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
Thursday, March 1. 2012
Photo above from a house for sale on that street in Brooklyn. Nice.
I tend to see it as AVI does, but we might be in the minority. Anyway, not a question I worry about.
Nashville: Can Zoning Save a Downtown?
Seems to me that downtown Nashville had a great opportunity to eliminate all zoning, and see what happened. People might actually, with freedom, provide things that people want. After all, the government, in its infinite planning wisdom, razed almost the entire historic downtown in "urban renewal," aka "urban death."
The big news in this century has been the growing Asian-white test-score gap at the high end.
There are several reasons why the educated people of Charles Murray’s fictional Belmont don’t convey their better values to others and don’t judge others who fall short.
The enduring brilliance of Bastiat
Capitalism: All economic systems require capital
Yep. Just a question of whether free markets, or politicians, or dictators, or oligopolies control it and its movement. As a freedom-oriented person, I prefer free markets as the best representation of human interests.
Megan lacks the fashionable envy-afflicted schadenfreude.
Prof. Mann fights back
Heck, he wants to save
David Brooks' Sad Elite
Sometimes I feel sorry for David Brooks. Has he ever done anything in the real world?
The UN regulations sound to me like a solution in search of a problem, and that's one thing organizations excel at.
N. Korea agrees to freeze nuclear programs for U.S. food aid
We are giving them free stuff so they don't threaten us with nukes? Is that called "foreign policy"? I term it blackmail. They have no food because of their own psychotic policies. Aid only prolongs their control.
How Democrats lost the redneck vote
Chop Licking: How Obama Uses Falsehoods to Advance His Policies
He lies effortlessly. Doesn't seem to bother him at all. He knows the MSM won't call him out.
Duh. Peace would be the death of them.
Bobby Jindal Pulverizes Obama's Failing Energy Policy
Jindal is good, but no slick BS artist. I like Jindal, Rubio, the Fat Man, and lots of others.
Dershowitz: What Rules Should Harvard Have? and, related, Students and Alumni Protest HKS Conference on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Tracked: Mar 01, 06:32
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Nashville: Can Zoning Save a Downtown?
The "Central Planning" of Nashville has been steered by Mayor/Comrade Karl Dean, raised in Massachusetts, undergrad at Columbia University and law degree from Vanderbilt University. need I say more?
Historical? Bah! those buildings were ONLY 200 years old. A SECOND megalithic convention center, now under construction, will benefit the proletariat far more than some old brick building - after all, it's being built with the proles' tax money.
/a house for sale on that street in Brooklyn
To each his own. I'll keep my 3k sq ft on ½ac wooded, and enjoy the shop, gardens, greenhouses, trees, birds, squirrels, coons, possums etc etc, with no uninvited guests within earshot. Call me a loner.
Shocking news, Andrew Breitbart has passed away.
Editor and publisher of Big Hollywood, Big Government, and Big Journalism passed away last night of natural causes.
Does it Matter How You Dress for Church?
Anglo-Catholic thoughts .... how we choose to present ourselves in the house of God during the sacrifice of the Mass is an important question, but for our sake; actions are an outward manifestation of interior spiritual life.
We, whatever our stations in life, are invited to a banquet more important than any. We should want to dress cleanly and modestly in our best, showing outward respect and demonstrating inner virtue, a balance between inappropriate extremes of the extravagant and the unkempt.
see, for example the parable of the wedding banquet at Matthew 22:1-14 (the fate of the inappropriately dressed guest)
Love this line from the Teller article:
"When I cut the cards, I let you glimpse a few different faces. You conclude the deck contains 52 different cards (No. 1—Pattern recognition). You think you’ve made a choice, just as when you choose between two candidates preselected by entrenched political parties (No. 7—Choice is not freedom)."
But, but, but....I made a choice! I was free to make that choice! Except when the agenda is rigged. Political Science 101 - if you want to control the outcome of an election, control the agenda. Karl Rove was a master of this.
Let me see now--correct me if I am wrong. Isn't there a huge chasm between government "not permitting an action", and "government demanding an action to which one is opposed"?
Check here and tell me what you think--maybe you can help me understand this:
"The pledge to eliminate capitalism sells."
Capital is simply the tools used to produce goods and services. So, the ignorant claim they are going to eliminate the use of tools. That's hilarious.
Jonathan S Tobin: Not a Parody: Peace Now Shocked to Discover Arabs Don’t Want Peace
Tobin mischaracterizes Lara Friedman's article.
Lara Friedman: When I was invited to this conference, I took this as a sign that the Arab League wanted to capture the full complexity of the issues related to Jerusalem, including openly pro-Israel, pro-peace voices. However, it seems that virtually every conversation I am having here involves me, to a greater or lesser degree, having to defend the two-state solution and having to assert and defend the Jewish stake in Jerusalem.
While this indicates Friedman's consternation about the one-sided views she was hearing, it hardly indicates she doesn't think common ground is out of reach, or that she "discovered" Arabs are not interested in peace. The conference Civil Service Commission stated,
"The Civil Society Commission (CSC) -- including 50 people representing NGOs, a number of governments and experts coming from all continents -- agreed that action by civil society is essential to the protection of Jerusalem. Acknowledging that (1) there are two peoples and three religious groups linked to the Holy Land, (2) that respecting their full political and religious rights is essential for peace, and (3) acknowledging that Jerusalem as a city sacred to Islam, Christianity and Judaism must be safeguarded and preserved..."
In other words, the CSC explicitly recognized the political and religious rights of all parties. That is certainly not the view of all participants, but Tobin's original statement is an overgeneralization.
Friedman's comments are on the second day are very interesting, especially how she created quite the kerfuffle when she said she was a Zionist.
Lara Friedman: For those who demand that we refuse to engage with people who hold different points of view, my experience in Doha is a powerful reminder of how small-minded such an approach is.
Ben Stein: It's a whole new accent never seen on earth before created by this master chameleon to disguise his ultra-privileged background.
Yes, privileged, as in being raised by a single mother on food stamps. Though that's not all she was.
One is capable of becoming 'privileged', despite the details of one's upbringing.
I could tell you the story of someone who was raised by his mother, with 3 full and 2 step siblings. The mother received $150 a month in support from 1969 until the last of her 4 children left for college in 1985. All the while, she works as a waitress and sometimes another job to keep food on the table. The kids chip in, taking jobs when they can, cleaning the house, doing laundry, making meals. Does that sound like a privileged upbringing?
How about if this person and their full siblings got to spend 1 weekend a month and 2 weeks each summer with their dad, a surgeon? Now are they privileged?
How about if this person had a fully paid college education (regardless of how that money was provided)? Now are they privileged?
I can keep going down this road, explaining some details of this person's life, but the point is that at some point, you're going to clearly say "yes, that person is privileged", and I wouldn't disagree.
But at the start, if I only focused on the first (and possibly the second) part of this description, you may say "no, not really".
We can create our myths where we choose, but to say that Barack Obama hasn't had a privileged background is to deny what happened after he left home. He was able to take advantage of opportunities many of us will never have available, simply because we are not a minority. This isn't to say he isn't intelligent or capable of making those opportunities work in his favor. He clearly is. But he was provided some privilege, and as he worked those privileges increased. Did he start out privileged? No, but I don't think that's what the commentary was saying. Obama, today, and for the last 15 to 20 years, has lived and is living a very privileged life.
Every time he takes a shot at millionaires, it makes me chuckle.
Bulldog: Did he start out privileged? No, but I don't think that's what the commentary was saying.
If you mean Obama had opportunities, such as being able to go to college and a mother that stressed education, then sure. The commentary was saying he had an "ultra-privileged background." That's hardly the case.
I believe you are willfully ignoring what Obama was given that others were not, and overvaluing that fact that Lara Friedman wasn't beaten up as an indication of hope of peaceful understanding.
For the record, the readers over here are pretty aware what the standard beliefs are. They're not likely to be news to us, and there's a remote chance we may even have taken them into consideration before expressing our opinions.
Assistant VIllage Idiot: I believe you are willfully ignoring what Obama was given that others were not,
What was Obama given that would be constitute an "ultra-privileged background"?
Assistant VIllage Idiot: and overvaluing that fact that Lara Friedman wasn't beaten up as an indication of hope of peaceful understanding.
We quoted the Civil Society Commission from the Arab League's Conference on Jerusalem, which recognized the legitimate political and religious concerns of Israelis concerning Jerusalem. You might want to read what she actually wrote, not what was written about what she wrote.
The embedded links above don't work for some reason.
Lara Friedman, Day 1
Lara Friedman, Day 2
He was given opportunities denied to others for reasons you may consider worthwhile, but I do not.
For example, the color of his skin. Denying this has played a role in the benefits (you called "opportunities", but I disagree, they were public benefits) he received were definitely "ultraprivileged".
Once he became editor of Harvard Law Review, those ultraprivileges increased, as a book was written about his life and he became wealthy.
As he entered politics, those ultraprivileges increased further, as his wife was assigned a cushy job without really earning it, and he was given an adjunct professor role (one which I know could go to many others which were denied). Ask yourself why he got it.
Are others in life ultra-privileged? Yes. We are not debating this point. Our point is that Obama happens to be one of them, despite his ability to convince some that he is not.
You can rationalize it away any way you like, but you are incorrect and deep down you know it. I'm certain, were you to closely review his life after Harvard, you'd say "Man, this guy really did get soooo many breaks that average people are never afforded."
Guess what? That's ultra privileged.
We're not saying he doesn't have certain exceptional talents, or that he didn't have certain opportunities as a result of those talents - those did take place, too. But he is ultra privileged. I'd agree that he took advantage of many opportunities, maybe all, that he was afforded, even those afforded by the color of his skin (I really wish a Republican could start "White People for Romney/Paul/Santorum/Gingrich", but we know how that would end up being portrayed. Interestingly, "African Americans for Obama" is fine. Tell me that isn't a privilege of some kind afforded by color of skin.)
Rationalize all day long. It doesn't alter the truth.
Bulldog: But he is ultra privileged.
Well, he's President of the United States.
But the comment concerned having an "ultra-privileged background". You must have a radically different notion of what that phrase means, which usually refers to early life, in this case, the black son of a white woman on food stamps, who took education seriously. The latter characteristic was probably Obama's most important endowment, but hardly would be considered an "ultra-privileged background" as normally construed.
No. You confused timing.
I agree he had opportunities.
Once he took advantage of, and made the most of those opportunities, he gained privilege.
As those privileges increased, over time, he became ultra privileged.
You choose to focus on static points. I view it holistically.
Good links to be sure, BD. Some thoughts:
re does it matter if you dress for church:
If God wants to send me to Hell for not wearing a tie to church, that is His prerogative, though I don't think He will have to look that far to find fault with me.
Re North Korean aid:
Really steams me. The Chinese are their allies and can well afford to feed them themselves, should they choose to do so. So why are we borrowing money from the Chinese to feed the Norks?
re How Democrats lost the redneck vote:
An entertaining screed with some well deserved darts thrown at the GOP for good measure.
re "He lies effortlessly. Doesn't seem to bother him at all. He knows the MSM won't call him out."
Agree with that opinion 100%. I believe he is a much better liar than even Bill Clinton was. 5 years ago I would not have thought that possible.
I left this message for Prof. Dershowitz with regards to "What Rules Should Harvard Have":
The battle for free speech does not end with the sponsoring of this event. The question of whether Harvard is truly committed to free speech will be not answered until the event is over. Here is what you must wait to see:
1) Will Harvard ensure that all who wish to attend this event are free to to do? Protests can be expected outside the venue. There's nothing wrong with that. But will those protestors be permitted to obstruct the entrance and exit of attendees? If so, then free speech is not being permitted.
2) Will Harvard ensure that the speakers will be able to give their speeches and answer - or ignore - questions as they wish until the scheduled end of the event? Or will protestors inside the event be permitted to hold up signs, shout down the speaker or questioners and even physically interfere with the speaker? If Harvard does not expel such people, physically if necessary, and bring sanctions against them to ensure that such behavior is penalized, then free speech is not being permitted.
Such things happen often at universities. If Harvard does not address these points then Harvard is NOT committed to free speech.
Re: Obama's mother. Again we come to the subject of the wealthy women of Seattle's old families. These gals have been raised by mothers who were devoted communists and/or socialists since the early 1920's. TREMENDOUS wealth and POWER. Obama's white grandpa was in engineering and came to Seattle after WWII to work. His white mother lived in the neighborhood and went to school with the granddaughters of these older families. The woman she became was crafted in Seattle by the same women's network that would later organize the attack upon the Episcopal Church, ethics in higher universities, and most importantly to all of us the same women who with planning and forethought have disassembled the voting process in this democracy.