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
Sunday, December 7. 2008
Earth cooling because of global warming
Cheer up! And you will cheer up†everybody around you.
A prescription 9mm handgun. Would Medicare cover it?
Obama plans huge spending spree.†Sounds like history's biggest pork festival. And what do school buildings have to do with good education? Or school internet, for that matter? (Unless the brains full of mush are required to read Maggie's daily...)
We've done this too. Paying an erroneous ticket simply to avoid the hassle.
Dems suddenly change their minds about waterboarding. It's really not that bad: they do it to me every time I go to the dentist. I wish they would let me control the suction.
Boston's border control chief hires illegals.
What's your religion? Atheists worship solstices. Who cares?
Urban safety and the great Jane Jacobs. Althouse
Truthers to the left of me, truthers to the right of me. Michelle
Cost-benefit analysis on wind power. Candles are cheaper.
Bill Ayers, Victim
And, related to the above, on the the Guardian's position on terror, via Thompson:
Krauthammer on Iraq. A quote:
Yes. That's the point.
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Re Krautmammer on Iraq: I sincerely hope he is right, but I fear Iraq could follow the path of Yugoslavia, working for a few years until the old hatreds resurface.
If global warming causes global cooling, then I guess, we're set!
Hopefully, global cooling will cause global warming, eventually.
Just wanted to remind you, News Junkie, that today is a very special day in our hearts ... Pearl Harbor Day. You're too young to remember the incredible shock and horror of that day, all over the United States. My brother and I were returning from a Sunday lunch in the country with our parents when the news came over the car radio. We were stunned silent with horror. My parents looked at each other in silent dread, knowing that my brother, three years older than I, would be drawn into the conflict, as he was. The next day, President Roosevelt gave his famous "a day that will live in infamy.." speech on the radio. And my Mom cried.
Unlike in the present war, the country was transformed in the next five-six years in many many ways. Food shortages and rationing, clothes rationing, gas rationing, no new civilian vehicles made until after the war, women learning how to work on production lines in factories, so the men could go into the military. And all those young brave men, with no body armor, no high tech weapons except those the army already had, and had on order, loaded onto transport ships and sent off to Europe to protect us at home. And more than 400,000 died on the battlefields, including my fiance, a ski-trooper, in Italy on Mt. Belvedere. Others, like Bob Dole, were severely wounded and never completely recovered.
It changed our lives forever. It changed my life, so I can never forget. Many years later, my husband and I were in Hawaii, and we visited the battleship Arizona site, where 1100 sailors are forever interred in the sunken ship they served. It's very touching, and those who are sensitive to such things can feel the pressure of the memories. The ship still slowly weeps tears of oil from its buried tanks and passageways. And every US Navy ship that passes the gravesite musters its crew on deck to salute those dead heroes as it passes.
Please let us not forget them.
Having ben born in 1948 and growing up as a US Marine Corps dependent I had the honor to know many many Marines who were at Pearl Harbor or shortly thereafter joined the Corps and made it a career, as did my father.
As a child of two I lived two door down from Pappy Boyington, Medal of Honor winner. Everywhere, for my youthful life, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by officers who know honor and service, the gung ho attitude and Espirit de Corps. My own father proir to going therough flight school in mid 1943 made four island assaults in the Pacific winning the Navy Cross.
I assure you I will never forget those men, most of who are gone now, and the sacrifices they made to keep us free. My DNA is that of a warrior and of that I am proud. Many of the others on this site are the same. This is a site that honors this country and I like that as I am sure you do also.
Fear not, we will never turn our backs on the honorable who served with such valor. But thank you for drawing more light to our history and the fact that freedom is never free.
Go to this site and get this book: "A Soldier of the Great War" by Mark Helprin. It's stayed on my Top Ten List for years, and I've given it as a gift several times. It is that good. The setting is WWI in the mountains of Italy. I can't describe it, but read the comments on the site and you'll get a sense of this masterpiece. It just takes your breath away.
Bird Dog ... just found it. Thank you ... very much.
About the photo of Santa Claus and the naked woman in this post:
Santa getting his jollies.
Blonde: "He had his Claus all over me!"
His come on line was, "Want to see my elf."
Blonde: "Is this really the North Pole?"
Young child in line: "I don't think I want to sit on Santa's lap anymore!"
Santa: "Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen! Now! NOW!"
Santa: "O Christmas tree! Oooo Christmas tree! O CHRISTMAS TREE!"
Santa: "You're officially on both lists."
Technically speaking, wouldn't Mrs. Claus view this as re-gifting?
Obama appears to be gleefully down the path of bankrupting America. Massive government spending will get us little at an extremely high cost and on an untimely basis. Infrastructure spending of this type has been studied and shown to be ineffective.
Given that we are presently embroiled in a recession caused by a credit (i.e. debt) bubble, it is only fitting that our Retard-in-Chief plunge the country farther down the road to perdition.
Here is what should be done if one wants a fiscal stimulus with immediate impact. Suspend the payroll tax for six months. It will proportionately provide a greater benefit to lower income earners and the spending impact will be immediate.
My guess as to why this will not be done. People will actually see in real terms what is taken from them with each pay check. Congress will not take the risk of revolt when the taxes are reinstated. (Can you imagine how people would act if they actually had to write a check for the taxes paid each pay period?)
Continuing on the economics theme, I was in a meeting with some project finance folks in the power industry. Of course, alternative energy became the central topic of discussion. All parties (borrowers, lenders and lawyers) agreed on one thing. None of the technologies are presently economic.
Here is the punch line from the wind power story above. "Letís see - the US uses 436,000,000 kilowatts every hour on average, so we could power the US with only 290 million of these wonderful devices. At $16,000 a pop, thatís only $4.65 trillion - only a third of US GNP!"
Financing is a function of cobbling together sufficient tax incentives to subsidize the projects and meet debt service obligations. Just wait until the tax laws or the technology changes. Just look at what a disaster ethanol has been.
Can you say alternative energy is the next bubble?
Barrett ... Alternative energy, whether wind power, solar power or biofuels, is the next great con. Biofuels really skew the food chain, as well as produce low quality fuel, wind power is OK until the wind drops, water power is more dependable than that, but still, how many dependable supplies of water power are there?
Nuclear power plants would be the best alternative for electricity and most of civilized Europe uses nuclear power. I read somewhere that France gets about 70% of its electricity from nuclear. But just mention nuclear power and the liberals start shouting "Oh my God! Three Mile Island," or something equally silly. IIRC, there are about 104 nuclear power producing stations in the United States -- ridiculously inadequate for a country our size. And it's the obstructionist Democrats who are preventing more nuclear power stations from being built. The suspicion has arisen that the Democrats want Americans to have inadequate power supplies so that we will beg the all-powerful, all-wise government to save us. Obama said during his campaign that he wanted to bankrupt the coal companies. In Texas, about 50% of our electrical power generating is from coal fired plants and we have only one nuclear power plant.
We must change this, in spite of the hostile Congress, if we want to continue to be a safe and healthy country.
A note to Habu and Meta ... Habu, you say that your DNA "is that of a warrior" and you are proud," and that "this is a site that honors this country..." That's one of the reasons I am so devoted to this site, its owners and its commenters. Decent people who love their country and their independence are rare and to be cherished.
Meta ... I'm going on Amazon right now and ordering this book by Helprin. Thanks so much for the heads-up.
Two rewarding searches, on Pearl Harbor Day, for whatever in the results may most draw you in, would be
[ torpedo eight ]
[ taffy three ]
Well, to add thought, both these were small actions that proved critical to winning very large battles, and both were suicide charges --and the young fellas who made them knew it going in, too. Suicide charges made by American sons of American moms who --unlike their enemy and matter of fact unlike most of the rest of the world --had something really exciting to live for --a bright new nation with oodles of opportunity coming out of the great depression, with wide open range and wide open prospects in such a vibrant, God-fearing, jitterbugging, happy-go-lucky time and place that Torpedo Eight and Taffy Three are at the same time completely mysterious and not even mysterious at all.
Anyhoo, without taking anything at all away from the sailors & soldiers of the Atlantic Theater, that Pacific Theater, with the island campaigns, with that endless Pacific to sink or get shot down into (or even to fly long range over on those humid sandy island-maintained radial engines), those blue green palm islands in paradise that were suddenly just jam packed with as much war as they could hold, with two enemy armies nose to nose who could not no matter what or how hellish could never disengage --because there was nowhere to go --and so had to kill each other and keep killing each other until one army or the other was literally completely dead, well, it's just almost unbelievable, it's hallucinatory, dreamlike and nioghtmarish, to those who look at it from many miles and many years away --trying to see what was in those guys, what kind of iron --those guys who went home and somehow rejoined the world (the broken world they "re-joined") and married our mothers and raised families and carried onward.
80% of wisdom is minding your own business. The other 20% is making sure others mind theirs. These asshole atheists who insist on minding other people's business need a good slap.
They try to frame their behavior in legal terms, basking in the glow of the Constitution.
Fine --but the truth is, people string out on a faith-faithless continuum (with and/or without belief in a supernatural), and the one end --faith --wants to have good thoughts about mankind, and the other end --by elimination faithless --doesn't.
And some of the faithless are trying to embody the evidence that the faithful be wrong.
"After all," they say, "Just look at us!"
I'll take the center of that continuum and raise ya five. The extremes of either side can be rotten to the core, but I think the average person of faith and the average non-believer respect one another and do not use belief or non-belief as a metric for judgement one way or the other. Atheists and believers have good thoughts about mankind in equal measure - as if anyone needs to be taught to love his fellowman.
It's the extremes on both sides that need a good slap - like those atheists with that sign saying belief makes one hardhearted. Give me a break. What the hell do they know.
i agree with you completely, meta --but do wonder if an atheist who loves humankind isn't really from the faith end, and is mostly objecting to a perceived overly-literal invisible guy who lives in the sky. IOW, well i don't want to say 'idolatry' but i do think that many smart, decent, faithful people call themselves 'atheist' because they have tuned their receivers to that high frequency that picks up that background noise.
after all --look at the word "a theist".
wonder why the word for 'un-theist' or 'non-theist' is 'a theist'?
to carry the radio signal bit out a little further --do you remember that "squelch' knob on the old analog radios? You could make your own static with that knob --the noise was the signal you'd just then dialed past the audible and begun listening to the random.
what i mean to say is, maybe the invisible guy who lives in the sky is for some just too audible, too obvious, too simple, too easy --as in, it can't be that simple, because if it is, then jesus really is the actual son of an actual real god and oh WOW, this would all be WAY TOO heavy to deal with, too MUCH to be workable with the workaday humdrum of what our nerves demand we spend most of our fouscore-and-ten immersed in.
So, this person might well call him or her self an 'atheist'.
But the spirit-sick person, the poor soul who maybe as a child had been tortured in some way and has come to a faith in a world of horror --also has faith but HATES god --and also calls him or herself an 'atheist'.
What pray tell do the two of 'em have in common, i wonder?
"What pray tell do the two of 'em have in common, i wonder?"
A need for comfort they cannot get in their reality-based lives. Resentfulness is not a good reason to believe. Perhaps they know that so call themselves atheists.
and resentfulness knows no comfort but revenge --
thus we come full circle back to your ''they need to be slapped'' --
for taking revenge against others who have done them no harm other than that their images (captured, smeared, and held) occupy the minds of the vengeful.
the minds which say "Because we are so smart, so modern, so tolerant, your very being offends our planet, which BTW you immorally occupy."
a musical interlude featuring our subjects of discussion:
No, they're not there yet --but that's the place they're going.
I'm a little speechless where this ended up, so I shall summon up my 80% and hit the trail.
extremism --it ended up with extremism --too much extre mism --a little mism goes a long way so who needs any extre
"Because we are so smart, so modern, so tolerant, your very being offends our planet, which BTW you immorally occupy."
You are so right. Extremism.
The first step of the so called enlightened and tolerant is to demean and dehumanize the "enemy". Once this has been accomplished, any horrific act can be done and justified.
The examples throughout history are all too many. Hitler, the Nazis and the Holocaust is the most familiar example.
The atheists/secularists are doing this to Christians today. The Islamists are doing this to the Jews and all of us Western infidels. (Watch the language - dogs, pigs, etc. Look at the Islamist political cartoons of Bush and Sharon drinking the blood of children.)
what's weird is that a year or two ago you and i would've laughed at the notion that ''it could happen again''. Now we ain't so dang sure, are we.
Please don't paint with such a broad damn brush. It is possible to be a caring, critical thinking human without having a particular belief system in place. To ascribe all atheists as leftist or as susceptible to some form of potential Nazism is ludicrous in the extreme and shows the very form of extremism that is being railed against here. I just ran across this site the other day.
But keep talking, shrink that already shrunken tent even more and watch as the Republican party becomes even less influential than it is now.
naw, LM --it's the crazies we were talking about --regardless of how they label themselves. Like what's going on right now with the proposition 8 issue --how Mormons are being attacked and all.
instapundit has been linking to it for a couple days now --and the NYTimes carried an ad today or yesterday from a new organization (No Mob Vote dot com >iirc
Well, maybe, BL. But it sure seemed as if the conversation was veering off into strange territory. After all, as someone said on another thread...
"Generalizing is a guarantee for losing credibility. Why is that so hard to understand?
For sure we have to worry about the future, but it's good to keep focused on the present and what is, I think, and not what our fevered brains might imagine could be.
Ahh, reductio ad hitlerum. Godwin said it best, "As a...discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."
Here's a simple rule: Don't start shooting until you know the other guy is going to do you or someone close to you bodily harm. After that, do the most harm possible. Until then may I counsel, do NOT let the most radical from either side frame the debate.
Hell, all I wanted to do was have a laugh at Santa and it has come to this...
oh, it was me --getting carried away --in a dark mood --been reading about the trial of Mrs. Dinky. Bad stuff. As the prosecutor asked her, "You chopped off your husband's head, you chopped off your husband's arms, you chopped off your husband's legs. How COULD you Mrs. Dinky?"
Lorena Bobbitt had a similar case but she chopped different parts. It's odd of course, the cases being so similar and all, but really they were quite unique and direct comparisons would be inaccurate. It would be true to say Mrs. Dinky didn't do a Lorena Bobbitt, and Lorena Bobbitt didn't Mrs. Dinky.
The detective walked up to her and asked "Bobbitt?"
She answered "Did i ever!"