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
Tuesday, May 11. 2010
No time to think or write, but I want to clean my tabs up, and get these links out to our corner of the universe:
Is John Le Carre a great novelist? Norm
Kagan is wishy-washy on free speech. What the heck does "balanced with the good of society" mean? Only an arrogant, latent-totalitarian elitist jerk would ever say anything like that, in my humble opinion. Americans don't talk like that: we want everybody to say whatever they want, and let us separate the wheat from the chaff.
AVI: What is love?
In praise of shale gas: Carpe Diem
The Union of Concerned Scientists tackles gardening to save the planet. Good grief. What a bunch of sanctimonious putzes those folks are. They have been like that for years. "Ban the Bomb" and "Better Red than Dead" and the whole Global Cooling scare of the 1970s. A bunch of Viagra-deficient kooks and cranks.
Speaking of santimonious cranks, White House: Stop Marketing Unhealthy Foods to Kids. Hey, Washington: Shut the heck up and leave us alone. You can eat what you want, and we will eat what we like: Philly Cheese Steaks, and barbecued short ribs with corn bread, and stuff like that. Bread Pudding for dessert, with a Port or a single malt on the side. Then a cigar.
At Columbia, light on science, heavy on ideology: Sustainability---More Cash and a Softer Side. It's all about Sustain My Grants.
Steyn via Vanderleun:
An electoral "reform" deal in the UK?
Sounds like ACORN. Update: Never mind. Cameron's in, for what it's worth.
I know nothing, but my impression has been that the intent of the commerce clause was to eliminate and prevent obstacles to inter-state trade, not to create obstacles and controls of commerce - much less our daily lives or our deaths.
Your Supreme Court, via The Diversity Scam and the Supreme Court :
Kinda makes ya wonder how Ginsberg snuck on there with her sketchy educational resume. My Diversity Meter detects some problems here: Where are the folks from George Mason and Hillsdale, and the folks who say "y'all," and the folks from Montana? It's not as if you have to go to Harvard or to be from New York City to be able to understand the Constitution. It was deliberately written in plain, simple English - instead of legalese - so every citizen of every state could understand what they might decide to sign up for. It's short, and it's not rocket science. The Federalist Papers, however, are more interesting.
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As far as shale gas and petroleum is concerned, it's the elephant in the room that the Liberals don't want you to know about, because they fear it. There's lots of it in proven reserves like the Barnett Shale here in Texas, and an even larger field up in the Pennsylvania/southern Canada area. The Wall Street Journal had a long, in-depth article about it yesterday: "How Shale Gas is Going to Rock the World," by Amy Myers Jaffe. It's extremely well done and an easy, quite quick, read. You all know I'm hopeless at the linky thingy, but all you need to do is Google the title and you can get the link.
And one of Neptunus Lex's courteous and kindly commenters even put up the link, when I admitted I couldn't do linky.
Marianne, I went and read the Jaffe article.
She may say a few true things about shale gas but she also opines that 'alternative fuels' and 'alternative sources' of energy have a hope and for the latter, should in part be mandatory.
That makes her a mix of politically correct, hence dishonest, and innumerate. Neither alternative makes me inclined to accept anything more she says.
The article about Israeli socialism is a bit overstated, but an accurate picture of the situation now.
But the trend is definitely towards more employment - and it's coming from the Ultra-Orthodox "street", rather than the leadership.
Similarly, Ultra-Orthodox participation in the army is increasing.
News from ye olde England...ding dong the socialist beast is dead! ( at least for now)
Speaking of power and power companies, we got a letter from CenterPoint, the company which supposedly delivers our electrical power but failed to do so for twelve days after Hurricane Ike last year. The letter didn't say, "Hey, gosh, we're sorry we failed you so badly last year." Oh no. Instead, they offered to give us a website name where we could find the names of companies selling whole house generators. How's that for chutzpah, friends? At this point, I wouldn't trust them to help me across the street, much less advise me on which generator to buy. My husband and I are asking our tried and true air conditioning and heating installers to give us a bid. Better the friend you know, than the enemy who poses as a friend.
Marianne, "the wise old person of pallor..."
Re Limited Speech
It is the basic assumption of the elitist liberal that the person deciding whether someone's speech is "good for society" would be one of their fellow travellers.
Now just what do you think would happen if a future conservative government and supreme court were to use the Kagan precedent and decide that the New York Times was divisive and no longer in the interests of society unless it agreed to oversight by a board with censor powers?
The severe inbreeding of the Supreme Court is something that troubles me greatly. You also see it in those who get clerkships at the Court (who will someday disproportionately become the next generation of inbred Supreme Court justices). I call it the "Mandarin Class," similar to that group of scholars in imperial China who had little real world experience but were raised and educated specifically for becoming the bureaucrats and managers of the Empire, with their studies concentrating on such practical matters as classical poetry.
The fact is there are thousands of lawyers and judges across the country who are just as smart and competent as those on the Supreme Court, even if they didn't happen to go to HLS or YLS or some other big name law school and practice in New York or Washington, D.C. After practicing as a lawyer for almost 30 years, I have yet to see any meaningful correlation between where a lawyer goes to law school and his or her competence. And some of the biggest idiots out there are graduates of "top" law schools.
What I liked about Harriet Miers is she came from outside the Supreme Court Mandarin Class, and (shockingly to the liberal elite) had her bachelor's and law degrees from SMU. Of course, she was immediately denounced as "unqualified," even though she had probably a hundred times more hands-on legal and courtroom experience than either Sotomayor or Kagan.
How much actual experience does Kagan have practicing law? As far as I can see, two years as an associate before going off to join the Mandarin Class. Tell me now, would you choose a second-year associate to be the one to be the principal legal adviser to your company, no matter how brilliant they are? Why should it be any different for the U.S. Supreme Court?
re John LeCarre
Read and liked him when I was young.
Re-read everything in a different light 10 years after the wall fell.
Fred Z ... As far as "alternative fuels" are concerned, most of today's 'alternatives' are realistically non-starters. The bird-shredding windmills -- "sometimes the wind don't blow, baby;" the solar panels ditto "sometimes the sun don't shine." Water power is more dependable than both, but nothing is cleaner and more dependable than nuclear. But our vast country has only 104 nuclear powered generating plants -- pitifully inadequate for the population.
Realistically speaking, most of these so-called alternative fuels won't be ready for prime time for thirty years or more. Til then, we are going to have to rely on oil and gas and nuclear [if our bloody Congress will let us]. I would just rather have them be our own oil and gas, our own nuclear plants, so that we won't have to rely on fuel from countries where crazy persons live who want to assassinate us.
And by the way, the European countries of France, Germany and the UK get roughly 70% of their electric power from nuclear plants.