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.
Now that the Brits have decided to dismantle the Royal Navy, I suppose any questions about it are moot. Still, I do not understand why, during the apparent ambush of the Brit inflatables by several Iranian gunboats, the Iranians were not picked up on the Cornwall's radar.
I understand that the Cornwall was ordered not to defend with fire, but surely the closer presence of the Cornwall, plus recalling her helo, could have been discouraging to the Iranians and driven them away.
(Of course, the notion that a warship could be forbidden to defend their ship and crew verges on insanity.)
Iran today: "Brits must admit trespass." It's the mullahs playing the same games with the Brits that they do inside the UK. Will the Brits ever learn that the Moslems play according to different rules than the West? The next demand will be that Blair himself come to Tehran and bend over his backside to Al Khameini.
Re this video, a quote from Cato's David Boaz, at TCS:
And what about that giant screen? Even when the government doesn't step in to take children from their parents, Clinton sees it constantly advising, nagging, hectoring parents: "Videos with scenes of commonsense baby care -- how to burp an infant, what to do when soap gets in his eyes, how to make a baby with an earache comfortable -- could be running continuously in doctors' offices, clinics, hospitals, motor vehicle offices, or any other place where people gather and have to wait," she writes. The childcare videos could alternate with videos on the Food Pyramid, the evils of smoking and drugs, the need for recycling, the techniques of safe sex, the joys of physical fitness, and all the other things the responsible adult citizens of a complex modern society need to know. Sort of like the telescreen in Orwell's 1984 -- or the YouTube video.
Long-time readers know that Maggie's Farm doesn't do ads. I suppose we'd consider it if the money were big enough, though. Anyway, we sort-of linked up with the Pajamas Media team (without taking their ads) and have added their button to our sidebar.
A few weeks ago I took a stab at the subject of American medical care, and the relationship between patient and physician, "Providers or Physicians?"
I recently stumbled upon a better piece on the same subject by Dr. Bob in which he explains that "medical care is not a widget," and that the relationship between physician and patient is not a contract, but a covenant. Worth reading, at The Doctor is In
Auster says what many people think silently. A quote from his latest on the dangers of uncontrolled immigration:
Indeed, if someone as smart and as critical of left-wing nuttiness as Badillo could sound the racial-socialist note at this stage of the game, after so many disasters have already resulted in the past from the same egalitarian assumptions, and the lessons had presumably been learned, then we have a bitter taste of the future. America is filling up with a vast population of people who, let us be frank, have no interest in education, no interest in reading, and an average IQ of 90, and, residing as cultural outsiders in a country with a still dominant and successful though ebbing white majority, and also fueled by their own ethnic chauvinism, those people will naturally and increasingly blame their inferiority of accomplishment and income on the whites and seek to appropriate as much from them in the form of government transfers as they can. As their numbers increase, their political power and their will to express their resentments politically will also increase, as will the perverted anti-white passions of the white left.
Since Vietnam the situation is murkier because many conflicts (such as the present one) are not wars at all, although in earlier times such acts as that of Iran’s seizing of the sailors would be considered a casus belli. Now, as Admiral West says, we are reluctant to “escalate” to military action for fear of causing a larger war—and our opponents are not reluctant to provoke us because they know that. Paradoxically, our respect for civilian life is being used against us by an enemy that does not share it.
Brits don't want to upset Iran. WTF? Shouldn't it be the other way around? Can't they see that they are being toyed with? Meanwhile, a show of force.
Update: Andrew Sullivan (who we no longer read) proposes the theory that the prisoner-taking is the fault of the US. Gay Patriot hits him hard with sarcasm.
Update: This production via MEMRI, via Iran TV - a quote:
"Creating a fuss in order to pressure the Iranian people in this [nuclear] issue, using the U.N. Security Council as a tool, will only harm the forces confronting the Iranian people. I must say this. If they want to use the Security Council as a tool, thus ignoring this indisputable right... So far, we have done everything in accordance with international law, but if they want to violate these laws, we too can and will violate these laws."
Crowd chanting: "Allah Akbar Allah Akbar. Allah Akbar. Khamenei is the leader. Death to America. Oh noble leader, we are prepared. Oh noble leader, we are prepared. Oh noble leader, we are prepared. Oh noble leader, we are prepared."
As currently interpreted the Geneva Conventions only apply to individuals bent on destroying America. Individuals who blow up elementary schools, kidnap children, attack churches and mosques, kill invalids in wheelchairs, plan attacks on skyscrapers in New York, behead journalists, detonate car bombs with children to camouflage their crime, or board jetliners with explosive shoes -- all while wearing mufti or even women's clothing -- these are all considered "freedom fighters" of the most principled kind. They and they alone enjoy the protections of the Geneva Convention. As to Americans like Tucker and Menchaca or Israeli Gilad Shalit -- or these fifteen British sailors for that matter, it is a case of "what Geneva Convention?" We don't need no steenkin' Geneva Convention to try these guys as spies. That's the way the Human Rights racket works. Don't go looking for any Geneva Convention in Somalia, Darfur, Basilan or Iran. Try Guantanamo Bay.
Do we have enough tax redistribution, or do we need more? I think we are taking care of the poor - and this doesn't even include charity. Graph from piece at Willisms:
From a global warming hysteric (with a large, very comfortable home): "How could my wood stove be adding to global warming? It's not oil. It's natural. What would we do without it? It's our pleasure and comfort."
She thinks that as long as it isn't oil, it's good. Wrong. Oil and coal are simply old wood.
From Tom Shales' review of the "Planet Earth" series on the Discovery Channel:
Beyond its technical and aesthetic achievement, the film is so rich in spectacle that you won't want to take your eyes off the screen (except during commercial breaks, and it appears there'll be lots of those). One is bound to gain a new appreciation and feel a new respect for the planet, which, even in times of heightened environmental awareness, we tend to take for granted.
The new Jane Fonda. Sean Penn. Do such folks really hate the America which has given them everything, or are they just looking for easy virtue (with photo ops) to redeem their empty, foolish, decadent and superficial Hollywood lives?
You cannot be culturally literate - or an educated person - in Western Civilization without knowing the Bible. It's our culture's taproot. It's therefore interesting to see that public school courses in the Bible are growing in popularity.
David van Biema has a very fine piece in the usually-disappointing Time Magazine discussing this new trend, and the issues around it.
It begins thus:
Miss Kendrick came ready, with props. The day's topic was the Gospel of Matthew. "You can divide all the Beatitudes into two parts," Jennifer Kendrick explained to her teenage audience. "The 'Blessed are the whatevers,' like 'the meek,' and then the reward they will get. So I've made some puzzle pieces here." She passed out construction-paper sheets, each bearing either the name of a virtuous group or its reward, in black marker. "And you've got to find the person who has the other half. What's the first one in the Bible?"
"The poor in spirit," mumbled a crew-cut boy.
"O.K. What goes with the poor in spirit?"
A girl in the front of the room replied, reading from her sheet, "For they will see God."
"Nope," chirped Kendrick. "O.K., find the person that matches yours. I'll take the roll."
Superb piece by Munchkin Wrangler, found by Mr. Free Market. It begins thus:
Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it.
In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.
When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force. The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gangbanger, and a single gay guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.
In Canada, they give you a discount for energy conservation, then raise your bill because the conservation makes the power company lose money. How rational. Is there anyone left in the world who thinks that bureaucrats are smarter than markets?
A sheep that is 15% human. Definitely a good college candidate.