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, October 12. 2010
Peggy Noonan gets it right this time: Revolt of the accountants (behind $ wall). A quote:
Much of her essay is at Never Yet Melted, who comments:
Villainous also has some good commentary in A Nation of Insurors, including this:
From Roff at US News, The Tea Party Movement Is a Middle Class Revolt:
The arrogance and condescension of the "smart set" particularly irks me. The "Babbitts" are the people who create the jobs, pay the taxes, raise the families at great sacrifice, build America - and contain in them a picture of what America is about. The smart set consistently underestimates - excuse me - misunderestimates - the common sense, decency, and patriotism of Americans who exist outside the Beltway.
"Babbitts" want to be left alone by the government as much as possible, and to be powerful only within their own lives. That's freedom. Every time government imposes one more law, one more demand, one more impossible-to-meet-or-to-understand regulation, people feel their autonomy slipping away.
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You can read Noonan's column at the WSJ despite the paywall by first going to google news. Search for Peggy Noonan. Ought to be the first link. I don't have a WSJ sub. and it worked for me.
Due to unfortunate circumstances, I had to sit still for the weekend, so I watched more than my typical "few" hours of TV. Some unsettling conclusions:
1. I am amazed at how many pundits continue to praise Obama as being the most sane, conservative and truthful president that we have had in decades...how little he lowers himself to devisive political in-fighting or manipulation and how conservative his fiscal policy is. What??? What???? What?????
2. These same pundits keep repeating -- and I mean REPEATING -- that the Tea Party consists of right-wing, nutso, overly-religious, para-military, rural, gun-toting crackpots. Now I know a few activitists in the Tea Party movement and they are mostly registered Independents, not-terribly religious, mixed dove/hawk, urban, educated parents, entrepeneurs and business persons who are simply fed up with our political system. While of all ages, some in their 70s and 80s have seen several recessions, have a fairly educated view of fiscal responsibility and know how to survive, but think this administration is killing the dreams of their children and grandchildren.
3. No one has the foggiest idea what's in the recent healthcare and financial legislation, meaning that there is NO WAY a business can plan for year-end 2010 and beyond. Lawyers and accountants, only made rich by the fact they are now REQUIRED by a one-person business, just throw up their hands. Nice job, pols. Don't expect too many new jobs, expansion, new investment until you get your fingers out of every little crevase of our lives.
4. Not many voters or politicians know their history, no matter how recent. Who originated, then expanded the Community Reinvestment Act? Who ignored repeated requests to reel in Freddie and Fannie? Who ignored Brooksley Born's concern about disregard for regulations over derivatives? Who got special treatment from Countrywide Credit? Shall I go on????
Frankly, both major parties are to blame, but perhaps our system needs to pay more attention to "third" party concerns by limiting opportunities for Career Politicians. One of the most cutting arguments over this weekend concerned voters ousting pols who have "seniority" and carry more influence and bring back more pork to their state. WHAT??? Limit terms. Require sunset laws. Cut government. No pork. Etc, etc. etc.
Isn't it funny how traditionally American things can be hurled around like insults? Gun-toting? Jefferson wrote to Peter Carr in 1785: "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body, and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks."
Growing up, I remember carrying a .22 to the edge of the woods to go plink at some cans for target practice. Now? I'm almost scared to carry my gun cased to my car lest nosy neighbors call the police in fright.
Religiousness was also a traditional American value. So much so, that Tocqueville commented on it in "Democracy in America". Frankly, I would much prefer that my politicians decisions were anchored by a knowledge of good and evil and a fear of God, because what, pray tell, are they basing it in otherwise? Secular Humanism? No thanks, if I wanted to live in a Godless, socialist hell, Europe is a short flight away, thank you.
Right wing? Well, you can get called that pretty easily just by practicing some good Yankee sense.
Heck, even "cowboy" is an insult now, rather than an icon to look up to.
Its these reasons, and more, that I and other "Tea Partiers" identify with the movement, but you have its essence, jma: we are firmly convinced that neither political party has our country's best interests in mind, neither party wishes a return to sound fiscal policies and a Constitutional Republic in keeping with the fairly well documented intents of our founders.
... so I think Peggy's observations are well formed. If this November really becomes the peaceful ballot box revolution many have predicted, it will be because of the same type of person who couldn't stand the oppressive character of government the last time: the small merchant, the tradesman, the laborer, the farmer, and the rest of the people occupying "fly-over" country. Common folks who don't want the federal government to be a part of their daily lives.
"The arrogance and condescension of the "smart set" particularly irks me."
Every time I hear about how "brilliant" some politician/b-crat is, I remember who the original "Best and Brightest" were, and what they accomplished.
jma ... As most Maggiesfarmers and their commenters know, the Community Reinvestment Act was enacted in 1977 by the Democrats because it made them feel good to enable poorfinancially irresponsible or ignorant families to have the "right" to own homes or businesses they had neither the financial strength or determination to buy on the open market and keep in good condition after they owned them. Admittedly, this is a somewhat slanted definition of the Act, but no worse than the definitions you will see which are slanted in the other direction.
As the child of a banker, and a person who served as a bank officer for two years before going back to writing and editing as a career, I am well aware that responsible banks have long had an informal investigative network to help their bankers make informed decisions on which appliers for mortgage loans are fiscally mature enough to pay their bills promptly, not to take on more debt than they can handle, not to incur frequent bankruptcies, in other words, to "bite off more than they can chew" financially.
When banks encounter folks who demonstrate these negatives, they have in the past denied such persons mortgage loans. [Thus the banks lived up to their primary duty to their stockholders, something which is seldom mentioned by the heated liberal rhetoricians as even being in the picture.]
Then the government, which was under the control of the Democrats at that time, decided to pass this 'feel good' legislation, and the cascade of disasters began.
Okay, Bird Dog, Barrister, Bruce and you other folks who run this site ... is this picture fairly accurate or not?
There may have been a time when banks were red-lining loans based on race rather than financial soundness. Given the rocky progress of racial equality, I find it easy to believe. However, the remedy for that would be to identify such situations and deal with them through administrative or legal channels. Your dad would likely know of such times. I recall seeing a TV investigation where a caller who said he lived in one neighborhood was encouraged to fill out a loan application, but the same caller was discouraged when he identified another neighborhood in another call. Even then, I was asking myself, "Does one neighborhood have a track record of problems?"
It is foolish (but commonplace) to legislate matters like who should be able to borrow money for any purpose. The CRA about guaranteed bad loans would happen. I'm surprised that it took so long for such a piece of malarkey to blow up.
Off topic -- Instapundit has a link to an article about procrastination. I hope to read it later.
The smart set "are the glittering scum that floats upon the deep river of productivity."