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, December 30. 2014
Regulation gone wild – Christmas lights are the next target of nanny state thinking
Cracking the Sitcom Code - After signing up to write a script for Croatian television, I learned that virtually all TV comedies, from Seinfeld to South Park, follow a simple formula.
Let Them Eat Quiche: How the Local Food Movement Swerved Right
Should adultery be illegal?
In LA, CBS Station Pretends There Was a Real Kwanzaa Parade
LA, CBS Station Pretends There Was a Real Kwanzaa Parade - See more
Michigan Has More Food Stamp Recipients Than Students
Pope Francis to Lead Fight Against Global Warming Junk Science
Will Elizabeth Warren sell ‘outside the bubble’?
When Republican Nixon Listened to Liberal Moynihan
Drug prohibition and mass incarceration
116 foreign fighters who had joined Islamic State but later wanted to return home, were executed in the Syrian provinces of Deir Al-Zor, Raqqa and Hassakeh since November.
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Re: Christmas lights are not regulated enough
I guess Christmas (and Chanakah) lights are too inexpensive (because there certainly isn't a legitimate safety concern that isn't already addressed in other regulations) so now we'll need additional lawyers to defend companies against other lawyers from predatory - I mean "aggrieved" consumers who had damages relating to the strength of the wire in the light. Then we'll need additional inspectors to make sure that the lights are constructed to "code". There may even need to be a PSA campaign to educate the public about the need for the regulations and how wonderful the government is for protecting us from shoddy products manufactured by greedy corporations.
And it all becomes clear. For the very most part, regulations aren't about safety, they are about jobs.
I forgot to add that the link to comment on the proposed regulations did not work. I wonder if there should be a regulations about that?
We are at the beginning of a moral transformation as serious and thorough as Christianizing the Roman Empire. Within a moral framework of environmentalism, feminism, and homosexuality, all expressions of the old order will be and have been attacked and degraded as insufficiently moral for the new regime.
No charge against the moralizers of hypocrisy will succeed. Because it doesn’t matter. No charge of triviality will succeed, because it doesn’t matter. No charge of corruption will succeed, because it doesn’t matter. No charge of opportunism will succeed. No charge of harm will succeed.
The attack is expressed economically, but its roots are moral.
An interesting context ... one wonder's if they've started their Inquisition yet?
This year my observation is that we saw about one third of the normal density of Christmas lighting.
That may be related to the (politically caused Natural Gas distribution shortage and Coal Generation shutdown) rise in generated power prices in the Northeast. From my actual bill, an approved 41% increase in electric rates.
Since I've replaced the incandescent lights with LED's over the last few years (NO CFL's!) I am using about half the kilowatts and paying the same amount.
I hope Santa switched to GPS this year, the landing lights are down.
"America puts people in prison for crimes that other nations don’t, mostly minor drug offenses"
That is an intentional deception. It is rare that anyone is sent to prison for minor drug offenses in this country. Criminals who are guilty of selling drugs are allowed to bargin their crime down to a lesser offense if they plead guilty saving the state the cost of a trial and getting the offender help in kicking their own habit. Perhaps the process of the DA negotiating down a charge is the problem. In fact experience shows that few of these pusher/users are dissuaded as a result of reducing charges and simply are released into the public to commit more crimes and tie up the legal system once again.
To expand, the uncomfortable data that remains unreported is that we are not ethnically similar to Western Europe, so the comparison is apples-to-oranges. The African-American rate of violent crime is 4-16 times greater than the caucasian rate, and the hispanic rate is 2-4 times higher. Asian-American is less. Put up whatever explanation for why that is that you want, but we simply have to start from the facts or we just aren't talking about reducing crime. Incarceration rates for caucasians are similar on both sides of the Atlantic. It's not the drug laws, the gun laws, the attitude of police, or the number of jails that drive the difference. The evidence just isn't there for any of those possibilities. People just keep saying that because they think it must be so, without evidence.
We cannot even begin to talk about "What can we do about this?" until we acknowledge what is actually happening.
The big media won't acknowledge what's really happening, nor will the current administration. Destroys their narrative; can't have THAT!
I’ll believe in the triumph of locovorism when Seattle gives up coffee.
I found the article about making adultery illegal fascinating, particularly the comments section, which was a bit horrifying.
While government clearly needs jurisdiction and guidelines to handle property settlement upon divorce, and a means for protecting minor children in divorcing families, it seems there is no compelling argument for government to get involved in issues of fidelity, which is essentially concerning a private contract between the married couple. It seems obviously clear that adultery laws are more a relic from our strict overbearing religious past. Much like putting someone in the stocks for working on the Sabbath.
Now I have no argument with someone who wants to argue the moral side of this , regarding what is honest and proper, but that does not make it appropriate to make it a civil or criminal matter of interest to the State. We should not be trying to legislate religious dictates. I suspect that there are some gray areas ... after all, the prohibition on murder is also in religious text (e.g. the 10 commandments), but there should be a clear distinction between malum in se and malum prohibitum, and we should tread carefully in the latter area.
As one commentor wrote ...
"There is a difference between having values, and asking the government to enforce those values. Confusing the two has resulted in too much government interference in our lives. Whether or not you like the idea of expanding the traditional definition of marriage to include homosexual, polygamous, or other non-traditional relationships, most of us should be horrified that the government, in some states, is now forcing citizens opposed to gay marriage to provide services for those marriages. The enforcement power always starts with citizens agreeing to have the government enforce values.
We need to stop hiding behind government’s skirts. If you disapprove of adultery, choose your friends accordingly. If you are the spouse damaged by adultery, sue — because marriage is now a government-sanctioned contract, a breech of that contract is grounds for a civil lawsuit. There’s even an argument to be made that the children of an adulterer have grounds to sue — they are victims of that breech of contract, and frequently can prove damages.
We need to stop looking to government to enforce our values, and instead focus on living by them, setting an example of them, and teaching them to our children.