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
Friday, July 18. 2014
Well, maybe not happy but a chance for self-respect
63 Years Ago, We Knew That 'The Catcher in the Rye' Was Insufferable and Overrated
Indeed it is, but nobody cares.
Guy wants more government regulation
NYC Can't Afford to Build the Second Avenue Subway, and It Can't Afford Not To
Big mistake was taking down the 2nd Avenue El in 1942
Uber Upstarts: Technological Progress and Its Discontents
Time to Rethink Government Unions
VDH: The summer of 2014 will go down in history as the season when America fell apart. Let’s take a tour of the disasters.
Chris Edwards: Reducing Wasteful Federal Spending
CBO’s Long-Term Budget Projections Show a Substantial Imbalance in the
Backgrounder: Students for Justice in Palestine
Those rockets hidden in a UN school
The Bizarre Moral Criticism Against Israel
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Israel vs Hamas
Krauthammer speaks the obvious truth about Israel vs Hamas/Palestinians but the related truth to that is there are a lot of people who don't care. They will blame Israel for any trouble and see any actions they take as immoral - even in contrast to Hamas.
On almost every point from treatment of gays (that now seems to one issue that defines ones humanity), to treatment of women, Israel is on the same side as the people who hate her and symmetrically on those points and more, Hamas and the Palestinians are on the opposite side of the Jew haters. It's more than antisemitism.
I recommend Pat Condell's latest video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHC8KC5cLs8) that was published prior to the current flare up - but it doesn't matter when you discuss the Israeli - Palestinian situation, the story is always the same). Speaking generally, "Jew hatred seems to be written right into our DNA".
Re: Malaysian Airlines
As I am wont to do, my first thought upon hearing about the shoot down of the Malaysian Airliner was to look about for coincidences. The loss by a country's flagship carrier of two commercial aircraft in so short a time is NOT a coincidence. My first thought was why Malaysia ? And then because I have grown so cynical over the years I asked what does Malaysia have that some corrupt group (Chicago, Las Vegas, Wall Street, Seattle,Moscow, etc.) wants or needs to control? As always I first look for natural resources (oil, gas) and look what I found:
"Genocide by welfare"
It is a crazy idea, a crazy system that funds aboriginals to live like aboriginals did 300 years ago. Nottoodifferent from our own reservation system to allow/force Indians to live as they did prior to 1492. But of course both of these efforts fail. Very few people would actually choose to live that lifestyle in spite of the romanticism piled on top of good intentions and all of that piled on top of a good dose of liberal think. For better or worse the aboriginals are now Australians and should be treated like any other Australian and allowed to fail or succeed. Ditto for the American Indians. In fact many, many American Indians moved off the reservations years ago and in general are doing as well as most Americans. Create a corporation toholdand manage their lands, deed a portion of the lands to each individual member of the tribe and allow them to use their lands and exploit their natural resources to support themselves. Give them this opportunity. Leapfrog over past laws and agreements that may have been intended to help them but in fact hold them back and create a new system where all of the tribal members are simply fellow citizens. They would still be free to practice their religious beliefs and cultural beliefs as they choose. But they would also be free to succeed in life.
College is not the American Dream. College, assuming the student is able to mine a little education from their schooling, can assist in pursuing the American Dream. But mostly it provides a credential. A credential whose value has increased as earlier credentialed folks work to limit the opportunities of skilled but uncredentialed individuals. It's basically a licensing cartel used to extract profits from those who want to work. Union 3.0, if you will.
Here is a nice Learn Liberty explanation of the difference between schooling and education and how our so-called education system actually only provides schooling while actively inhibiting education.
Very interesting link, JKB! I watched some of the other videos and they were as good.
Haven't seen that take before, JKB, the Union 3.0 concept. Same as 'Barber college' then. But perhaps less useful in the aggregate.
Re: Genocide by welfare
Great post! So often, the answer to why do we have on problem or another is "We pay for it."
We take money from people who work, have families, and are educated to pay people not to work, not to build a family, not to be educated. We foster many and exacerbate most of the problems we complain about in our society. There are few suggestions for changing the way we "help those less fortunate" and when they surface, they are denounced as heartless and/or racist.
I think we know the answer (read what successful former slaves - Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, Fredrick Douglas, et al said), but we are too afraid.
Counting Casualties: "The best way to evaluate Israel’s action is to imagine how we as Americans would respond to similar provocations. Assume the following: a terrorist group embedded in Mexico that the Mexican government refused to disarm is firing missiles into Houston night after night, endangering American lives. Our government would not wait a week or a month; indeed, it would not wait a single day before taking action to assure the well-being of her citizens. In fact, we need only remember how American forces flew half way around the world to engage in a war in Afghanistan against terrorists who carried out an attack on American soil. The talk then was not of proportionality, but of providing security for our country and stopping those who wished to do us harm."
Our government would not wait a week? False--waaaaaay longer than that, given Barry and Johnny (and Valerie, Harry, and Nancy).
Re: Chris Edwards: Reducing Wasteful Federal Spending
I can't let this pass unmolested. The Edwards testimonial falls short in it's first paragraph. In that first paragraph, Chris promises to tell us why we need to stop wasteful federal spending. Unfortunately, instead of explaining why, he wastes my time spewing percentages.
"Projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) show that—without reforms—spending and debt will continue rising for decades to come. Under the CBO’s long-term baseline, spending is expected to grow to more than 26 percent of GDP by 2038 and debt will rise to 100 percent."
I know that federal spending is high and rising as a percentage of GDP. I already know the ratio of debt to revenue is growing. And I already know why. So do we all. What Chris doesn't say is why federal spending should be cut. If I was Chris's boss, I would fire him. He promised an explanation but only recited statistics and speculation. Even if we accept his numbers, so what? Where is the fire? What is the downside? Instead of telling us, he assumes that we will just assume that more federal spending is bad. To me, that is not an acceptable argument. It isn't even an argument, it's a conclusion pretending to be the main introductory point.
Later in the paragraph, Chris defines wasteful spending.
"..I have a broader view of waste. Waste means the misallocation of resources to low-value activities. It means government spending on projects that cost more than the benefits they create."
That's just great. Chris is saying that he wants to cut all federal spending. I'm not sure he means to say it, but he does. That is so because there is nothing the government funds that creates more value than the amount it invests. Nothing. Nada. Zero. It's not even the point of federal spending to make a profit. But that is another topic. Test my conclusion. How much of a return do we get from a tank or bomber? How much from social security checks? How much from milk subsidies?
Now I know that federal spending is high and I know that much of that money is frittered away foolishly. That is in the nature of all government spending. But, when I see a professional promise one thing and deliver a fake, I get upset. I get upset because he wasted my time with some weak tea.
Making this worse is Chris's conclusion. He mentions "beneficial results" and "benefits" obtained elsewhere. But no specific description, specifics or explanation.
I will sum up Chris's argument. We should cut wasteful federal spending, which is all of it, because they tried it someplace else and had some positive results.
Bummer, I didn't learn a blessed thing. I hope they still have some free food and drinks left...
"63 Years Ago, We Knew That 'The Catcher in the Rye' Was Insufferable and Overrated."
Yes. Thank you!!