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, August 4. 2014
Where Do Cocktail Prices Come From?
Requiem for an Egg Cream: In Search of a New York Classic
How Your Face Shapes Your Economic Chances
What’s Almost as Certain as Death? Not Talking About the Inheritance
Caring for Ebola Patients Deeply Scary For Health Care Workers
Justice Ginsburg: Buying Contraceptives for Others is One of the ‘Obligations That Citizens Have'
Rep. DeLauro: Tax Every Teaspoon of Sugar
Apparently, the Clintons don't think authors should be allowed to write unauthorized books about them.
Reynolds: Public servants acting as public masters
NYT: Hope Dwindles for Hondurans Living in Peril
To the Students for Justice in Palestine, a Letter From an Angry Black Woman
The IDF has destroyed Hamas’s flagship terrorism project: its network of tunnels
Toon below from Sultan's One Million Ceasefires
for Ebola Patients Deeply Scary For Health Care Workers - See more at:
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For the first several years I lived in NYC I lived at Broadway and Walker, just down a bit from Dave's Luncheonette/Diner. Egg Creams were their best known menu item and I had never had one so just after moving in I sidled up to the counter and had my first (of several!). The diner went out of business not long after we moved in, maybe a year, and the place was locked and sold. Now the whole area is part of the ever-expanding Chinatown.
Re: DeLauro's sugar tax
Just another pin head in Washington. It surprises me that she didn't also go after soda companies for all the Global Warming carbon dioxide they produce.
"tax every teaspoon of sugar"
Pure medieval quackery. The Representative either failed science in school or is corrupt. Why is it every government "solution" forevery problem is raise taxes? Can I assume that the federal government will continue to subsidize sugar growers? Can we also assume that with reduced sugar use that subsidy must increase? I have a better idea! If we must suspend science and common sense in the public interest and higher priceswill result in less consumption of the devil's sugar, why not let all the soft drink companies just raise their prices and keep the profit? That way the intent of the tax would be satisfied, i.e. high consumer cost and thus lower consumption. We will also reap the added benefit that since everything government does with our money cause more problems while "profit" benefits the citizens and the economy therefore all citizens will be better off then if we taxed sugar. A win/win... well unless you consider ignoring science and believing sugar is harmful tobe a win.
re Rep. DeLauro: Tax Every Teaspoon of Sugar
While I am sure DeLauro never met a tax she didn't like, I would speculate that it is controlling people's behavior that really gives her an ego boosting rush. My guess is that she would much prefer rationing sugar to the little people. For our own good and for the god of our children you know. She is just not smart enough to figure out a way to do it.
One can have an idea that society demands that people subsidize certain (or all) costs others might incur, but someone who is empowered to protect and interpret the Constitution should be able to find where the Constitution gives the government the power to do that. She can't (but if you squint really hard in just the right light, she might be able to find it in some penumbra we have not fully explored yet) so she falls back on the canard of "society's duty".
But then if you can't tell the difference between not being forced to provide something that you find morally and spiritually abhorrent to someone who voluntarily works at your business and "to foist that belief on" on someone, I'd say you can probably twist any group of words to mean anything you want.
I just hope Justice Ginsburg makes it through till the next election. Maybe there will be a president with some sense who will replace her with someone else who has some sense (can read).
Regarding health care concerns:
The AIA just released the winners of the health care service delivery buildings (hospitals, clinics, etc.) competition. If you weren't sick before you will be:
First: As is their custom the AIA cannot--is unable to see--anything west of the Mississippi. Their self serving, naval gazing (their own of course) has never been more obvious than it is in these buildings.
have a nice day Harvard!
"Not Talking About Inheritance" rings a few bells. Estate documents need to be revised when a beneficiary son or daughter moves to a community property state like NV or CA or AZ, ID, LA, NM, TX and WA. Our lawyer calls this strategy "bimbo proofing" the inheritance, and it can be done several different ways depending on the laws of your state and the size of your estate. Prenup agreements are not always in place among the starry eyed younger set.
re Reynolds: Public servants acting as public masters
From his column:
"Congress can, of course, charge Brennan with contempt of Congress, or refer him for prosecution under the False Statements Act. But in both cases, the decision to prosecute would be made by Attorney General Eric Holder, who seems to see his role not as administering justice, but as running interference for the Obama administration and protecting its officials from consequences. (Holder himself has already been held in contempt of Congress for stonewalling an investigation into ATF gun-running to Mexican drug gangs). Likewise, Sen. Udall's call for a criminal investigation of the CIA will go nowhere so long as Holder continues to play scandal-goalie."
This is the truly worrisome part of the story. What happens when the watchers side with, and protect, the criminally corrupt? And what if the people we elect are good with all this?
The Rise to Power of the National Security State
From the article:
Think of Edward Snowden, the former CIA employee who went over to the corporate side of the developing national security economy, as the first blowback figure from and on the world of "capitalist intelligence." Thanks to him, we have an insider’s view of the magnitude of the ambitions and operations of the National Security Agency. The scope of that agency’s surveillance operations and the range of global and domestic communications it now collects have proven breathtaking – with more information on its reach still coming out. And keep in mind that it’s only one agency.
We know as well that the secret world has developed its own secret body of law and its own secret judiciary, largely on the principle of legalizing whatever it wanted to do. As the New York Times’s Eric Lichtblau has reported, it even has its own Supreme Court equivalent in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. And about all this, the other branches of government know only limited amounts and American citizens know next to nothing.
From the Pentagon to the Department of Homeland Security to the labyrinthine world of intelligence, the rise to power of the national security state has been a spectacle of our time. Whenever news of its secret operations begins to ooze out, threatening to unnerve the public, the White House and Congress discuss "reforms" which will, at best, modestly impede the expansive powers of that state within a state. Generally speaking, its powers and prerogatives remain beyond constraint by that third branch of government, the non-secret judiciary. It is deferred to with remarkable frequency by the executive branch and, with the rarest of exceptions, it has been supported handsomely with much obeisance and few doubts by Congress.
One lesson from the shape of your face article is that all are not equal. And many are raised to be less equal.
Not only is there the bias for the "better" attributes, this bias comes in early and affects the opportunities, mentoring, etc. a child receives. In reality, the less attractive child, the shorter child, the less athletic, the "spare heir" are all conditioned by the set up of society to not be as confident, outgoing, etc.
Of course, the key disaster in all this is that we are now a nation of cattle, of "hired men", wage slaves. To succeed, outside the popularity contest of selection, one must not play. The "lower orders" as many of those with the "attributes" seem to think should seek to break free of the "job" and create themselves a business. Then you are out of the popularity contest and success has its own beauty. Doubt that last, look at how the "nerd" has become the attractive man after the '90s run of success by other than corporate climbing.
The key is also to realize that most of college "education" is about taking your spot in the beauty pageant unless you study those fields that will permit you to define yourself by what you create that is useful for others. And forget the Ivy league if you aren't from the "right" family and aren't social enough to overcome the barriers.
I refuse to pay for anyone's birth control without evidence said person is using it; i.e., seen to take it, keep it down for an hour, and have it certified by someone else.
The Atlantic strikes again!
Tax sugar: First eliminate the subsidies! Then, we can talk. I won't be civil to someone wanting more taxes.
Clintons: OY! Pelosi: Media not doing enough to promote our policies!
Cocktail prices: Why I don't buy cocktails. Pretty much stopped drinking about 20 years ago anyway. Did have a sip of Scotch for the anniversary of Repeal, though.
Re Cartoon: since Jon Carry (ketchup boy) cannot get Hamas to reduce its goal of killing all Jews. Would meeting Hamas half way, being for IDF to kill only half of Hamas? Don't expect much of Jon Carry, he has been a traitor to Righteousness his whole life