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, July 21. 2014
What Are the Benefits of Government-Funded Research?
The urge to tidy up cities is deadening – let’s celebrate the tangled chaos and honky-tonk energy that keep them alive
Gambling and marijuana: Corrupting citizens for fun and profit
National Suicide, French Style
Robert Fulford: As the world burns, America shrugs
Maybe they're right not to over-react to everything
“The Most Narcissistic, Self-Absorbed President We’ve Ever Had”
UK Update: Christians lie and wives must have sex or go to hell, Trojan Horse pupils told
The Nuclear Option: Why Do I Have to Buy Healthcare for Potheads?
“Economic patriotism” equals “stay here and pay punitive taxes to cover our ruinous spending habit”
Barone: Liberalism turns against liberty
How the Chrildrens' Crusade across the border was meant to happen
Who’d a-thunk it? Socialism is demoralizing, socially corrosive, and promotes individual dishonesty and cheating?
Conservatives are slow, but Progressives are quicker to seize on the political opportunities created by a changing culture.
Progressives Rally in Detroit – Demand Free Water, “Where Do You Expect Us to Sh**??”
In your diapers?
The Russian reset: Hillary’s “brilliant stroke”
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I agree with the article on the idiocy of "Economic Patriotism". The Federal Government has become a machine of unimaginable proportions (over 2 million civilian employees), its only known function is to waste money.
Voluntarily throwing more of my money into that vast waste machine is just silly.
As to "gov funded research" - one should read Eisenhower's excellent Farewell Address.
True, but without government funded research, Columbus would be idling about the Spanish coast, John Moses Browning would have been a garage tinkerer and we would be nattering via telegraph and/or semaphore. The problem is deciding what should be funded and waht should not, e.g new ways of wound closure vs stamp collectors mating rituals.
Does seem to be a trend in the articles that liberty means inevitable libertine decay and government health insurance means the State should get more controlling to reduce health costs. To avoid either, requires folks to decide they aren't perpetual teenagers, a difficult task.
My understanding is that for the most part, Browning invented a gun and then sold it to private companies. As for military guns, I'm not sure if he usually designed guns and sold them to the military or if the military hired him to design guns (I think it was the former), but regardless, the government was a customer like any other customer.
As for most government research spending, I think it's wasted. People like to cite DARPA inventing networking but it is an example of researching something as a means to and end rather than "basic" research for researching's sake. I would say that the most successful government research spending is the former type. I would also guess that the latter is more common than the former. Once government gets its hands on it, it becomes ripe for politics and special interest (e.g. Solyndra) and quickly becomes wasteful.
That's not to suggest that basic research is not valuable, but I think most of the best basic research is done by private individuals or companies. Certainly Tesla, Edison, Einstein, et al were not funded by government.
Re: Barone and Liberalism
Barone is a really smart guy so for the life of me, I can't imagine why it took him so long to figure out that what he calls "Liberalsim" is against liberty and why he continues to call it "Liberalism". Even if you use the more recent meaning of "Liberalism", I don't see how you call the current crop "liberals" anything but fascists and totalitarians.
Liberalism hasn't been liberal since the Viet Nam War began, or before the Cold War began.... Barone was much too accepting.
Well, he can be forgiven for using the "new" definitions. Take for example your use of fascism. You use it in the old manner. But the new definition, if you look it up on an Apple (and I assume an iPhone) is that fascism is a right-wing ideology
fascism |ˈfaSHˌizəm | (also Fascism) noun
an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
• (in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice.
I'm not sure where Apple gets their dictionary but it has been corrupted with newspeak
I guess you got me on fascism. There's nothing nationalistic about the left. But I think other than that, it conveys what they're about pretty well.
However, I don't think extreme\ right-wing is somewhat of a misnomer. Hitler would certainly be considered a fascist (in the generic sense) but he was certainly not right-wing. One of his ideas was that government had the right to regulate private property and businesses for the good of the country. It sounds a lot like the left today.
Mudbug; Try translating nationalistic to statist. Part of the issue is that most Europeans use the terms right and left wing in opposite meaning to our (USA) own. The reality is that political systems can hardly be defined along a single line.
Yes, thanks ama. I left unsaid that a major difference between political ideologies is the role of government and also how expansive that role is. Part of my point was that there are some stark similarities between Hitler's socialism and desires on the left so those ideologies are really not that far apart where the US "right-wing" is generally much more concerned with freedom of government interference. So the "right-wing" in the US is not only the opposite of the "left-wing" as well as Hitler's socialism and other "fascistic" form of government.
I "like" that comment mudbug. . .
That's the truth and the seldom heard.
Re: world burning and the US shrugging
I am happy for us to stop being the world's policeman. The only problem is that somebody trustworthy has to pick up the slack. We are spending an inordinate amount of money and putting our soldiers at risk so our allies can build a bigger welfare state. However by just stopping, we allow the Putins, ISIS, Iran, etc. to strengthen. Somehow, the Western and free Asian countries need to get more involved.
I don't know the answer. As we know, it is difficult to reduce welfare states for savings in the first place, but after generations of it, I imagine it would be even harder to shift some of the spending on the military.
Hey, we are just doing what the "enlightened" in Europe and NYC/DC wanted. America the bad is backing off.
Acting to stop something bad before it happens rarely elicits praise. It mostly elicits complaints. Best to let the horrors reveal themselves and then put them down. Trick is to not let the horrors get beyond our control.
Look at it this way. We worked hard to stop forest fires. This kept things looking nice but a massive store of fuel accumulated. This made future fires hotter and more damaging. Best to let some burns happen to the extent of them not being out of control.
The world is the same, best to accede to demands and let it burn in isolated spots to remove the fuel. And if an ember or two pops over to burn out the enlightened in Europe or NYC/DC, well bonus.
Government funding anything will always pervert it. We have concensus on global warming because as long as the sscare is there the funding will flow. Even if endng government funding for research means we won't have the latest greatest smart phone or something it should end. It will always be misused and the money always wasted. At least half of what the federal government does is a total waste of money and intended to pay off cronies and buy votes. We would do well to root out this wasteof money and end it. Cut the federal work force in half, eliminate half or more of all federal programs beginning with the Dept of Education and the EPA.
Correct. Government corrupts any and every private sector endeavor it supports financially. Without government funding the principal goal of the private sector endeavor is to produce the most effective product X as efficiently as possible. With government funding, the principal goal of the private sector endeavor becomes maximizing the receipt of government funds by any (usually legal) means possible.
Gov. Patrick (or Obama-lite as I call him) has a large mansion in Western Mass. Am I to assume that that is where him intends to host these lice ridden, un-vaccinated illegal children?
No? Why not? I don't see where he has any right to do anything else.
The Russian reset: Hillary’s “brilliant stroke”
Yeah, like anyone will care. Pundits can be very obtuse when it comes to political critique. Seriously, how many Democrat voters will give a rat's ass about how Hillary handled Putin and the Russian reset at election time? ZERO to NONE! And, not many Republican voters will care either. I already don't care.
If I advised the knotheads who are supposed to be propagandizing for the Republicans, I would tell them to hit Hillary where her supporters might feel it.
Her support of Obama's spreading wars in the ME and Africa. In particular, the growing chaos in Kenya, Nigeria, Chad, Lybia, Somalia, Congo, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Etc. The increase in gas prices. No progress on alternative energy or global warming policies. The breakdown of the Kyoto accords, losing both Australian and Korean support. Japan and Germany restarting their nuclear reactors. Her lies about being poor. Her failure to help the poor struggling people of Cuba, Venezuela, Central America and Mexico, so they don't come here.
I would hit her with the effects on blacks those hispanic immigrants are imposing in terms of political power, jobs, welfare, and education opportunities. Meaning money. Blacks and Asians are being squeezed out in California.
Her love, respect and support for the guy who sexually abused a young lady in the workplace. Many times. And lied about it.
The aneurysm in her brain. The brain damage and the coverup. And so forth...
Will someone tell me why we keep using the word "Progressives"? Do you think that what they propose is progress? No? So then, why are YOU reinforcing THEIR rhetoric?