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.
The Taki article on "The Day I Left the Left" was excellent. I was never a member of 'the Left', but I definitely know why I "left the Right". Which is to say a very defined portion of the Right.
First of all, I don't believe in the left/right spectrum and use those terms only as descriptors which the average person uses and understands. In reality, they have almost no value.
There is, probably, more of a circle of beliefs, rather than a line.
And what's amazing is where the left and right meet at some point in the circle, you'd almost wonder how they are so far apart. I 'left the Right' when the spending sprees of the 2000's got out of control. Somewhere around 2003/2004.
It was clear, by then, that having wars 'off budget' and playing games with accounting were not going to actually fix anything or make us any safer. I was bothered that Bush was willing to spend government money, as long as it was spent in a manner he felt was philosophically justified.
Yes, the Right does believe that government intervention and spending is OK. As long as it's on things they approve of. I really don't see how that's different from the Left. Both have inclinations geared toward spending, and both have created a situation which is today untenable.
They can point fingers all they like, but it's hard to deny either side is free from blame here. And it's hard to say that either side is fundamentally differentiated by a willingness to not spend money.
I know, right now, there is a large contingent of Republicans who are saying they don't want to spend money. And I hope they are honest. But history isn't really in their favor. Unfortunately, far too many votes rely on the continuation of cretinous policies that may not have been voted in by Republicans, but have certainly been expanded or maintained by them.
The infamous 'they' say that Keynes is dead. Well, if you're on the Right, anyway. The Left says he's needed more than ever. But 'they' need to really say that 'we need someone to review and balance the checkbook and Keynesians did a pretty lousy job so far."
So I left the Republican Party. I'd like to come back some day, but until I see real change I will simply become more cynical about party politics in general.
There are some bright lights out there. I hope these people make themselves more well known and become more influential. But I don't see the broad swathe of talent the party needs to move forward.
If people who want to change/improve the Republican party keep leaving the party, how is it supposed to change? The Tea Party faction withing the Republican party is a great opportunity for positive change within the party.
You're just a quitter and the way our political system is set-up you'll won't be able to win and politics is about winning for your principles.
I've just signed up to install a small (8-panel) PV system on my house. Each panel generates enough electricity to power just four 60-W light bulbs! That's pathetic. The system costs around $14K, but I get $10K in tax credits, leaving me to pay $4K. Given our current electric rates ($0.32 /kWh) and monthly electric usage, the payback period is just under 5 years (expected savings of roughly $10 per panel per month). If the power company follows through with its present plans to limit the use of fuel oil at its generating plants and depend more on renewable sources like wind, the electric rate will surely go up and the payback period will be that much shorter.
Agent Cooper ... It sounds to us like you were conned on your PV system. Electric utilities are suddenly becoming our enemies, not our friends. Our electric utility insisted that if we didn't want our rates to go sky-high, we had to sign an agreement that they must generate at least 20% of our power with wind turbines. I twisted and turned and tried to find out what the rates would be if we didn't sign. They were evasive and slippery about it and keep calling us every day to nag us. We finally signed, and the same day, contacted the most dependable whole house generator folks we could find. Houston is pretty much guaranteed to have power outages during hurricane season. Hurricane Ike brought us a twelve day outage during a very hot September. We have reached the age where we no longer have the strength to drag a little generator out of the garage every day and fire it up to keep the refrigerator and some lights and fans going. During the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, our power was out for twelve days.
So we invested in the whole house generator, and it already has proved to be a godsend. Now, when the power company workmen come up on our porch and ring our bell, telling us they have to turn off our power for, oh, five hours or so, with the temperature at 95, we smile sweetly and say, "Go right ahead, fellas." It served us well this summer, with the temperature in triple digits most of July and all of August. We just stayed inside and read our books.