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
Saturday, October 1. 2011
Why Islam is in Desperate Need of a Reformation
Our Many Layers of Entitlement - The entitlement mindset includes much more than government benefits programs.
Let them eat cake?
Chris Christie seriously considering run for president in 2012
Don't do it, big guy
A tingle, Mr. Breitbart?
How the US is importing poverty
Jonah: Centrists’ Are Abandoning Ship - The establishment solution to unpopular liberal policies is still more liberalism:
Michael Lewis: California and Bust
It is a major essay by Lewis. The corruption in the attitude towards public service, from service to mindless greed. A quote:
Gingrich on Obama’s healthcare law: ‘About 300 pages are pretty good’
He is possibly right about that.
Obama Charts a New Route to Re-election
Writing off Ohio - and maybe Florida
Woops: Obama now underwater in CT!
$737 Million Green Loan to Pelosi Kin Fuels Outrage
And more plunder: Benefit tourism in the UK
Tracked: Oct 01, 09:53
Tracked: Oct 02, 09:56
Tracked: Oct 02, 13:06
Tracked: Oct 03, 07:02
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"...the purpose of government is to 'give people a livelihood.'"
Hey, wait a sec! I thought we were told just the other day that government's purpose was to make sure we ate healthy foods! These people have really got to make up their minds over exactly which part of our lives they want to completely control. Or... is the answer "All of the above"?
Re: Christie: If the Fat Man enters the race, I'm going to go back and quote all 3,362 times when he said he "isn't going to run -- and that's final!" What a waffling bag of bullshit. Compared to how Palin and Giuliani have handled it, this recent turnaround on Christie's part is pathetic. In other words, he's not running because he feels a deep commitment to fixing the country, he's running because others want him to. Yeah, there's some real leadership for ya.
Re: Our Many Layers of Entitlement -- I just love the ongoing "Fuck the poor" theme spewing from this site. Did you notice he included food stamps in his diatribe? Imagine that, folks. Actually thinking you're 'entitled' not to die of starvation here in the United States of America. Boy, what a bunch of complainers. Just shrivel up and die already, okay? Do us all a favor.
Besides, once the poor die off, there'll be fewer articles written about them, meaning fewer pixels are used, thereby creating less heat from the servers, which will reduce global warming. It's a win-win situation for everybody!
Okay, almost everybody.
Re: Connecticicticut (there really should be laws about making states easy to spell), this 'relying on polls' business is really juvenile. They usually create either false optimism or false pessimism, neither of which is good for either Republicans in general or voters in particular. And that's doubly true with these moronic "Obama vs. --" articles like this one, and Drudge currently has an "Obama 44%, Christie 43%" article on his site. Honestly, does anyone think that has any bearing on what will happen in the primary, much less a year from now? All it does is give people something to blather on about, which, in turn, creates enthusiasm for more meaningless polls, which, in turn, create more meaningless articles to be written. What a waste of everyone's time.
Re: Ed Driscoll -- Obama says "my" values, and that instantly becomes the "First Church of Himself"? That's the exact same kind of pandering bullshit we saw streaming out of DailyKos and MyDD during the Bush years. Get a grip, Ed.
My question is, what happened to all of the "Chipmunk of the Week" articles? Has Maggie's lost her innocence?
Indeed, mudbug, especially when we run out of chipmunks.
I don't see the problem so much as the site saying "Fuck the poor". The issue is one of the government creating a cycle which allows people to take inordinate risks, assuming they will be protected and supported by the government if something goes wrong.
I doubt anyone here wants to see the social safety net ripped to shreds. We all (probably) recognize there is a need for basic support. The question I remember being asked, while I lived in London in 1983, was "do the people on the dole really need a washer, dryer, and a TV set?" Today, you could potentially include things like a sound system, car, mobile phone and computer. Not that these are things the government gives people, but these are things people often view as "essentials".
When I was single, and living on my own, I didn't have a washer/dryer, a computer, mobile phone, a sound system, or a car. And I was working. Each one of those things, I saved for. I'm certain I could go without these things if circumstances dictate. I'd be put out, but I could do it because I did it before.
Poverty is a relative thing. Today we don't view poverty as starving people living on the street, barely able to put clothes on their back. But that was poverty 120 years ago or so.
In order to deal with the problems of the economically disadvantaged, we have to define what is needed as 'essential for basic support' and then limit what is offered to the 'essentials'.
We have moved beyond this, and we offer far too much. After the Chicago Fire and the San Francisco earthquake, both cities were rebuilt without federal assistance. Could that happen today? Yes. But it won't. Today, the government steps in to provide a backstop not only for the severely disadvantaged, but also the very wealthy.
I believe that as much as I feel the less well off are given too much, so are businesses. It's a sword that is, unfortunately, cutting one way. The middle is being decimated. The government views its role as not only "providing a livelihood" (creating business? I don't think so), but also "providing basic needs". In other words, the government will give money to those who don't need it (the wealthy - exemplified by TARP) and those who have already shown they don't know how to use it properly (as seen by mortgage support for people who bought more house than they can afford). Both programs are losing money (they say TARP makes money - do a double check), just like most government assistance programs.
A wholesale examination of the system is required. A nation without a middle class can survive, but will never thrive. A nation based on a government that provides every need and supports everyone that asks for support is just machine politics.
How long do you think you will last here, Bulldog, if you continue to sound so reasonable?
Yes, indeed. Bomber Girl objected to Maggie's Farm linking to an article on what Rush Limbaugh had said about Elizabeth Warren, but didn't inform us what it was that Rush actually said about Elizabeth Warren that she objected to.
Yes, it is the height of reasonableness to have the close-mindedness to object to Maggie's Farm link to Rush, without informing others precisely what Rush said about Elizabeth Warren that she objected to. How dare Maggie's Farm link to that déclassé fat boy propagandist from Missourah!
Bomber Girl, your sense of "reasonableness" sounds more like a sneer to me.
Gringo, you seem to be getting a bit overwrought. I enjoy reading Maggie's, otherwise I wouldn't, there are plenty of blogs out there. If you read through the link you connected to, you will see that I am willing to have a conversation. I also appreciate humor and don't mind stirring things up a bit. Which, in your case, I certainly appear to. I find blogs more interesting when different opinions can be aired. Apparently, you disagree.
if you read through the link you connected to, you will see that I am willing to have a conversation..
I read through the link. After all, I contributed to it. While you may be willing to have a conversation, your conversation consisted of profuse verbiage which evaded the issue: What did Rush state about Elizabeth Warren that you objected to so much which led you to the conclusion that Maggie’s Farm should not link to Rush? Crickets.
Nothing you stated in that link gave any sort of persuasive argument WHY Maggie’s Farm should not link to Rush. Nothing.
Conclusion: you were more interested in making a provocative statement, or as you would say, in “stirring things up,” than in making a cogent, persuasive argument. Get the wingnuts going. I wasted my time.
I find blogs more interesting when different opinions can be aired. Apparently, you disagree.
Given that you objected to Maggie’s Farm linking to the “different opinions” of Rush Limbaugh, I find this statement a howler.
I find blogs more interesting when people can back up their opinions with documented facts and cogent argument. You presented no cogent argument whatsoever why Maggie’s Farm should not link to Rush. Nor have you presented any documentation of how you came to this conclusion: “How long do you think you will last here, Bulldog, if you continue to sound so reasonable?”
As you admit, you like “stirring things up.” Your “reasonable” statement, like your initial statement on Rush in the Elizabeth Warren thread, now appear to me to have been made with the intent of making a provocative statement, of “stirring things up.” Cogent argument, not so much.
Conclusion: “dialogue" which is founded in cogent argument is a waste of time with you, as you are more interested in “stirring things up.”
Like they say, "Won't get fooled again."
I gave no cogent reason for saying maggie should not link because there is no reason maggie should not if it wants to, AS I SAID in closing: "I would be delighted to read more Rush on MF with you all and pursue the conversation." (although, yes, I did also request hugh jackman photos). Sorry to quote myself but you only seem to read the part of the conversation that initially provoked you and not the rest of the commentary. I did say Rush was in the punditry business of making noise which is true, and the man needs to make a buck. As a supporter of capitalism, he would be the first to support good honest business. I did not call him any of the names you did in your attempt to put words or views in my mouth.
and my comment to Bulldog was meant to be taken in jest. Bulldog seems to have taken it in stride. If I recall correctly in introducing Bulldog, Dr Merc gave the blog itself a bit of a ribbing about his views perhaps being at odds or with the gun totin, bible thumpin crowd. Apparently maggie's gets humor.
at least you won't have to waste your time replying to my comments anymore, gringo.
I expect to last as long as the other contributors' allow.
Doc Merc can attest to my unreasonable nature in all things Magellan.
I am not an Elizabeth Warren fan. Which is to say I like her words and the emotion she projects with her position. She is a fine bureaucrat, the kind of bureaucrat Publius never expected to exist. But I agree with Rush that aside from her performance at the public trough, she is not really a contributor to the economy. I do not see her as a qualified candidate for public office. But few are truly qualified, and those who are typically have massive flaws.
I hope she doesn't win. Frankly, she scares me. She is a 'Doug Edwards' type - she wants how she feels to determine what kinds of policies are made. And let's face it, feelings are meaningless without facts to support them. (Which happens to be a post I'm working on)
I look forward to that, Bulldog. Your post that is, not that election. As you say, there appears to be a dearth of qualified candidates for public office....but given what any decent candidate has to go through to get elected, it is hard to know why anyone would run when they have something else to do with their energies. Perhaps they should all start off with a platform of their vices...that way we can get that out of the way in the press, and then get on to what they actually are capable of doing.
I agree with you, Bulldog, about the relativity of poverty and that given the current welfare state, it makes a lot of sense to redefine what is "essential". I would not argue that for the foreseeable future, the welfare state in some form will likely persist.
However, discussing limiting welfare to levels just "essential" support ignores that fact that that is the way it started and we see where we've come and that rolling it back is just an invitation in the future to roll it back up again.
What we (and most places) have now does not ennoble the giver (my God, we have people asking that their taxes be raised rather than giving it voluntarily!) nor does it engender responsibility or gratitude in the receiver.
I think the discussion should be about ending it and nurturing genuine responsibility and compassion in our society.
In my 'best of all worlds' scenario, I'd agree. Creeping socialism has been the state of affairs in this country since the early 1900's.
Your response appeals to my deepest Libertarian beliefs. However, I don't think we would ever actually be able to develop a system like this. As the article on entitlement points out, certain behaviors are now endemic. It is assumed, by many citizens in the US, that the government must give them things. Even the middle class expects something.
My response, upon hearing Obama's insane stimulus plan, was to point out it was completely ignoring the middle class and would further erode its ranks. This is exactly what the stimulus has done. My view was that if you're not going to let the market work and you feel you must do something - then give money to the middle classes and let them use it to paint homes, fix their roofs, buy or repair cars, and generally spark the economy. It's not efficient, but it's intelligent.
I'd love to see people opt for charity at home, rather than inefficient government largesse. My family gives to the local food bank, makes sandwiches several times a month for a soup kitchen, give our used clothes to Salvation Army, and leave furniture at a local storage facility which collects house goods and furnishes several poorer apartments every month. More efficient? Absolutely. More demands from those who receive? Not at all. Funny how when charity is provided at a local level the demands for 'benefits' drop.
Unfortunately, I just don't see that happening on a grand scale.
We agree it would be very difficult, but I think it is imperative that the effort continue. Besides the erosion of society and the enormous cost, it is corrosive of our politics. When politician A can make a claim on B's assets to benefit C, it is essentially vote buying.
By the way, I agree with you on Christie. But I really don't think he's running. As Jon Stewart said recently, every time Christie says "No", some pundit says "he left the door open for a run."
If Christie runs, it would only be because someone says he has to. My guess would be he might run because Republicans like their candidates to lose once. 2012 might offer him that opportunity to put in a good showing, lose, and come back in 2016 with a stronger resume (assuming it is stronger, but living in NJ, the big guy is making all the right moves - no mean feat for a him).
If Christie runs in 2012 and wins the nomination, I'd vote for him with reservations. That's how I felt when I voted for him in the gubernatorial race, and I was pleasantly surprised.
I agree that running because others want you to is not a good reason to run and does not show leadership. But what choices might we have if he does run and win? Obama?
Doc, the only succinct response to your rant (which made me smile) that I can come up with is, well, "Life's a bitch and then you die.'
Solar (photovoltaics) a niche market. Gee that sounds awfully similar to what I've written.
I know where there Theo has hidden his pix of naked chipmunks, but I ain't gonna tell, Nyah, Nyah, Nyah!
Concerning "Benefit Tourism" in the UK, the Belgium European Commission threatens to sue the UK (in the EU's own courts of course) for trying to slow the rate that immigrants are flowing into that country to take advantage of the higher benefits given there. The Telegraph story quotes a member of the government who complains about, "unelected and unaccountable EU bureaucrats extending their power over the UK.
However in another story in the Mail:Online the head of that government, David Cameron, refuses to hold a referendum on the UK staying in the EU on the grounds that the UK had their say 36 years ago. Thats 36 years ago in 1975. Seems to me the government there is divided on where they stand.
As British dissenters have pointed out the referendum at that time was limited to the question of joining the Common Market. There has never been a referendum to ask for approval of all that has come since, the European Commission, the Euro superseding the national currencies, and especially continental meddling in the UK government's attempt to control the budget.
Since no one under the age of 53 has ever had any chance to give or withdraw approval this seems like a reasonable step, especially now when the whole EU structure seems on the verge of crashing down.
I watch this issue with interest since it seems to me that what happens to Britain happens to the US five or ten years later.
Okay folks, take a moment off here from this obsession with next year's election and consider the thoughts I was having at 3 AM this morning; namely, how can you respect and/or fear a country whose army uniform is a tutu, with pom-poms on their shoes? This is why I'm not worrying about the future of Greece right now.
Those are the Evzones, and they honor the mountain fighters that fought the Turks in the 19th century in the Greek War of Independence. Which restored a free Greek nation after 400 years of Ottoman rule.
They were and are tough, capable fighters and I respect them.
Yes, John, I know they were Evzones and I didn't say I didn't respect them. I just noted that at 3AM, when they march through the mind like sheep jumping over a stile, looking like that, when you're trying to make enemies afraid seems to make it harder, not easier to be taken by anyone seriously. But I suppose that if one dresses in dusty sand-covered camos, it might be equally hard to encourage people to take one seriously.
I guess the proof of the pudding is in the shooting.
"I guess the proof of the pudding is in the shooting."
Au contraire, it's IN THE EATING.