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
Monday, February 13. 2012
How the poor live in India
The Perils of Romantic Love - You remember Romanticism.
Obama seeks return of the cool
Obama Budget: More Taxes, $1.3 Trillion Added to Deficit
Barack Obama is not an especially talented man, except in one respect: he is a genius at raising money.
Canada's Harper talks oil with China as U.S. faces $4 gas
Do Medical School Acceptance Rates Reflect Preferences for Preferred Minority Groups?
...taking on a billion Catholics for no reason, as opposed to taking on a measly 16 million Jews, in order to favor a billion Muslims…lacks pragmatism as well as morality.
Binds and Bonds: Why the EU Should Break Up
Bin Laden Gave Up on Jihad
Global warmists throw in the towel
Steny Hoyer: The Fact is You Don’t Need a Budget
Sarah Palin on HBO Palin Movie: I’ve Created More Impersonators Than Obama’s Created Jobs
NYT terms Medicare a welfare entitlement program
The States Are Leading a Pro-Growth Rebellion
" I’m downright repulsed by the media’s habit of mistaking a person’s celebrity for expertise, popularity for acumen, and visibility for enlightenment."
At Am. Thinker:
China's impending real estate debt crash
Inside Media Matters: Sources, memos reveal erratic behavior, close coordination with White House and news organizations
Muslim Persecution of Christians: January 2012
Tracked: Feb 13, 07:11
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The long, slippery slope to invading private retirement accounts begins:
We already have a tax on real estate sales to cover Obamacare costs. Guess Social Security is next.
Like sharks for blood, politician feeding-frenzy for our money knows no bounds.
Where are the Adams', Franklin's, et al when we need 'em
re $4 gas
The predicted $4 gas is exceedingly hard for me to understand as US gasoline consumption has fallen off a cliff. A stunning 47% from our peak.
Whatever happened to supply and demand affecting prices? Has supply dropped a corresponding amount or has China sucked up our former usage? Or is the market just being manipulated?
There are 2 things to consider besides taxes (which do play a role).
The first is the world, which you alluded to as "China". The US rarely thinks of itself as a player in world markets. But we are. Prices move not because we use more or less, but because the world does. Energy consumption around the world has averaged 5% growth a year, even after 2007/2008. That alone would add about $1 to the prices we saw in 2007 (which was at or near $3).
The second is that energy usage, in particular distilled gasoline used for cars, has not declined substantially in the US. It is down, but only about 2%. While this has an impact on world markets, since we're the largest consumer, tack on growth in China, India, and Asia in general.
The US only uses about 25% of the world's energy. On a per capita basis, this is massive. But a 2% drop in 25% doesn't even put us at 24%. On the other hand, considering the total usage is growing 5%, that means the other 75% are growing at close to 6% a year.
It is the growth of other nations, which by the way do not have the level of conservation the US does, that is causing the price increases.
One thing I have continually imprinted on my boys is the need to speak clearly and with authority. I pointed out to them the situation of Obama. He was a man with no credentials, no accomplishments, but he recognized some interesting things about himself.
First, he knew he was a good speaker when he had a script to go by. This is a great advantage. He is only passable without a script, but people don't care. With one, he is mesmerizing to many people.
Second, he recognized people imposed what they wanted on his personality. He isn't any great man, great savior, great change agent. But many people believe it because he says it is so. His hope was that he could make enough people believe that he could be at least a great agent of change, but this lasted briefly. Now, his skills still at a high level, he is playing a remarkably different game, but one he is still very good at playing.
That game is the third thing he is excellent at, attacking back against those who point out his flaws. He is capable of claiming and holding the moral high ground for only one reason. That reason is emotion. He's excellent at sharing his emotions and making an emotional appeal. Perhaps better than Bill Clinton, who was the most insincere, but somehow believable characters who performed this act of legerdemain. I will never forget my sister's comment about Bill Clinton when she saw him walk into a room, and how the first thing he did was to help an older woman and show how 'kind' he was. The man was a master at knowing how to win a crowd before he even spoke a word. Obama is good at this too.
To say he's only good at raising money is to ignore the other things he does well. Politicians succeed or fail based on how well they recognize their limitations. Obama knows his, and is careful to avoid them in public (he never smokes in public, for example).
I don't say this because it shows what a great leader he is, it's just to make a point. We can talk about how much we dislike him, we can discuss how we despise his policies. In the end, it's not going to come down to those things. I wish it did.
It will come down to the idea I once heard "Americans will vote for whoever they think they most want to have a beer with." Obama isn't one of those guys, for me, and many of my friends have a very different political opinion than I do, so I gravitate towards those types.
But many people do see Obama as a great speaker and an interesting man. My wife, who continually says about Obama (and Clinton) "Honey, they are very intelligent men."
I agree to a point. I always say "if they were intelligent, they'd see the flaws in their positions and alter them. But they are very intelligent about themselves, how to win a crowd, and how to keep people interested in what they have to say, even if it's BS. They are less interested in helping people, and more interested in consolidating their power."
Many politicians share this trait, so I don't view it as a Left/Right thing. But it's astounding to me that more people who support Obama don't see through his charade. There's a reason, which I know, and it's because he is smart enough to make himself seem sincere, honest, and caring. That, without a doubt, is a form of intelligence and a skill many people lack.
Obama holds the high POLITICAL ground, not the high moral ground, and he only looks "good" because his competition is so bad. In 2008, tired old man John McCain was no Ronald Reagan. Mitt Romney in 2012 is no Ronald Reagan. In other words, it is easy to look smart when your opponents are unspeakably dumb.
India--the poor--liberal faculty--it comes as no surprise to me to see that American's university faculty can't wait to see the time when American's red-neck white people are living as poor as the poorest of Indians. They have been working toward this "ideal of equality" since they first graduated college, dodged the draft and went to India to study with some guru! It's been a long time coming--but I remember seeing them come home, all starry eyed and convinced that real "grace" was what the poor of India were all about! We keep letting in millions of Mexicans--we will fulfill that dream--make no doubt about it !
Farmall balance of nature
Don Surber: Global warmists throw in the towel
"A recent study of a wide variety of policy options by Yale economist William Nordhaus showed that nearly the highest benefit-to-cost ratio is achieved for a policy that allows 50 more years of economic growth unimpeded by greenhouse gas controls." [i]
Leaving aside the fact that few of the sixteen are climatologists, William Nordhaus says this concerning their letter: "The piece completely misrepresented my work."
I was relieved to find out the potato chips being served at tomorrow's faculty Valentines pot-luck are "sustainable potato chips". Like does the bag magically refill or something?
I spent the month of November in India. Several days in Bombay (Mumbai/Bombay seem to be interchangeable to many Indians).
That place is such a mess it is almost unbelievable. I could go on and on about living conditions there for the bottom half. It ain't so hot for the next quarter either.
The Indians are the least civic minded people I've encountered. Once they get outside the walls of their own property, they could give a shit about anything or anybody else. The pollution levels, air and water, are beyond imagination.
The middle class and above, all the way to the very rich, have no interest in making structural changes that might actually help the poor. It is the worst sort of crony capitalism you can imagine. Among the richest people in the country are the politicians. The graft is incredible. Even worse than the Senate.
Very few Indians will even admit to a problem. They will tell you all about their beautiful and wonderful culture that is thousands of years old while standing in the midst of that squalor.
Don't even get me started on the quality of education for the mainstream.
My fear is that if there is a failure to limit government activity/size, we'll end up very much like them.