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 attended the Patriots press conference at "Sullivan Stadium On Steroids" in Foxborough Mass this week. I made a transcript of the proceedings, as best as I could remember them. They may be a little off here and there -- just a jot or tittle-- but this is the gist of it.]
Bill Belichick: I have some opening remarks if that's all right with you sportswriters. If it's not, I won't, because you are, of course, the sworn representatives of our fans by virtue of being in a print union and waiting for the last guy who did it to die of cirrhosis; so I defer to your judgement.
Sportswriters, in unision: Go ahead, you duplicitous pondscum.
BB: Thanks, and apologies to any pondscum or associated bacterium that are rightfully offended to be compared to me by you tribunes of accuracy.
I realize now, looking at you legions of dumpy middle-aged men, and women with big feet, that you're glaring at me because I'm dressed in a sweatshirt. You reasonably assume that I'm mocking you because it's nearly as casual as the white socks and mandals, front-butt cargo pants, and ill-fitting Hawaiian shirts with barbeque sauce dribbled down the front that you all wear all the time. It was not my intention to ruin your lives by wearing a simple hooded drawstring tunic, so from here on in, I'll be wrapped completely in duct tape, and Mr. Kraft has generously allowed me to set aside time from the Novenas I'm required to say for all the other teams to allow all you sportwriters to pull the tape off me at midfield, with a whipsaw motion, while you're all judging just how evil my post-game handshake is. I will now field questions.
Reporter: What steps have you taken to ensure that your team stops scoring points?
BB: Of course I apologize for scoring points against our opponents. It's unseemly. I tried putting both our second and third string quarterbacks into the games, but unfortunately the second string quarterback accidentally scored. I benched him for having the effrontery to score points during a football game, and luckily Matt Gutierrez tripped on one of the legs on the easy chair Redskins' Defensive Lineman Phillip Daniels had dragged out onto the field to sit in, and was unable to score.
Reporter: That doesn't answer my question, you rude jerk. What are you doing to avoid scoring points going forward? You jerk.
From a student "training" document at the University of Delaware, as quoted in a piece at Thompson:
... “[a] racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people(i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality.”
I guess that means that my skin tone determines my character and my moral fate. That sounds a teeny bit racist to me.
Photo: A typical "white people" cocktail party last week in leafy, sophisticated Wellesley, MA
Feldman at American Thinker, quoting a piece by Poe:
In it, Hillary declared, "We are... putting together a network in the blogosphere". She attributed its success to the efforts of "institutions that I helped to start and support like Media Matters and Center for American Progress..."
With these words, Hillary confessed to a federal crime. Both groups are supposedly "non-partisan", 501(c)3 tax-free organizations, strictly prohibited from coordinating efforts with a national political candidate such as Hillary.
The Feldman piece here. The Poe piece here. (thanks, H)
1. Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.
2. Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.
3. Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in "fine".
4. Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!
5. Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of nothing.)
6. That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.
7. Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or Faint. Just say you're welcome.
8. Whatever: Is a women's way of saying F@!K YOU!
9. Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking "What's wrong?" For the woman's response refer to #3.
So I watched the Democrat debate tonight in its entirety, just taking it in. Is there an industry they wouldn't attack? From Hedge Funds, Defense, the Airlines, Insurance companies and, of course, the Oil Companies, it seems they all have investigations, regulations, or some restrictions in mind, assuming they flat out don't just want to do away with it completely?
Not once did I hear anything even remotely referencing the individual and certainly nothing that might challenge one. Apparently people can't become Doctors ... unless the government pays their tuition - and the trend discussed was free college for all at the government's expense. I mean, why should people be expected to invest in such a thing themselves? And they seem to be advocating having the State take charge of children as early as from two - four years-old. It's as if parenting should be relegated to a two-year proposition. Okay, you birthed the thing, we'll take it from here.
Medical research? We don't need the Pharma's, just turn it over to the NIH, while increasing governmental education-based grants for research across the board. There seemed to be no room for a market-based dynamic in such things at all.
Americans are largely satisfied and optimistic about their personal lives, but pessimistic about their public institutions, says David Brooks in a NYT opinion.
I am not sure that is necessarily a bad thing. A quote:
Sixty-eight percent of Americans think the country is on the wrong track. Sixty-two percent think that when government runs something, it is usually inefficient and wasteful. Sixty percent think the next generation will be worse off than the current one. Americans today are more pessimistic about government’s ability to solve problems than they were in 1974 at the height of Watergate and the end of the Vietnam War.
This happiness gap between the private and the public creates a treacherous political vortex. On the one hand, it means voters are desperate for change. On the other hand, they don’t want a change that will upset the lives they have built for themselves.
I have no doubt that the relentless negativity of the media contributes to that, but it still sounds like the America I know and love - people running their own lives as they see fit, and grumbling and suspicious about politics and the gummint.
What would make me worry would be people loving their so-called public institutions.
We posted Bruce Thornton's fine piece in City Journal titled Fighting at a Disadvantage a while ago. I wish to correct his use of the concept of a "therapeutic sensibility" which makes excuses for Islamist war and terror.
BT has probably never been in therapy: if he had been, he would know that finding excuses ain't part of it - nor is sympathetic hand-holding and commiseration. If you were in therapy with me, Mr. Thornton, you would find me pushing you towards your maximal degree of responsibility for your own fate and your own life. The notion that therapy entails making people feel good by the shrink allying themselves to the patient's weakest parts is way off. The best therapeutic sensibility is usually to be kind and respectful, and yet tough as nails, I believe, which is why many people cannot handle it. It can be like surgery without anesthesia.
We therapists do not charge money for hugs: it is another, older profession which does that.
Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting today for costly grace. Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system. It means forgiveness of sins proclaimed as a general truth, the love of God taught as the Christian "conception" of God. 45
Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner. Grace alone does everything they say, and so everything can remain as it was before. "All for sin could not atone." Well, then, let the Christian live like the rest of the world, let him model himself on the world’s standards in every sphere of life, and not presumptuously aspire to live a different life under grace from his old life under sin. That was the heresy of the enthusiasts, the Anabaptists and their kind…. 46
Blue Jay, Cardinal, Song Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, WT Sparrow, House Finch, English Sparrow, Red Wing Blackbird (a bonded, loving pair - they are usually in flocks during migration), WB Nuthatch, Mourning Dove, SC Junco (first of the season), Goldfinch, BC Chickadee (in photo).
In response to the piece we linked at Protein about Robert Reich and the Left's age-old desire to steal wealth, I reply "Appreciate and thank the wealthy, and provide a safety net for the unfortunate."
We have written about poverty in America several times. The prosperous are a precious thing, and we have tons of them in America. The more, the better. I know that not everyone pursues prosperity: many pursue other goals instead. But the more wealthy people we have, the better.
Wealthy people do not ask the government (meaning their neighbors) for stuff, they live independent lives, they donate time and money to charities, they tend to be civic-minded and grateful, they "ask not what America can do" for them, they educate their kids, they spend money and keep the retail economy rolling, they invest in businesses which grow and create jobs, etc etc.
Without the estate tax, we would have many more wealthy in America than we have now. And if more people had good old Yankee thrift and the backbone to resist every temptation, we'd have even more wealthy people. Wealth is not the most important thing in life, but private assets are the foundation of being a Free Man or Woman.
The goal of American policies should be to help create as many wealthy people and families as possible.
Coming up at dawn, battalion executive officer Major Odell M. Conoley first discovered the answer to our question: How many able-bodied Marines does it take to hold a hill against two regiments of motivated, combat-hardened infantrymen who have never known defeat?
On a hill where the bodies were piled like cordwood, Mitchell Paige alone sat upright behind his 30-caliber Browning, waiting to see what the dawn would bring.
8% who read a blog at least once a month is higher than I might have guessed. Who knows - maybe this blog thing will be more than a passing fad. Personally, I have always loved newspapers and magazines, and I don't see any difference with online content, other than the amateurism (in the best sense of the word) - and the alternative to the arrogant, monotonous and socialist (socialist except when it comes to salary negotiations and stock price) MSM.
More on blogs, and the supposed "Top 100", at Gates. (No, we are not on that list: we haven't been fully "found" yet by all of the folks in the world who might find us life-enriching. But Tim Blair gave us a hand this weekend. Thanks, Tim.)
Racial hatred does not arise spontaneously. It is cultivated by political leaders seeking to use it for their own purposes. The divorce of white Southerners from the political leaders who kept them dependent on Democrats to continue segregation has changed an ugly socio-political dynamic dating back to the foundations of the United States. This does not mean that racism has been eliminated-far from it. But Bobby Jindal's election is the latest evidence of the transformation -- in a single generation -- of what had been the voting block of reaction and racism through all preceding American history. The Republican southern strategy has produced one of the greatest victories ever won for the cause of civil rights in America.