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
Tuesday, April 8. 2014
Image from Dry Bones
Extended families are like gold for working moms
Richard Dawkins is so wrong it hurts: What the science-vs.-religion debate ignores
Why Do So Many Leftists Want Sex Work to Be the New Normal?
Rape Culture Update: Women who rape boys
Coming out as cisgendered
White Privilege explained
Second Climate Thoughts - The latest U.N. report tones down the alarmism but ramps up the bad economics.
Arnold Kling on political ignorance
How much do Americans know about Ukraine?
How much do Americans know about Ukraine?
Goldberg: What is Social Justice?
ACLU Liberal Floyd Abrams: "Liberal" Justices' Embrace of "Collective" Right to Free Expression is "Disturbing"
Americans on Medicaid Exceed Population of UK
An excerpt from Michael Lewis' new book
Ideology, technology, and – coming up a poor third – common sense
Portraits of Valor: Tibor Rubin(video)
Americans on Medicaid Exceed Population of UK
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"This current discourse that pits faith and science against one another like Nero’s lions versus Christians — inappropriate analogy intended — borrows directly from the conflation of all religious traditions with the history and experience of Euro-American Christianity, specifically of the evangelical variety."
Yeah. Islam isn't nearly that backward you see.
Inquiring minds want to know. Is the penalty for being an apostate from Islam still death? Oh, wait....
If folks think Jesus is only nice and gentle, they ought to read Revelation 19:11-21. If that won't convince them that he's able to go to war, nothing will.
Morning Links In Depth:
How much do Americans know about Ukraine? Plenty. It's a large wading bird native to parts of Eurasia where people talk funny, unique in that when startled, it sits down in the water with its legs and head pointing straight up forming a shape resembling the letter U (sans serif). Some rogue bird scientists (formerly called ornithologists) claim that it resembles the letter V more than the letter U and therefore should be called Vkraine, but there is broad consensus that it's the letter U, and the science is generally considered settled. So there.
What Does the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Need with 96 Armed Agents? It's planning to storm the Weather Channel and make them stop naming winter storms, which the liberal SCOTUS justices, in a 900 page opinion, claim is the purview of NOAA under some article of the Constitution, or the Declaration of Independence, or an Obama Executive Order, or something.
Americans on Medicaid Exceed Population of UK where everybody in on Medicaid (British version). FTFY
Extended Family: "Uncle Sam is hardly on the verge of giving everyone free day care." Giving and free, in association with Uncle Sam, demonstrates a total lack of intelligence on the part of the writer.
You have to hand it to the transgender people. It must take a lot of mental power (or sickness) to deny physical and biological reality not to mention figure out what the hell they're talking about.
At the same time, they've managed to convince an apparently growing minority of the reality of their fantasy.
Honestly, I see the transgender situation as sad. People are telling the mentally ill that they are perfectly fine and should act on their messed up thoughts. Would we do the same to schizophrenics? Or bi-polar sufferers? bulimics? anorexics? Act on your thoughts? No, we intervene, get them into counseling, help them with medication and, if necessary, save them from themselves. That is a loving response for someone with mental illness.
Encouraging people with a mental illness to take hormones or have body-altering surgery is criminal. I can't believe surgeons and doctors play into this...what happened to 'first do no harm'?
I believe Johns Hopkins canceled their gender reassignment program because there was no evidence that it helped anybody. Most of the people who had the surgery ended up being no happier suggesting the whole thing is mental as you say. If it hadn't turned ino such a political football it would be more tragic.
Similar to gays, I think there are some honest in their confusion but many (maybe most) are in for fun and the number who will have fun will increase as acomodation for the increases.
I agree with you that it is a sad thing for those genuinely confused and criminal for their cheerleaders.
I guess all those agencies that now arm "special agents" are just trying to cut out the middle man, so to speak. I suppose the idea is that they see a "crime" and they are ready with the gun to dispense justice quickly. No need to call 911 and get the police involved.
If people don't like all the special agents in all the agencies, then the solution is to repeal the laws that authorize the regulations that require investigation and enforcement.
If you happen to like the regulations that theoretically help to stop overfishing and the killing of whales, seals and dolphins, then there will be special agents who carry guns to investigate violations.
Now, why some agencies have gone past investigators carrying firearms for self defense to training up a bunch of Tactical Tommies to go all tactical on student loan violators, instead of bringing in those resources from local agencies or the FBI, that is a good question.
The first is for defense should that fish boat be carrying drugs or terrorists instead of undersized lobster. The latter is for planned attacks on known targets with plenty of time for planning and coordination.
There certainly are reasons for some agents to be armed - especially those who could "happen upon" some bad guys like some you mention, but it seems to me that trend has been expanding and some that could avail themselves of local police or FBI rather than have their own SWAT teams.
Y'know we have a Coast Guard which could enforce the same laws NOAA's folks are doing while US Marshals are quite adept at serving writs of attachment, seizing property etc. Since Postal Inspectors arrest Postal Office robbers I can see why they be armed. Though why the Defense Investigative Service folks (who mainly deal with paper) need weapons is another matter.
However, letting the established agencies do things means other agencies lose money and find themselves relying on agencies that don't share their priorities.
That is not how the Congress worded the enabling legislation. Not to mention...priorities. Most "special" agents don't want to be fish cops or export licensing investigators.
But the USCG does support the fisheries enforcement as the agents tag along on patrols. Sometimes the fisheries patrols are the governing reason for the USCG being out when budgets are tight. The USCG can do their priorities while the purpose is to do fisheries patrols. That happened during the wars when the USCG domestic patrols were curtailed as money was spent on port security in theater. They local guys loved an outside reason that gave them an excuse to take the boat out.
It is bureaucratic politics.
Which was a reason I was always suspicious of what turned out to the the DOJ gunrunning to Mexico. If US origin guns were ending up outside the country the State Department DDTC could more easily hammer the US "exporter" administratively, civil and criminally than the BATF trying to make a criminal case. All the former had to show was reasonable knowledge the firearm was going to be exported without a license. That they didn't use export violation as they used taxes to get Capone, made me suspicious.
"Why Do So Many Leftists Want Sex Work to Be the New Normal?"
Well, I could go into some lunatic diatribe like I usually do.
Or, I could point out that liberated females are in a tight competition from animals for the affections of men. The quoted portions below stolen from some web posting.
"Laws in both Denmark and Norway are fairly open when it comes to a person’s legal right to engage in sexual activity with an animal. The law states that doing so is perfectly legal, so long as the animal involved does not suffer. According to the Danish newspaper 24timer, this interesting gap in the law has led to a flourishing business in which people pay in order to have sex with animals."
"On the internet, several Danish animal owners openly advertise their services. The newspaper contacted several such individuals and was told that many of the animals have been engaged in this kind of activity for several years and that the animals crave the sexual stimulation. The newspaper found that the cost charged by the animal owners varied from DKK 500 to 1,000 (USD$85 to $170)."
I think the feminists hear the sound of hoofbeats ringing up profits. Profits they took for granted. Now, their efforts to deny sexuality is yielding profits elsewhere. It will be interesting to see who wins this battle for the hearts and wallets of horny men. In Europe, the females are losing. The large Muslim contingent making it's way through herds of cattle like a scythe through grain. Could it be that the feminists have made human females obsolete? Maybe not entirely, we can still use them as cannon fodder, truck drivers and stevedores. But, how can any painted harlot with hatred in her eyes compete against the warm, uncomplaining cuteness of a sheep? Especially when the price is right and there is no risk of conversation? Oh my.
The crazy just keeps coming, can zombies be very far behind?
You offended; Scandinavians, feminists, Muslims, prostitutes and ...oh! yes..sheep.
My uncle (draft-dodger, left wingnut), now living in Copenhagen, once responded to question of mine about a Danish politician who had been caught in a house of ill-repute with an animal.
I only asked him if this was considered 'normal' behavior in Denmark.
To his credit, because I do agree with him at a base level on this point, he responded "who do you get to judge? You aren't normal, I'm not normal, so what is normal? If he wants to spend time with an animal, let him. Who cares who he likes to do it with, that's none of yours or my business? Yes, we allow that here. Who cares?"
Well, generally speaking, I don't. That is, I don't care if prostitution is legal. Someone wants to enter the profession, so much the better for them, I don't see why I need to criminalize it.
But prostitutes, in a legalized environment anyway, have a choice. Animals don't. I'm not sure Bessie the sheep is pleased or even comfortable with Joe Politician having a nice evening with her.
At least the woman can approve or deny her clientele, and receive some kind of remuneration for her 'efforts'.
I don't see anything normal about any of that behavior. But as my uncle said - what is normal? I have no idea. I know what I think is normal, and I am damn sure it doesn't match whatever 98% of the people who post here think is normal.
I also don't think I get to pass judgement or sit in judgement of these people. On the other hand, we all make value judgments, and if we don't, we're just living wrong.
As a value judgement, I see nothing normal in these behaviors. As for criminalizing these behaviors, well, I'm just not seeing any value in doing that, either.
I used to work for Univision in the 90's.
In fact, I'm very familiar with Entravision, for some very specific (but I won't explain why) reasons. Let's just say working with them was part of my job.
I'm rather shocked by that email, and by the sharp left turn. When I was there, Univision was owned by Jerry Perenchio, who was well-known for his support of RNC causes. I remember several executives, one year, making donations to a Republican candidate that Jerry had endorsed, simply because they felt it would curry favor with the big man. I don't know if it did or didn't, they just thought it was a good idea.
On the other hand, Jerry also hired Clinton's former head of HUD, Henry Cisneros, to run his company. I left several years later, but perhaps that is when the sharp left turn started. After all, Henry joined just about the same time Univision took its big stake in Entravision, as a means of gaining better control over its station group and expanding into new growth markets.
All that said, I was very surprised by the amount of Republican support generated at the local level when I was visiting the Entravision stations in the 90's. Plenty of the workers and even their clients would comment on how much they liked the Bush family.
I guess I shouldn't be shocked, however. Media, in general, has become full of either left-wing nutjobs or unquestioning boobs looking for a paycheck and willing to say or do whatever it takes to keep getting that paycheck. Usually whatever it takes means swallowing what little pride these people have and spouting the party line or some other kind of nonsense that will make them seem 'on board'.
At a recent media conference, I heard a speaker use the phrase "the intolerance of intolerance is the new tolerance", which was the title of my post a few days ago. The illogic of this comment is astounding and the man who said it is respected media insider (though he is little known outside the media world).
This same fellow once engaged me in a heated exchange about Nixon's role in "ramping up" the Vietnam War. I pointed out to him that Nixon actually oversaw the winding down of the war, and while he may have considered the increased bombing of North Vietnam and the Ho Chi Minh Trail to be a 'ramping up', it was anything but. If anything, Nixon did more to bring Hanoi to the negotiating table (for better or worse - I'm not saying it was right or wrong) than LBJ did. If ending the war was the goal (according to this slow-witted media insider, it was), then Nixon did it quite well, just not in a fashion this fellow thought was 'right'.
So yeah, most people in media are pretty stupid. That's no surprise to me. Neither is the fact that so many are left-wing and borderline fascist.
There are, without a doubt, many fascists in media.
However, because most of them don't understand what fascist means, the term is lost on them. They only define fascist as a Nazi or a hater of Jews.
It takes some explaining, with some, to offer up why they are truly fascist. But most are borderline. When they step over the line, and that line is explained to them, most step back.
I think that Univision e-mail has insufficient context to make a judgement. For all we know one of his co-workers put the guy's work e-mail on a GOP mailing list as a joke, and he wants it off. We have no idea what this guy's job is - it may be a low-level production assistant that has no involvement in what does or does not go on the air.