Mary's Library

Friday, April 08, 2011


Dick Morris is going on about how Republicans (and moderates) who voted for the conservative Republicans who now control the house will be outraged if the their new representatives vote for less than $61 billion in cuts, if they compromise with the administration in order to avoid a government shutdown. He's wrong. The people who made an effort to get out there and vote are going to divide into two groups. The much smaller group will be irate and work to find another Republican to replace the congressman who doesn't take seriously the public insistence on cutting the budget and the deficit. But most people will shrug cynically and mumble apathetically about politicians being all alike, crooks all of them, and either not vote or perhaps vote for the Democrat. In a climate where the unions are in full crusader mode over Wisconsin this will be disastrous for the Republicans. The unions will do what they are best at doing, organize, and we will have another of those landslide elections where the house changes hands in a dramatic fashion. When will politicians listen to the people who elected them and do what they promised in their campaigns?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Airport ‘Security’? - Thomas Sowell - National Review Online

Thomas Sowell has never hesitated to say what he thought about anything. Here's his take on the Obama administration and what the new security policy tells us about them:

Airport ‘Security’? - Thomas Sowell - National Review Online

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Your Tax Money, Union Dues, Campaign Contributions

I see where AFSCME, the union of state and local government employees, has donated $84,500,000 in this election. (I wonder how much of that went to Republican candidates.) They donated $400,000,000 in the 2008 election.

There are more union members working for the government than for private industry. What would Franklin Roosevelt think?

"The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service," he said in the 1930s. A public employee strike, he said, "looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Islam is not a religion

I have nothing against the people. I don’t hate Muslims. But Islam is a totalitarian ideology. It rules every aspect of life — economics, family law, whatever. It has religious symbols, it has a God, it has a book — but it’s not a religion. It can be compared with totalitarian ideologies like Communism or fascism. There is no country where Islam is dominant where you have a real democracy, a real separation between church and state.

-- Geert Wilders, 2009

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Sunday, May 09, 2010

Americans have always hated bureaucracy. One of the charges against King George III in the Declaration of Independence was that he “has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.” Who wants to be ruled by a national DMV? It is costly, inefficient, and, well, bureaucratic.

“It is not by the consolidation, or concentration of powers, but their distribution, that good government is effected,” Jefferson warned. “Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread.” - Matthew Spalding, The New Despotism of Bureaucracy

Jefferson on Big Government

"Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare but only those specifically enumerated."-- Thomas Jefferson

Friday, May 07, 2010


. . . when you have a situation where a government is spending four trillion dollars, but only taking in two trillion in revenue, basically, you’re telling the rest of the world you’ve no intention of paying that off ever, and the rest of the world eventually figures that out. - Mark Steyn

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Past

"We predicate things now in the schools on race, class, and gender, and we do it as remedies for present angst, and anxieties, and controversies. So history's become melodrama rather than tragedy. That's too bad because we're not fair to the past at all." -- Victor Davis Hanson

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

And still no need to use the word Muslim

The latest story in the NY Times on the arrest of the terrorist who tried to blow up Times Square.


David Brooks in today's NY Times talks about the fact that Asians in New Jersey live an average of 26 years longer and are 11 times more likely to have a college degree than an American Indian in North Dakota:

When you try to account for life outcome differences this gigantic, you find yourself beyond narrow economic incentives and in the murky world of social capital. What matters are historical experiences, cultural attitudes, child-rearing practices, family formation patterns, expectations about the future, work ethics and the quality of social bonds.

Equality of opportunity will never result in equality of outcome until the culture of every ethnic group changes. Or the government adjusts every outcome, as some folks would dearly love to do.

Why is the press afraid to use the word Muslim?

As in this op ed piece . . .

Saturday, December 26, 2009


There is, in fact, a manly and lawful passion for equality which excites men to wish all to be powerful and honored. This passion tends to elevate the humble to the rank of the great; but there exists also in the human heart a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to attempt to lower the powerful to their own level, and reduces men to prefer equality in slavery to inequality with freedom. - Alexis de Tocqueville

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A REAL Education

From Victor Davis Hanson at

Four years of high-school Latin would dramatically arrest the decline in American education. In particular, such instruction would do more for minority youths than all the 'role model' diversity sermons on Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X, Montezuma, and Caesar Chavez put together. Nothing so enriches the vocabulary, so instructs about English grammar and syntax, so creates a discipline of the mind, an elegance of expression, and serves as a gateway to the thinking and values of Western civilization as mastery of a page of Virgil or Livy (except perhaps Sophocles's Antigone in Greek or Thucydides' dialogue at Melos). After some 20 years of teaching mostly minority youth Greek, Latin, and ancient history and literature in translation (1984-2004), I came to the unfortunate conclusion that ethnic studies, women studies--indeed, anything "studies"-- were perhaps the fruits of some evil plot dreamed up by illiberal white separatists to ensure that poor minority students in the public schools and universities were offered only a third-rate education.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Today's News

I've taken to reading the local paper, The Spokesman-Review. Once in a while there's a story so good that knocks your hosiery off. But usually there's a conglomeration of news widely mismatched in importance.

This morning the front page offered us an important story (right hand column of page one - it's the #2 story of the day.) "Scientists Envision Mammoth's Return." Yup, with the economy crashing around us somebody is funding a project to bring back the wooly mammoth. They apparently found a hair from one of these beasts, frozen some 10,000 years ago. They broke down the genes and they're ready to apply them to a modern elephant and hope to come up with a less than useful result, in my opinion.

Why aren't these people trying to save what we still have, like the Bengal tiger or those gorillas in the African mist.

Following that story to page 4 I see where an alligator was found walking down the street in LA. The most startling thing about that is the fact that it was walking. Nobody and nothing walks in LA.

The major story in the Spokesman today was above the fold on page one: "Cuts Taking 'Awful' Shape." That's not encouraging. You would hope the state government budget cutting (which is what this is about - cutting the state budget to deal with a $5.1 billion revenue shortage) would take as pleasing a shape as possible. I'd expect them to cut funds for people who are doing things like re-creating prehistoric beasts. Instead we get a $600 million cut in state higher education. The University of Washington is one of the "public ivies" - it's the pride of Washington State. Is there nothing else out there a little less important to our future that could be cut? I shouldn't complain - they would probably cut library funding instead.

Books will get you through times of no money a whole lot better than money would get you through times of no books. I have a tee-shirt somewhere that says that.

A few other stories:
  • Wal-Mart is planning to power 100 of its store with wind generated electricity. (Does this mean stores will be open only on breezy days?)
  • Florida is joining the Powerball Lottery. This will increase the odds of winning from 1 in 146 million to 1 in 195 million. This, we are told, means a lot more people will be playing Powerball. I'm not good with numbers, but this doesn't on the face of it make a lot of sense. I suggest buyers of Powerball lottery tickets should be required to sign away their right to vote in the next election. It's scary that these people have a vote that weighs just as much as mine.
  • The CEOs of the big-three automakers traveled to the bailout hearings in DC on their own private jets. And they want me to cough up a couple of billion to bail them out? Uh-un.
  • The Indian Navy sank a pirate ship in the Gulf of Aden. Go India!
  • An Air Canada stewardess was drafted into service to help land a jetliner in Ireland. Apparently she did a whole lot better than the co-pilot was doing just before he went bezerk and was removed from the cockpit, restrained, and sedated. No diagnosis on the co-pilot.
  • The city wants the citizens of Spokane to take an online questionairre telling them what we consider most important issues in our neighborhoods and in the city as a whole. Notice of this questionairre is in a news story on the bottom of page four. Police, firefighting, a balanced budget, parks, and street improvements are ranked highest so far. Libraries are down there with opening business improvement centers and bike lanes.
  • Spokane County has issued an alert that three level 3 sex offenders have registered as transients. These people kidnapped a woman, molested a 13-year old boy, and "took indecent liberties" with a 10-year old boy. Why, exactly, have they been let out of jail?
  • The state is going to begin keeping track of MRSA. That's the infection that killed a newborn on House, MD the other night. MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Cases have grown from 141 a few years ago to 4,723 last year. How do they know that if they are only now beginning to keep track of cases?
  • And finally, some of the news is good. We have a headline: "Group Aims to Help Orcas with Cleanup." Killer whales are very intelligent animals. I can understand why they would want to clean up the waters off the Washington Coast. And it seems only fair that humans should help them do it.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Miss Emma Woodhouse


Monday, October 20, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008


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Friday, October 17, 2008


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Miss Georgiana Darcy

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In Duncan Garden

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Three-Dimensional Reading List


Tuesday, July 01, 2008