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.
World povertyplummets. There's nothing like commerce and trade to do that.
And some details on American poverty. Attack Machine. Bear in mind that poverty stats for the US do not include the funds or money value of benefits such as welfare, food stamps, subsidized housing, Medicaid, etc.
How the Left provides "force multiplication" to Islamic extremists. Dr. Sanity. Same as they did for the North Vietnamese.
Pythons in the Everglades. More unwanted and uninvited aliens. The government wants to put chips in every non-native snake that is bought or sold. Wish they could be as determined when it comes to illegal humans.
A graphic demonstration (graph on the right) that the primary role of the US government has become redistribution of money, from a piece at Villainous Company:
Even the Guardian admits progress in Iraq. Jim Miller
Who is rich, according to the Dem candidates? Meaning whose taxes can they get away with raising?
That bottom-smacking story from Oregon sounded like a joke, at first. Now it just sounds utterly insane.
"Are there any white kidsin your school?" Another teacher for school choice.
It was a good hike up to Greeter Falls on Sunday. This 50' waterfall is not very dramatic with the dry summer we have had here. The swimmin' hole is good. The rock is deep-ocean limestone from the great inland sea. A while ago, there was some fine ichthyosaur fishing here.
During the Republican debates, I hit my cocktail every time a candidate mentioned Reagan. Tonight, I’m going to take a nice-sized gulp whenever a YouTuber asks “What are you going to do for ME?” Or, any words to that effect. I might not make it through the entire debate. ...
It's now quite clear how the results of the surge will be dealt with by domestic opponents of the Iraq war.
They're going to be ignored.
They're being ignored now. Virtually no media source or Democratic politician (and not a few Republicans, led by Richard "I can always backtrack" Lugar) is willing to admit that the situation on the ground has changed dramatically over the past three months. Coalition efforts have undergone a remarkable reversal of fortune, a near-textbook example as to how an effective strategy can overcome what appear to be overwhelming drawbacks.
Read the whole thing. If Petraeus can hold back the barbarians, it will change many things. (h/t, reader)
Book lovers (and book dealers) from New England and New York travel hundreds of miles on an annual pilgrimage to the Annual Pequot Library Book Sale, in elegant Southport, CT., on the last weekend of July. It's a gold mine of used books, arranged by categories, and the serendipitous finds can be wonderful. Two years ago I found the complete Pepys diaries.
Their 120,000 books on sale come from estates, donations, and especially from other libraries. The money raised helps support the Pequot Library.
It goes on for 5 days beginning Friday, and prices go down each day, and everything is free on the last day. However, the place gets raked over carefully, so Saturday is maybe the best day to go. In a way, I hate to let more people know about this event, but it's my duty as a blogger.
Darn darn darn. Accidentally deleted my entire morning links piece for today, and now I don't have time to try to reconstruct it. Here are a few of them:
Al Quaida opening a new war front in Africa. Captain Ed. It is very self-centered of the US and the West to imagine that we are their sole enemies: we are just one of many.
The Left usually prefers to talk about "root causes" instead of individual choices. Their political stance tends to be one of socio-economic determinism rather than the dignity and freedom of the individual. Case in point - poverty. What is the number one cause of poverty in the US? Unmarried mothers. Will Edwards discuss that? No.
The Brits haven’t learned that inanimate objects do not cause crime. Guns and knives do not rob, rape or murder. Criminals will use whatever means possible to prey on the innocent; potential victims will use whatever means possible to defend themselves.
And when Big Brother then grabs every fork, spoon and toothpick in Britain, will anyone, no matter how trustworthy, be allowed to hold a rock?
Why Woolworth had to die. I still miss my Woolworth's, but I guess it's capitalism's "creative destruction." American Heritage. They say Woolworth was once what WalMart is today.
I despise you for trashing the good names of words such as 'diversity', 'tolerance', 'respect', 'progress', 'charity' and 'community'. Words and concepts that have made this country such a magnet for others have now become little more than Orwellian IngSoc. '1984' was written as a warning, not a fucking instruction manual.
It's worth thinking about, but I do not regret one minute of playing Chutes and Ladders, Milles Bournes, Monopoly, Checkers, Chess or tennis with my kids. From the article:
"Adults think it is silly to play with children" in most cultures, says Lancy, who teaches at Utah State University. Play is a cultural universal, he concedes, "but adults aren't part of the picture." Yet middle-class and upper-middle-class Americans -- abetted, he says, by psychologists -- are increasingly proclaiming the parents-on-all-fours style the One True Way to raise a smart, well-adjusted child.
Trust me - no psychologist or social worker in the world is an expert on how to raise a smart, well-adjusted kid. Read the whole thing.
Our editor sent me a piece at Hatemonger's Quarterly, in which they note schoolkids using the phrase "You have issues" as an insult. I think that is pretty funny.
That is a new one to me, but I know a phrase that is going around the high schools is "emo." The high school kids call people "emo" who are overly emotional, moody, who take themselves too seriously and appear self-obsessed.
It's worth reading, but far from an easy read. The wonderful Robert Coles said of the book:
Philip Rieff has become out most learned and provocative critic of psychoanalytic thinking and of the compelling mind and character of its first proponent. Rieff's Freud: The Mind of the Moralist remains the sharpest exegesis yet to be done on the moral and intellectual implications of Freud's work. It was a critical masterpiece, worthy of the man who inspired it; and it is now followed by a work that suffers not at all in comparison. No review can do justice to the richness of The Triumph of the Therapeutic."
Aid to poor nations does no good at all. Mankiw. Of course it doesn't - it's just a feel-good thing.
Brave police work in the UK. Blair. How can you catch a guy if you can't say what he looks like? On the same theme, Captain Ed, like me, is also confused about why the Dems seem to want to protect possible terrorists. Is it just PC gone psychotic?
The Call of the Entrepreneur. It's a new movie, which celebrates freedom. Kling discusses at TCS.
Cornell economist Robert Frank, a major critic of income inequality, adds that such a move might not make the rich as unhappy as you’d think, since they tend to use their income on things they don’t really want or need. “We could spend roughly one-third less on consumption,” Frank writes, “and suffer no significant reduction in satisfaction.” Some egalitarians even make the astounding argument that we should tax the economically successful in order to discourage them from working, since their work will only make them richer and thus sadden the less successful. According to British economist Richard Layard, “If we make taxes commensurate to the damage that an individual does to others when he earns more”—the damage to others’ happiness, that is—“then he will only work harder if there is a true net benefit to society as a whole. It is efficient to discourage work effort that makes society worse off.” Work, according to this postmodern argument—contrary to millennia of moral teaching—is no different from a destructive vice like tobacco, which governments sometimes tax in order to discourage people from smoking.
These inequality mavens seem to believe that the sin of envy is the most important source of unhappiness. It may apply to them, but not to most. I feel every sort of emotion on occasion, including envy, but it doesn't ruin my life. Plus I know that I could do something entrepreneurial any time I want. Right now, finding a nice girlfriend is all I need to be fully happy.
Do I love Modern Art? I dunno - I just like to look at stuff and to think about it.
I learned that "painting" is anything man-made (or man-altered), based on a flat surface which engages the eye when you stand and look at it. I could have thought of that, but it seems overly-broad: would not that definition apply to a Men's Room sign, when one is in need of one?
Anyway, it's a very eclectic show, with the predictable and silly all-white canvas which makes you wish you had a magic marker in your pocket. I liked this very large piece by George Baselitz, "Woodsmen."
Partner pay in top 200 law firms. Rising fast. They make this on the backs of the child labor of their young and hungry Associates. It's a good deal.
How Music Works. A great site for the real basics of what music is made of, if you know nothing about music theory. There is enough here to give oneself a little basic music course.
The Supremes haven't considered the Second Amendment for 70 years. Will they take a look at Parker? More thoughts on the subject at Willisms. I hope the Court will take it on, but letting Parker stand is fine too.
Why are the global warmers so zealous? After a year of arguing with people about this, I am convinced that it's because global warming is first and foremost a political theory. It is an expression of a whole middle-class political world view. This view is summed up in the oft-repeated phrase "we consume too much". I have also come to the conclusion that this is code for "they consume too much". People who believe it tend also to think that exotic foreign places are being ruined because vulgar oiks can afford to go there in significant numbers, they hate plastic toys from factories and prefer wooden ones from craftsmen, and so on.
All this backward-looking bigotry has found perfect expression in the idea of man-made climate disaster. It has cohered a bunch of disparate reactionary prejudices (anti-car, anti-supermarkets, anti-globalisation) into a single unquestionable truth and cause. So when you have a dig at global warming, you commit a grievous breach of social etiquette. Among the chattering classes you're a leper.
But why are the supporters of global warming so defensive? After all, the middle classes are usually confident, bordering on smug.
As I found when I examined the basic data, they have plenty to be defensive about. Billions of dollars of public money have been thrown at global warming, yet the hypothesis is crumbling around their ears.
To the utter dismay of the global warming lobby, the world does not appear to be getting warmer. According to their own figures (from the UN-linked Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), the temperature has been static or slightly declining since 1998. The satellite data confirms this. This is clearly awkward. The least one should expect of global warming is that the Earth should be getting warmer.
Photos: All of these boats are for sale to prosperous capitalists. God bless 'em. Details here.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. 21And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him— 23provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel. 24I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. 25I became its servant according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints. 27To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28It is he whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29For this I toil and struggle with all the energy that he powerfully inspires within me.
The VHEM position is “realistic: We know we’ll never see the day there are no human beings on the planet. . . . The Movement may be considered a success each time one more of us volunteers to breed no more.” The VHEM approach demographically guarantees that its hard task will only get harder. Those non-breeding volunteers will have no children to catechize, while the people who do breed will have set an anti-VHEM example for their children simply by virtue of having them.
Instead of stigmatizing people who drive SUVs and eat beef, let's just stigmatize anyone who has kids. Better yet, the members of this movement, to be morally consistent, should simply off themselves right now, in some sort of Gaia-friendly manner. After all, breathing and farting are major sources of CO2.