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 13. 2014
Ancient times table hidden in Chinese bamboo strips - The 2,300-year-old matrix is the world's oldest decimal multiplication table.
Keeping warm in Maine
How private industry used government force to kill the traditional light bulb for higher profits
The Hand of God Probably Only Looks This Way from Earth. But What Does That Tell You?
Where Life Has Meaning: Poor, Religious Countries - Research indicates that lack of religion is a key reason why
Politics is truly the perfect con game.
Business con artists cannot hold a candle to politicians.
The Unshocking Christie Scandal - Who is surprised that New Jersey politicians play hardball?
"Compassionate Conservatism" ... Kill It With Fire!
$12 an hour is conservative rocket fuel, says Ron Unz
President Obama's Legacy Of Economic Failure
Second wave of health-insurance disruption affects small businesses
Chamber of Commerce: Only Permanent Democratic Party Rule Can Solve Entitlements Crisis
How British taxpayers fund 'Marxist' manifesto for European superstate
Tracked: Jan 13, 12:40
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I don't know about this $12/hr rocket fuel. Whenever people talk about minimum wage, they only talk about the people who are getting it now (a pretty small number). What they miss is the people up the pay ladder that will also have to have their salaries adjusted. The $10/hr people will get a raise, the $12/hr people will get a raise, the $15/hr people will get a raise, the $18/hr people will get a raise... etc., etc. all because the minimum was raised almost $5.
Then there are the union contracts that keyed to the minimum wage... Do you think a teacher will sit still for making minimum wage - or just above it? The hits just keep coming!
And who is going to pay for all that? You (and me). Just like taxes, companies don't pay salaries, their customers do.
Remember those giverment benefits that the $12/hr wage will make obsolete? Well, at some point, those geniuses in DC will decide that a person just can't live on $12/hr (and he won't be able to) and he will need some help.
"$12 an hour is conservative rocket fuel, says Ron Unz"
Basically the dude is advocating cutting out the government middle man and mandating welfare straight from the employer.
Only in California could this idiot be considered a libertarian.
I dunno. It's counterintuitive to me in terms of market freedom, but we haven't had real market freedom for 80 years, so I try to listen up if offsetting idiocies are suggested. My initial thought would be "potentially brilliant, but what if he's wrong? Then we're doubly screwed."
Still, I think we should roll such things around in our heads. We have long since learned that there are too many voters who Want Stuff - including Republicans and Libertarians - to get a fully free-market anything passed. We have to find a back door.
So I worry that the risk is too great. I am pretty pessimistic about progress in general at this point, but not so despairing that I am willing to push all my chips into the center for an inside straight.
I don't know how Sip has his heating system configured or if his home is properly insulated. I assume he has done everything correctly except the stay warm part. However, there are things he can do to keep warm other than 'shoveling' away all of his firewood in a few days time. For instance, incorporating his wood burner into his hot water system, using cast iron radiators and maybe burning coal for those super cold days. Point is, there are ways to keep warm that work way better than huddling close to a decorative one room wood burner on full blast. Sorry, I guess I just don't appreciate the quaint part of running out of wood or of being cold. I also think frozen pipes suck. Call me old fashioned that way.
(un)Sportsmanlike Conduct in WA State--What again?!
Two recent events in athletic competitions have once again served to indicate the terrible, terrible power that WA state wields, and the utter contempt for anything that serves as ethical/moral guidelines, either in sports or in business. Way back in the early 1900's Seattle proudly advertised itself as being "the least churched city in America". It has gone way beyond that to a complete contempt for any agreed upon system of values. Here are two recent examples:
1. In the sport of football: The 12 man used deliberately by a pro team in a stadium designed to support the deliberate attempt to make the exchange of information among the opposing team impossible. They have taken this activity to new levels and they are proud of it! So would someone please tell me why the next game between San Francisco and Seattle must once more be played in the SEA stadium?
2. In the sport of Ice Skating: Let's take a look at Ashley Wagner--a millitary daughter now living in and being supported by the same local leadership. For many years the sport has held a competition (Saturday night) among the top skaters and the top 3 of this competition were the team to go to the Olympic competition--but not his year. This year for the first time ever the leadership group applied enough political pressure to the sporting association to get their girl on the team no matter what! No matter she fell twice and had other obvious faults. No matter that they removed without cause or explanation the little Japanese gal, who had a far superior command of grace and skill. Yes, the little gal who won the final bunk was removed so that the WA state gal could go to Sochi. Why is that do you suppose? Welllll . . . I guess we will find out why some day. In the meantime, let me remind those who would say that this is not the first time it happened. Your wrong--in the past when a winner has been removed and a looser put on the team it has been because of an existing physical ailment (or one that was acquired after the competition to decide and before the actual games). NEVER BEFORE has it been done---just because! Now,
the truly disgusting thing was this. During Saturday's competition the looser (former Champion) skated before the top three winners. Therefore, she sat backstage during the other three performances and you know what? Any mother of daughters could tell you this: she sat there with that look of arrogance on her face that said: "I have to sit here and pretend, but I already know I'm going anyway--so this is so boring!"
If you have daughters you know what I am talking about. But, then again if you have daughters you should move to WA state.
The Centurylink stadium architect is on record as stating that the beneficial noise characteristics are a pleasant accident rather than a planned result; due mostly to the choice of hard-surface building materials and the small site, which required stacking the stadium levels in such a way as to put the seats relatively closer to the field than most other NFL stadiums. However, Paul Allen had definitely attended games in Husky Stadium growing up, so I don't think the covered wings were an accident either. FWIW, the Kingdome wasn't a exactly a quiet place either.
Chris Christie is a wounded beast. His political opponents are piling on in a feeding frenzy. If, by some miracle, his traffic blunder cannot be laid directly at his feet, he stands a chance of turning himself into a bizarre sort of martyr. Even so, he is still ruined as a presidential candidate. Mostly, this is because he was never presidential material to begin with. What did Christie have that he could bring to a national republican/tea party/conservative audience? Does he have any tax reform ideas? Does he have any energy policy success in NJ? Do his immigration or national security theories have any appeal? What has he contributed to the health care discussion? Can Christie even say he is strong on crime? No, nothing and very little are the answers to these questions. He has very little to nothing of substance to offer the nation. Camden is a wasteland with no police force of it's own and Newark is the carjack capital of the world. And the sad truth is that NJ is still reeling from hurricane Sandy. High taxes, high unemployment and high corruption still distinguish NJ. Sure, for NJ, Christie is a step up. But, as a national candidate, he is a loser. A Romney heavy if you like or a non-senile McCain if you prefer. Losers all. And yes, a fat white guy loses to the old hag every time.
Where are Christie's friends, 0bama and his other lefty pals now?
How's that bipartisanship working out for you Chrissy?
Obviously Reeves went to far, for that particular incident. But just short of that is fine and dandy with me. Narcissists, such as Oulson and those of his ilk, should suffer, be taught, something for their lack of empathy of the common weal. It ain't all just about them after all.
"Where Life Has Meaning: Poor, Religious Countries - Research indicates that lack of religion is a key reason why
people in wealthy countries don't feel a sense of purpose. "
no, it's not lack of religion.
If your entire life consists of work, commute, sleep, which it does in most of the world, life has no purpose.
And in wealthy countries, the sense that that's the case is far greater than in poor countries, where your work is far more directly responsible for putting food on the table.
If 75% of your income goes to taxes, pretty much the sole purpose in life is paying taxes. Even if you then get part of that back through food stamps, that's not going to give you any sense of accomplishment.
If, on the other hand, you grow your own food instead and pay no taxes, you have purpose.
Nothing religious about it (though people with their bare toes in the dirt, their fingers in the crops, and their head in the rain tend to be more religious than those sitting in air conditioned offices listening to droning morale lectures from their human resource officers all day long in a "team building session".