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
Wednesday, September 16. 2015
Photo of George Orwell's house via Moonbattery
Don’t Love Me Because I’m Beautiful - All hail America’s newest victim class: the pretty girl.
Seattle Sued Over Use Of “Green Police”
Two defining months: Francis could see rough waters in US, synod
Hillary Clinton Thinks You’re Stupid . . .
How Obama Has Fundamentally Transformed American Politics
Europe Is Making a Fatal Mistake - When good intentions trump experience and wisdom.
"Benefit Tourism": Top court backs German block on EU migrant benefits
Refugee crisis: Divisions leave Europe paralysed as borders close to refugees
Interview with an Islamic State Recruiter: 'Democracy Is For Infidels'
Wave of migrants will give Europe an extreme makeover
In Israel, more Jewish holy sites desecrated than Christian, Muslim ones combined
This Satellite Image Leaves No Doubt That Russia Is Throwing Troops and Aircraft Into Syria - It also shows just how screwed America’s Syria policy is.
Beirut Chokes on Its Own Filth:
Interesting place, Lebanon. Used to be a major tourism destination.
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"Interesting place, Lebanon. Used to be a major tourism destination."
In happier days, Beirut was commonly referred to as le Paris du Moyen-Orient.
Back when Arabs made an attempt to join the modern world. But instead enough of them opted for the 8th century to make that dream a reality.
"Back when Arabs made an attempt to join the modern world..."
Dare I also suggest that Beirut's erstwhile admirable status was in no small measure due to the presence of considerable numbers of Arab Christians - mainly Maronites?
"[It] would never occur to me to move to Africa, India, Mexico, or Asia and act with anything beyond respect, gratitude, and even caution."
The worst of it all is that we only have ourselves to blame. We seem to place few demands on immigrants anymore.
Number One being: "This is your new country. If you cannot accept to live within the bounds of its civic culture and values, you should not have left your old one."
I don't think anyone plans to behave that way, but the stress of "culture-shock" exhibits differently in different ways in different people. I've seen plenty of "rejectors" who were expatriates from the USA while I've been living or working in other places.
Re Russian in Syria
The US creates chaos, and Russia exploits the opportunities. If Russia can stabilize Assad's regime, even with greatly reduced territory, it will have allies running from the Mediterranean to the Caspian Sea. If the Houthis can overrum Yemen, or at least Aden, Russia might end up with naval bases in Tartus (Syria), Aden, Basra (Iraq) and Bandar Abbas (Iran). Combined with the Chinese naval base in Gwadar, Pakistan, the US Navy would have a severe tactical problem.
From In from the Cold
As Lee Smith writes at The Weekly Standard, this latest push by Mr. Putin is hardly surprising--given his astute take on Obama's disastrous foreign policy:
"Putin is making his move in Syria now, says Tony Badran, research fellow at Foundation for Defense of Democracies, “because he understands not only that Obama would never intervene militarily in Syria, but also because the [deal with Iran] means that the White House wouldn’t challenge Iranian, and by extension Russian, holdings in the region. Moreover, Putin saw that Obama continued to disregard the concerns of his traditional allies, both on the Iranian nuclear program and Syria, when they sought a more active policy to bring down Assad.
Putin read the tea leaves and apparently concluded that no matter how much he and Obama disliked each other, they were in agreement on one big thing: The Middle East’s traditional security architecture is a problem. Putin doesn’t like it because it’s the legacy of an order in the region upheld by America. Obama sees it similarly—it costs the United States too much, and we need to minimize the American footprint in the region. As the White House has said, other stakeholders need to pitch in and do their share. So Moscow is stepping up. Pity all those poor Russian mothers whose boys are going to be going home in body bags, but if Putin wants the job of Syria foreman, Obama all but offered him the post. The way the White House sees it, Putin is now doing the heavy lifting in the “new geopolitical equilibrium.”
Mr. Smith argues that Russia's latest adventure in Syria is actually a dress rehearsal for the biggest regional prize of all: the Persian Gulf. Iran, of course, is already aligned with Moscow and Putin may offer his military hardware (and protection) to countries like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, who have long been allied with the United States. With Washington retreating from the region, those nations may decide to throw in with Putin, who is presenting Russia as a much more reliable ally.
Mr. Putin has one more reason for strengthening his position in Syria, and it will play out quietly over the weeks ahead. Analysts are already watching for signs of an S-300 deployment to Lattakia, or other hubs supporting the Russian deployment.
Why would Moscow need an advanced air defense system, since ISIS doesn't have an Air Force? The answer lies not in Damascus, but to the east. By positioning S-300 batteries at permissive locations across Syria, Putin will greatly complicate Israeli planning for a potential strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.
"This Satellite Image Leaves No Doubt That Russia Is Throwing Troops and Aircraft Into Syria - It also shows just how screwed America’s Syria policy is."
It also shows that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) - the non-Islamist brand of resistance to Assad - is likely doomed now. US and western support for the FSA becomes very tricky once it means countering Russia.
And the West is going to look pretty hapless and hopeless (so what else is new?) if Russia ends up being the country that puts the boots to the Islamic State.
Say what you like about Putin but the Russians are just more bloody-minded than we are in terms of their own national interests. They see Assad and they see Islamists. Their Caucasus region is not that far away and has its own jihadist insurgency to contend with.
Much better to support a secular dictator in Syria and paste the Islamists there than allow them a base to spread their ideological cancer into Russia.
Michael Stern: “I’m Not Leaving Connecticut, It Left Me”
I grew up in southern New England, and will never live there again.
Problem is those people leave their fouled nest, only to vote to foul their new locale. See Oregon, North Carolina.
Only after they move, the bitch about how provincial their new home is. New Yorkers won't shut up about how much better New York City is, but the bastards won't move back.
Not always. I grew up in bluest lib-land in NE, and have become an evil right-winger in TX.
Hilarious photo, but unfortunately not accurate:
Ahh...but it would be sweet irony if it was true.
On the wall outside his former residence - flat number 27B - where Orwell lived until his death in 1950, an historical plaque commemorates the anti-authoritarian author. And within 200 yards of the flat, there are 32 CCTV cameras, scanning every move.
Orwell's view of the tree-filled gardens outside the flat is under 24-hour surveillance from two cameras perched on traffic lights.
The flat's rear windows are constantly viewed from two more security cameras outside a conference centre in Canonbury Place.
So, "fake but accurate"?
picture is correct. It doesn't say the cameras are mounted on the building...
Are there cameras there? I'd not be surprised.
So we have 2 pictures, one showing a camera and one that doesn't.
Doesn't mean there's a camera, or that there isn't. Could very well be there wasn't a camera and now there is, or that there was a camera and now there isn't (with the former being far more likely in London).
Coming to America Only to Bitch About It
Wow, the title is about whining about people who whining, but the article devolves into out-and-out xenophobia.
But somehow, now that this is all happening to the evil whites, it isn’t wrong at all. It’s justice. It’s payback. It is by no means to be viewed as soft genocide and aggressively arrogant cultural colonialism... If any of these invaders—
Interview with an Islamic State Recruiter: 'Democracy Is For Infidels'
Very illuminating interview. Thanks.
"Europe Is Making a Fatal Mistake"
The U.S. is making the same fatal mistake but it is shrouded in secrecy. Yes we know that refugees come here and occasionally there will be a report that might say we bring 750,000 refuges here a year. But for the most part Americans are intentionaly left in the dark about this. The numbers of immigrants brought here are over 2,000,000 a year (or it could be 3,000,000 we don't really know). Once they are here the average cost of welfare and other forms of government support average about $5,000 a month. The media keeps this on the down low and when these immigrants commit crimes that too often goes unreported or unatributed. While at the same time taxes go up every year and the typical middle class American family pays over 50% of their income into taxes many of these taxes being hidden. Someone has to support all these economic immigrants after all and the politicians are trading our tax dollars for their votes. Small town America, wake up. There is a target on your back. Your town could be next, 8,000 Somali refugees dropped into your small town will need new shcools and many more teachers. Are you ready to pay higher property taxes?
When I went to work in South America--Peru, Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina--I didn't bitch about those countries not being like the USA. I learned the language and tried to embrace the culture and that turned out well for me and for those I worked with. Made some life long friends too.
Obama's Recovery In Just 9 Charts
As anyone can note, the majority of the upticks, such as food stamps and federal debt, occurred due to the financial meltdown and the ensuing economic chaos.