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
Saturday, December 19. 2015
Kirsten Powers: Becoming a Christian Ruined My Love of Christmas - But then I learned to see the beauty of Christ’s coming like never before.
The New Preschool Is Crushing Kids
WHY ACADEMIC FREEDOM TRUMPS SOCIAL JUSTICE - The fight for the soul of the American university.
From The Adults? Harvard’s ‘Holiday Talking Points For The Politically Correct’
Facing Investigations, DOJ Claims the Right to Avoid Investigations
Speaker Ryan Builds Border Fence Around Wisconsin Property
Fear and Loathing Across Party Lines
Military Strategist Explains Why Donald Trump Leads—And How He Will Fail
The Baltic States' Vital Step Toward Energy Independence
Tracked: Dec 19, 19:15
Tracked: Dec 20, 09:31
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Speaker Ryan Builds Border Fence Around Wisconsin Property
The illusion that we have a two party system in this country, or that our reps "represent" us is over.
Things will get sporty now.
I see there is a movement afoot to primary Ryan next year. I wish them success.
"Military strategist explains why Donald Trump leads and how he will fail"
I can't decide if the pundits are just stupid or intentionally trying to cover up Trump's real reason for his success. It isn't because he is anti-establishment or because he is a showman or because he shoots from the hip etc. It is because Trump opposes massive immigration legal and illegal. It is because Trump opposes the previous seven years of destroying our military and he opposes our wimpy foreign policy. Bush thinks that sneaking into this country to collect welfare and benefits is an act of love. all of the other candidates except Trump think opposing the Syrian and other Islamist immigrants is racism or "fear of other", so we should just roll over and open our borders. We are literally watching our country being destroyed and all or almost all of our politicians are far more concerned with their perks and payola than they are with our country or our citizens.
For example the Republicans passed one of the worst budgets in history giving the Democrats and all the special interests everything they wanted. What did the Republican congressmen get that made it all worth while? The allowed U.S. companies to sell crude oil overseas. I can't even wrap my mind around this or the "real" reason for it. The price of crude is determined internationally so if some company has crude to sell they will get the same price here as they get in Europe or some other market. We import crude so there is indeed a market for it. So ask yourself why it was essential that we allow them to sell crude overseas? Also ask what thee congressmen got for that change in our law? Was it outright payola into a Swiss bank account or something similar? What about it was so important that they would pass this pork filled budget? Our congress is corrupt and our president is a crook. We are sooooo screwed.
Trump has tapped into a real anger and fear like no other candidate - even Cruz who agrees with most of the controversial things Trump has espoused. Part of the reason he's more successful with this tact is that he is the most anti-PC. He has the freedom to do that because he is self funded but more than that, that allows him to manipulate the media into funding his campaign.
He seems to have made some brilliant tactical moves and I think people discount him at their peril, but I don't know if those tactics translate to being the President. I'm not a fan - I preferred Walker and now Fiorina, but Carly's not likely to get the nomination so I'd go with Cruz - but there are times when I wonder if he might be uniquely qualified for this particular point in time. Of course I thought that about Romney. No doubt he would have been A LOT better than Obummer but uniquely qualified? If so, he should have won...
I'm not holding out uniquely qualified. I'd even gladly vote for Graham over any Dem!
I don't "like" Trump for president but I like that he is saying many of the things Americans want discussed and regret that so many of our politicians remain clueless to what Americans want. Without Trump in this election it would be a choice between dumb and dumber.
I do like Cruz and have liked him even before he became a presidential candidate. I am hoping he inherits Trumps voters and supporters when Trump is finally eliminated by the Dem/GOP/MSM cabal. However I still think that the choices after the conventions will be Hillary and Jeb.
We are of a similar mind with respect to our preferred choice of President. I think you're wrong about Jeb. I hope so anyway.
This is how I understood the crude oil problem:
1) Oil companies had to get their oil processed here in the States and then they could sell the products overseas. They just could not sell oil directly on the open market, so they were not getting world market pricing for their oil.
2) They were forced to sell this oil at a lower rate than world prices b/c it is a whole separate commodity price. I am no expert on this, but an expert was explaining it on the radio. He mentioned a whole different commodity sector for U.S. Oil vs. the World. If someone with more knowledge could explain it, I would love to understand it better.
3) The world is forced to buy their oil from less-than-friendly nations...OPEC and Russia. By adding American oil to the mix, we weaken their hold on Europe's fuel markets, which will help our allies.
4) Interestingly, we are not getting the benefit of this lower commodity price in the U.S. The refineries are. They get to sell the products on the world market, while buying American oil at a lower-than-world price. This is harmful to our oil producers. This also keeps our gasoline prices higher than they should be.
This is how I understand the topic. I am not an expert. Please correct me, if I got something wrong. But I do know our oil companies were not getting world commodity pricing.
The price of crude is determined by the market. Some crude is more valuable and gets a better price but in general the price is the price no matter who is selling it or where it came from. U.S. crude sells for the same price as Saudi crude or Russian crude.
What is really going on is this: Some companies bringing American crude to market COULD bring a lot more to market but they couldn't sell it here 'easily' because of contracts and the cost to keep oil tankers active. So what they want to do is sell as much as they can as quickly as they can so that the big players/investors can become billionaires in 5 years rather than 10 years. It's that simple; sell it all as quickly as possible for the quickest profit.
Also the U.S. is the free world's sugar daddy and European countries and others get cheaper oil (and products) from the U.S., subsidized by taxpayers. Every country in the world can buy crude from any producing country for exactly the same price per barrel as they can from us. BUT they can't get the subsidies and special deals that we offer and by "we" I mean our government/taxpayers not the companies producing the oil.
Simply put this is about greed and payola for political favors.
I compare this with how we have sold off most of our resources. I live in Oregon and in the 60's I could go to Coos Bay and watch them load huge ships with huge loads of Douglas Fir logs. Most going to Asia. We could have harvested them at a slower rate and used them in our own country but the goal then was the same as now and that is to make as much money as quickly as possible. I understand that, I really do. But it is contrary to the countries best interest. So one day soon, five to ten years or so our oil boom here will crash and we will again be at the mercy of the Saudi princes and crude prices will be higher than it ever was. Will we as a country regret selling all our own crude at $36 a barrel when crude is selling at $200 a barrel? Will it be any consolation that some very rich investors were able to double or triple their investment by buying a handful of congressmen?
Do your self a favor this evening. Unplug my dears, from all these worries. Down load Cantate Domino. Light the tree and sit quietly listening. Sip your favorite libation. You won't regret it. The world and all it's angst will be here after Christmas.
The New Preschool Is Crushing Kids
When I was a wee lad, my parents read to me- books and the funny papers. I was later told that I wanted things read over and over and over and over- like anyone of that age. They made no effort to get me to read. I learned to read in first grade, like most others. I remember reading a book about castles in the summer between first and second grade, which was the beginning of my becoming a voracious reader.
Years later, my mother told me that the reason that I wasn't pushed/encouraged to read before first grade was that the then-current child development narrative was that it was harmful to push kids to read before first grade.
I don't know if in my case what would have happened had I been encouraged to read before I entered first grade. But as I soon became a voracious reader, with the assistance of phonics, I can't say that my intellectual development was stinted by not learning to read until I entered school.
One of my grandfathers didn't start school until he was 8. He was one of the few of his generation to get an advanced degree, so the late start apparently did him no harm.
Re: Health care costs
Megan's article was surprisingly obvious. While one has to have some understanding of the toothpaste tube aspects of prices and how the subsidies distort those prices, none of that is particularly surprising.
But I think she's looking in the wrong place for cures for health care costs. Here are a couple of places to look:
Free, transparent marketplace for services. The Surgery Center of Oklahoma publishes their prices for services and charge as little as a fourth of what other hospitals charge for the same procedure. They even get patients from Canada - land of the single payer.
Tort reform. One of the major costs of any doctor's office or clinic is malpractice insurance. If the structure of the payouts was reformed and reduced, one of the major costs of operation would be much less.
There are other ways to reduce costs such as greater reliance on outpatient clinics which, predictably enough, were only one thing that was dealt with negatively in Obummer care.
Anyone who thinks there is a cure for the high cost of health care knows nothing of economics. The problem with health care is that there is infinite demand. With no brake on the system, i.e., as long as no one is paying for his own health care, costs will continue to rise.
I've said for 40 years that health care is a black hole down which any amount of money can be poured. We're discovering that that's true.