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, May 13. 2014
I forget from whom I stole the above image about home economics. However, I would dispute the "Low Difficulty" label of vegetable gardening. It's plenty of work and you have to love doing it as a hobby, like growing flower gardens. No, of course it's not worth the effort if your time and effort have any value - except for the tomatoes.
Found after 500 years, the wreck of Christopher Columbus’s flagship the Santa Maria
The Need for Speed and the Politics of Panics - The results of meth hysteria have been uglier than a tweeker in an anti-drug ad.
Over time I am becoming increasingly libertarian about drug use. Freedom includes freedom to do stupid things.
About fallacies: Do The Koch Bros Cause People to Fall Out of Wheelchairs?
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I'd dispute the 'low reward' on building furniture as well. Assuming you can build quality furniture (which most of us cannot), you've built something that will be used, will last, and hopefully be enjoyed.
Moving the paper from one desk to another doesn't quite have the same quality. But it pays more and your hands aren't getting dirty, so obviously it must be better. right?
I find "growing" a vegetable garden fairly easy probably because I like it. The hard part is actually harvesting the vegetables before the rabbits and groundhogs.
I reduced my transportation costs in 1971 by taking up long distance bike riding and selling my airplane.
If you scythe your lawn, you not only save on lawnmowers but are not timewise so free to go out and spend.
And it helps keep the neighbors away, especially if you smile oddly and whistle tunelessly while sharpening the blade... That's worked well for me.
It proves what I have always said about the left/socialist/communists. That is they would prefer that everyone was poor, that everyone suffered as a solution to what they perceive as a problem i.e. that some people do well and some do not. This is at it's roots what the left is all about; shared misery.
Pol Pot was probably in charge of the purist expression of the communist dream ever achieved. Kill everyone who has the slightest advantage in education, wealth, talent or training and enslave everyone else to misery and drudge work. Continue to eliminate all who complain or rise above the mean and eventually nirvana will happen. North Korea and Cuba should be close to perfection by now.
Well, except for those enforcing that equality of poverty...
Instead of making totally worthless statements like that, you ought to wonder why marxism and socialism (most of the isms you don't like) have been, in different places and times, popular movements. I'm not a fan of the Left, but something about capitalism as we know it in the West generates inequalities to a degree such that ordinary people pick up rifles and start shooting.
His comment is dead on correct. The problem with the popularity of Leftist thought has everything to do with expectations versus reality.
Take a single person who has lived the reality and ask if they enjoyed the experience. Outside of the bureaucrats and politicians who enjoyed benefits, the vast majority hate it.
The inequality we experience in capitalist society is the result of great success. Even the worst off among us benefit greatly. As I point out to my boys, the worst off among us live better and longer lives than many kings used to.
Where the inequality bubbles to the top is, like the love of socialist/communist thought, in the area of expectations. We are told that people living on minimum wage today can't actually live a life, that minimum wage in 1972 was 'much higher in real terms'. However, today's minimum wage buys much, much more in real terms than minimum wage in 1972 did. It can buy more food, it can buy higher quality clothing, and last I looked most everyone has a cell phone - while minimum wage in 1972 could barely cover costs for a normal landline.
Yet these people are 'working poor'. How can it be that they have more today on that wage than their counterparts who made 'more' in 1972, yet still be 'poor'?
Because things have gotten so much better for everyone, and they have run into the paradox of rising expectations. When you get more, you expect more.
That is where the inequality (such as it is) exists, and that is why otherwise normal folk are willing to believe the lie that equality of outcome is what we're aiming for. We're not, though. That's the Big Lie.
So his commentary is dead on correct.
Long ago, I was told to stop benchmarking myself against others, and benchmark myself against who I was before. It's a great rule more people should learn. It works for income, too.
His commentary is cartoonish, its what happens when a writer thinks he's preaching to the choir and can get away with any nonsense.
It is an undeniable fact that socialism/communism and closely related ideologies where, have been and no doubt will be again very popular movements, some even finding expression in the US. In spite of what you think the glories of capitalism are, you out to be asking yourself why has it been so unpopular? Why are are there mass communist movements when 5.1 thinks Pol Pot is obviously the truest expression of communist perfection?
Is it convincing in the least to say, if you voted for Little Barry or or the future demoncraps, we'll have a Pol Pot-style killing fields here in a generation?
Shill all you want for capitalism, just have a better defense of it than 5.1 gave.
Why do people take up guns and try to steal shit instead of working for it?
Most socialist/communist revolutions were either "sold" to the people with lies or they were totally controlled by a strongman dictator. Either way the revolution and the subsequent socialist nirvana were oppressive and a disaster.
So the question "Why do ordinary people pick up rifles and start shooting?" is a worthy one. The answer is human nature. We all want more and most of us think we deserve more. Then when you can see on TV people who are much better off then you are it is human nature to think that you are being ripped off by the system. But the truth is that in this country our poor live better then the middle class in Europe and would be the filthy rich in 3rd world countries. Yet they feel that because someone else has a nicer car or a nicer home that that person stole it from them. And that is exactly what the left preaches; that capitalism is stealing from the poor and giving to the rich. But what goes hand in hand with this is lack of education, that is you have to be ignorant and uninformed to think that Russia's system or Cuba's system would be better then our system. And that is exactly what we have in this country; a majority who are not very informed about economics and politics and a majority who prefer to spend their money on their vices rather then invest it or spend it on improving their quality of life. AND these people are also the same ones who feel entitled. They feel entitled to free stuff from the government, entitled to YOUR stuff and entitled to Donald Trump's stuff. So when a politician who is an avowed or secret socialist promises to get them more; more free stuff, more of your stuff and more of Donald Trump's stuff then they follow him like he is giving away free crack.
I'm sorry. You're asking me to explain why people engaged in a mass movement are willing to delude themselves into ignoring history and the truth?
Yeah, sorry, can't do that very well. These movements are rarely "popular", except to say that people do get pissed off for silly reasons very frequently, and oftentimes it's much easier when your lazy neighbor decides he's not as well off as he 'deserves' to be and convinces you 'deserve' to be better off too.
Mob mentality and deluded group think are common throughout history. That doesn't need or require explanation. It just happens.
There's nothing 'wrong' with capitalism. There is something wrong with government setting the 'rules' of the economy and messing up the market then claiming the 'market didn't work'.
Most politicians exist for one reason. They are glib reminders of how gullible people are when they are told they can have something for nothing.
So yeah - those are popular movements if you are willing to believe in fantasies and you're willing to fall into the groupthink required to make it seem workable.
It's all about managing your envy. Some people see rich, successful folks and think, "I want to be like that". Others see them and think, "I want to bring that motherfucker down!"
Is your envy malicious or constructive?
Its why they call everyone that disagrees with them "haters", it's the only motivation they know.
Santa Maria: How much do they have to pay whoever runs the Haitian "government" to cooperate?
Meth Panic: Well, we gotta have a panic about something to sell the news and lobby for new and/or harsher laws.
Koch Bros.: Your all-purpose, one-stop, low-cost boogeymen of the hour!
Media Ignore IRS Scandal: The VLWC, part and parcel!
Yankee thrift, living within your means, that idea flew away when people discovered there was money to be made in the opposite. That they share their wealth with those politicians most in need just shows their heart is in the right place.
BTW, ever notice how the once popular topic of evil consumerism has vanished from the left's talking points.
Legalizing speed, etc, we could do it would just require adapting current law that controls drunk driving, public drunkenness, safe guard employer drug testing etc. The child welfare folks will still keep busy as they always are. Health insurers can raise rates accordingly, etc. However, not holding my breath.
I guess you could say I "make" my own laundry detergent. Since we're on a septic tank and don't have to worry about run-off into public waterways, I want phosphates in my detergent so things will actually get clean. That means buying cheap soap powder and adding TSP and Borax. It works better than the expensive, prefab, phosphate-free, "high-efficiency" product at the store, and it's awfully easy.