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
Friday, March 20. 2009
Photo: Star Trek Captain's Chair. Every blogger's dream seating.
Benedict's argument on condoms, explained.
That PSA test doesn't accomplish much.
Chaplain barred from saying "God." Might be offensive to "some." It's always that famous "some." But what if not saying "God" is offensive to me?
Where are the war crime accusations against the Palestinians?
Discussion of the quantitative easing. Cowen. My ignorant view? Banks will take the money and hoard it to recapitalize. Who wouldn't?
Not in my neighborhood. Admin considers releasing Gitmo guys in the USA. Just one more reason to have an armed home.
In case you don't know it yet, Obama's teleprompter has its own blog.
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Two years ago a simple PSA probably saved my life! I guess I'm just one of the "lucky" ones, I wonder what the next study will say!
TOTUS. Teleprompter of the United States. Pretty funny site. Rush now says he didn't challenge Pres Obama to a debate, he challenged his teleprompter. Going straight to the source of information.
Re: Not saying God. Forget the "some" and forget "me". What if not saying God is offensive to God?
Re: The confiscatory tax and the AIG bonuses. This is political pandering to those caught up in class warfare and a pathetic vindictive envy. What people don't get is that once they're finished with AIG they'll just extend this model right on down the line to everyone else - lawyers, doctors, engineers, janitors. At issue is compensation for services rendered - backed up by contracts. Pay 'em and shut up!
The rule of law is disappearing in plain view. Mortgage contracts will be subject to revision without the consent of the mortgage holder. Contractual payments to AIG employees are being voided by this targeted tax, which may not be legal anyway.
The left has promoted legislation from the bench for a long time. The trend is now accelerating.
The rule of law is the fragile line in the sand that promised to keep the citizenry free from the tyranny of government.
We are living in increasingly dangerous times and the potential threat from our own government is rapidly growing.
PSA test: Consider the source of the article: Are they (NYT) already making the case for healthcare rationing? Unnecessary test? C'mon . . . If it does nothing else, it gives the treater an opportunity to raise awareness, get the discussion going - THAT can save lives!
The Times, and most of the B.M. (Big Media) got the PSA study wrong, confusing detection (important) with treatment decisions (complex and still not resolved).
Wonder how many will die today because they believe the Times?
I wrote to my Congressman, Scott Garrett, today to thank him for reading the Constitution and voting against the AIG tax.
Most of the House used the Constitution for toilet paper yesterday.
If we had teachers worth their salt, this AIG thing would be a wonderful teaching moment about the U.S. Constitution, bills of attainder, and other ancient laws preventing the constriction of the freedom of individual citizens. Britain had laws against such bills before we did. That's why this law has that funny name. Said teachers could mention the importance of abiding by written contracts. Curiously enough, our present government has strangely fluid beliefs about the inviolability of written contracts.
This could affect all of us, and I think we should be upset that our Congress is trending in this direction.
The other bit of disturbing news this morning is the Obama Administration's plan to send out platoons of brownshirts into a neighborhood near you to go house to house and have all of us sign a pledge to support President Obama's programs.
Like hell I will! Texas is a "my home is my castle" state. Guess we'll have to prove it again.
If we "had teachers worth their salt", or to put it another way, if we had not spent the last 25 years standing quietly by as the curriculum in our schools became not one of content, but rather a tool of indoctrination, well then we might not have this news piece on the screen today. It ain't pretty, but it is a great example of severely handicapped we will be in the future as a result of what has been done to the last three generations. Read it and weep:
Let's not forget that just a few months ago a Chinese submarine was able to come up next to one of our ships on a "practice" session--Of course our folks had no knowledge they were there and now this. Looks to me like the US Navy better start taking a long hard look at curriculum, non-meritocracy-and ethnic quotas, if in fact they are going to be a serious contender in the struggle for a healthy peace!
I find it mind boggling how so many seemingly intelligent people can actually support arguments like the one supporting the pope's position on condoms. Reason number 9,234,234,234 that religion is organized ignorance.
Pope Benedict would be not ignorant but stupid to join at the neck with folks whose prime directive is sexual immorality.
Immorality as defined by who? Where does sexual assault of children by catholic priests fall relative to your definition of immorality? How about the widespread cover ups of said abuse by the Vatican?
Of what relevance is Mr. Cocks-o-tin's world view to his point? While I totally disagree with his throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater point about religion in general, I don't see the C-Church standing on a lot of moral high ground lately, vis-a-vis his second post.
Or, I might add, a quite a number of other churches who were just as guilty of the same thing.
I was taking a very different angle. If you didn't get me drift, that's fine. You are arguing about the trees and I was attempting to address the forest. Now back to the trees...
I agree with your comments about "religion in general" and the C-Church.
I also recognize that all people have "feet of clay". Just because some people are Christians and claim a certain moral standard doesn't mean that each individual will always meet that standard. Don't get me wrong, I am not excusing the behavior. Ultimately, we live by grace and not the law. May I suggest a thorough reading Paul's epistle to the Romans?
I think with John's last name Cocktosin, if I were to remove the "s' and put in a 'x". Then we get Cocktoxin. A disease all the predatory priests should get, that did disgusting acts with children Enough about that.
Barrett, what are your views on the Federal Reserve purchasing T-bills from the treasury? Can you share any good tea leaf news with the rest of us? Do you see inflation coming at us big time in a year or two?
John, you have my apologies on rearranging your last name.
It is a great question and I have been thinking about inflation versus deflation/economic collapse for months.
I could write a doctoral thesis (and would if I could afford it) on the current crisis and the actions taken, including the subject of quantitative easing.
In short, the answer is it depends. There are many variables and I would like to be honest and not dogmatic.
We are dancing on the edge of knife right now. Some of the levers are under the control of the Fed and Treasury, but there are also externalities that could change the expected outcome. One of those externalities will be the magnitude and frequency of sovereign defaults.
There are also multiple issues to consider. One is the level of government spending and taxation, which is separate from the Fed. Second is the Fed buying newly issued Treasury debt or conducting purchases in the secondary market. Third, the level of cooperation between the Fed and Treasury is unprecedented and what does it mean for the independence of the Fed and it's ability to pursue it twin mandates of price stability and economic growth. Fourth is the velocity of money with the flip side being the liquidity trap. Fifth, economic fundamentals will permanently change of Obama is able to engineer a government takeover of health acre that accounts for 1/6 of the economy. Sixth, cap and trade represents a $1.9 trillion tax increase over ten years and will have a huge macro-economic impact.
Our national debt is roughly $11 trillion, which is approximately equal to GDP of $11 to $12 trillion and roughly 4.2 time total federal government revenues of $2.6 trillion. The national debt and unfunded mandates total $55 to $65 trillion, depending upon who you believe.
(The proposed Obama budget is $3.6 trillion that will result in a more than trillion deficit and it projects a doubling of the national debt within ten years.)
This is a long way of saying we are up to our eyeballs in debt (as is the rest of the world) and it is doubtful that there are sufficient revenues to keep up even if you confiscate all of the income of the wealthy (> $200,000).
Historically, governments have chosen to inflate their way out of the problem. I believe the Fed has announced that this is their intention, although it is couched in terms of economic growth.
We are currently facing deflationary pressures, although the inflation metrics this past month were positive. The collapse of demand is inherently deflationary. When we will turn from a recessionary/deflationary economy to an inflationary economy cannot be answered precisely.
I think the highest probability outcome is stagflation. The rate of inflation has the potential to be very high, but it is not a forgone conclusion. On balance, I am thinking about how to position myself for an inflationary economy.
I plan to remain vigilant.
I hope this helps.
I apologize for the typos. I should have proof read it, but it is late and I had a couple of drinks at dinner tonight.
This is a topic that needs to be discussed regularly. I am sure MF will throw a juicy tidbit into the mix every now and then to keep the comments flowing. Sometimes the financial posts like Monday's $11.2 trillion hit do not get many comments, although I often hit the bait - good fish that I am.
In any case, we can ask each other questions as you, Jappy, did tonight.
In general, agree about sexual morality. From a forest perspective, as you say. But as far as "feet of clay" is concerned, I don't buy that as it applies to pedophiles acting out their desires on children. Regardless of what drives those people to have those urges, they take a very big conscious step when they harm a child. There's a huge trust factor that when betrayed, while it does severe enough damage to the children and families directly involved, does further damage to society as a whole. To the degree it went on in the papist domain, for as long as it did, even after most such behavior elsewhere came into the light, and with the intimidation tactics that the church apparently used against the very families of the victims involved, is just totally inexcusable in my book. They've still got a long way to go to make up for that.
Not that it's directly relevant to the condom issue at the genesis of this discussion, but it does speak to the concept of abstinence in general when such behavior gets so far out of control within the very institutions responsible for morality. I didn't really want to open a big can-o-worms about this issue outside of its context, but the betrayal of people's trust like what has happened there has a huge moral gravity that shouldn't be too soon forgotten.
Re AIG: Now all the politicians can return retroactively the $$ contributed by companies receiving TARP funds. The trouble with politicians is they don't operate under the same rules as those they represent: different healthcare plans, different pensions, different job security, the ability to rewrite laws and, with the media's help, history.
Re Marianne on education: Bill Ayers is back --- covered in CHICAGO Magazine April 2009 spouting his theory on "social justice advocacy" in the classroom. As vice president for curriculum at the American Educational Research Association, he has much influence on teacher training. Oddly, you cannot access his article online, although another one by Arne Duncan is available. (And, yes, Marianne, ACORN isout there, funded by the stimulus package no less).
Another pomo advocate of situationally selective morality. Looks like a hit and run.
It seems that the Pope is going with a method that is proven to work, abstinence. Look to Uganda.
Everyone who is critical of the man and portrays him as backward and unrealistic is for a method that is proven to not work, condoms.
I'm not a big fan of the Pope, but he does seem to have the most realistic approach to the HIV crisis in Africa.
Note that the Ugandans still included condoms in their program. And AFAIK, the C-Church still opposes any use of condoms whatsoever so it's not like he's advocating the same practice, realistically speaking.
Maybe if the pope could get his own minions to practice abstinence from the decidedly more controllable urge to put their winkies in the alter boys, his point about abstinence would carry a bit further.
OT, sorry -- Don't want my comment (#6) regarding post of 19mar09 to be ignored -- so commenting here too:
Does anyone know why Jeff Goldstein's weblog is not on line?
Link regarding Journolog (http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=14554), posted 19mar, no longer works. Frisch again?