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.
Let me put this as starkly as I can: What's going on today in our country isn't normal politics. In normal politics honorable people will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how best to deal with the issues that confront us - national security, border control, healthcare, education, energy, the environment, and all the rest. What's going on today is a kind of domestic Cold War -- a seemingly endless standoff, with the occasional hard skirmish -- between those of us who see the US for what it really is, and those of us who are seeing the US through a prism. And remember, unlike real prisms these intellectual prisms -- or, if you prefer, these political prisms -- are invisible. If you're looking at the US through a political prism, you don't know you're seeing through a prism and you won't believe anyone who tries to tell you that you are.
This is why Americans who see our country and the world through a prism are impervious to facts.
Which brings me back to the Times’s story on Obama’s career at the University of Chicago. In course of that story, the reporter confronts the reader with “what may be the ultimate test of racial equality–whether Americans will elect a black president.”
I stopped short reading that because I think it gets the issue 100% wrong. The implication is that if Obama is not elected, then Americans fail the test. But that, I submit, is a racist idea. How many liberals do you know who plan to vote for Barack Obama because he is black, that is to say, for a racist reason? Sure, they also like the fact that he plans to institute a European-style confiscatory tax plan...
Democrat Barack Obama, the first black candidate with a shot at winning the White House, says John McCain and his Republican allies will try to scare them by saying Obama "doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills."
The Obama campaign wants to divert attention to the issues by making this an election about race. Hillary tried to pull the same trick, but with her genitalia. I don't give a damn about Obama's color - or anybody's color. I will vote against him because he is a naive, extreme Lefty nut who has never accomplished anything in his life other than the smooth delivery of pablum speeches and maneuvering quickly in the sleazy, corrupt world of Chicago politics.
Why is the black vote always in the Dem's pocket? Pajamas. I think it's crazy.
Why do gay guys always seem to put on a freak show? If somebody wants to be accepted as normal, they need to act normal, with modesty, self-restraint, and dignity. If you need to be kinky, why not do it at home? I confess, though, that their displays are interesting in a sick sort of way.
Come come! We have had enough of this. I will put an end to your prating. It is not fit that you should sit here any longer! You have sat here too long here for any good you have been doing lately. You shall give this place to better men! Call them in! Call them in! (the musketeers). You call yourselves a Parliament. You are no Parliament; I say you are no Parliament! You are whoremasters and drunkards, corrupt and unjust men, how can you be a Parliament for God’s People? Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!
It's Rush Week at Human Events, with many salutations to the big guy on his 20th anniversary.
I do not listen to Rush much these days, but back in '90-'93 I did every day, during my mid-day commute. I enjoy his humor, the apparent joy he takes in living, his self-mockery (eg "with half my brain tied behind my back, just to make it fair"), and his upbeat attitude, but it was his cheerful irreverence towards conventional views that engaged me. Plus his kindness and gentleness to all of his callers.
Whether you agree with him about everything or not, he is a brilliant entertainer.
Iraqis were most surprised by Obama's apparent readiness to throw away all the gains made in Iraq simply to prove that he'd been right in opposing the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein. "He gave us the impression that the last thing he wanted was for Iraq to look anything like a success for the United States," a senior Iraqi official told me. "As far as he is concerned, this is Bush's war and must end in lack of success, if not actual defeat."
"Carbon control is what the West talks about. Carbon consumption is what the Non-Western Nations seek. Electricity efficiency and avoided generation is what the West talks about. Electricity supply is what nations big and small outside the West seek. Transportation efficiency is what the West talks about. Increased, greatly increased, mechanized mobility is what the nations of Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America seek. The West wants to orate about wind, solar, geothermal and wave energy. The rest of the world wants more oil and natural gas, coal and uranium. The West worries about carbon control. The rest of the world, especially Asia, worries greatly about energy and food control. - Vinod K. Dar Earth Cools
The ten Capitalist things all economists believe. City Journal. One quote:
To help the losers in the free market, government shouldn’t back away from either free trade or creative destruction and start subsidizing doomed and obsolete activities, a protectionist course that guarantees only economic decline. Instead, it should help the losers change jobs more easily by improving educational opportunities and by facilitating new investment, which creates more employment. An essential task of democratic governments and opinion makers when confronting economic cycles and political pressure is to secure and protect the system that has served humanity so well, and not to change it for the worse on the pretext of its imperfection.
Still, this lesson is doubtless one of the hardest to translate into language that public opinion will accept. The best of all possible economic systems is indeed imperfect. Whatever the truths uncovered by economic science, the free market is finally only the reflection of human nature, itself hardly perfectible.
Some of our traditionalist readers might not be fans of Brazilian artist Vic Muniz, but I am. He is an artist/photographer but calls himself an illusionist. This is modern art. I love this guy. His Chocolate Series was drawn with pixie sticks on Plexiglas and then photographed.
This is his "Mona Lisa, after Warhol," painted with peanut butter and jelly. You can see why he sells his photos of his work and not the orginals. Somebody might get hungry:
This is a tale of minor woe, a "for the loss of a nail, the shoe was lost; for the loss of the shoe, the horse was lost..." story.
When a homeowner sees that ominous drip, drip, drip in the ceiling, coming out of some light fixture, his or her heart sinks. We all know that water and houses don't mix.
It turned out that the vibrations from the Jacuzzi tub had screwed up the drain. On further inspection, the dripping had rotted the subfloor. And, on further inspection, the underfloor in front of the shower was wet and crumbling too, partly because Mr. Shower Door installed the door opening out, not in. And the shower stall wasn't adequately vented. And, and, and...
This means plumbers, demolition guys, tile guys, new fixtures, dumpsters and carpenters. A new subfloor and a new floor for the bathroom, hopefully something less slippery than the shiny Italian tile we had. I think a marble floor is the idea.
And, since that is being done, let's take the vanity out and repaint it, and put a new marble top on it.
And since we have a great carpenter/contractor here anyway, why not have him move the non-supporting walls around in the master bedroom to expand the closets and expand the room the way we have always talked about? Yeah, why not? Not a big deal, right? You can move all your hunting gear to the basement.
And, since they're already doing that, let's finally put the fireplace in the bedroom. It can link right up to an existing chimney, after all. Cozy.
And since they're doing that, let's get rid of all the old carpet and replace it with good oak flooring upstairs. Let's do it everywhere upstairs. After all, it's not much more expensive than high-quality wool carpet.
And since the electricians will be around, let's replace all of that terrible hallway lighting, and then re-paint everything.
I guess one of the consolations of home-ownership is to know, as you watch your life savings evaporate, that you are helping to keep the economy going in your neck of the woods.
Were I single and childless, I could live in a shack in the woods, as long as I had a broadband connection. And a girlfriend or three for company.
Bob Novak, hospitalized today in Boston for a brain tumor while on a trip to Cape Cod, filed his Closer than He Should Be for today's WaPo. One quote:
In the contest for president, Barack Obama is a magnetic candidate supported by a disciplined, well-organized campaign. John McCain seems wooden, with a campaign that appears to be in shambles. Yet Obama's lead in the polls over McCain is fragile because he so far has not won the support of a majority of American voters.
We shall see whether McCain can add some zip to his campaign. As we have said here, "John - give people a reason to vote for you." We already have a multitude of reasons not to vote for Obama.
Also, our best wishes to Bob. Seems like he's been around forever. The Old Guard.
There was a time when a gent would no more leave his house without a tie than a lady would leave the house without a hat. I showed up at a tennis team outdoor dinner-dance event at my club on Saturday night with jacket and tie. Not wishing to make everybody else there feel grievously under-dressed, I quickly removed my tie and stuck it in my pocket.
I am an old-fashioned believer in the idea that professionals should dress up a little bit. Even if it isn't entirely comfortable. And I still believe in wearing a tie to church - not that God cares, but simply as a sign of respect for the occasion.
Brooks Brothers ties have been my mainstay since I was 10 years old, but I have been known to wear other brands when given to me as gifts. Brooks summer ties are on sale now, but I think I have enough to last me. Easy to find a new one to like, though.