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.
I wish I could remember the name of the Englishman who when asked why he had moved from France to Italy replied: "I prefer to be cheated with a smile."
Caedmon (was Jude)
Several decades ago I was driving from Switzerland into Italy and stopped at a mountain overlook before crossing the border. I met an American Army Colonel and his Italian wife there. She told me her country was populated by cowardly thieves, and she advised me to buy the extra insurance available at the border from an Italian firm. Once purchased, decals were prominently placed on the front and back windows of my car. After it was broken into, and I made a claim at the insurance office in Rome, I was told by a local that the company would be sending "enforcers" into the neighborhood where my car was robbed to break some random street thug heads. This would send a message, presumably known by all Italian street thugs, that cars with those decals were not only untouchable, but were expected to be protected by the local criminals, unless they wanted a random visit from "insurance agents". It really cut down on claims, I was told.