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
Saturday, October 25. 2014
Frank Serpico speaks
Thirty-Three-Hit Wonder - Billy Joel still lives on Long Island, still rules the Garden.
Big Taxi is doomed
Idaho city ordinance bans distribution of Bible to children
Study Says Deer Hunting Helps to Replenish Forests
Problem is that we eliminated their natural predators
Save the fishes! Drill offshore
Prohibition Redux: Pennsylvania to Destroy Thousands of Bottles of Wine - Owner violated archaic liquor laws
Krauthammer: Barack Obama, Bewildered Bystander - He’s angry, but not angry enough to fix what’s wrong.
Hillary Clinton Says, “Don’t Let Anyone Tell You It’s Corporations and Businesses That Create Jobs”
Dems on FEC move to regulate Internet campaigns, blogs, Drudge
The UK wants people to exercise to save $ for the NHS
But aren't people cheaper if dead?
John Kerry Thinks Climate Change Causes Radical Islam
North Korea warns against anti-Pyongyang leaflet drop
Shooting balloons is the most fun you can have in NoKo
The House Of Clouds
I would build a cloudy House
For my thoughts to live in;
When for earth too fancy-loose
And too low for Heaven!
Hush! I talk my dream aloud
I build it bright to see,
I build it on the moonlit cloud,
To which I looked with thee.
Cloud-walls of the morning's grey,
Faced with amber column,
Crowned with crimson cupola
From a sunset solemn!
May mists, for the casements, fetch,
Pale and glimmering;
With a sunbeam hid in each,
And a smell of spring.
Build the entrance high and proud,
Darkening and then brightening,
If a riven thunder-cloud,
Veined by the lightning.
Use one with an iris-stain,
For the door within;
Turning to a sound like rain,
As I enter in.
Build a spacious hall thereby:
Boldly, never fearing.
Use the blue place of the sky,
Which the wind is clearing;
Branched with corridors sublime,
Flecked with winding stairs
Such as children wish to climb,
Following their own prayers.
In the mutest of the house,
I will have my chamber:
Silence at the door shall use
Evening's light of amber,
Solemnising every mood,
Softening in degree,
Turning sadness into good,
As I turn the key.
Be my chamber tapestried
With the showers of summer,
Close, but soundless - glorified
When the sunbeams come here;
Wandering harpers, harping on
Waters stringed for such,
Drawing colours, for a tune,
With a vibrant touch.
Bring a shadow green and still
From the chestnut forest,
Bring a purple from the hill,
When the heat is sorest;
Spread them out from wall to wall,
Whereupon the foot shall fall
In light instead of sound.
Bring the fantasque cloudlets home
From the noontide zenith
Ranged, for sculptures, round the room,
Named as Fancy weeneth:
Some be Junos, without eyes;
Naiads, without sources
Some be birds of paradise,
Some, Olympian horses.
Bring the dews the birds shake off,
Waking in the hedges,
Those too, perfumed for a proof,
From the lilies' edges:
From our England's field and moor,
Bring them calm and white in;
Whence to form a mirror pure,
For Love's self-delighting.
Bring a grey cloud from the east,
Where the lark is singing;
Something of the song at least,
Unlost in the bringing:
That shall be a morning chair,
Poet-dream may sit in,
When it leans out on the air,
Unrhymed and unwritten.
Bring the red cloud from the sun
While he sinketh, catch it.
That shall be a couch, with one
Sidelong star to watch it,
Fit for poet's finest Thought,
At the curfew-sounding;
Things unseen being nearer brought
Than the seen, around him.
Poet's thought, not poet's sigh!
'Las, they come together!
Cloudy walls divide and fly,
As in April weather!
Cupola and column proud,
Structure bright to see -
Gone - except that moonlit cloud,
To which I looked with thee!
Let them! Wipe such visionings
From the Fancy's cartel
Love secures some fairer things
Dowered with his immortal.
The sun may darken - heaven be bowed -
But still, unchanged shall be,
Here in my soul, that moonlit cloud,
To which I looked with THEE!
Friday, October 24. 2014
I believe that evil exists. I have seen it in myself, and I think I understand the human desire to externalize it or to deny it. Denial of evil is dangerous.
From The Guardian (really): The truth about evil - Our leaders talk a great deal about vanquishing the forces of evil. But their rhetoric reveals a failure to accept that cruelty and conflict are basic human traits
One quote from this good essay:
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:53 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
It's the time of year when I stock up on bags of Cranberries and throw them in the freezer.
The canned cranberry "sauce" pictured is garbage. It's just congealed sweetened cranberry juice.
The recipe on the Ocean Spray bags is pretty good, but I cut the sugar they recommend in half. It's nothing but water, fresh or frozen berries, and sugar.
A great food, the Cranberry. I love to put them in pancakes (the combination of the sweetness of the maple syrup and the tartness of the cranberries is perfect).
Here's our old post on Cranberry Season and the Heart.
Funny thing about Cranberries: not many animals or birds like to eat them. Maybe bears? I've seen Box Turtles take a bite out of one, but I've never seen anything else eat them. I love Cranberries, as long as they aren't cooked too sweet. Here's a tiny Massachusetts Cranberry bog, flooded for harvest:
Here's how it's done on a larger scale:
I suspect he missed a lot of interesting stuff, but he got the competency.
There are plenty of reasons for "seat time" in many areas of study, but certainly not in all. For example, there really are no valid criteria (in my view) for competency in Art History, or in history for that matter.
Here's the idea: Hacking Higher Ed With Competency-Based Education
Related, competency exams may be racially-biased via disparate impact. Here's that whole story, from Bill McMorris: How the Supreme Court Created the Student Loan Bubble - It all starts with Griggs v. Duke Power Co.
Weather Channel Founder John Coleman: There is no significant man-made global warming at this time
Football Coach Fired Because Eating Watermelon Is Racist - Parents from other schools felt smashing a watermelon and eating it after games was inappropriate.
Related, architecture is racist too
Most racist thing? An architect eating a watermelon
Death Threats Aimed at Boy, 11, Who Bagged Rare Albino Deer
Can't Afford a House? Don't Buy One
Op-Ed: What Would Toscanini Do?
Andrew Klavan: Just Say No To Feminism
The War on Poverty Turns 50 - Are We Winning Yet?
Sex and politics: poor Lewinsky didn't know the game
Michael Brown’s Granny & Mother Brawl in Street Over T-Shirts & Swag
Mark Steyn: Doesn’t Matter If GOP Win Midterms, Liberals Winning ‘Other 364 Days,’ Culture Wars
Yucca Mountain safe for nuke storage
Syria tribal revolt against Islamic State ignored
H.R. McMaster: Thinking Clearly about War and the Future of Warfare – The US Army Operating Concept
Navy's Top Admiral: Long Deployments are 'Unsustainable'
Thursday, October 23. 2014
Aren't they our employees?
Does Everybody Want Freedom? Most do, even those who appear to enjoy slavery.
My experience in life has taught me that many or most people would accept some form of feudalism in exchange for safety and security for themselves and their families. Serfdom, if you will.
Caught as most of us are between a job and the government, it's all still basically feudal is it not? Not what the American founders had in mind.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:08 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
The most valuable and unequal things we inherit are not dollars, but dollars are good too
The Dodge Brothers and Henry Ford: A Brief History
Confessions Of An AP Teacher: College Board’s New History Curriculum Is Terrible
Abusing Federal Paid Leave
Union enrollment plummets for Wisconsin teachers under tough law
"Tough"? The old law was tough.
Special interest licensing: A Confused Progressive Case Against Occupational Licensing Abuse
The Real Story on How Much Obamacare Increased Coverage
The incredible cost savings that are possible when patients can actually shop around
Infected by Politics - The public-health profession is more committed to social justice than to sound science.
Obama the conservative
US Spends 30 Times More on Welfare Benefits Per Person Than Communist China
Thomas Sowell on ‘predatory lending’ and ‘predatory journalism’
Election season: Holder DOJ expert witness: blacks are dumber and less civic-minded than whites
Election season: Dem GOTV Group Caught on Camera Endorsing Voter Fraud
Election season: Scott Brown Nails Shaheen on Immigration: 'I Want to Fight for Jobs for New Hampshire' over Jobs for Illegal Aliens
Election season: Kimball - Dem Panic According to the New York Times
Why the Teenage Girls of Europe Are Joining ISIS - Because they want the same things that teenage boys want: a strong sense of meaning and purpose
No mention of devotion to Allah in that calculation?
Traffickers use abductions, prison ships to feed Asian slave trade
Defensible Borders in the Age of IS - What does the upheaval in the Middle East mean for Israel’s territorial needs?
Wednesday, October 22. 2014
Dem Strategist: Obama Has ‘Removed Threat of Deportation' for Most Illegals
Exploring southern Manhattan on foot, as if a tourist: A report from the First Annual Maggie's Urban Hike
We began our jolly urban hike on the southern tip of Manhattan Island, Battery Park, where the ferries depart to Staten Island, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty.
What is fatiguing is not the hiking itself - it's the overstimulation. So much going on, so much to look at.
Below the fold, a photo summary of our hike, with relevant links -
Continue reading "Exploring southern Manhattan on foot, as if a tourist: A report from the First Annual Maggie's Urban Hike"
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:16 | Comments (15) | Trackbacks (0)
Pic is this 1959 Porsche-Diesel Junior Tractor
There's More to Life Than Being Happy - Meaning comes from the pursuit of more complex things than happiness
It's about Viktor Frankl
The Externalization of Responsibility: Monica Lewinsky’s Personal Shame
Election season: Dildos and Lynchings: Wendy Davis, Kay Hagan Campaigns Go Insane
Election season: CAUGHT ON TAPE: Dem Operative Stuffs Ballot Box in Arizona
Election season: Obama Admin: We May Need 'Surge' Of Millions Of Immigrant Ids 'For Any Number Of Reasons'
Green cards on the table -President Obama lets slip his scheme for a permanent majority
Future election season: Hillary Clinton Raises Record $2.1M At Jeffrey Katzenberg Co-Hosted Hollywood Fundraiser
Klavan: Knucklehead Row:
Tuesday, October 21. 2014
"My therapist (social worker, Psychologist, whatever) asked me to phone to come in to get a prescription."
"Do you take my insurance?"
"Do you take Medicare?"
"I need help with my Disability application."
"I need a doctor to renew my Adderal."
"I'm sorry, no, but I would be happy to talk with you" to all of the above.
This is a 4 year old story discussing why reconciliation is "good", in particular as it applied to the ACA.
It is a certainty, as Lord Acton once said, that power corrupts. In many cases of political activity, that corruption isn't just apparent in bribes, graft or other rackets that take place. It's visibly evident in the hypocrisy of power. In reality, reconciliation is probably bad every time it is used. I say this because it was mainly designed to overcome filibusters. Filibusters exist in order to extend debate on contentious issues on which neither side can claim a clear and overwhelming majority agreement (read as "bipartisan" - a term I despise since I view it as a means to push a slow growing Progressive agenda, but which many people think is a "good").
If a system's success depends on having the 'right people' in place, there's probably something wrong with the system. As our republic is aging, it seems there is a distinct and overwhelming stench coming from Washington because both parties are putting people in place who are perceived to be the 'right people'. Yet things just keep getting worse.
America's founders never promised us a rose garden. Quite the opposite. They offered, to the world, a novel and very difficult life breathing the air of freedom and independence from government and any other powers.
Adventurous people from all over the world have been attracted to the ideas of dangerous freedom, opportunity, risk, insecurity, and self-reliance.
Those things bring out the best in people.
You all know all of this. In my view, if you want anything from the federal government other than legal justice and protection from invading powers, you lack the vibrant American spirit and perhaps might prefer to live elsewhere, where a more feudal state plays a more parental, controlling role. It's a big world out there and the American idea is not/was not for everybody.
American people do not have delimited rights. American governments have delimited powers. That was the idea and the ideal, anyway.
Freedom or rights for stuff rather than from stuff? It sickens my soul. Quit helping us, please. Our ancestors did not come here for help other than help from God and maybe from our neighbor if we had one. They struggled and endured freedom, and so should we all. "Gimme" is not American: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Gimmedat:
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:09 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
25 Is the New 21 - For some parents, the deadline for a kid's financial independence has gotten an extension.
The History of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, 50 Years After Its Construction - Built in 1964, the span still stands as Americas’ largest suspension bridge
Re AirBNB: Interesting, isn’t it, that most of our growth comes from the parts of
An Interview With the Repo Man
College Grads Flock to New Cities
New York Dominates 2014 List of America's Most Expensive ZIP Codes
Near the top - SoHo's industrial loft area
Why I love old people, but I will not accept Medicare
10 reasons why I love Medicare as a physician
Why doctors give Obamacare a failing grade
Secret Slack Shadows Job Market as Fed Weighs When to Lift Rates
I would suggest three years ago
SOURCE OF CURRENT EBOLA EPIDEMIC IDENTIFIED: Bat-Eating Family in Guinea Village
The guy is married to a Latina
Election season: Mary Landrieu: My Multimillion-Dollar Home Is Not a Mansion
For me, a 7000 sq' townhouse is just a humble pied a terre. BTW, how do politicians get so rich?
Government to Ordained Ministers: Celebrate Same-Sex Wedding or Go to Jail
Will that apply to Muslims too?
A New Start for Afghanistan: 3 Massive Challenges That Will Decide Its Future
Monday, October 20. 2014
Danielle Henderson spent six years and $60,000 on college and beyond. The effects of that education? Not as advertised.
What was advertised?
A fun and interesting blog from the author.
The Case for Drinking as Much Coffee as You Like
'The Hobbit' In LEGO, In 72 Seconds
Why I visit prostitutes - Just as sex workers are shamed by society,
Taking Exception to Vermont's Proposed GMO Labeling Rules
Seattle’s Reds Have Minimum Wage Blues
Your Tax Dollars At Work: Liberal religious organizations make amnesty pay
The New York Times Editorial Board needs a copy of ‘Consumer Credit and the American Economy”
Government case implodes as its former lawyers allege fraud against Holder DOJ
Goodwin: A toxic president
Noonan: Who Do They Think We Are? The administration’s Ebola evasions reveal its disdain for the American people.
The nasty politicization of
Election season: Kay Hagan’s October Surprise - Her family’s businesses benefited from $400K in stimulus funds.
The Dead Hand of Socialism: State Ownership in the Arab World
Arab Uprisings May Doom Middle East Christians
Sunday, October 19. 2014
She's right about the winging it, but I believe the wings change.
Cooked up a large casserole pan of this simple squash recipe last weekend. Everybody ate it all up.
Next time, I'll grate more Parmesan for it.
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:03 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
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