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.
We'll quit putting out bird seed as soon as our diminishing supply runs out: the bugs are coming out despite our sub-30 degree nights (the earth is cooling, you know - climate change), so the birds can go off welfare for a while. What's been around ye olde feeder today?, you ask.
Cowbirds, Redwing Blackbirds, Mourning Doves (tons), White throated Sparrows (lazy ones - should have migrated north by now), Song Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Blue Jay, Purple Grackle, Cardinal, Goldfinch, Red Bellied Woodpecker, House Finch, BC Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, WB Nuthatch. All in their splendid breeding plumage.
Plus some Chipmunks and, of course, Grey Squirrels working the system.
Photo: A male Goldfinch, before fully changing into his Spring plumage.
Buddy and his team of eight SEALs are in harm's way, doing difficult, challenging, and enviably-exciting nighttime work. The SEALs own the night.
Buddy sends this email: "Everyone out here appreciates being remembered at home - that's what gets us through the fights."
Churchill, not Orwell as is commonly thought, said "We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." We have known Buddy since he was about 5, and, while I can see his capacity to be a very rough and dangerous man on the job, he has the warm, gentle, generous, and considerate soul with which strong, competent and confident men are often blessed.
In a dispute, you want these guys on your side.
Have no fear, guys: we think of you and pray for your success in your missions and your safety every day, and we soft candy-asses back home with our non-dangerous lives are grateful for the work you are doing for us.
(Put a comment on this for them - they go online when they are able to do so. These intertubes are amazing, aren't they? They reach all the way over to Wherizzitatistan.)
As President Reagan said, we are a nation that has a government, not the other way round. The nation pays for the government, not the other way round. I pay for Congressman Frank and Senator Dodd, not the other way round. I would appreciate it if they'd take up a less destructive pastime, perhaps joining Senator Kerry in windsurfing off the Irish coast in buttock-hugging yellow Lycra. If you have even a modest asset - a small house, a sluggish savings account or pension provision - these people are making you poorer. Good luck digging yourself out from under.
...we looked up to Davos Man. Who wouldn't be impressed by the gatherings at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum at Davos, a Swiss ski resort? Sharply dressed, eloquent, rich, famous, Republican, Democrat, Tory, Labour, Conservative, Socialist, highly connected, powerful and ever so bright.
Then, when the whole managerial economy collapsed, the managers and technocrats lost faith in markets. But they did not lose faith in themselves, and now they want us to entrust even more of the economy to them.
WORK? “More than three decades of research shows that a focus on effort—not on intelligence or ability—is key to success in school and in life.” Hey, I’ve got an idea — why don’t we organize society so that it rewards hard work! We could even see that people who work harder and do better make more money! And then their efforts would pay off in more general societal prosperity, making life better for everyone! And we could . . . Naaaah.
Assortive mating on the internet, and related topics, at Becker- Posner. One quote:
Match.com says it has more than 15 million members. A study by Harris Interactive conducted for eHarmony finds that over 86,000 eHarmony users married between April 2006 and March 2007, which is three times the number estimated for 2005 in a different study. The Harris study also estimated that over two percent of all persons marrying between April 2006 and March 2007 were introduced through eHarmony. Economic theory and empirical evidence (see my A Treatise on the Family) indicate that men and women who marry tend to have similar backgrounds by religion, race, education, family income, and many other characteristics. This is called positive assortative mating. Since marriages between persons of similar characteristics usually (but not always!) produce more satisfactory relationships, it is not surprising that marriages between unlikes; that is, persons with quite different characteristics, such as by education, religion, or race, are far more likely to end in divorce than are marriages between similar persons.
Two weeks ago, Abe Moscowitz dropped dead of a heart attack and was reincarnated as a lobster. Trapped off the coast of Maine, he was shipped to Manhattan and dumped into a tank at a posh Upper East Side seafood restaurant. In the tank there were several other lobsters, one of whom recognized him. “Abe, is that you?” the creature asked, his antennae perking up.
“Who’s that? Who’s talking to me?” Moscowitz said, still dazed by the mystical slam-bang postmortem that had transmogrified him into a crustacean.
“It’s me, Moe Silverman,” the other lobster said.
“O.M.G.!” Moscowitz piped, recognizing the voice of an old gin-rummy colleague. “What’s going on?”
“We’re reborn,” Moe explained. “As a couple of two-pounders.”
“Lobsters? This is how I wind up after leading a just life? In a tank on Third Avenue?”
“The Lord works in strange ways,” Moe Silverman explained. “Take Phil Pinchuck. The man keeled over with an aneurysm, he’s now a hamster. All day, running at the stupid wheel. For years he was a Yale professor. My point is he’s gotten to like the wheel. He pedals and pedals, running nowhere, but he smiles.”
Moscowitz did not like his new condition at all. Why should a decent citizen like himself, a dentist, a mensch who deserved to relive life as a soaring eagle or ensconced in the lap of some sexy socialite getting his fur stroked, come back ignominiously as an entrée on a menu?
Is it already the concensus that Obama, despite his personal appeal, is off to a weak and flawed start? Whatever happened to "Bring us together"? A quote from No He Can't at Prospect:
A president with historic ambitions was never going to be content with tackling a mere recession. Thus in his televised address before both houses of congress in February he delivered a special history lesson: “Our economy did not fall into decline overnight. Nor did all our problems begin when the housing market collapsed or the stock market sank.” The current recession and housing and financial problems have deeper causes, he said. What are these underlying maladies that so badly need the shaman’s touch? The president named four: energy, healthcare, education and debt. The “day of reckoning” for ignoring these issues—and for exacerbating this failure with excessive borrowing—has arrived, he said.
Americans who concentrated on the president’s words rather than on their characteristically sonorous delivery found the diagnosis baffling. Education, energy and healthcare policy in the US, as almost anywhere, all need help. But are America’s flaws in these areas really the causes of the housing bust and the paralysed banking system? What about the cyclical contractions that follow all economic booms? What about a decade and more of absurdly cheap money? How about all that Fannie and Freddie-fuelled lending to inappropriate borrowers? What happened to lax oversight? What about greed, that comforting straw man? No, according to Obama, we are losing our jobs and being kicked out of our excessively mortgaged houses because America lacks universal healthcare, federally sponsored nursery school, university for all, and a progressive emissions-oriented energy policy.
That is a lame and transparent effort to re-design America, using a recession and a banking mess as an excuse. I don't know anybody who buys this baloney. His eye is only on my wallet. Read the whole thing. Link above.
The homelessness BS. Kaus. Those measures would have counted me as homeless last year.
It never ceases to amaze me how Dem pols always get rich. Emanuel's $ from Fannie. As I see it, Dems love money too much, both their own money and other peoples' money that they can get their hands on.
"Comrades, remember when Michelle Obama said, “Barack will never let you go back to the way you used to live…” She meant that." Sheesh. I kinda liked the way I lived, simple, honest, and free. Anchoress
Why would I choose to be a conservative? Why would I choose the persecution? I am constantly ridiculed for my beliefs. I have been compared to Nazis. Liberals call me a sexist, racist, bigoted homophobe. My intentions are mischaracterized, and then I am judged by those mischaracterized intentions. For example, because I favor policies to help get everyone off of welfare to succeed on their own, my intentions are characterized as trying to keep blacks and minorities poor. These liberals then brand me a racist because they perceive my intentions are to keep blacks poor.
You would think I would choose to be a liberal. Liberals worldwide are hailed as compassionate for merely “raising awareness” of the plight of the poor. Forget that the poor don’t see a dime from the “awareness” raised. Despite poverty winning the war we waged on it, liberals get judged by their intentions rather than the results of their policies.
Breaking the press monopoly is one thing. But the internet has also broken the political monopoly. Ten or even five years ago, when the Minister for Widgets put out a press release, the mere fact of his position guaranteed a measure of coverage. Nowadays, a politician must compel attention by virtue of what he is saying, not his position.
It's all a bit unsettling for professional journalists and politicians. But it's good news for libertarians of every stripe. Lefties have always relied on control, as much of information as of physical resources. Such control is no longer technically feasible.