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, May 12. 2014
Thanks to Roger De Hauteville, King of Sicily, who kept our morning links going over the past week and a half. Kings are busy people, and I am grateful to him for having given us the time and for sharing his talent for the rare, the odd, the enchanting, and the absurd.
Speaking of the absurd, I'm back to work on today's collection:
Important message from white men: We suck and we’re sorry
The Last Communist City - A visit to the dystopian Havana that tourists never see
Trigger Warnings, Campus Speech, and the Right to Not Be Offended
The Koch brothers: What can’t they do?
Who Really Created the ‘Rape Culture’? The cultural Left has encouraged the worst instincts among some young men
The Closing of the Collegiate Mind - Opponents of free speech have chalked up many campus victories lately as ideological conformity marches on.
Obama Administration Attacks Cross-Examination and Due Process Rights in Campus
On Paper - We choose not between Marx and Adam Smith but between the DMV and the Apple store.
Tracked: May 13, 13:50
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Driscoll's piece is interesting, but I don't really buy it.
While the descriptions of a declining society may have some meaning to him, they mean little to me.
It's not that I think he's completely wrong. I do agree these are indicators of a larger problem. But they are just symptoms. What good is this information?
Is he suggesting if we suddenly all become polite and nice to each other, stop using foul language our society will improve? I doubt it. Much of the 'polite' behavior of our past had hidden motives. It should come as no surprise to people that the Southern charm of "Well, bless your heart" is meant as an insult.
So I guess it's fine to fade the insults, because that's what polite people do? But even as we're doing that we can still run our economy into the ground, because we've dealt with the politeness issue?
Part of the reason kids pick up cues from the lower classes is because they feel like their good fortune was not earned, and they have left others behind. It's no surprise JD Rockefeller's son became a philanthropist.
It's also no surprise the sole remaining political Rockefeller, Jay, is a Democrat in West Virginia. But I'm sure he's a most well-mannered person.
My kids don't dress like low-class dregs, they don't speak like them, and they don't behave that way either. But there are aspects that they've picked up. They love rap and hip-hop, which I'm ambivalent about (some people hate it, my view was my parents couldn't stand my music and that made me love it more, so I have actually been complimentary of some hip-hop and rap, even teaching my kids the history of rap music so they can appreciate it in a way others can't). They are good libertarian/Republicans, who feel bad for those less well off, but aren't willing to give away the farm.
We need more people to engage the kind of thought Vince Lombardi spoke of:
"None of us is born equal, in spite of everything they say about it -- we are born only in certain inalienable rights. But we are born rather unequal. However, I want to say that the talented are no more responsible for their birthright than the underprivileged are and the measurement of each man should be what each does and I want to say that it is becoming increasingly difficult to be tolerant of a society who has sympathy only for the misfit, only for the maladjusted, only for the criminal, and only for the loser.
I think we should have sympathy for them, certainly. I think we should help them, certainly. But I think it is also the time in this country to cheer for, to stand up for, to slap on the back the doer, the achiever, a man who recognizes a problem and does something about it, the winner."
I don't care if someone uses foul language. In some ways, I trust that person more than the one who does not.
Behaviors, on the other hand, tell boatloads.
I dislike foul language and prefer not to use it and not to hear it. It is provocative and intentionally so. Having said that I have certainly used foul language and so has everyone I know. My feeling isn't that using it is a unforgivable sin but rather that to not use foul language is a desirable goal. There are times when it seems appropriate and there are times when it is so inappropriate that it serves the speaker very poorly indeed to use it. I grew up on the carnival where both my parents worked every summer of my youth and these were mostly rough people. But in general they were as polite and civil as anyone you meet meet in a school or a market and were far more worldly in their understandng of human nature. There was more then one time that the Carnival would pull out late Sunday night just ahead of the local law enforcement showing up because of some "incident". If rough people in a rough world can be careful and thoughtful about what they say in public then anyone can. Politeness is a virtue and it is a gift that anyone can give themselves.
Perazzi shotguns. I'm not saying the its the original dropout trigger group or ill-fitted replacements groups, but they have somewhat of a reputation for flat hammer spring failures.
Hays, via Driscoll ..
Remember when bouncing a check was shameful? Now apparently it’s shameful for banks to charge overdraft fees. ...
Now switch to the fall of 2000 and a Sports Illustrated article about the Oakland Raiders, in which the author conveys the reason for the new coach’s success by quoting the apercu of one of Oakland’s star players: “He don’t take no s — , and he knows his s — .”
I remember when it was shameful to engage in this low grade of hasty generalization and emotional rhetoric. Just kidding'. This quote is a typical anecdote supporting the unending blather about the good ol' days and how we're degenerating at an ever increasing pace... who wouldn't want to return to the fantasy year of 1953, or 1938, or 1880 or 1850? Andre Rison actually said coach Gruden "don't take no s---"?. The Republic's in danger, whip his ass back to the plantation, pronto.
ProTip: An overdraft on a debit card (the article says "check" because in the good ol' days we had only had checks) is still a bad idea, but opt out of overdraft protection if you don't like it. Anyone, besides Driscoll and Hays, who needs an explanation of why there's an opt-out law, spend two minutes googling the issue, key words cfpb and overdraft practices.
The 'good ol days' remind me about reading Ball Four in 1974 or so, when I was 12.
I was scandalized to learn my athletic idols used such foul language and engaged in dirty behavior.
Remember, that WAS the good old days.
The very idea the use of bad language was rare back then is selective memory.
The only comment regarding language and the good old days was from Band of Brothers, when Sgt. Guarnere later commented on the program by saying something like they definitely cursed quite a bit, though he didn't remember the 'F' word as much as it was used in the HBO series.
Final sentence should read "The only comment which makes sense regarding"
"Cuba isn’t a developing country; it’s a once-developed country destroyed by its own government. Havana was a magnificent Western city once. It should be compared not with Baghdad, Kabul, Guatemala City, or Port-au-Prince but with formerly Communist Budapest, Prague, or Berlin. Havana’s history mirrors theirs, after all."
One might also put Detroit on that list.
Re: Who Really Created the ‘Rape Culture’? The cultural Left has encouraged the worst instincts among some young men
Let’s stipulate that some of the hysteria about campus rape is based on poor statistics, but something is going on....
Of course the culture must teach men not to rape.
The statement is not a rhetorical device. Mona is actually out of her bleeping mind. I have to be taught not to rape? Meaning "rape" is the default mode for men? Who actually thinks that besides a peculiar brand of radical feminists? She's fallen for the same feminist BS she's yelling about, accepting their premise (why stipulate that there's anything going on?) and only arguing about conclusions. And this woman is a conservative pundit? She's an idiot.
Trigger warning: HERE BE TYGERS. This is real life. Things happen without warning from time to time. Life is uncertain. It's a good idea to be strong enough to ride out the buffeting that occurs and not fall to pieces. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Rape Culture: "Feminists" tell young women to be sexually active/overactive. And that getting blotto drunk is OK. So I'm saying "Feminists" are to blame.