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, December 31. 2005
Georgetown Univ. to host hatefest: LGF. Isn't "tolerance" a beautiful thing? And isn't it interesting that "tolerance" is always a one-way street (anti-American culture, anti-Christian, anti-Jew, and anti-Western civilization)? But this is Jesuit Georgetown! To whom I pay an extraordinarily hefty and seriously life-cramping annual tuition...say $70,000 pre-tax income. So please forgive me if I ask "WFT?" Front Page covers it in detail.
ACLU upset by DOJ investigations. Stop the ACLU. May I ask, one more time, why they are supported with taxpayer $ when their mission appears to be to destroy their country? We would be safer and better off giving the money directly to the Al Quaida idiots instead of passing it through the ACLU bureacracy.
Pilot maroons drunk passenger on desert island. Telegraph. What is this world coming to? First, they won't let you smoke, which makes everyone cranky and edgy and psychotic, and now they don't want you to get drunk and act up either. What kind of pussy world is this? Dump the bombers out the window without a FISA warrant, and leave the poor drunks alone. But OK, it's a funny story and the jerk deserved it, no doubt.
CNN's sleazy and secret deal with Saddam: Atlas
Forever young: Powerline says it all here - some people are lost in the 60s.
New Year's Thanks to our soldiers
As Mudville quotes George Orwell: "Good men sleep peacefully in their beds because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
This cowgirl sends her best wishes to our men, and says "All cowgirls prefer a military guy."
Friday, December 30. 2005
Finally, DOJ goes after leakers. Protein covers it, as do many others. And now we see the MSM backing off: Libertarian. Cap'n Ed has the latest leak. Guess it's finally time to bring in the grown-ups.
John Lott in NRO:
You don't have to live next to the United States to see how hard it is to stop criminals from getting guns. The easy part is getting law-abiding citizens to disarm; the hard part is getting the guns from criminals. Drug gangs that are firing guns in places like Toronto seem to have little trouble getting the drugs that they sell and it should not be surprising that they can get the weapons they need as well.
The experiences in the U.K. and Australia, two island nations whose borders are much easier to monitor, should also give Canadian gun controllers some pause. The British government banned handguns in 1997 but recently reported that gun crime in England and Wales nearly doubled in the four years from 1998-99 to 2002-03.
Crime was not supposed to rise after handguns were banned. Yet, since 1996 the serious-violent-crime rate has soared by 69 percent; robbery is up 45 percent, and murders up 54 percent. Before the law, armed robberies had fallen 50 percent from 1993 to 1997, but as soon as handguns were banned the robbery rate shot back up, almost to its 1993 level.
The 2000 International Crime Victimization Survey, the last survey completed, shows the violent-crime rate in England and Wales was twice the rate of that in the U.S. When the new survey for 2004 comes out later this year, that gap will undoubtedly have widened even further as crimes reported to British police have since soared by 35 percent, while those in the U.S. have declined 6 percent.
Australia has also seen its violent-crime rates soar immediately after its 1996 Port Arthur gun-control measures. Violent crime rates averaged 32-percent higher in the six years after the law was passed (from 1997 to 2002) than they did in 1995. The same comparisons for armed-robbery rates showed increases of 74 percent.
During the 1990s, just as Britain and Australia were more severely regulating guns, the U.S. was greatly liberalizing individuals' abilities to carry firearms. Thirty seven of the fifty states now have so-called right-to-carry laws that let law-abiding adults carry concealed handguns after passing a criminal background check and paying a fee. Only half the states require some training, usually around three to five hours. Yet crime has fallen even faster in these states than the national average. Overall, the states in the U.S. that have experienced the fastest growth rates in gun ownership during the 1990s have experienced the biggest drops in murders and other violent crimes. http://nationalreview.com/comment/lott200508190817.asp
Canadian blogs point out that the US must be exporting our violence because we don’t have nearly as much now: Writes Herschblogger in The Other Club:
The Drudge Report today linked to this story: USA is exporting its violence to Canada, says Canadian PM...
Lo and behold, Prime Minister Martin must be right, because in 2004 Canada’s rate of violent crime per 100,000 people was 946. That same year, continuing a decline that began in 1994, the US recorded 465 violent crimes per 100,000.
Not only that, but US Homicide rates recently declined to levels last seen in the late 1960s and have been stable since 2000.
While gun ownership is up, US rates of nonfatal firearm crime have declined since 1994, reaching the lowest level ever recorded in 2004.
Violent crime in general has also declined in the US.
Where did all this crime go? To Paul Martin, Prime Minister of a country where the national homicide rate increased 12% in 2004, the answer is obvious – it was exported to Canada. It must be NAFTA, the North American Firearm Trafficking Arrangement.
Toronto Mayor David Miller is facing the fact that gun deaths have doubled in his city since 2004 and won’t be left out of any scapegoating: "The U.S. is exporting its problem of violence to the streets of Toronto," he said. http://otherclub.blogspot.com/2005/12/bah-nanada.html
Chips after silicon: NYT Science Times
LAT falls for a whopper. Newsmax
The state of the conservative mind, parts one and two: the Prof
The year's top ten stories from Latin America. Publius
Military recruiting, and parent's "opting out": CSM
Consider the Lobster and other Essays by David Foster Wallace: Just finished my first Christmas book, and I can recommend this fellow whose style is unconventional but who is exceeding smart and clever, whether writing a review of a new dictionary or wondering whether lobsters feel pain. The only sour notes are from his politics which are the usual Calif/off-the-shelf/Lefty/condescending/academic in style but it's forgiveable since he lives in Calif., and it doesn't intrude on his abundant curiousity about everything. You could call it Gonzo essays by a guy with a big brain.
Our Green Canadian friends have a Dirty Little Secret - their only source of wealth comes from the oil sands of Alberta which much be mined through pumping water into drill shafts, and the view from Google Earth shows 18-20 miles of settling ponds for the used, polluted water -- on the banks of a river. For Google Earth users, the location is 57 deg, 2 min North by 111 deg, 37 min West. Gwynnie cannot wait for Paul Martin to declare that the US is exporting pollution to Canada the same way he said the US is exporting crime!
Thursday, December 29. 2005
We carried you in our arms
The NYT is unAmerican, says Michelle in her column. Them is fightin' words, but it's worth considering. And more on the ripple effect of the NYT leaks at Protein. And with all this mess, centrist Dems are appalled.
Who is doing a better job cleaning up after Katrina? Govt or private companies? Hayek
Canada blames US for their gun violence. I blame Canada for the cold fronts they attack us with.
Why Big Labor is opposed to socialized medicine. NYT
Art needs moral vision. VDH on the new film Munich.
Among the many predators of sea turtles, Mexicans with the notion that they enhance potency may be the most devastating. So there's an ad campaign. Worth trying. Story here.
Moral of the story: Guys who like turtles get the hot babes.
When we step into the family, by the act of being born, we do step into a world which is incalculable, into a world which has its own strange laws, into a world which could do without us, into a world we have not made. In other words, when we step into the family we step into a fairy-tale.
Wednesday, December 28. 2005
War vs. Law Enforcement
It is simple. Either we are at war with Jihadist Moslems who have proven that killing Jews and Christians, and destroying Western Civilization, is their goal, or we are facing a simple law enforcement problem.
The first World Trade Center bombing, in 1993, should have put us on adequate notice, because that was the Pearl Harbor of the Jihadists: it was a declaration of war by an organized enemy which was stateless, but supported by a number of states and tolerated by a number of witless European states. Thanks to America's pathetically lax and undemanding citizenship or immigration policies, we now have countless Jihadists, and Jihad supporters, in the US who would be delighted to see millions of us infidels die horrible deaths.
To deny that, or to ignore that, is suicidal. I don't even know why the Jihadists which have been caught are facing criminal charges. They should be in military tribunals and, if they are US citizens, should be charged with treason. As should the Washington leakers, even if they are Senators.
All or most Americans are criminals in big or small ways - whether caught or uncaught, we have all screwed up, driven drunk, had a bar fight, finessed a tax item, exercised bad judgement, or gone totally to the dark side, as every cop knows. But still loyal Americans, mainly, who would be happy to take up an M16 on our shores to repel invaders. We all have some basic values, even if we mess up due to personal weakness.
Treason to country is an entirely different deal. As is being an enemy of our country. That's why we have firing squads. And that is why we have to track them down. The Founding Fathers never really anticipated this kind of enemy: they lived in an age of Honor, but traitors to the Crown - all of the Founding Fathers - knew, and accepted, that hanging would be their fate if they lost the war. That was part of the deal. Our modern-time traitors need to know this too, and be confronted with the hangman. It's not a joke, even in a free country. Freedom is not free. And may I repeat another cliche: the Constitution is not a suicide pact.
If you are a US citizen, and supporting or assisting US enemies in a war (regardless of how you may feel about it), you are a traitor.
If you hate us, move to France or South Africa or Saudi Arabia or Russia. Please. You will find happiness there.
(Image from a painting by Pisanello)
From Dan, EOD technician, on the reality of Muslim culture: Willisms
The Real Scandal, and the NYT Toys with Treason: NERepub
Dem chances in 2006 squandered by Moonbats: Capt'n Ed
How does church-going make you wealthier? The Economist
Hilary fund-raising annoying Liberals: NYSun
Talking and Driving don't mix. Cog. Daily. Surely true with women.
Christmas thoughts from Mark Roberts.
Bob Dylan on Ricky Nelson: "Ricky's talent was very accessible to me. I felt we had a lot in common. In a few years' time he'd record some of my songs, make them sound like they were his own, like he had written them himself." Review of Ricky's Greatist Hits
Taxpayer funding of the ACLU. A terrible, self-destructive thing. Stop the ACLU
Cultural suicide: Shrinkwrapped.
What kind of mess has the NYT handed us? Am. Future. Can you imagine this during WW2?
The Christmas Truce of WW1. The Week.
Candidates for Idiotarian of the Year. Why didn't we think of that? There is a plethora of fine candidates this year. LGF, via Michelle
MSM Spreading FUD: Olive Tree (H/T, Instap.)
Moslim rape sprees in Europe: Front Page. Let's all be multiculturally sensitive, OK?
Paid punditry: we do not approve. Belmont. But somebody try us - give us an offer I can't refuse.
Paranoia in Liberalism: Kriston in Wkly Std.
How religion and universities led the vanguard of the Left in the US: View from 1776
Movie ticket sales down again in 2005: CSM
Francis Bacon's secular politics: McKnight at New Atlantis
Tuesday, December 27. 2005
HH on the multiple political parties in the US right now. Good analysis.
Lived on MacDonalds, and LOST weight. Town Hall
Repubs may lose some statehouses in 2006. WSJ
Bush's 2006 agenda. Yahoo News
Dispositions tests at teacher's schools. Is this Stalinist, or what? New Criterion.
Ya Gotta Laugh or Cry
Media seeks "truthiness." It's bigger than facts. Owner's Manual
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 07:18 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Ten Most Unhinged news video clips of the year: Michelle
Trying to equate Bush with Nixon. Daily Pundit rebuts.
Is racial bias a psychiatric illness? Classical Values
A third of Tsunami donations wasted. LGF
A war without (named) heroes. GOP Bloggers
Freedom advancing in the world. Norm
Is the Reformation over? First Things
Christian Left labels Fed. budget cruel to the poor. Am Spectator. I thought religion was supposed to stay out of politics. You religious folks are better at caring for the unfortunate than the govt, anyway. Do you want a Theocracy?
Assimilation of Moslems: Does it matter if immigrants enjoy strip joints? Steyn
For guys: Secrets to a happy marriage. Evangelical Outpost
Monday, December 26. 2005
Future i-Pods: A VC
Do sports teams help a region's eonomy? Probably not. The ongoing saga of DC and The Nationals. Reason
All About Ice: book review in the NYT
Something new in politics: The NYT stoops lower and lower: Dinocrat
"Peace Kills: America's Fun New Imperialism"
From the review in The Telegraph:
"Who wrote this? That's right. It's P J O'Rourke, letting another poor booby tire himself out by bouncing pompously around the ring until such time as our man deems it fitting to deliver one of his knockout, two-syllable blows. No big words for P J. And never a great notion: "America is not a wily, sneaky nation. We don't think that way. We don't think much at all, thank God. Start thinking and pretty soon you get ideas, and then you get idealism, and the next thing you know you've got ideology, with millions dead in concentration camps and gulags. A fundamental American question is, 'What's the big idea?' "
That's as good a definition of conservatism as I know, and funnier than anything you'll come across in Reflections on the Revolution in France. You could say the same of every sentence in O'Rourke's latest book, Peace Kills: America's Fun New Imperialism (Picador, £7.99), a never less than provocative collection of his occasional pieces on wars and the "poultry with BMWs" who don't want to get involved in them any more. He may disparage the idea of ideas, but O'Rourke does have a pretty big idea of his own: everything is up for grabs as fuel for the great engine of his comedy."
Read entire entertaining piece/
Why are the non-radical mulsims silent? They are intimidated. Schwartz at TCS
The well-paid limo liberals at the Beeb. Am. Thinker/ Tax-supported Leftist propaganda.
Do you know about the New Yorker's Film File? It's online and you can check their movie reviews.
The campus war against Christian organizations. Tapsscott at Town Hall
Governors giving up Christmas cards. The Hill
The warrantless Geiger counter. Are we at war, or not? RWNH
Gotcha Games, and a Fecal Election Strategy
With the Left and the press playing all of their gotcha games with the Administration, something is missing. No-one, that I am aware of, has called for a cessation of wiretapping Al Quaida connections, and no-one has called for a cessation of hunting for nukes.
And, of course, none of those folks have made a stink about leaking NSA secrets, which is a truly serious matter compared to the trumped-up Plame silliness.
So it is clear to me that the Dem/press alliance has a strategy of sorts for the 2006 elections - keep throwing fecal matter against the wall hoping that some will stick - regardless of honor and regardless of the nation's interest. One problem with that strategy is that your hands get filthy.
What they are taking in college these days: Am. Future. You won't believe some of these courses.
The End of Bolivia? Front Page
Tories make a left turn. Cap'n Ed
Impreachment nonsense: Krauthammer
Bad Science: Alcohol and obesity. Guardian. One good thing about The Guardian - a Bad Science feature.
Always back up your PhD thesis: a true story. WaPo
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:00 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, December 23. 2005
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove?
Deeply disturbing. Nuclear monitoring done without warrants. How absolutely awful. How dare this dictatorship of Bush look for our private, personal nuclear weapons? This is a privacy matter. Let's get the ACLU on the case here.
Truly deeply disturbing. Amex played games with currencies. That is a no-no and we are supposed to be able to trust Amex.
The Vatican finally takes a close look at Islam. View from 1776
Scruton on the EU: Voting doesn't matter if if doesn't fit the leftist agenda. Open Democracy
Bin Ladin's neice: A cutie-pie. Those arabs have BIG families, don't they? 20 wives - and each one with a Platinum American Express Card. Jeez. And every kid in private school in the US, the UK, or Switzerland. Oil is good stuff. Too bad we can't find any in New England or Virginia. I could handle one lousy well in the basement of my condo.
A fed-up Dem rants about Dem politics: Front Page
Americans growing in wealth and standard of living: Cafe Hayek. No kidding. It is obvious everywhere you go. The poorest in the US have cell phones and multiple TVs. The middle class is filthy rich, by world standards, and our bus drivers retire at 55 and spend their winters in Florida. What a country!
Al Quaida targeted Bush: Newsmax
Spying on bad guys was OK with the NYT in 1982: Ankle Biter. Suddenly, it's not OK with them? Pure partisan BS.
The great, booming US economy, and the press: Gainor at RCP
Kofi Annan's Mercedes, and the UN debacle: NRO
The Google Deal. They bought the names. Long term, I would be short Google.
American girls torture Christmas Barbies. Haha. And they should - a wholesome outlet, and good practice for us evil, evil Americans for when we catch the dastardly Moslem terrorists. Put goop in their hair, make them listen to Eminem, and cut their heads off. Good clean fun. Marginal Rev.
Reason, Faith, and Kristof (?)- Am. Thinker:
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