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, October 28. 2011
Maybe shoulda stayed in the car?.......
We've seen the complainers for weeks now. They infest selected streets in the US and other major countries around the world. I use the word infest because they are parasites. They add nothing, offer no solutions, and continue to claim they represent 99% of society when, in fact, more than 60% oppose them or are at least ambivalent. They do not "speak" for those they claim to represent, they are a drain on society and public spending, and are frauds.
Rants against OWS are tiring. If I'm going to provide a negative story, I also like to provide a positive. The OWS movement is fraudulent because it focuses on negative things while claiming to be a force for good. Negatives produce strong knee-jerk reactions, which the OWS hopes to provoke. Humans prefer positive stories and these stories have better long term benefits. I have two stories which differentiate most people from the OWS movement, and I know there are many others.
What makes these stories different? The manner in which the people involved sought to get something they wanted. By pursuing a path related to values they considered better than cash, they wound up getting more. Perhaps not as much as the market may have paid them, but more than enough to make it worthwhile.
Continue reading "We Are The 100%"
Value-packed savings on river cruises. We have used them. Love it.
And thanks to Uniworld for the check for $400,000 plus five free trip vouchers (for six people) for posting this ad. Owning a website can be fun and profitable! Especially when you refuse to share the considerable income with the other contributors! That is evil oppressive Capitalism for ya.
I cannot find an image of the old Liberty and Property flag from the American Revolution, but it seems to have been flown often, and certainly in the town of Falls Village (part of Canaan, CT - not to be confused with the wealthy NYC suburb of New Canaan, CT).
The history of Falls Village with some info about the flag here.
Falls Village is still quaint, rustic, and desirable because its grand plans for industrialization failed.
I am reminded that Jefferson's first draft said "life, liberty, and the pursuit of property," but that it was changed in later drafts to the more general but hopelessly vague "Happiness."
The dam on ye olde Housatonic River in Falls Village (not my photo):
With more women than men attending college and grad school these days, straight men are becoming an oppressed and intimidated, if not castrated, minority.
From Farrell's The Chilly World of the Campus Male:
My advice to guys in college these days is to pretend that you're gay or tranny or some sort of mixed vegetable, get in with the chicks, and then happily surprise them with the Halloween treat they've been longing for.
"Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes."
How to get a job after college: Major in math
Why is there restrictive zoning?
White Aborigines as a protected class
How about Yankee Rednecks as a protected class?
Merkel thinks there would be war without the EU
That is crazy talk
I like what he says, but...
Will China own the EU, same as it owns the USA?
When you own something's debt, you own them. Bank owns my house: I pretend that I own it.
Boudreaux: My challenge to Paul Krugman
Occupy Wall Street kitchen staff protesting fixing their donated food for freeloaders
Life In The Fast Lane For Iran's Well-Connected Super-Rich
A Fighting Chance: Why Obama's Support For Syria's Non-Violent Protests Isn't Enough
Michelle to hold fund-raiser at Enron trader’s mansion
Those rich finance guys are usually Lefty Dems. Go figger...
Late October, northwestern (North Canaan) Connecticut:
Thursday, October 27. 2011
A British TV crew went undercover into Syria. Foreign journalists have been forbidden to enter, which is one of the reasons why the brave Syrians' revolt has not received the foreign support it deserves and which makes it easier for President Obama, France and Britain to avoid providing worthwhile support. The overthrow of the Syrian regime, client state of Iran, dominater of Lebanon along with Iran's tool Hezbollah, would do more for US interests in the Middle East than all the other revolts in the Middle East that have turned illusions of Arab Spring into realities of Islamist Arab Winter. Watch it all. (HT: British blog Harry's Place)
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:16 | Comments (2) | Trackback (1)
Free diapers for babies or parents? Taranto on the strange infantilization of America that is going on these days
As a dad who raised three, I have full awareness of full diapers even without government programs.
The condescension towards citizens which is implicit in all of this is insulting.
The great Heather MacDonald on L.A.’s misbegotten teen dating curriculum.
It is difficult for me to believe that taxpayers want to pay for this crap. As she notes, if social work fixed social dysfunction, everybody would be functional by now. One quote:
Buddy let me know about this essay by Nyquist, Totalitarian Methods. One quote:
Read the whole thing. As Milton Friedman often said, there can be no freedom without economic freedom. Free markets are simply what free people chose to do in the course of a day to pursue their own goals, dreams, and wishes.
Happy Hunting, from Ricochet
Gun Ownership Soars To 18 Year High: 47% Of Americans Admit To Owning A Gun
Every red-blooded American kid should know how to handle firearms. And a lot of other things, too.
As I always say to my critical sisters, it's more morally consistent to kill your own food than to buy it at the supermarket after other people kill it.
Happy Hunting season to all Maggie's Farmers, whether you participate in the fun, or not.
There are many reasons that the liberal meme about the unfairness of income inequality is misleading. Still, there is income inequality, and one of the largest causes of income inequality is the difference in rewards to those trained in technologies and those not. See this graphic of the difference in pay among those in hi-tech jobs and those in service jobs. Those with technical skills, also, go on to build successful businesses of their own and get wealthier. As the CBO report on income inequality points out, an increased proportion of the wealthier are those applying skills rather than clipping coupons or withdrawals from trust funds. This News Hour interview nails it.
Our 4-year (yeah, I know, for many it’s 5 or 6 years) colleges do not produce enough graduates in the sciences, nor for that matter do they offer much training in the supporting tech vocational skills. As a result, we import immigrants with hi-tech skills and innovate to transfer more work to machines. Both of these do add to the nation’s productivity and wealth, to some extent benefiting the poor through funding government welfare programs and to some extent benefiting the non-tech middle class through added comforts and medical breakthroughs. But, still left behind are the earnings of those without hi-tech skills.
Our colleges serve their faculty with jobs for those in the humanities. Our colleges serve students with perhaps interesting courses, and delayed adult responsibilities, who do not acquire marketable skills. The opportunity costs are enormous of college enclaves buffered from the laws of supply and demand.
Community (2-year) colleges have many vocational and certificate programs of value to businesses, many allied with local businesses, and offer many entry-level courses for matriculation into 4-year colleges and at lesser tuition. But, they also offer wide-panoplies of fun courses for the young and for adults, courses that detour spending away from vocational curriculums and away from hiring higher-paid, more competent faculty. Private technical schools and vocational colleges do partly fill the gaps in training, the well-motivated with adaptive attitudes and sufficient intelligence getting better paid and more secure jobs. However, most of the brightest are blindly steered into conventional colleges’ humanities degrees (including various “diversity” degrees) where they do not acquire marketable skills. One could argue that most of them, however, lack the interest and application to be successful in technical degree programs anyway.
Continue reading "Reform Higher Ed To Reduce Income Inequality"
I forgot where I found today's image
Hitler and smoking
A movie: Margin Call
Another major diarist: Everywhere Man - Count Harry Kessler dined with Diaghilev, fought for Germany, and penned one of the greatest diaries ever published.
Lawler: Is Higher Education Worth It?
US States Are Facing Total Debt of Over $4 Trillion
What happened to Obama in Vegas
Chicago-style vote-buying of the worst sort. Not clear to me how this can be done without going through the House.
Americans usually feel that way. It's an American attitude, and a good one. Trow da bums out!
Income mobility: How to Make it in America
The campaign has begun: The O will be working for his campaign full-time for the next 12 months - between golf and vacations
China's real estate bubble
Losing the Economic Battle - The global debt apocalypse approaches.
UK update: Now you can defend your home and family
How about firearms? Knives are so messy...
Obama's War on Greed
Government is greedier than your average CEO, plus the CEO works hard for his paycheck, while government just takes it from him with no effort at all
Hugely respected guy in the biz world. It's said he did not profit from any information.
Wizbang: The Mitt I know
Confused, Inarticulate Woman Pretty Darn Sure The Government Is Preventing Her From Fully Utilizing Her Skill-Set In Economy
The video there is cruel
President Obama's Blame-Americans-First Tour
Claims it's our fault the economy stinks
It was designed to fail
European Leaders Agree to Bail Out Greece in Massive Write-off
Wednesday, October 26. 2011
The office of The Kenyon Review, Gambier:
Recently, my alma mater Syracuse University and the University of Pittsburgh applied to join the ACC. Both were accepted. I had very mixed feelings. I attended Syracuse during the halcyon days of Big East Basketball. We were one of the original 3 Big East schools. We pulled the first major upset, beating Villanova for the Big East Tournament Championship in 1982 with a very mediocre squad. The Big East placed 3 teams in the Final Four in 1985, then 2 in the Final Four in 1987. The 1987 NCAA Championship saw Syracuse lose by a point in the final seconds as Indiana' Keith Smart nailed a jumper in the final seconds. Over the years, the Georgetown/Syracuse and the University of Connecticut/Syracuse rivalries have been heated and seen many legendary games. Syracuse's 6 overtime Big East Tournament victory over UConn in 2009 was the kind of game you only hope to see, and wind up telling your children about.
Big East men's basketball has had 6 NCAA Champions in the last 27 years. Women's basketball has seen many more, as the University of Connecticut Huskies have set a new standard for the term 'Excellence' when it comes to sporting achievements. In 32 years, it has won 28 championships in 6 different sports.
On the other hand, Big East football has seen very few important moments, has never really developed a strong following, and has not helped its best teams rise. In some respects, Big East football is a bit of a joke even though programs like UConn and Rutgers have managed to revive themselves. Over the years, it has been football that drives conference alignments because of the revenues involved.
As other conferences grew and focused on their revenues, the Big East played it safe. They lost Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech in 2005. Hardliners in the conference scoffed, and I count myself among them. There was no way the move would benefit those teams (it hasn't really, but they've done better than they would have in the Big East). The Big East was clumsy. It just couldn't get the job done for those schools, nor for the two which recently left.
Continue reading "Brand New Family: Syracuse sports"
At a million-dollar San Francisco fundraiser today, President Obama warned his recession-battered supporters that if he loses the 2012 election it could herald a new, painful era of self-reliance in America.
That's what I have been talking about lately - students evaluating teachers, dumbing down to please students, etc. A quote from the piece:
Boo hoo. Tough Socratic teaching and interrogation is typical in elite colleges, laws school, medical school, and business school. If they think a prof is too rigorous, they oughta see real life.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:50 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Estimates of the costs to the US of 9/11 range up to $5 trillion, from a left-leaning source. The September 2011 New York Times survey of estimates balances at $3.3 trillion, noting that “this total equals one-fifth of the current national debt.” Much of those costs could have been avoided if the US had a more alert, focused and muscular foreign policy in the 1990s. Much of future such costs of the US being dragged by events into future conflicts may be avoided if there were more attention by US politicians and public. In 1996, Republican pollster Frank Luntz said Americans were unintersted in hearing about foreign policy challenges, and is repeating that now. We paid for it then and will pay for it again. Luntz' polling is dangerously misleading to politicians with finger-in-the-wind that invites fists in America's eyes.
Given the varying opportunistic rationales over the years by Osama bin Laden for attacking the West, and similar from other Islamist foes, it is reasonable to assume that one way or another attacks on the US – absent 9/11 – would have occurred anyway. They did, but not of the scale and shock of 9/11. But, in Islamist foes’ own words, their perception of US weakness of reaction and resolve throughout the 1980s and 1990s encouraged them to step up their attacks. However, these attacks didn’t rouse the US before 9/11, so the $3.3 trillion, or some cost lower or higher can justifiably be connected to 9/11, which by the way cost al Quaeda about $500,000.
Some of that $3.3 trillion represents improving our domestic defenses, much of which can be seen as plugging holes that weren’t paid attention to before 9/11, much else of which can be seen as misspent or over-reaction: $360 billion for Homeland Security, $110 billion for domestic expenses of National Intelligence, $100 billion for lost time at airports, extra driving to avoid flight-boarding delays resulting in $19 billion in car accidents. A bigger amount, $1.6 trillion, went to military related costs ($1.2 billion directly in Iraq and Afghanistan). Up to $1 billion will go to future costs of veterans and wounded.
One can argue retrospectively that both or either Iraq and Afghanistan were avoidable choices, including not having sufficient military forces for the required occupations. That would require avoiding realities of threats and the best intelligence available at the time, and avoiding that the 1990s drawdown of our military left us ill-prepared. One can argue prospectively that the dysfunctional Iraqi and Afghan governance should be avoided by our non-involvement. That would require a neo-isolationist avoidance of facing up to the likely worse results there, in their regions, and for the US.
There’s no mistaking that most Americans want out of such frustrating, protracted entanglements. There’s also no mistaking that the erratic and incoherent foreign policies pursued by the Obama administration have failed to provide Americans with leadership, explanation or guidance as to why the US should be engaged abroad. There’s, as well, no mistaking that the potential Republican 2012 candidates have not presented nor emphasized the details of a more forthright, focused and muscular foreign policy for Americans. Democrats and Republicans read similar polls about most Americans properly putting our domestic concerns and angst above all. But, they also fail to provide credible leadership.
It is uniquely the job of the President to inform and lead American public opinion about issues that are not part of their daily lives and preoccupations, and to exert himself to protect American interests and security. Regardless of the lack of knowledge or interest or agreement by US media, the leadership of the President is essential to raise the salience, importance, of such issues via the media to provide Americans with better information from which to assess priorities and feedback choices to our political class. Otherwise we Americans are cast adrift in too late reactiveness that soon fades or is pained by costs for which we are unprepared.
Hasty and excessive withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, coupled with huge slashes of our military, plus acquiescing to Russian and Chinese expansionism, are an easy path now, but will very likely require far more expenditures of US influence, US lives, and US treasure than the leadership path. Republican candidates must present the details of a surer and less expensive future, not just one-liners, or be complicit in those present and future catastrophic costs. Another $3.3 trillion or far less now for preparedness is only the financial equation. Our very future is the higher and more pressing cost that must be paid for or suffer the consequences. Better to spend some budget and political capital than be doomed to repeat the past decade or worse.