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.
France hopes to improve image. Good idea. It needs it. And not just image - reality, too.
For gun buffs and military fans: A letter from a soldier re Iraq weapons, tactics, etc., at Atlas. Gotta love that gun that shoots around corners, but gotta hate 9 mm for stopping bad guys. One quote: "Fun fact: Random autopsies on dead insurgents show a high level of opiate use." No surprise there: on the morning of Austerlitz, Napoleon gave the soldiers a triple shot of brandy - would have given them opiates if he had 'em. Dutch courage. I enjoyed his "thumbs up" for the Mossberg 12 ga - cheap, simple, low-tech gun for ducks or bad guys in close quarters. Low tech always best in bad conditions.
For under the tree for someone: The new Sony R1 camera. My problem with such wonderful toys is that, by the time I learn how to use 1/20th of what they can do, they're obsolete.
We all have favorite charities to whom we'd give lots of money, if we had it. Charity Navigator has all the info.