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
Thursday, March 31. 2011
Very good essay on the fate of Detroit - and similar cities - by Wretchard: The Field of Dreams. A quote:
As Glenn Reynolds said (who he quotes):
Change rarely comes from the outside, in. Recall "urban renewal." Now, those brownstone "slums" that didn't get torn down go for millions in New York, while the "modern" and "dignified" public housing projects are nightmares, socio-cultural wastelands which even cops are reluctant to enter.
The US already has boots on the ground in Libya; CIA intel guys and "advisors." Money and weapons too, no doubt, for the rag-tag rebels, whoever they are - certainly some or many are Jihadists - and regardless of what amount of support the current government has in the country - which seems to be unknown.
This is an American war, and it is not about freedom and self-determination and it's not simply about humanitarianism unless the US is to become the world's Chief of Police again. I can't even see that it's about geopolitics, as Iraq was, because nobody cares much about Libya except the Italians who get their oil from them. I do not know what it's about, but I would not be surprised if the Russians aand Chinese are amused by how we stepped in this pile of dog crap.
From Mead's The Shores of Tripoli: Our Latest Wilsonian War:
The New York Times reports that the Palestinian Center for Human Rights “took the unusual step this week of condemning the building and storage of anti-Israel rockets in densely populated areas, a practice that has led to injuries and deaths of civilians.”
“Unusual” isn’t quite the word for it. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights also supports Hamas and its affiliated terrorists “resistance” to Israel, and regularly condemns Israel for militarily reacting. In 2008, this NGO, financed by Western NGOs, also criticized the stockpiling and firing into Israel from populated locations in Gaza. Less populated areas in Gaza should, instead, be the depots and firing positions.
What’s missing from the Palestinian Center for Human Rights criticism, and from the New York Times report?
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights doesn’t condemn the rocket and mortar firing into Israel, and the New York Times doesn’t mention that.
The increased import of longer-range rockets into Gaza now land in the large city of Beersheba, and, as seen in the latest firings last week, now puts the southern area of Tel Aviv and Israel’s major port at Ashdod into range. They may soon reach to Jerusalem. See this map.
Even Human Rights Watch, a consistent severe critic of Israel, condemns the rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel: “Deliberate or indiscriminate attacks against civilians are serious violations of the laws of war. Such attacks committed willfully - that is, intentionally or recklessly - are war crimes.” (more here) The New York Times report, also, doesn’t mention that.
For now, Israel doesn't want to serve as an excuse for anti-Israel propagandists to distract from the revolts against Arab satraps. Eventually, however, Israel will have to take more serious measures against the Gaza sanctuary for indiscriminate rocket and mortar attacks. You can be sure that pro-Palestinian NGOs, their funders and supporters in the UN, and the Western media will condemn Israel for “over-reaction” or “disproportionate use of force” or “civilians killed in Gaza” and such, as they did when Israel last went into Gaza to suppress Hamas and the firing sites. Seldom if at all mentioned will be that Hamas brought it upon itself and Gazans or that Israel had no other realistic alternative, at least if it wants to protect its own civilians and survive.
Oh, BTW, don't forget the almost 1000 weapons depots, bunkers and OP sites in 250 villages in southern Lebanon set up by Hezbollah -- answering to the same Iranian armers as Hamas, and likely to act in concert with Hamas when Israel enters Gaza again.
Don't bother reading this unless you are on the same page, or pages, that I am on this Lent. My musings and meanderings will bore you, and I do not understand my own religion very well, despite trying to.
As I understand it, to enter God's Kingdom one must die (in a metaphorical sense) and be reborn (in the spiritual sense). By "God's Kingdom" I mean living in Christ today, not in any hereafter.
"He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it." Matthew 10:39
The losing is like a dying of Self, along with an abandonment of one's worldly idols. "Self" is the modern totem and object of psychological and material worship, so that part is fairly difficult for me and, I assume, for all of us. A sort of suicide, or partial suicide. Displeased as I tend to be with my self, I am sort of attached to the old darn thing too. "Self," "identity," individuality," - all that current narcissistic "special Me" psychobabble.
I know I am making it all too black and white, as if we could ever not be who we are, or become like the zombie Moonies in the subway stations. But Jesus understood very well that devotion to self was an obstacle to a connection with God.
The Christian offer is to kill off one's self and to be reborn in Christ to live a Kingdom life. The endeavor is not for sissies.
From Matthew 12:
Leave my ship and my father? Can we discuss this, Jesus? And from Luke 9:
The tension between the practical, material world and the Kingdom is ever-present, and all rationalizations for loving this world as I often do sound like convenient and self-justifying cop-outs to me. Thus, I am unfit. Therefore, I require grace.
Related, I saw that Anchoress had been dealing with some of these same issues.
Some in Italy not happy with Jersey Shore (h/t Insty)
Calif. drought officially ends after snowy winter
MESSENGER Sends Back First Image of Mercury from Orbit
Mankiw: It’s 2026, and the Debt Is Due
Rubin: The story the media missed in Egypt
Wednesday, March 30. 2011
From Yuval Levin, via here:
Re things like Libya, via Uncle Norm:
Sheesh. h/t, Vanderleun's The Metrosexual-In-Chief Reporting on Our Efforts in Labia.
Ed: FYI, I'm confident that that was a doctored tape. Amusing, anyway.
A reader of Maggie's queried the use of the term "snowpack". Eight days ago, the Central Sierra Snow Lab reported 192 inches of "snowpack", and estimates 150% of normal water content. Between March 18 and March 26, it snowed an additional 169 inches. It is certainly "weather" as he said, but it's also snowpack.
Sipp informed me that the historic landmark, The Hotel Harris, is for sale. It seems to be more of a boarding house, or SRO, or apartment house, than a hotel these days.
Downtown Rumford is half boarded-up, but the hotel houses Brian's Bistro, which I am told is quite good. Haddock cooked three ways on the menu.
Cafe Boeuf? Naw. Rumford isn't Lake Wobegon. Is it? We may hate Garrison Keillor's sanctimony and condescension when it comes to politics, but otherwise he can be darn perceptive and amusing in his fiction.
Gateway: The fallacy of coexistence
Wendell Berry and the New Urbanism: Agrarian Remedies, Urban Prospects
Shrinkwrapped: The Borderline Personality: A Clinical Example
Chicago Boyz: The Left and the Near Enemy
Powerline: How About Syria?
New Study on Hate Crimes Debunks the Myth of a Growing Trend in Muslim Victimization
Let's face it: we're all disabled: Obama Covers Another 44 Million Americans Under Disabilities Act
Monbiot's Gardening Tips
On a Senate Call, a Glimpse of Marching Orders
U.S. Manufacturing Profits Soar to Record High
Social Security: Obama and the Democrats Dodge Their Debris
George Will: College Craziness
American:A Punching Bag No More:
Tuesday, March 29. 2011
Thanks for this one, pal -
"Walk with me by the water," the beginning of a beautiful and heart-warming message about growing old together.
Continue reading "Walk With Me By The Water, My Dear...."
Antisocial Personality. I miss it all the time. I am posting this in the hope that this will help deter me from missing it in the future.
AVI claims you can tell criminals by their faces, but I am not talking about serious criminals. I am talking about the effective manipulators, seducers, schemers, and deceivers and not the obvious violent and stupid people who end up in jails.
I get burned by such people on a regular basis. I like to think it's because I tend to think the best of people, but it's really probably my naivete.
Not all people with antisocial traits are axe-murderers. Most are ordinary liars, users, con-artists, self-servers, etc., and they often do not realize themselves that they are off base and living in their own amoral reality with all of their rationalizations for their behavior. The problem with the personality disorders is that people with them think they are normal. Sociopathy is a very common personality disorder, and often associated with glibness and a sort of disarming appeal that many people fall for.
Yes, everybody lies sometimes. I am not talking about that. I am talking about deceit and conniving as a way of life. Politics, for an example.
I always get suspicious when they call me "Doc" at first. I take it as an intrusive presumption of intimacy which I have not invited. Do not call your physician "Doc," except on the golf course. "Doctor" is OK.
The only real cure is religion, but that is only if, and after, they have somehow come to realize how off-base they are in their take on life, their relative indifference to others, and their self-centeredness.
In recent years, we have learned that Antisocial Personality traits derive as much from upbringing as from genetics. I think we wanted to believe it was all genetic. How it all works, I do not understand. All I know is to Beware, because these people will turn around and hurt you without thinking twice about it.
I do not agree with some of what Mead says in his essay, but it's an interesting piece. I am more of the Moynihan persuasion; to get government out of the way. I do wonder, however, how come every minimart and deli and coffee shop and dry cleaners I see opening is opened by new immigrant Moslems who hardly speak English, instead of by American black folk who have attended American schools and speak English. Despite the Leftist assaults, I suppose, family remains the cornerstone of civilized, structured, and productive life. If you do not build supportive bonds with the people you create, no government can save your life, your soul, or provide you with dignity.
Obamacare is like that, isn't it? And Romneycare. And do not forget to smile while you eat that government cheese. "Freedom" means eating what the government gives you: FDR taught us that.
NY Times, Oct. 21, 2007:
A street this week in Donner Lake, CA (Note the cars)
Facebook finally has faced up to its responsibility and rules to not allow pages that incite violence. After denying that the Facebook page incites a violent Third Intifada against Israel, but facing an outpouring of criticism for avoiding the obvious, Facebook has now taken down the page. (More here and here, and CNN.) Instead, anyone trying to go to that page is redirected to their own personal page.
Thank you to our readers who joined into the call to complain to Facebook.
The supporters of violence against Israel among the many Facebook users in the Middle East have already set up a new Third Intifada page. The fight, of course, continues by those determined not to have our freedoms abused by those who would kill them. For those who don't get it, Intifada Means War on Israel.
P.S.: MEMRI has the translation of the Third Intifada Facebook page.
She served in Vietnam!
U.S. Products Help Block Mideast Web
Health Care Myth Busters: Is There a High Degree of Scientific Certainty in Modern Medicine?
Unlike New Orleans and Japan, the ruin we see in Detroit is entirely man-made.
Ag Committee Supports Cuts to Food Assistance, Not Farm Subsidies
At Thompson, The Barrel’s Bottom:
Monday, March 28. 2011
You have to half-crazy to move to Rumford, Maine. Hardly anybody moves to Maine anymore, much less Rumford. Maybe Portland, for a summertime-only retirement (six months plus one day in Florida, and no state income taxes to pay - and estate tax advantages to when you get to that point).
Winter is a wonderful, lovely thing, but, unless you are a skiier, it goes on too long up there. (However, we were 26 degrees F this morning down here, thanks to the crisis of Global Cooling.) You cannot grow tomatoes in your garden up there unless you build a greenhouse but that's not too hard - you just throw a couple of layers of polyurethane over some old boards in the sun next to the back of the house. "Just put some bleachers out in the sun..."
The Northeast is full of dying old towns where the best jobs are government jobs and where industry has fled for friendlier climes with friendlier taxation. In my opinion, if you move to a place in the hinterlands with a 6,000 population, you had really better love your spouse - and your family.
Little old Rumford is fortunate, however, to have its own online newspaper, the Rumford Meteor. It's good for keeping up with the town's main forms of recreation, which appear to be DUI and marijuana. However, from the reports, towns like Rumford still have their cadres of good old reserved and private Yankee small town folk who go to church and whose kids will play football and go to wars and want to work. They will mostly leave town, for sure, but some won't.
When I think about it, I realize that maybe I have to be at least half-crazy to live where I live, too. But my friends are here - and my church and my work - and I can get to good olde NYC once in a while - so I guess I will stay put. Nothing is perfect.
I grew up on The New York Times. Delivered, every morning, even before they had a national edition. Read it every morning, through high school and college. An essential part of breakfast.
She is dead now. From City Journal's The Worst of Times - William McGowan chronicles the long decline of the paper of record:
A newspaper's job to set a moral standard? Grandiose? How about just giving us the real facts with tough, skeptical, half-drunk cranky journalists instead of metrosexual twits, and we'll take care of the morality part ourselves. We're Americans, not illiterate ignoramuses who need to be taught how to think correctly by our superiors who filter and slant our information "for our own good." Propagandists, exploiting their historic franchise.
I quit The Times years ago because it would make me begin my day in an irritable mood. Irritated with them for quitting their job. Now, I catch up with Maggie's for breakfast, and so does She Who Must Be Obeyed. Imagine that!
GOP Appears Poised to Take on Entitlements
It is politically risky to try to be a responsible politician (and most politicians don't want to have to go back to real, productive jobs unless all it is is to be a lunching lobbyist rainmaker). See Politico's Govs face budget blowback.
Better just keep borrowing from the Chinese until they own the US. Let our kids worry about it.
As Steyn said in our link this morning: "The collapse of the Entitlement State is not going to be pretty."
Also related: Sweden explained — one giant backfire.
Hey! Where's my freebies?
Do you know who Haym Solomon was?
Sowell's new book: Economic Facts and Fallacies: Second Edition
4 Things I’ve Learned Moving Back In With My Parents As An Adult (h/t Insty)
Steyn: Earth Hour in LondoN
Pretty lame anarchists to want more government.
If we had more altruists like Andrew Breitbart, the world would be a better place
Syrians Gunned Down, International Community Yawns
Two US-Trained Palestinian Officers Arrested in Bloody Slaughter of Jewish Family
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