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
Monday, January 21. 2013
5 Things About Getting Older That Shouldn’t Have Surprised Me … But Did Surprised middle-aged guy is surprised!
7 Mistakes Women Make with Men - How to avoid unleashing the Hulk.
Did you know about The Raisin Administrative Committee?
What Does It Mean to Say That a Gun Law Is Tough?
Sen. Chuck Schumer Says the NRA Is an Extreme ‘Fringe Group’
Obama's Secret Beer Summit With Reporters Turns Into Swoonfest
Tingles again! Good grief, these people are gullible.
West Point center cites dangers of ‘far right’ in U.S.
They must be referring to dangerous people like Mark Steyn and Victor Hanson and Roger Kimball and Glenn Reynolds
Obama Advisor: President Is Focused on Raising Taxes
Bill Maher: 'A Lot' Of The Constitution 'Is Bullsh*t'
Gee, somehow I never confused him with James Madison
Sultan on branding:
Algerian Terrorists to Hostages: “We’ve Come in the Name of Islam, to Teach Americans What Islam Is”
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re. Organic veggies.Article in the New Yorker (I think or the NY Times this weekend) by woman who had her and her daughters tested for PBA (shrink wrapped meats, veggies in plastic bags, etc...0. Then went on a Mennonite diet (no plastic-wrapped foods, inlcuding cheese in plastic). Dropped PBA's significantly.
So, the organic is not whether the food only is healthy, but the pesticides sprayed on non-organics and the packaging.
Bill Maher: 'A Lot' Of The Constitution 'Is Bullsh*t'
When you consider that the original document countenanced slavery, the U.S. Constitution is certainly a work in progress.
As for the Second Amendment, the founders clearly envisioned citizens rallying in a well-regulated manner for the common defense, so the individual right is inextricably tied to the collective right.
Well, you know what is not in the 2nd Amendment is the requirement that such militias be under the control of the government, state or federal. So, we can regulate (organize) some militias, even do it well, but then such people who organize militias are called extreme right wing and fringe groups. And people, including government types get all concerned about people with arms keeping and bearing in an organized fashion while enjoying the community of like minded individuals.
JKB: So, we can regulate (organize) some militias, even do it well, but then such people who organize militias are called extreme right wing and fringe groups.
Many places have neighborhood watches. It's paranoid paramilitaries that worry people.
Neighborhood watches are not militias. They don't muster and train with firearms. They don't train in unit tactics or in coordination with other units.
True, some people calling themselves militias do express somewhat paranoid views. On the other hand, when the government is working against you, are you really paranoid?
But as we see, some are eager to label as extremist, people who "support civil activism, individual freedoms, and self government."
Because apparently only civil activism in support of the collective and strong central government is the norm.
JKB: Neighborhood watches are not militias. They don't muster and train with firearms. They don't train in unit tactics or in coordination with other units.
Some are armed, and they are private entities that work within the law to help ensure security in their neighborhoods. As for a "well-regulated militia", the Federalist Papers (#29) indicate that militias would be under the auspices of the government, and subject to conscription. Of course, at that point in history, they were hoping not to need a standing army.
The convention was split on slavery. IIRC, it was agreed that the issue would be taken up again within 20 years (I'm not sure if it happened, though). Slavery was basically allowed to continue to give them the best chance at winning the revolution. They admittedly kicked that can down the road for expediency, but it was unavoidable. Without all the states on board, there would have been no USA.
As for the 2nd Amendment, I agree. It is clearly an individual right. The main purpose of that right is to give the government something to think about if they should try to overstep its bounds. It had nothing to do with hunting or self defense. The other reason for it was for the country's defense, but I believe that was secondary.
mudbug: The convention was split on slavery. IIRC, it was agreed that the issue would be taken up again within 20 years (I'm not sure if it happened, though). Slavery was basically allowed to continue to give them the best chance at winning the revolution.
That's true. Many of the compromises that made the Constitution leave it a work in progress.
As for the Second Amendment, the founders clearly envisioned citizens rallying in a well-regulated manner for the common defense, so the individual right is inextricably tied to the collective right.
both Heller and McDonald v. Chicago say the right to own firearms is individual and not limited to militia purposes.
these cases have been around since 2008 and 2010, so my question to you is why are you misrepresenting second amendment law? you claimed to have read Heller but still think the right is collective and not individual?
either you didn't read either USSC cases or you are intentionally misrepresenting them.
which is it?
wirraway: these cases have been around since 2008 and 2010, so my question to you is why are you misrepresenting second amendment law?
You're making this much too difficult. Individuals have a right to bear arms. People have a right to self-defense. Communities have a right to band together for self-defense.
and you're consistently misrepresenting second amendment law.
until you're caught.
Many scholars disagree on the meaning of the Second Amendment. However, our view of the Second Amendment is that individuals have a right to bear arms, people have a right to self-defense, and communities have a right to band together for self-defense.
you can misrepresent the second amendment in public debate to advance a gun grabbing agenda - its a free country and the first amendment guarantees your right to do this -- but you're going to get called on it when you do. the individual right to self defense is an independent basis for the second amendment, it is not dependent on the existence or nonexistence of a militia. Heller makes it absolutely clear, the right to bear arms is a personal right.
given Heller's extensive judicial and historical study of the right to bear arms, what gun grabbering scholars believe about the second amendment is about as important as what my cat thinks.
even if you don't know it, you people have lost.
Zachriel: our view of the Second Amendment is that individuals have a right to bear arms
A living breathing Constitution is more aptly proclamed "bullshit". Of course such a Constitution does not exist as the Constitution itself points out the amendment process as the appropriate channel for change, not judicial, congressional, or executive fiat. The Constitutional Society.org is a good source for the Bill of Rights plus the preamble to the Bill of Rights. Even wikki points out that the antifederalist demanded a Bill of Rights to the Constitution in order to better define individual and states rights. The Bill of Rights was a defense against encroachment by the federal government. Passage of the Constitution was hung up at 5 states until the Bill of Rights was added. If the poof at the Westpoint center is connected in any way with the military he should be tried for treason for failure to uphold his oath to the Constitution. The antifederalist were protectors of individual rights. They were not right wing extremists. It has always been the statist socialists of the left that have attacked individual rights. For a revolution gone bad that denied individual rights you need only to study a bit of the French revolution that occured after our own revolution. The "Committee for the public safety" (nice socialist ring to it, sound like the current democratic socialists of america?) arranged for the massacre of the Vendee in France. The Vendee were mostly rural catholic and definitely not in tune to the "enlightened french rule". The last right wing Frenchmen was probably Joan of Arc, and that didn't end well for Joan.
indyjonesouthere: The antifederalist were protectors of individual rights. They were not right wing extremists.
Well, they were certainly to the left of King George.
indyjonesouthere: It has always been the statist socialists of the left that have attacked individual rights.
Well, King George wasn't too keen on individual rights, and he was on the right.
indyjonesouthere: For a revolution gone bad that denied individual rights you need only to study a bit of the French revolution that occured after our own revolution.
That's right. It's an example of left wing extremism.
King George sent his army to seize the firearms of the colonials. King George was taxing everything that would not move fast enough. I'm only surprised Obama wasn't sworn in using the Kings crown.
indyjonesouthere: King George sent his army to seize the firearms of the colonials.
If you are thinking of the Battle of Lexington and Concord, the British weren't trying to seize personal firearms, but a military cache, including cannon barrels. In any case, King George was to the political right of the American revolutionaries.
Those rifles aren't of much use without powder from the stores and thats what the Brits were after. George was a monarch, a tax and spend monarch. The british economy collapsed in 1720 and never made a new high until after the end of the revolution. (south sea bubble) This same sequence occurred with the French revolution resulting from the economic collapse of the Mississippi bubble. I suspect a similar occurrence is happening in this country since the late 1960's when you measure the DOW in gold rather than dollars. Money disappeared with the end of gold and silver certificates. Federal reserve notes are actually debt instruments like t-bills, t-notes, and t-bonds. But the current tax and debt spending will end the same way King George's administration ended and that is with civil war. There is a reason people are preparing and this administration is threatening.
indyjonesouthere: Those rifles aren't of much use without powder from the stores and thats what the Brits were after.
Besides cannon barrels and mounts, the military arsenal included 20,000 pounds of musket balls and cartridges, 50 reams of cartridge paper, 318 barrels of flour, 17,000 pounds of salt fish and 35,000 pounds of rice.
McNeese, American Colonies, Lorenz Educational Press 2002.
indyjonesouthere: This same sequence occurred with the French revolution resulting from the economic collapse of the Mississippi bubble.
By definition, the revolutionaries demanding égalité were on the political left, while the King and supporters of the established hierarchy were on the political right.
It is Shumer and Feinstein praising the "Kings" seizure of firearms for the current perfumed prince. How many DSA members support Obamas firearms control and how many tea party members long for the control of firearms? And you do know where the democrats lifted the wording for the 1968 firearms control act, right. As I said, it is the antifederalist that gave us the bill of rights. The federalists went along to get the document passed.
Lee Harris: What Does It Mean to Say That a Gun Law Is Tough?... When it comes to dealing with suicidal terrorists, whether they are wearing bombs or carrying assault rifles, civilized men and women are at a total loss — a fact made familiar to us ever since September 11.
As plastic explosives used to make vest bombs are illegal, most such terrorists have to have outside assistance. That means there's a criminal conspiracy, with all that entails. Does anyone think plastic explosives should be legal?
Does anybody believe that a terrorist organization would not be able to get their hands on plastic explosives?
That's what we just indicated. Acquiring plastic explosives requires outside support. That means a criminal conspiracy with all that entails; money, importation, and a trail leading back to the conspirators.
Does anyone think plastic explosives should be legal?
plastic explosives are illegal for most purposes under federal law.
but any contractor licensed to use Class A explosives can obtain dynamite, nitroglycerin, picric acid, lead azide, fulminate of mercury and black powder.
wirraway: plastic explosives are illegal for most purposes under federal law.
That wasn't the question.
wirraway: but any contractor licensed to use Class A explosives can obtain dynamite, nitroglycerin, picric acid, lead azide, fulminate of mercury and black powder.
Yes, with a license. Some people get to drive tanks.
"The low yields of organic agriculture — typically 20 percent to 50 percent lower per acre than conventional agriculture — impose various stresses on farmland, and especially on water consumption."
That's unconvincing. The low yields can be real enough, but I'd want to see a more careful treatment of why they're an ecological problem as well as a financial one.
Rowan Scarborough: The report says there were 350 “attacks initiated by far-right groups/individuals” in 2011. Details about what makes an attack a “far right” action are not clear in the report, which was written by Arie Perliger, who directs the center’s terrorism studies and teaches social sciences at West Point.
Actually, the author clearly and conventionally defines the political right, and discusses how the extreme right coopts and distorts traditional conservative values. While a single report can't be considered definitive, Scarborough's objections are unmerited.
Here's the report:
The report places the racist/white supremacy movement as a "far right group". By historical standards it should be a far left movement. The Democrats founded the KKK. 100% of racist Southern politicians were Democrats. The far left Democrats succeeded from the union to protect slavery.
Calling racist/white supremacy movement far right is nothing more then a ploy to tarnish the right wing. The right wing stands for human rights, equality, the constitution and individual responsibility. One would think that being "far right" would mean that they really really stand for human rights, equality, the constitution and individual responsibility!!! Have you ever noticed the media always referred to the hard line communist leaders as "far right". Clearly these reporters went to college and knew that communism was a left wing ideal and hard line communism would in fact be far left not far right. So the "smear" was intentional just as this smear claiming that white supremacy is far right is intentional. I believe there is more in this world then right and left. I am willing to be magnanimous and agree that having proven that white supremacist are not far right that does not automatically mean then they must be far left. In fact they are just kooks and certainly not right wing kooks.
The study was/is wrong and was clearly intended as propaganda and not a serious evaluation of the problem.
GoneWithTheWind: The report places the racist/white supremacy movement as a "far right group". By historical standards it should be a far left movement.
Oh gee whiz. It isn't necessarily to redefine every term in political science to avoid an evident truth. By definition, the Left is advocacy of a more egalitarian society. Racism and other hierarchical vestiges of the past are typically placed on the right.
GoneWithTheWind: The Democrats founded the KKK. 100% of racist Southern politicians were Democrats.
Yes, and they were called conservative Democrats. They wanted to preserve what they considered their peculiar institution.
the connection between demoncraptics and the KKK, jim crow laws, etc., is undeniable and lasted through the 1960s. woodrow wilson was probably the most virulently racist president ever.
the democrat party is surely one of the worst blights in human history.
A substantial proportion, probably most, of the post-1930 Southern Democrats were also supporters of the New Deal, i.e. Big Government.
So Jim Crow and Big Government did walk hand in hand in the South of that era.
Politics is a team sport. In this case, Franklin Roosevelt successfully knitted together a coalition that included strong support among African Americans and Southern racists, as well as unions and liberals.
A new low! Write this date in your calendar, Zac hit a new low. He regurgitated the lie that liberals MUST make that all the bad guys are conservatives and then without taking a breath defended the Democrats for founding the KKK. What a guy! Zac you are amazing. This lie that every hate group is somehow "conservative" is propagated by the left because that is what they do. Saul Alinsky's rules reqiure it and even before old Saul wrote them down the left has practiced it. This is what Lenin did, what Mao did, what Castor did, What Clinton did, What Obama is doing and the best example for 2012 was (drumroll please...) Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Watching her answer questions from the few real reporters out there was painfull. She contorted and bent over backwards and told bald faced lies so awful, so obvious that she couldn't even keep a straight face. This is what the left does; they lie. They piss on your leg and tell you it's raining. They destroy the economy and give the treasury away and tell you they are saving it. They are racist, use race, become race pimps and tell you it is the Republicans fault.
Please zac, I beg you; go back to your psychiatrist and get help your current meds aren't working. You cannot help yourself anymore. You will tell any lie, excuse any behavior, deny any facts to further your left wing agenda. If you keep this up you will be asked to replace Debbie Wasserman Schultz as the Democrat party chairperson. I don't want to see you do this to yourself...
GoneWithTheWind: He regurgitated the lie that liberals MUST make that all the bad guys are conservatives ...
Um, that is not our position. Conservatives are often the good guys, just as liberals are often the bad guys.
GoneWithTheWind: and then without taking a breath defended the Democrats for founding the KKK.
In no sense of the word would we defend the founding of the KKK, even if we point out what they considered reasonable motivations.
Remember that scene from that Margaret Mitchell novel, can't quite place the title, when Ashley Wilkes and others went to a "political meeting". That was just after Scarlett had been attacked by a 'darkie'.
"Of course, Mr. Kennedy is in the Klan and Ashley, too, and all the men we know," cried India. "They are men, aren't they? And white men and Southerners. You should have been proud of him instead of making him sneak out as though it were something shameful"
Scarlett heard Rhett reply: "The old Sullivan plantation. You'll find the robes pushed up the biggest chimney. Burn them."
GoneWithTheWind: This lie that every hate group is somehow "conservative" is propagated by the left because that is what they do.
Again not our position. However, the extreme left generally bases its hate on social class, while the extreme right generally hates based on ethnicity.
GoneWithTheWind: This is what Lenin did, what Mao did, what Castor did, What Clinton did
Mao and Clinton?! Now you're just being silly.
You cite "Gone with the wind" to Gone with the wind! Indeed that is where i choose my nom de plume from the famous response Rhett gave Scarlet when she asked where all the wealth and beauty of the old South went. My belief is that once again we will see the wealth and beauty of this country wasted, destroyed by the left (and some on the right) and it will be gone with the wind..
I'm quite serious; Lenin, Mao, Castro, Obama, Clinton all had similar beliefs, similar agendas and the difference is merely whether or not they were effective restrained. Newt restrained Clinton somewhat and Clinton was pragmatic enough to not force his hand. Obama is way too unrestrained, there is no Newt in the House and far too many Republicans in the house and senate are Rinos or act like Rinos. I fear for the Republic.
"What Does It Mean to Say That a Gun Law Is Tough?"
It is based on how many innocent people it trips up and puts into jail. The existing gun laws are more then sufficient to put criminals in jail so clearly that isn't the intent of the new tougher gun laws. Think of the poor bastard who drove into Massachusetts with a single bullet in his car who when stopped and searched was arrested, convicted and faced a mandatory one year in jail. It didn't matter that he was innocent of any crime or that no sane person could have guessed that a state would make it illegal to posses a single bullet. What mattered is that some politician could claim they wrote a tough gun law that would stop crime and it got him re-elected. If there were any justice the legislators who voted for this law would be rounded up and carted off to be guillotined. This is what we have allowed. Crime is rampant in big cities and the police allow the gang members to do what they want and arrest the innocent. It reminds me of what a policeman told me whan I asked him why they did pot raids; he replied there is minimal risk as pot smokers rarely are armed and they are easy to take into custody. I think that is what our police are being transformed into today. It is easier to arrest an honest citizen who is ignorant of the bizarre laws passed and it is easier to prosecute them as they, being unaware of their "crimes" will simply tell the truth unlike real criminals. Why arrest gang members they might shoot back or retaliate in some other way.
Yes, the NRA is a fringe group that which has hundreds of thousands of members from all across the country who keep it well funded to defend their rights and promote safe firearm usage.
Not at all like the now defunct "Occupy" group or one of the many other groups funded by George Soros who make a lot of noise but carry a tiny stick.
Bill Maher is an entertainer first and a commentator second. I realize that without drawing a lot of attention to himself he wouldn't get any work or money.
That being said, I sometimes think that he might be the dumbest person on TV. Some of the stuff he says is absolutely idiotic.
I hope that he becomes wiser in his old age.
Maher reminds me a bit of George Carlin, who, sadly, became an angry and embittered old man. With their value systems built on the sand of liberalism (everything is relative), as these intelligent men age, they apparently grow angry and sullen when they see their world view's inconsistencies collapsing before them. So, they lash out on those they intuitively realize are correct, but in their conflicted minds, cannot acknowledge as right. And we Conservatives wind up dealing with their vitriol.
Re: President is Focused on Raising Taxes
David Plouffe, in my humble opinion, is the most dangerous, arrogant political operative I've encountered in years. Not only is he a non-elected career politician, one of the worst fish in the sea, he has had absolutely no experience in the private sector. Still, he carries much weight in setting both domestic and foreign policy while collecting outrageous speaking fees here and abroad.
When are we going to corral these politicians?
The 2A is backup for the 1A, our most powerful Rights. If the 2A is lost, the 1A will follow. They have shown their hand recently, with elected legislators calling publicly for substantial modification or outright repeal of the 1A. Even the Usurper has publicly said that no one has the right to defame the Prophet. He would enforce it if he could.
In the United States, We the People are the sovereign, and we retain the powers of the sovereign: we will own and use our firearms to defend ourselves and our Constitution; and the government, those guys we hired to do some dirty jobs for us, for which we have loaned some of our sovereign powers, does not have the power to deny us our firearms.
Trust not those soothing deceitful words "it's a work in progress". They mean to grab more powers, and instead of using these powers to secure equal rights for all, they mean to deny rights to some or all.
Yes, that "work in progress" nonsense is as disingenuous an argument as you'll ever find. The idea seems to be that, because the Constitution as originally adopted failed to guarantee 100% of the rights we now hold dear, we should therefore eviscerate it in favor of undermining as many rights as possible. The people who think this way have no real notion of how revolutionary an idea limited government was, and why it's important to keep it.