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.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Friday, July 31. 2009
Alcohol is good, unless you are alcoholic. Guns are good, unless you are a murderer. Medicine is good, unless you OD on it. Vehicles are great, if you pay attention. Big Macs are good, unless you eat so many that it makes you tired, slow, and repulsive-looking.
Everything is like that.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:08 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
From Rick Moran's More Paul Ryan Please:
From Insty, Tax Burden of Top 1% Now Exceeds That of Bottom 95%. The problem there is that there are too many people with no skin in the game, and it turns most of the population into members of a cargo cult, awaiting the arrival of their magic goodies.
I am a flat-taxer: 13% on all income, for all. No deductions, no tax forms, no increases except temporarily in wartime.
Re Sen. Corker:
Photo is a Smart Car
Betsy McCaughey's website, Defend Your Healthcare. She has read all of the bills.
Related, Krauthammer says it's a tactical retreat, not a defeat
How computer high-frequency trading makes it all more fair for all of us. Back in my youth, I remember how Wall Street worried that the introduction of the telephone would ruin trading - meaning the profits of traders.
Brit research says boys are different from girls. Who'd a thunk it?
McDonalds controls the entire beef business and it isn't grass fed. Chickens mature in 39 days instead of the usual 90. Video: Official Food, Inc. Movie Site - Hungry For Change?
It costs a lot to survive your heart attack. Do we care?
Waxman and Pelosi: Imperfect Together. WSJ
How the elderly are leading the fight against Obamacare
Golf tournament fails to cure Crohn's Disease, once again. It begins:
A federal subsidy for "community organizers." Good grief. How about subsidizing some young producers instead of the professional parasites?
Town Hall meetings are the new venue to emote
More on the Repub insurance reform plan. For one thing, it doesn't damage medicare.
Thanks to Vanderleun.
Here's one of them:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:10 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Barney Frank says: "I think if we get a good public option it could lead to single payer, and that's the best way to reach single payer."
Obama isn't telling the truth when he is trying to sell this thing.
Thursday, July 30. 2009
I am headed for the beach and the healthy icy-cold salt water for the weekend. Beach scenery by Theo, who has tons of good stuff posted.
A. Elmer Crowell's Cape Cod decoys
Dalrymple: There is no right to health care.
Population of illegals is dropping
Do as the Green Gods say, not as they do
The O's Science Czar wants to give trees legal standing. The guy needs to get back on his meds.
Our friend Sipp is featured in Cottages and Bungalows magazine - a magazine without which our truant Dylanologist cannot do.
Repubs unveil their own medical insurance plan
Peggy Noonan: Americans say slow down the hopey-changey
Reason TV: The case against college as an entitlement
No, every other developed nation does not have government medical care
Related, from Neo-neo:
From Marginal Rev:
People like Paul see market failure everywhere.
Related: Pelosi says insurance companies are "the villains." Language like that is born of desperation.
Related, from Luskin:
You know why, Dan. Power and control.
In neither the House draft nor the various Senate drafts of health care legislation can one find any tort reform. According to reliable sources, the excess costs of “defensive medicine” due to providers’ fear of law suits is 9-10% of our total national health care spending. Just capping punitive damages has led to a 3.4% reduction in per capita health care spending in those states with caps. In
President Obama promised the AMA convention that he would support reasonable tort reform. So far, he like Waldo cannot be found on this issue. Patients do have a right to justice when due. Tort attorneys do not have a right to a cornucopia of claims.
News reports have followed the health industry players involvement in the legislative drafting, but nothing has been reported about tort lawyer lobbying. Perhaps they don’t have to lobby, as about half of Congressmen and Senators are lawyers, and only a very few are doctors.
On the other hand, if government runs all health care, try suing it. Ha!
Oh! Did I forget to mention that in the 2008 elections 76% of lawyers contributions went to Democrats, and 84% so far in the run-up to the 2010 elections?
And, Oh My! Then there's this move in Congress of a $1.6-billion tax break for lawyers. Just what we need, having the government make it easier for lawyers to launch more frivolous or speculative cases.
Like Massachusetts, Maine decided to try its own government medical insurance plan. Betsy recounts the grim outcome of that effort.
It's not your grandfather's Maine anymore. 23% of the state is on Medicaid - which is welfare. Whatever happened to the gritty, independent New Englanders? And why don't they pack up the U-Haul and move to Texas, where there are jobs, low taxes, and opportunities?
Nobody imagines that a good job market will ever return to Maine with their current politics, taxation, and increasingly decadent culture. What are the people waiting for?
Some new disturbing info about ACORN (which recently has been the recipient of how many billions of "stimulus" money, and which is supposed to be part of taking the next census).
This needs to be stopped. This is creepy.
I am referring to CT's Sen. Chris Dodd.
Here's Dylan with the relevant (wonderful) song, Duncan and Brady. Too bad he messes up the verses, but who can keep 1000 lyrics in his head?
Canada no longer has free speech
Why do people in government think we citizens are idiots? ...but maybe we are, if we voted for these jokers.
From Dr. Bob:
Joe Biden has me scratching my head. Powerline
Are the Dems in trouble in 2010?
Related: Prof Gates has a summer home in Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard, which is the village the O wanted to vacation in too. Many do not know that Oak Bluffs has been a favored summer spot for affluent black Americans for a century. Martha's Vineyard also still has a good population of Wampanoag indians, mostly in the Gay Head area.
More on the obesity ridiculousness. Q&O
In which Dan Rather beclowns himself
“Wenn ist das Nunstruck git und Slotermeyer?" Driscoll
One of Tigerhawk's young Bald Eagles at his place in the Adirondacks. Is he echoing the silhouette of the pump on purpose?
Wednesday, July 29. 2009
"I got the pork chops, she got the pie,
Some bonus Bob for thunderstorm season. Sorry, but it's not embeddable: Thunder on the Mountain.
It's not really very long. Megan McA: A Long, Long Post About My Reasons For Opposing National Health Care
Teddy Roosevelt rightly fascinates biographers.
I am not ready for a new one after having read Edmund Morris' multi-volume bio, but Douglas Brinkley's new one looks to be a big seller: The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America.
Our pet theory is that Americans snap up history books because they get no serious history in school.
How many people really imagine that Presidents and Washington have power over the economy?
Governments, of course, only really have power to damage economies. Economies have lives of their own, following their own natural laws like weather. Even the Almighty Fed is very limited in what it can do.
Still, people seem to think that Presidents are somehow responsible, and I suppose that is because politicians seek any advantage, no matter how insincere.
Neither Bush nor Obama are responsible for the recession. It's called a "business cycle." People are blaming Obama now, and the O is trying to blame Bush. It's all stupid boob bait.
Besides cycles, what has the power to damage economies is government intervention like taxation, deficits, subsidizing of failing businesses, and regulation. Those things hobble economies, holding them back from what they naturally want to do (which is to produce things, including labor, and to price them), and I have no doubt that businesses have been worrying about what the Dems might do to hobble them.
Lefties always seem to love wealth and money, but to have contempt for those who create those things. Most of the very wealthy people I know are Dems or "Independents."
I posed this question to a very nice, well-intentioned but scientifically-illiterate Greenie lady I sat next to at dinner on Saturday night:
"What if there really is scary global warming, but it turns out it isn't caused by man, but instead by natural variation from other factors that are too complex to be understood? Then what?"
There was no reply. Her brain appeared to short-circuit.
I am a fun dinner companion.
Our Constitution begins:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
From the earliest days of our Republic, we’ve considered and argued ways to improve its representation of citizens. We are a Republic, of elected representatives, not a direct Democracy (except in some states with direct initiatives to be voted upon).
In either case, legislation voted upon by legislators or directly by voters, the complexity of the issues at hand and of the language to express it, compounded by the number of pages of fine print, the confounding interactions, and the many unknowns, makes the task of understanding and judging often Herculean, Solomonic and Einsteinian all at once.
The strength, wisdom and knowledge of Hercules, Solomon and Einstein are simultaneously required when considering thousands of pages of tiny-type recasting 1/6th of the US economy and 100% of the health care received by 100% of our citizens. Put health care legislation together with the rushed economic legislation of the past 6-months, and we’re talking about 1/4th of the
We’ve toyed with various adjustments, some legislated and some voluntary (usually obeyed only at the convenient whim and self-interest of elected representatives) to increase the deliberation and independence of legislators, and allow the public time and information to weigh in. For the most part, they’ve failed or been inadequate.
Not that they will be the ending solution, I’ll propose some more to bolster our and our legislators’ ability to make sounder decisions:
1. All members of legislative committees, entrusted by other legislative members with the detail evaluation of legislation, must attend all open and closed door meetings. That leads to wider and more careful deliberation. This duty is paramount over prestigious memberships in too many committees to be able to perform adequately in each.
2. All legislation must be publicly published on the Internet in full at least several weeks before detail hearings, to allow even minimal familiarity by those affected, the more knowledgeable, and by the public who has the right to transparency in order to know.
3. All legislative committee hearings must hear from an equal number of experts chosen by each political party, regardless of the weighting of party membership on the committee, to increase the likelihood of more information and views being heard.
4. All the members of each legislative committee must vote and publicly explain their vote.
5. All legislation funding or affecting more than one agency of government must either be broken down into its components for separate votes or be held for vote in the next biannual Congress once the public vote weighs in indirectly on the information received from hearings and legislators’ positions.
Yes, these reforms may slow some legislation, but experience with untoward consequences of haste and shadows makes that a positive result. Yes, these reforms will shift the workload of legislators toward deeper involvement with the details of legislation, the benefits of that being evident. Yes, true crises may require quick action at times, and if so there’s nothing to stop wise legislators from breaking such legislation into more carefully constructed and deliberated parts.
Yes, we can have a more perfect
Insane: A European Working Time Directive. How do people put up with this BS? Doctors work when they have to. That's what doctors do. That's what all vigorous people do, except for Euro-weenies. I sure hope their rules do not apply to farmers, shop-keepers, or entrepreneurs.
No laughing out loud at Dr. Obama. It's a cartoon, for heaven's sake. Woops, I forgot. The Moslems made cartoons dangerous. I feel sorry for that neurosurgeon, who was just having a little fun.
Bruce Walker at Am Thinker asks Is the O's Presidency unraveling?
A 38' 1928 Matthews Cabin Cruiser, for sale here. Not a lovely boat, in my opinion, but a good-looking hull.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:22 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, July 28. 2009
One year ago, I parked my car (legally - no No Parking signs) on the side of the road to eat my take-out Thai lunch as a break from the office, while admiring a lot full of fancy used cars.
Cop pulls up behind, turns on flasher. "What are you doing here?"
"Eating my lunch and looking at the pretty cars, officer."
"License and registration, please."
"OK. Here they are." (Goes back to his car to check it all, then returns)
"You need to move along."
I happen to be white. Policing happens to everybody, and sometimes it is a damn annoyance and ridiculous. I decided not to send a letter of complaint, because they might be on the lookout for my
As an attorney, when a police officer stops you and says "I smell alcohol on your breath. Have you been drinking?" the correct response is never "Officer, I see powdered sugar on your chin. Have you been eating jelly donuts?"
A guy named Fleckman is going through the Dem insurance proposal page by page. A few samples:
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