain 148M Benefit Takers” - See
more at: http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=53371#sthash.ZTFVSwXO.dpuf
Sunday, April 20. 2014
Mark 16, 1-8
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. 2Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?"
4But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
6"Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.' "
8Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
I cannot hear this one without tearing up. We ask non-believer and other-believer readers to be tolerant of all of our Holy Week posts: it's just my "spiritual orientation," ya dig? In my blood. At Maggie's, all spiritual orientations are welcome.
Everybody has his own spiritual orientation, like it or not. It's human. Christians orient themselves to Christ, who we see as the Messiah who was promised, our North Star, rock, redeemer and salvation. As apes, there may be only a little good in us, but we can be changed. That's the offer. Take it or leave it. Speaking only for myself, I don't care at all about eternal life but I care very much about the richness and depth of my life today.
A view from ye olde fishing club yesterday morning.
Bird list, while trying to focus on the fishing: GB Heron, Mallards, Bluebirds, Robin, RW Blackbird, Carolina Wren, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Downy WP, Red Bellied WP, WB Nuthatch, Tree Swallows, Turkey Vulture, Sharp Shinned Hawk, Red-Tailed Hawk, Phoebe.
There was a good hatch yesterday including Mayflies.
A few more stream/fishing pics, and related pics, below the fold -
Continue reading "Yesterday, outdoors all day in the woods with bamboo fly rods"
Saturday, April 19. 2014
Using this recipe, more or less - whole critter, head on of course, caught today: BAKED TROUT WITH SOUR CREAM
Update: Delicious, and that big trout was enough for three of us.
Today is Holy Saturday for the Catholics, but we Protestant Yankee New Englanders just call it "yard chore Saturday" or Trout Fishing Saturday.
I was thinking about how the term "pious" has become an almost derogatory, if not derogatory, term, which took me to Euthyphro. Never get in a debate with Socrates expecting to win, but always get in one if you want to be forced to re-think what you think.
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