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
Tuesday, March 31. 2015
No Girls Allowed: The Merits and Flaws of an All-Boys Public School
Fixing Flood Insurance - A Reform That Works
Oh sh*t, I’m the 1 percent: Secrets of the super-wealthy. I grew up poor. My kids now live in Fairfield County. We all think we're middle-class because we always feel behind
Can Robert Durst get a fair trial?
Veritas' Barry University stunt
Apple Bashes Indiana – But Gladly Does Business With Countries That Execute Gays
These 19 States Have Religious Freedom Laws Similar to Indiana’s.
Freedom laws should never be necessary in the USA
Despite 19 states with similar laws, universities, NCAA outraged over Indiana’s ‘Religious Freedom’ bill
Going "green" - Six Flags Great Adventure To Cut Down 18k Trees For Solar Panels
Tea Partiers Will Agree with This Leftist Rant - Something scary is happening to America. Whether viewed from the Left or the Right, it can be seen by all.
Lawyers are not usually this bold when disclosing evidence that suggests potential breaches of criminal law.
Freedom to vote vs freedom in markets
Bruce Thornton: The E.U. Experiment Has Failed
Sorry, Obama: An Iran Deal Won't Save the Middle East
Iran's Nuclear Breakout Time: A Fact Sheet
What else is Iran hiding?
Toon below via Lucianne:
Monday, March 30. 2015
N. T. Wright on Palm Sunday and Holy Week
Philip Glass: Is his music any good?
Americans Love Big Hot Suburbs
Here’s how Hollywood legend Dale Dye earned the Bronze Star for heroism in Vietnam
What happens when you find out a year of college costs $71,000
Fundamental Concepts - Why the Left Hates Families
The 18 month-old racist
Claiming race-victimization — everyone wants to get in on the act
Google 'Second Biggest Donor' to Obama, Has Too Much Power
Big Brother Is Here: Facebook Reveals Its Master Plan - Control All News Flow
The Math of Amnesty
Diversity of thought, Princeton style
The Iowa Caucuses Have a Winner: Ethanol
Bill Maher Rails Against "Crazy Political Correctness" From Liberals; Tells Media Matters to "Shut The F*ck Up"
In our society, “Diversity” is a goal pursued above all others, including competency; it
George Will: Remembrance of Clintons past
Hillary Supporter Threatens O’Malley: ‘He Better Watch It’
Sweden: Rape Capital of the West
In Syria and Iraq the only reliable, pro-Western and militarily effective element on the ground are the Kurds.
What I Saw in Iran - A Free Beacon journey to the birthplace of Valerie Jarrett
Sunday, March 29. 2015
I have seen plenty of marriages hit the rocks on those shores, but on plenty of other shores too. "Class" doesn't mean money in the bank. It means a shared understanding and approach to reality and relationships - and interior decor!
It's getting into Shad Season now in the Northeast. Just had my first shad roe dinner of the season with pals last night. They made it with a caper and mushroom sauce with chopped bacon on top, on a bed of spinach, with roasted potatoes. It should be fully pink in the middle.
Many of us in Yankeeland welcome this brief season when the Shad migrate from the ocean up the rivers to lay and fertilize the eggs, with the females filled with their delicious egg sacs we call Shad roe.
If you drive over the Hudson River, the Connecticut, or Housatonic bridges, you will see the shad fishermen's nets spread out right now.
The roe, cooked with bacon, is as good as food gets. Do not overcook it - it is Shad caviar. But the meat of the Atlantic Shad (a large type of herring, I believe) is underestimated. It requires an expert boner which makes it expensive, but it's as tasty a fish as exists. The Shad is full of crazy bones.
It's a brief season for Shad, and there are Shad Festivals all over the Northeast.
Photo above is Shad roe. My Mom loved it, and so do I.
Photo below is a Shad fisherman on the Potomac, c. 1900
The genius of Anglo-American law and its relationship to individual freedom, property rights, capitalism, contracts, and equality under the law.
The above is a section from Alan Macfarlane's excellent, or should I say "magisterial" book, The Invention of the Modern World.
A quote from the section:
Cut 'em down. Replace it with something else.
Mountain Laurel grows to 10-12 feet, and tends to be naturally leggy in its natural Northeastern Oak woodland habitats (see photo above). If it's "overgrown" that way in your around-the-house landscaping in places where it is meant to look green and full, it's because it was planted in the wrong place. It wants to stretch out, unless in full sun. With plenty of sun and rich, slightly acidic soil, it grows like this:
Another alternative is, again, to cut it down to about 6-10" sticks in the Springtime, and let it re-start its growth from the bottom. Regrowth, though, will take far too long for most people to put up with.
The same principle applies to leggy Rhododendron maximum, ("maxies").Come to think of it, also applies to leggy Lilacs. Shrubs get leggy naturally.
What else have we missed about this magnificent railroad terminal?
The Big Life of Captain Donald Alexander Malcolm Jr., 60: Not the Years in Your Life but the Life in Your Years
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 07:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
11:1 When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples
(Note that the crowds were excited partly by the anticipation of a secular messiah who would restore David's kingdom and perhaps chase out the Romans. Not that the Romans were all that tough on Israel - unless they rebelled. Anyway, that was not Jesus' mission, and he rode into town on a colt or a donkey, not a war horse.)
Saturday, March 28. 2015
Our friend neoneo has been reminiscing about The Left Banke.
Those young fellows had talent, but came and went quickly. I hope they saved their $. I do know that one of them became an MD shrink. They all went off to do other things. Here's Desiree, reassembled with the NYU choir in 2012:
It's shrub and tree-pruning season up here.
When asked "When is the best time to prune a (fill in the type) shrub or tree?" my horticulturalist friend replies "When your blade is sharp."
His point is that, even if there are optimal times to do it (ie late winter for most things), it's more important that it just get done sometime. Poor-pruning or neglected ornamental shrubs are not only unhealthy for these hybridized plants but also makes for an eyesore: leggy shrubs, overly-dense shrubs, and hedge-trimmer buzz-cut shrubs. (Hedge-trimmers are for hedges.)
Beware of pruning anything before 2 growing seasons.
Up here, probably the most common errors are made in neglected or wrongly-pruned hydrangea, lilac, and forsythia.
Most people who grow roses know how to care for them (depending on the category of rose.)
And I almost forgot to mention Privet. Here's the way to keep a Privet hedge going forever.
Here's a good primer on pruning lilacs. I advise people to Google "shrub name + pruning" before taking a blade to a plant. Rejuvenating a long-neglected or wrongly-pruned shrub can take years because drastic correction can kill the plant. Sometimes better to get rid of it and start anew, or leave it alone.
The reason to care about the timing of your pruning is because some ornamentals bloom on the previous year's growth, and some on new growth. For example, the Macrophylla types of hydrangeas bloom on last year's, but Paniculata types bloom on new growth (a good hydrangea pruning site here.) If you prune at the wrong time, you will have no flowers.
This good pruning summary from Texas A&M says this:
Yes, for most things you prune from the bottom. Make sure you feed them afterwards and remember that roots get hungry before swelling buds appear. To keep well-established shrubs healthy, take out 1/4 to 1/3 of the oldest base shoots each late winter and thus, like lawn mowing, you keep them youthful instead of letting them attain their mature form. For many ornamental plants, we have to fool them into thinking that they are young.
Photo on top: A row of hydrangeas on the bella Isola Bella, with a little rain blurring my lens. Those Italian gardeners prune the heck out of everything, and they do it right.
Massive Underground City Found in Cappadocia Region of Turkey
An ancient bomb shelter
Dear Daughter, Here's Why I Don't Work
New York's Newest Subway Expansion Is Delayed, But at Least the Photos Are Gorgeous
Meet Dartmouth’s new radical professors
Prince Charles To Americans: Capitalism Has “Enormous Shortcomings”
I think his family is more into benevolent Feudalism (the modern term for that is pretty much Socialism with the royals replaced by a new, less benevolent, royalty)
The Closing of the Campus Mind - Schools of social work are silencing conservatives.
Sustainability, the New Campus Fundamentalism
Climate skeptic scientists push back against ‘witch hunt’
National Association of Scholars says ‘The fossil fuel divestment movement, is an exercise in futility.’
Socialist Thomas Piketty’s Theory on Income Equality Wrecked by 26-Year-Old MIT Grad Student
If You Think the Pacific Ocean is Next to New York, Should You Be Allowed to Vote?
Economist: The junior senator from Texas is dangerous
Hillary! had her server wiped
Where is Rosemary Wood hiding? I believe this would be a serious crime if a Repub did it. Still, she is in trouble. Spoliation.
The bipartisan consensus against Obama’s Middle East policy is getting wider and deeper all the time.
Am I the only person who has little interest in US involvement in the middle east? They are all tribal lunatics and barbarians (except Israel which is basically a European transplant), like most of Africa too. Nobody gave me the job of running them.
Egypt's president backs joint Arab military force
They are all going to kill each other. Nothing new in that. That's the way they roll.
U.S. Senate votes unanimously for amendment to send message on Iran
Rethinking Operation Protective Edge - The 2014 Gaza War
China Is the New Power Broker in the Persian Gulf - Oil is transforming
the country’s foreign policy. Can the
United States handle
A Hymn to God the Father
Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt thou forgive that sin, through which I run,
And do run still, though still I do deplore?
When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
For I have more.
Wilt thou forgive that sin which I have won
Others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt thou forgive that sin which I did shun
A year or two, but wallow'd in, a score?
When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
For I have more.
I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
My last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
But swear by thyself, that at my death thy Son
Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore;
And, having done that, thou hast done;
I fear no more.
Now that we have finally been informed by our intellectual superiors that a real breakfast is healthier than fattening grains and fattening fruit, a new heresy appears to attack the dietary consensus: Breakfast is not important (unless you are a growing child or do physical labor all day)
Of course not. I thrive on coffee for breakfast, maybe with a cigar or some tobacco. A good diner breakfast, much as I love it on the rare occasion, puts me to sleep instead of giving me energy to do things.
Friday, March 27. 2015
I see no virtue in economic equalizing. It never worked anywhere, and efforts to impose it by force generally end up with plutocratic, privileged bureaucrats and a nation of serfs serving the State. Why ‘inequality’ can be ‘beautiful’. Furthermore, many people do not base their life choices on money but instead on things more important to them.
Poverty in the US? Let's define it first. The US has an extensive safety net able to contain the unfortunate, the feckless, the mentally-ill, the temporarily out of work, etc., etc. We even go overboard with disability, providing for people who could easily do something useful in the world but are working the system. Nobody in the US goes without food, shelter, and a big screen TV if they want those things. Notable also is that US poverty stats do not include any government charity or private charity contributions. Of course, family always helps out first, and that is ignored too.
Still, poverty will never go away as long as it is defined as the lowest x% of US income. I am still awaiting the official study which can tell me exactly who "the poor" are in America, and whether they care. NYT: How poor are the poor?
My favorite is the carrot harvester: Awesome Machines Compilation
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:23 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Nutrients Are Pesticides: The Dose Makes The Poison
Will Amanda Knox Be Dragged Back to Italy in Murder Case?
Law in Italy is not like Anglo-American law
"I played rugby for several years (for Harvard Business School, of all
We don’t expect a biologist to love bacteria in the way we expect an English professor to love Jane Austen.
This person is against space colonialism
To me it signifies a rebellious attitude. If it signifies something else to you, that's not really my problem.
Four (Black) Cops Killed in Seven Days -- Where´s the Outrage?
Cartoonists convicted for insulting Turkey's Erdogan
Law in the middle east is not like Anglo-American law
Thursday, March 26. 2015
The totalitarian impulse is omnipresent, and must be resisted at all times. The "offence principle," however, is nothing but a self-ridiculing bullying tactic which deserves mockery rather that resistance. If you equate offense with a wound, you live on the wrong planet. I am offended by people and things continuously, and that's normal life. But this is not really about emotional wounds - it's a bullying tactic and rarely if ever genuine. Not that that matters anyway.
"Offence" becomes offense.
It's the time of year when people begin to cook the game in their freezers. Readers know that I like to make a gallon or so of Gibier Sauce or Gibier Glace each fall or winter, and freeze it.
There are other tasty sauces too for game (or for chicken, pork, even steak) and they are easy, and fun, to make.
Whether it's meat from the field or meat from the market, these sauces are tasty and good fun.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:46 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
We are not really Conservative though, more Centrist/ordinary American with a Libertarian bias. Nevertheless, we appreciate any form of attention.
John F. Nash Jr. and Louis Nirenberg share the Abel Prize
Saddleback Church takes over Angel Stadium for 35th anniversary celebration
Conservationists Attempting To Get Head Start On Mars
Everything causes cancer
Earth Has A Layer No One Knew About
4 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me in My Twenties - It's never too late to learn what you wish you'd known.
Gentrify! No matter what you do, modern liberals will tell you you're wrong.
Geneticist hired then fired by NYT
California Governor Jerry Brown claims Global Warming causes extreme cold
Homeland Security watchdog faults visa official for helping insiders
Cleaning Up Obama's Strategic Mess
Yemen 2015: From Success to Cesspool
Revealing Israel's Nuclear Secrets - The Pentagon Declassifies a Surprising 1987 Report
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