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, August 27. 2016
The case against privatizing national parks
Federal control of western land: two perspectives
Have More Kids. It's Good For the Planet
The Word On The Waltons: Then, Now, And Crazy Facts About The Show
Once again the only country of any size that, as far as I can see, emerges from the Olympic Games with any credit is India
NYT: We Messed Up In Our Louisiana Disaster Coverage (Maybe It's Because Bush Isn't President?)
This brilliant response to Obama’s ‘don’t discriminate’ warning to Louisiana is pure American gold
The Worst Union in America - How the California Teachers Association betrayed the schools and crippled the state
Sally Kohn Doubles Down on Her Defense of Sharia as 'Progressive'
Robot wars: Russian Armored Car Is Now Remote-Controllable
This Princeton health economist thinks Obamacare’s marketplaces are doomed
Does it matter?
The Clinton Foundation Is Not a Scandal. It’s a Phenomenal, Life-Saving Success.
Clinton's new strategy: I may be a crook, but he is a racist
Hillary’s Race War - Disgusting lies, smears and hate.
Hillary's Email Server Was Wiped Clean With Something Called 'BleachBit'
Was this done after they were requested?
Russian “New Generation” Warfare: Theory, Practice, and Lessons for U.S. Strategists
How Israel Became a Role Model in Fighting Terrorism
Friday, August 26. 2016
Killer mosquitoes. Be very, very afraid. The government is creating them.
Will they have GMO labels? At least, in Vermont? Sounds like Jurassic Park to me. I think these skeeters will be 3 ft. long in giant deadly swarms.
Did this teen pregnancy prevention program have the opposite effect?
Playing with dolls can make girls want real babies? Gee, who knew?
Only 29% of Families on Track to Reach Their College Savings Goal
29% sounds pretty good to me
What about when the self-doubt makes sense?
No Proof That People Are Born Gay or Transgender
So what? Many people are confused about themselves, and about others too.
Doctors Sue Obama Administration for Forcing Them to Perform Gender Transition Procedures
Most surgeons are good at saying "No"
For most people, following emotion will lead to ruin.
World's first self-driving taxis debut in Singapore
Organic Farms Yield 20% Fewer Crops than Conventional Farms
Mission Focus Can Put Pay Squeeze on Nonprofit Employees
The North Atlantic: Ground Zero of Global Cooling
We would appreciate it if Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum would
When Did Bill Nye ‘the Science Guy’ Become So Insufferable?
University of Chicago to freshmen: We don’t do ‘safe spaces’
They just try to ban expressions of dislike. Many forms of expression of love, too. Love creates many more problems in ordinary life than hate does.
Taxpayer-Funded University Grants Students Just 2 Hours of Free Speech Per Week
That's your weekly Two Hours of Hate, I guess
The Burden on Business: 600 Major Regulations and Counting
She is correct
Scarborough to Hillary spox: “Go back to middle school”
For sale, the most brazen president money can buy
Brazen is the word
Every four years the GOP nominee is literally
America’s Allies Deserve to be Disturbed
Western Leaders Want Islamic Terror to Seem ‘Normal’
Ray Mabus’ Social Experiment Navy is Steaming Ahead to Disaster
The real ‘intersectionality’ – European and Arab oppression and persecution of Jews and Africans
Thursday, August 25. 2016
From the Everything is Racist Department, Ole Miss Marching Band Ordered to Stop Playing ‘Dixie’ at Games - The history eraser is getting bigger and bigger.
Originally a black minstrel tune, it was one of Abe Lincoln's favorites.
When It Comes to Sex, Baby Boomers Aren’t Normal
World's largest pearl
Our moral and intellectual superiors. Lefty Ivy-leaguers and their kin, bred to rule.
Obamacare Website No Longer Addresses 'You Can Keep Your Doctor'
Court rules California can trim current public employees' retirement
The police state of the US dept. of Agriculture
University To Students: You’re a Criminal If You Don’t Use Transgender Approved Language
Students can call me "Sir."
AP statement on Clinton Foundation donors
Wow. AP doing journalism
Perpetuation and Moderation: Trump’s Lincolnian Rhetoric
How to Save the Clinton Foundation
But why? It's a family slush fund, with 10% to charity
Hillary Clinton may just be running out the clock
Finland is smaller in population than NYC
To deter refugees, Norway readies fence on ex-Cold War border
Wednesday, August 24. 2016
From Heather MacDonald
Millennials aren’t buying homes. Good for them.
Twitter Is in Yahoo-Level Trouble
With Crocodiles in Custody, Police in Humpty Doo, Australia, Seek Human Accomplices
Quake in Norcia.
We love Norcia. Norcia is for foodies. Also, home of St. Benedict.
The Surprising Reason Why More Americans Aren’t Going To Church
Robbing the New (Uber) to Subsidize the Old (Taxis)
Accused of being Eurocentric, Roger Williams U. hires social justice expert to help lead campus
"Readers of this blog take steps to make sure their
Virginia governor restoring felons' voting rights one by one after court rejects order
I tend to agree with that. Everybody is a felon.
What a creep
Our World: Soros’s campaign of global chaos
Carville: Attack the Clinton Foundation and you’re risking your very soul, or something
Trump is a vanity project run amok
Thoughts on Trump – When Life Gives You Lemons…
No other couple in American politics can offer what the Clintons have to sell.
Annals of Clinton corruption
Hamas, Palestinian Authority Target Journalists Ahead of Election
Who should rule Syria? Nobody
Tuesday, August 23. 2016
This pattern goes back to the selling of the Lincoln bedroom. Friends, this is abnormal. I think it is racketeering at the least. Unsurprisingly, the MSM has played no role in exposing Clinton corruption.
This is not an argument for Donald Trump. As I have said before, I think Clintonian morals are already baked in the cake. It would be newsworthy if they did something honest and unselfish.
The War on Charters Escalates. It must be an election year. Teachers' unions are rich.
Pic: Me and my brother-in-law last week, taking a dip in Herring Pond, Wellfleet. Not easy to find that pond.
"Well aren't we special, then, loving so much and being such nice people."
Brexit Armageddon was a terrifying vision – but it simply hasn’t happened
'Borders are the worst invention ever!' EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker
Invented by God, I believe. Gates of Eden
EPA Says It Needs Eight More Years to Decide if Ethanol Mandate Is Bad for the Environment - It is, as everyone who isn't a corn farmer will tell you.
The Regulatory State: The worst Excesses Of Rent Seekers And Power-Mad Politicians
Emails show that Clinton Foundation donors got improved State Dept. access
Trump: Clinton Foundation “most corrupt enterprise in political history”
Hillary Wears Heavy Coat and Black Pants to Nantucket Fundraiser
80 degrees and a wool coat? Strange. A cover-up?
Has Trump Awakened John C. Calhoun's Concurrent Majority?
Monday, August 22. 2016
Wolves of Clinton Street
Many thanks to Roger de Hauteville, King of Sicily, for filling in with the morning posts last week. It was a welcome and refreshing change of pace from my usual bla bla bla.
College Profs Admit Affirmative Action Is Failing Students, Get Called Racist
Scheming Buffalo Herd Roams Amok at Grand Canyon - Descendants of ‘beefalo’ outfox hunters, refuse to relocate; ill-fated ‘catnip’ plan
Feral critters. Shoot 'em, eat 'em
EpiPen Costs Skyrocket, Because Big Government Ruins Everything
What lies beneath: an introvert’s guide to fiction – and life
Irony Squared: Could Donald Trump Be the Savior of Black America?
Donald Trump’s Lincolnesque Moment - A landmark in the emergence of a new Republican Party.
With a comfortable lead, Clinton begins laying plans for her White House agenda
House Clinton and the Wages of Corruption
Last Night Was the Turning Point in Trump's Campaign
A bizarre editorial from some paper in New York
Althouse: "The media feel like lawyers for the Clinton campaign, taking whatever the evidence is and presenting it as advantageous to their client."
Sunday, August 21. 2016
Saturday, August 20. 2016
There seems to be a cultural disconnect.
Early one morning the sun was shining. I was laying in bed. Must be Saturday.
In my grandparent's lifetime, everyone was expected to work at least half a day on Saturday. Sunday was the only day of rest. My great-grandparents didn't even get that. They had to ask for a whole day off from working far in advance, and their wish might not necessarily be granted.
The peasant working class is reappearing everywhere. Tugging their forelock and saying, "Morning, Guvna" as they hold the door open for their latest Uber cab customer. Hawkers and pedlars don't take the weekends off. That's when they hunt their prey. Er, that didn't sound right. Leisure hours for others are target rich environments. Hmm. That sounded a trifle violent as well. Anyway, they work weekends.
Even the hoity toity don't get Saturday off in the traditional sense anymore. Unless they're smart enough to claim their cellphone ran out of batteries on the weekend. That doesn't work on a steady basis. After all, excuses must be refreshed from time to time. You can only attend your grandmother's funeral like four or five times before the boss catches on.
On to the links!
While everyone was busy worrying where a doltish swimmer lost his wallet, the NSA was teaching every bad actor and tinpot dictatorship how to hack even the most secure systems. It's OK, I imagine, because they didn't mean to. Comey means never having to say you're sorry.
Look at the headline. It's magnificent. I love watching Millennials trying to operate punctuation and spelling. Apparently all twelve years of regular schooling now consists of the advice: Take a stab at it. Anyway, we ran a link yesterday that mentioned that internet security warnings often get ignored. This is why ignoring them is usually a good idea.
Half of that list is stupid. The other half would be useless if it were practical, which they won't be. Self-driving cars aren't a problem to be solved, because there's no problem there. Why do Millennials want to sit in a booster seat clutching a ziploc bag of Cheerios and a Gameboy until they're ready for a nursing home? Drive your own damn car. It's not that hard if you're not texting.
Wow, it really is Jimmy Carter's second and third term. BEOG grants are coming back. Can roller disco be far behind? They really did call them BEOG grants back in the day. It's like calling a cash-hole an ATM machine.
This is news? The Pentagon also planned nuclear strikes against the Vatican and Turks and Caicos back in the '60s. That's what they do. If they didn't plan fourteen different ways to move the Soviet Union six inches to the right, the hard way, they should have been fired.
Our friend Gerard remembers that Randy Newman has long since caught up with his famous relatives.
See what I mean? No high-schooler should be on FriendFace. WWTCLTOPED? Luckily, it'll flop, because kids think Friendface is for olds.
Have a lovely weekend, Maggie's readers. Drop your smartphone into the lake, by accident, on purpose, and take two full days off from work.
Friday, August 19. 2016
Well, good morning to ye.
I wrote about 500 words of screamingly hilarious text, filled with mordant observations, into the Maggie's Farm website editor. It was like leaving a bucket of corn next to the paddock. It done got et. That means the links for today are late, and they're not funny. Sorta like Game of Thrones. Maggie's makes do with a coal oil powered website, with alcohol lamps on the desks to light our compositing machine, and that's the way we like it.
No text is as funny as the text that gets erased. The fish that got away is always the largest. Writers never can reproduce lost work, even five minutes after they wrote it. Every manuscript is a foreign country as soon as it's written. If the printer accidentally burned Anna Karenina, and you asked Tolstoy to re-write it, he'd probably say something like, "I'm pretty sure it's about Russia, but don't hold me to it."
So if you need a laugh, you'll have to do without my erased observations. Picturing me putting needles in a doll that looks like the webmaster will have to do.
On to the links!
If software warnings from multinational tech companies didn't read like Hop on Pop, maybe people wouldn't ignore them. All the examples I see say things like, "Whoopsie, that shouldn't have happened! Our code monkeys have been dispatched to check into it. Here's a picture of a penguin!"
These teachers are demonstrating they're unfit for their jobs, and should be fired. They'll be given prizes instead.
I could have fixed Barnes & Noble. Hell, I could have fixed Yahoo. Unfitness for a job is now considered your primary qualification for it.
Another begged question. No cities are liveable. We'll give the article a pass for sticking the mealy-mouthed word "most" in there. Tallest midget in the circus. I like that the first reason a city is "liveable" is healthcare. If your first consideration for where you live is finding a doctor, you'd be happiest in a nursing home, I think.
I'm sorry. Were you saying something?
Not many people know what Cisco does. My impression of the company is that it's 500 times more important than Google, Apple, Facebook, Snapchat, and several hundred other tech companies combined. The Internet is really just a bunch of switches, and Cisco made them all. They're hemorrhaging workers because the CEO decided he (she? I refuse to look it up) wants to be in the Software as a Service business for some reason. After everyone loses their job, and the company tanks, maybe Barnes & Noble will hire him.
I'm confused. I've been assured that it's only trailer parks with confederate flags in the trailer windows where this sort of thing goes on. And we all know that only hillbillies marry their relatives. Woody Allen could tell you that. Is it possible that low-rent behavior isn't about money?
I find Oetzi the Iceman to be the most interesting story of the last 50 years or so. Hmm. Shot in the back with an arrow, and left to die. Dude was a burglar.
You're right. I don't. Unlike Annabel and Emily from the Daily Mail, I've heard of Photoshop and publicity stunts. Still funny, though. Enjoy!
Say, it's Friday, isn't it? That's like the fifth Monday in a row. I hope our list of links helps you power through until they light the smoking lamp, and the blessed weekend begins. A votre sante, Maggie's readers!
Thursday, August 18. 2016
For me, the corporate world has become a bizarre scenario. Recent management changes in my office have led to responsibility shifts, and being a white male over 50, I'm in an unusual position. I have to continually prove my relevance. That shouldn't be unusual, it's the kind of relevance I have to prove which is unusual. We should all have to prove ourselves capable and competent in our jobs, regardless of age. This seems to be less important today. What I have to consistently prove is how well I 'fit' in the organization. In other words, it's now what you do or say, but how you do or say it. Results aren't gauged by how quickly or efficiently they are accomplished, but by how well they are 'socialized'. To a large degree, it has required a considerable bit of effort to run in place. I've found that my days are spent as much determining strategies to move forward as they are spent trying to get the job done.
Continue reading "Everything Has A Price"
Arthur Hiller has passed away. If the name doesn't ring a bell, he's a movie director. The Hollywood Reporter, charged with identifying him in their headline to a public that left him behind years ago, called him the "director of Love Story." Why they would choose that as his epitaph is telling. About the author, and the industry. Not Arthur Hiller.
Love Story made a lot of money. People in Hollywood find a way to like things that make a lot of money. They prefer working on cranky, obscure things that pay them a lot of money, and don't make anyone else any money, but they sit up straight when a rainmaker like Arthur Hiller walks in the room. Money is power and it's all Hollywood knows.
Arthur Hiller made some fun, interesting movies. You can still watch The In-Laws with Peter Falk and Alan Arkin and get a few laughs from it. He made the pilot for the 60's TV show The Addams Family, which is still very funny to look at. Like its contemporary The Beverly Hillbillies, it was really witty for a short while, before it became like every other dreary thing on TV.
I remember Love Story. It's a bad movie, and must be unwatchable today, even for its devotees. It's not my fault it made money. It got none of mine. It's not Arthur Hiller's fault, really, that it made a lot of money, so don't blame him either. He put his best effort forward for everything he worked at, and people liked him for it. They gave him an award for being generous, once. He remarked, “It’s so embarrassing to receive an award for doing what you should be doing, but I must admit it pleases me greatly.”
That's a better epitaph for the man, surely, than the director of Love Story. RIP
On to the links!
Begging the question in the headline again. Tsk. Tsk. The Pieta is Michelangelo's best work. Even seated Moses could give Dave a run for his money. Moses' ankles are fine. Hell, Dave might not be the most enjoyable statue outside the Palazzo Vecchio. Hercules and Cacus is a blast, and it gives you a two-for-one discount on your sculpture-gazing budget. A statue of a guy about to get his brains beat in is more appropriate than David, when it's outside the town hall where you pay your taxes.
A true expert in valuation buys companies, he doesn't scratch away in a cubicle estimating value. And he would never tell you what he was thinking. Uber could be worth next to nothing overnight, so valuing it at par with General Motors is silly. There's no scrap metal value in Uber if it goes belly up.
Sooner or later, everyone is going to have to come to grips with the fact that nearly all the stuff that wrecks your life is voluntary.
I've been wrong on the Internet more times than I can count. I am only "corrected" when I'm right.
Wednesday, August 17. 2016
Reading news reports from other countries is fun. You have no chips on their intellectual poker table, so you can read about things with an unjaundiced eye. I think George Washington called the attitude disinterestedness. He meant you shouldn't have a dog in any fight that you stand to benefit from. Old Muttonhead was somewhat phlegmatic, so it's hard to know what he might be thinking about any particular topic, but I've gotten the impression by reading about him that if he saw the capital city that bears his name, he'd bust out the fire and sword. Disinterestedly.
Anyway, I went to Europe this AM and poked around, looking for things I could be disinterested in, hoping they'd interest me. I hope they interest you, too.
Isn't France still essentially under martial law? Don't government functionaries have better things to do? Don't Pokemon Go players?
Snicker. For some reason I have a Cab Calloway song playing in my head. Won't they just have to turn over all the proceeds to Troy? Hi di hi di hi di ho!
I'm trying to wrap my head around the formulation: "Spain's Olympic kayak hero." El Cid unavailable for comment.
"Expecting anything to function properly" is mysteriously absent from this list.
I think this comes under the heading of "slow news day" in Germany. Shouldn't you be shopping for a bottle of ouzo and a spray of flowers for some Greek, to go along with your reparations check? Get busy.
Well, there you have it. Europe. And I though the United States was a silly place. Good night, Mr. and Mrs. Europe, from border to border and coast to coast, and all the ships at sea. You were fun while you lasted.
Tuesday, August 16. 2016
I am a connoisseur of bad writing.
As you can imagine, I adore the Internet. The Internet is like a bad writing contest with 6 billion contestants and no prize. It's the Telephone Game played in semaphore by myopics. It's a vast playground for hunches about grammar, with capitalization carbuncles appearing here and there, garnished with improvisational spelling, in a passive voice reduction. Not to mention the mixed metaphors.
Some wags went on a safari looking for bad writing, and called it the Bulwer-Lytton Contest. We all know its humble beginnings. Poor Georgie B-L was just doing his best to write a novel back in 1830:
That ain't Shakespeare, but honestly, it can't compete with the Huffington Post for triteness. It's just the sort of writing that makes you put the book back on the library shelf, and pick up the next one. No. Big. Deal.
But they've made it a contest, so it is a big deal. I hate it. Encouraging people on the Internet to write badly on purpose is a fool's errand. That's what they do. Encouraging them to write well, or even write gooder, would strike me as a worthier task. But then again, the contest is presented by Writer's Digest, whose raison d'etre is encouraging girls who should have flunked out of jo school to write another sparkly vampire bodice-ripper using their specious advice. Yawn.
I want bad writing that turns out that way on accident, to use the parlance of our times. I want bad writing written in dead earnest. Apparently, I wanted the Bad Writing Contest.
Now that's what I'm talkin' about. I'm slightly confused, though. It says a girl wrote it, but she forgot to put three exclamation points at the end. A minor oversight, but telling.
Now, on to our quotidian dose of bad writing from all over:
Ah, the Internet, where every question is begged. Are computer coders part of the Elite Class? No. They'll revert to the equivalent of journeyman plumbers in the near future. Perfectly respectable, but hardly elite. The author's inability to order concrete without an iPhone app is telling. It's telling about him, not the concrete company. And the word "into" in the headline should be "to."
Along the same lines as Mr. I Retired at 28 and Want a Medal. They always say the answer to any question posed in a headline is invariably, "No." All I needed to see was a long table covered with Apple computers to know nothing productive was going on.
There's a question in the headline again. It's a fake though. The question is begged, not answered with a "No." Diesel engines have been obsolete for a long time. The reasons they keep making them are weird.
The practice of screwing a bizarre melange of merde to the walls in taverns is a lot older than all the chains mentioned in this interesting article. Every barroom, from the '30s on, put memorabilia from the patrons on the walls to keep them coming back. After they died, it looked randomly chosen to a new crop of drunks.
Every generation has something that brings a tear of remembrance to the eye. It's a moving target. You'd kill to play Knock Down with your old baseball cards, and people younger than you want to play Donkey Kong Junior on a tabletop.
Some day, everyone will realize that the last ten years has consisted of nothing but skimming. Nothing of value was created. Google stole the Yellow Pages, Facebook stole the dry-erase board hanging on a girl's dorm room door, and Apple gave you a little handheld television to watch while driving.
Monday, August 15. 2016
Look, I just thought you should know. I barely know how to break news like this to you. But this is the kind of earth-shaking development that must be disseminated. Send small children out of the room, pour yourself a bracer, sit down, and know this: A swimmer has been inconvenienced!
It's Monday morning, and I know you're relying on Maggie's Farm to cover the globe like Sherwin Williams to get the stories that really matter. I'm trying to take my stint as the Farm's resident hooligan seriously. I felt an obligation to get up to speed on the most important stories on the planet, and report them here to you. I checked in with MSNBSBBclatcheyrudge, and I was shocked, shocked at what I discovered. I was expecting all sorts of bad things. Things like race riots, trouble in the Balkans, plagues of disease-carrying mosquitoes, fixed elections. I didn't see any of that mentioned, so I guess everything's OK on those fronts. But boy howdy, a swimmer has been inconvenienced.
I mean, when a swimmer can be inconvenienced by some ruffian, some footpad, some cad, some bounder, some slavering miscreant -- certainly the end times must be upon us. I forget which horseman of the apocalypse was sent to inconvenience a swimmer, but he's right up there, I bet.
On to the links.
I'm so old I remember when this affected the price of film. I'm also so old I remember film.
My chemistry education was elemental. and my metallurgy is a bit rusty, but that sounds to my ear like a very splodey combination.
No, they're not, and no, we wouldn't.
I heard he cheated and used paint brushes, too.
No Hong Kong-style soya sauce chicken noodles for you! Come back thirty days!
Must be some mistake. We all know the oldest gold object in the world is one of Keith Richard's fillings.
So, H.G. Wells invented the Internet in 1937. And then the Morlocks took it over and called it Twitter.
Well, that's it for today's links. Tune in tomorrow, and I promise I'll find out if any swimmers discover there isn't any toilet paper in their stall, or stub their toe on a coffee table, or are made to wait in line over-long at the Registry of Motor Vehicles, or are forced to fly economy.
Sunday, August 14. 2016
They Think Anyone Who Disagrees with Them Is Crazy
The author wants the elites to speak honestly to the masses. I do not agree that language is the problem. I think the problem is that the elites have every really done anything or made anything real in their lives. "Today, few of our politicians have ever done anything resembling useful work."
Related, re the Euro elites: The Brexit Vote And Endgame Time For The EU
Saturday, August 13. 2016
Roger here. Bird Dog has gone to the spa to take the waters. And by "spa," I mean tavern. And by "waters," I mean single malt. Anyway, he's left me to guard the chicken coop until he can finish his sabbatical, and make bail. I don't know what to talk about. That's because I'm not interesting, the way Bird Dog is.
I'm not interesting, but that's beside the point. What makes me even more useless to the lovely people here at the Farm is that I'm not interested. I don't care about much of anything that makes the front page of the papers, or the nightly news, or Huffpo. At least, I think I'm not interested, because I have no idea what's going on at those venues. It's not a pose like you'd suppose. I think it's all twaddle and avoid looking at it.
I'll try to take the path less traveled, and look for interesting things:
Never mind autistic kids. Why doesn't every kid speak more than one language? Me pega.
This is called "begging the question," even though it's not a question. It's the smug version of petitio principii. The real question is whether natural photosynthesis is particularly efficient. It isn't. There's just a lot of it going on.
Well, that's today's roundup of links. You can now return to your regularly scheduled conniption fit about the election.
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