Friday, October 23, 2009

Seven quick takes

  • There's nothing better than beef & noodles on mashed potatoes.
  • I'm currently on an American history kick (one of my ever-revolving cycle of interests) with this and this. The former is inspired by the Texans who are talking secession - I'm trying to see whether that idea makes sense. The latter is the first in my in-depth note-taking course in American history. Every time I find a date I note it in a file, the goal being a comprehensive database of American history. A happy consequence is that it slows my reading down so more of it sinks in and I have time to make connections and explore side roads. I chose that book more or less at random - I had trouble finding a list of early histories of America, and this one covered the pre-Revolutionary period I wanted to start in. As I come across references to other books and build a bibliography, I'll uncover more early histories.
  • Mmm... fresh clean socks.
  • Why could a cat pee on a dvd?
  • Lisa's off to a Mom's night out - her Mom's group is meeting to assemble meals to take home & freeze.
  • When covering Greek myths with the kids, follow Edith Hamilton rather than Robert Graves. He gives all the sick depraved details; she politely glosses over them.
  • Did you know the northern states were seriously planning secession back when Jefferson was president?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I guess I can trust Highlights

"Crimson Harvest" - that's the title of an article 11yo Secunda is reading in the current Highlights magazine. When I saw the title I thought "oh great - some liberal bigot going on about how the Inuit seal harvest is so damned cruel, lots of bloody pictures, lefty propaganda for the kiddies, etc." Well, no - it's an article about harvesting cranberries. It seems we really can trust Highlights. Unlike the sadly politicized National Geographic, which is basically a polysyllabic Time magazine. We cancelled that crap after a few months' subscription.

Ha! I just went to the National Geographic website - the title of the homepage is "National Geographic - Inspiring People to Care About the Planet." In other words, we have a BBC-style climate-nut agenda we'll push in every article.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Final Exit

I'd bet a paycheck that sometime in the next 10 years, before the end of 2019, there'll be a "reality" show on teevee featuring a different suicide every week. Each suicide will be a noble person with some dread affliction of the week, taking the brave way out accompanied by a loving tearful family who agrees that it's the right thing to do. It could be followed each week by the funeral/casket/ash bucket equivalent of Say Yes to the Dress.

What could you do with half a million bucks? says they've stolen 16 billion dollars to create (or save) 30 thousand jobs. If you dare to do the math, that's about half a million dollars per job. So that's what the government can do with $500,000. I think I could do a hell of a lot better than that, all by my little own lonesome.

UPDATE: see subsidiarity, a word from which King Obama's czars, sultans and potentates recoil in horror.

A disappointing discovery

Sugar hides the taste of what it's in. I don't know why I didn't notice this sometime in the last 20 years. I've been drinking fresh-brewed tea without sugar for a few months, but recently I idly added a couple of teaspoons to sugar to a cup. It was disappointing to find half the tea's flavors gone, replaced by vile sweet sugar.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Liberty once lost, or, The Prophetic Mr Adams #1

John Adams to his wife Abigail, July 7, 1775:

Your Description of the Distresses of the worthy Inhabitants of Boston, and the other Sea Port Towns, is enough to melt an Heart of stone. Our Consolation must be this, my dear, that Cities may be rebuilt, and a People reduced to Poverty, may acquire fresh Property: But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty once lost is lost forever. When the People once surrender their share in the Legislature, and their Right of defending the Limitations upon the Government, and of resisting every Encroachment upon them, they can never regain it.

The greatness of Christopher Columbus

In what does the greatness of Christopher Columbus consist?

We say not that he was unmoved by perfectly honourable aspirations after knowledge, and deserving well of human society; nor did he despise glory, which is a most engrossing ideal to great souls; nor did he altogether scorn a hope of advantages to himself; but to him far before all these human considerations was the consideration of his ancient faith, which questionless dowered him with strength of mind and will, and often strengthened and consoled him in the midst of the greatest difficulties. This view and aim is known to have possessed his mind above all; namely, to open a way for the Gospel over new lands and seas.

And this is precisely why Columbus is portrayed as one of history's greatest monsters in today's government schools.