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, January 27. 2016
Photo from here.
How Iowa Hijacked Our Democracy
... it turns out that if you dare to question the premise of microaggressions, you will be called names and there will be shoving and punching.
Shoveling snow in The Multi-Culti Wonderland
Turning Clutter Into Joy
Old stuff is interesting
To be happier, start thinking more about your death
Want to Avoid Another ‘Big Short’? Try Some Personal Responsibility
7 Reasons to Rethink Sending Your Child to Public School
As Population Ages, Where Are the Geriatricians?
Every Internist is mainly a geriatrician
Downton Abbey’s Dowager Countess scorches big government
Decades of Big Government Result in Massive Doubts It Fixes Anything - So why is more big government on the menu for the election?
People want big government, more "services," more "help" - but unintrusive big government with less tax. Can't have both
12 signs America is on the decline
No measures of personal freedom from government?
When Americans have more faith in the military than the political class, democracy is in trouble.
Climatism is a foreign assault on America - The aggressor is not another nation-state, but an alliance of UN agencies and environmental NGOs.
Memo To Hillary And Bernie: The Public Doesn’t Care About Your Priorities
Hillary and the Law of the Jungle
Jeb Bush's attacks on Rubio are pissing everybody off
Police officers flee angry mob in Swedish refugee center through back door
15 Year-Old Migrant Stabs Swedish Refugee Center Worker to Death
"Gangs" Of "All-Male" Moroccan Migrant Children “Take Over” Stockholm Train Station; Steal, Grope, Beat Women
France Declares Permanent Police State - Prime Minister envisions war that will last generations
Holocaust Remembrance: Dugo Does it with Falafel
In Europe and at home, Angela Merkel’s refugee policy is being blown away
TEN YEARS OF HAMAS RULE: THE PALESTINIANS MUST SOLVE THEIR DIVIDE BEFORE PEACE WITH ISRAEL
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
More and more people are coming to understand that Muslims and in particular Muslims who immigrate from Muslim countries cannot integrate/assimilate and they will try to bring their new homes/hosts down. They do not like us/you and in private they fantasize about enslaving and killing us/you. They must be returned to their homeland either by force or by agreement. If that does not happen than there will be a civil war in those countries where they have infiltrated. It may be the drip drip of stabbings and killing with a car or it may be organized jihad with intent to kill as many infidels as possible. You cannot reason with someone who would gladly die to kill you/us or would eagerly force their child to die to kill you/us. Some will quickly point out that there are many moderate Muslims and there are just as there were many moderate Germans in Germany who quietly supported the holocaust. Politics being what it is I do not expect actual action to prevent this potential disaster. Instead I expect talking, stifling any effort to bring about change and a continued drip drip of jihad until something, some major terror attack forces the citizens to demand action.
Re: 7 Reasons to Rethink Sending Your Child to Public School
The biggest reason is that they are getting worse. Several of the reasons listed (e.g. 1. Classrooms are geared towards average learners, 2. Teachers teach to the test, the performance review, or both, and 3. Students are only expected to be as good as or better than their fellow students), while true, could have been said for public schools fifty years ago, but they were much better then.
Since the advent of teacher's unions (another bad idea initiated by the left), which are naturally more concerned about their pay, benefits, and "rights" than the welfare of the students, and increased federal influence (read control), schools have cost more and produced less. I think the rest of the complaints (e.g. 4. Curricula are increasingly politically motivated, 5. There is no room for independent study, and 7. Critical thinking is dead) are a the results of this.
I'm just not buying some of the "statistics" . We have different methods of measuring poor. In this country, poor is having healthcare, free food, housing and education. A/C, color tv, computers etc. seem to factor in in poverty in the USA. As for deaths, we also have a different method of measuring infant deaths. The education part, alas, I believe.
re The fall of the Ottoman Empire
Looks like an interesting read.
Re: France Declares Permanent Police State
Would that be a local war on terror?
re 12 signs America is on the decline
Do you think an impartial paper on America can come from CUNY?
I would dismiss it as trash.
I read the actual paper that was the basis for the article. It looked like something written by Bernie Sanders. Virtually all of its sources were Progressive/Marxist think tanks like "Fund for Peace." It's basic conclusion was a rehash of LBJ's Great Society, i.e. our greatness as a nation is defined by how much we redistribute wealth.
re When Americans have more faith in the military than the political class, democracy is in trouble.
I think Glenn is spot on with this piece. It's a laundry list of what's wrong with the Feds and the probability that nothing can/will be fixed.
If Clinton or Sanders is elected, the status quo will continue, but what happens if Trump or Cruz is elected and nothing changes?
RE BIG GOVERNMENT
The Trump phenomenon was made possible because people are sick of the political correctness, multicultural, diversity crap that big government uses to redistribute wealth to the special interest groups favored by the Progressives in exchange for votes. However, instead of going to the root of the problem - big government overstepping its Constitutional limits, playing favorites and redistributing wealth - many Trump supporters knowingly or naively are voting for someone who will simply pick a different group of rent seekers.
RE DONALD J TRUMP and FU MONEY
Among the serious concerns regarding Trump is his demeanor, temperament and superficial approach to problems. Trump has always had serious FU money that allows him to make consequential mistakes with little concern for the consequences. If he gets it wrong, it's not that big of a deal (for him) because he has billions more.
His "solution" to America's GDP problem - its lack of productivity - is not to address America's willingness (incentives) and ability (capital) to produce, but rather to blame the Chinese because they are willing to sell us goods at a low price.
I'm sure the Donald can afford $50 T-shirts, but I prefer to pay as little as I can and use the savings for something else. The tariffs that Trump proposes won't increase the wealth of Americans because it doesn't address the issue of what increases wealth.
Instead, we should focus on American's willingness and ability to produce goods and services. In terms of willingness, we need to address the system of disincentives - foisted upon us by Progressives who have traded favors (entitlements) in exchange for votes - that discourage people from working and encourage them to mooch. In terms of ability, we need to seriously look at our public school system which has "evolved" into a political tool aimed more at indoctrinating kids into multicultural, politically correct, victimhood agenda than teaching them how to express themselves in and comprehend written and spoken English and to solve basic mathematical and everyday science problems and how to think (versus what to think).
From an educational perspective, I would have to agree that American schools are not as good as they used to be. In fairness to those teachers who are genuinely concerned for their students, it seems the dumbing down by the left and their agenda-based learning programs are not helping. And this seems to be from the Administration, not the teachers themselves.
Also, the severe deindustrialization of your country over the past 30-years has been devastating. How can a country that doesn't export anything expect to grow it's economy and provide decent paying jobs? In fact, I have colleagues in Frankfurt who work with a lot of Americans who left to come work here! And they are trying everything they can to try and stay here. They are happy to have their children in German schools and (up until the recent immigrant problem) felt this was a very safe and secure place to live and raise their families.
I hope your next President can pull the country back together. It's been a long time since I can remember any president, (maybe Regan?) trying to unify the country. It seems your president Obama has been doing everything possible to divide it rather than heal it.
Karl, it would be a mistake to assume that tangible stuff are the only valuables that a country can export. Technology has a tremendous worth and the US is a leader in that regard.
Our real problems (IMHO) are that our system of incentives is backwards (rewarding those who chose not to work with welfare/entitlements and punishing those who are productive with high taxes) and our schools place leftist indoctrination above improving human capital (productivity).
One can train an idiot (or a machine) to fill a slot on a manufacturing line, but educated and experienced humans are needed to come up with new ideas and technology.
Now, to be clear, I'm not advocating that we have no US workers involved in the actual production of goods, but simply that the comparative advantage of the US lies in having a higher proportion of its workers in these areas that serve as multipliers of labor. The productivity of a nation is equal to its labor (or work) times its capital (tools plus human capital).
I think that is a key difference between the US model and the German model - not that either is wrong or bad.
Don't misunderstand the data on American education. Most countries will move under performers from standard schools to tech schools or even work. So by the time their pre-college students are evaluated and compared with the rest of the world their students are the top 30%-50%. In the U.S. it is almost exactly opposite. We have phased out most trade schools and any work experience programs. So by the time pre-college students are evaluated everyone but the hard core dropouts are part of the statistic. But it gets worse; the teachers unions and other special interest groups have an interest in spot lighting our weaknesses as this can be turned into money for union members and 'free stuff'. So even the real data is often skewed to make everything look worse.
Make no mistake, our top 20% of students are just as well educated and comparable with any countries to 20%. Our real problem is our bottom 30% or greater who are largely abandoned both in education, job training and jobs. Our national drug problem sucks these under achievers in and creates a permanent underclass. This too plays into the hands of the liberals who use this fact to pour billions into the black hole of Democrat cities. Where does the money go and does it help any of the people who need it? Well, look at the results.