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
Thursday, March 17. 2016
Teachers’ Union Attempts to Strangle Charters
The Path Forward for Republicans Is Both Conservative and Populist
GOP Elites Spit On Their Largest Voting Block – Middle Class Voters – for Supporting Trump
The Story of Marco Rubio’s Epic Underachievement
Flemming Rose: The Reluctant Fundamentalist - How the man behind the Danish cartoons crisis thinks about free speech, 10 years on
Hungary's Orban "Rings Alarm Bells" On Brussels Plot To Create "United States Of Europe"
Foolish to vacation in North Korea
US Army Officials Paint Dire Picture of the State of the Force
Skunk Works Chief: How To Keep America’s Airborne Advantage
Time to Question Presidential Candidates on Missile Defense
How the Military Will Be Revolutionized By Laser Weaponry
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What do you think of this? Does it help or hurt Trump? Some of the same misgivings, except for the smarmy weasel from the Packer PAC, are legit.
Yet, again I see no path here for America's Middle working demographic. Why would the Trump supporter vote for people who have nothing to offer besides tsk tsking, disdain, condescension, paternalism?Compared to the Rs, the Dems just offer a little less disdain and tsk, tsking.
They are totally clueless that broadly speaking, they are responsible for Trump. Contrast 1994 with 2014. People are so fed up, they are willing to look past all of Trump's shortcomings (several laid out in that video) because they perceive him as someone who will fight back. Something we haven't seen for 30 years.
re they perceive him as someone who will fight back
I believe that is where you put your finger on it, mudbug.
The perception is, Trump fights. No one else projects that characteristic to the degree Trump does.
It will take a fighter to upset the status quo. Whether or not Trump is the man for the job remains to be seen.
"People are not voting for Trump (or Sanders). People are just voting, finally, to destroy the establishment."
I got my Social Security statement yesterday, which in part has a chart of your earnings every year you were part of the system. It was beyond sobering. It is a summary of the country, at least through my eyes.
I looked at my earnings over the years. Last year I made a third of what I made in 1992. And I work many more hours now then I worked then.
And that's before what Obama has done to my medical insurance, with its outrageous cost and little benefit. That alone takes 1/3 of my earnings.
Why would I support anyone who is part of the political system, when this is what has happened? They are killing this country. They are killing my family.
Make America Great Again.
Wretch at Belmont Club sez:
As Kyle Smith pointed out in the New York Post, the destruction of the American middle class, both black and white, has been part of a long term shift by the Democratic (and Republican Party) toward a new globalized economic system led by a new credentialed aristocracy. The pauperization of the middle class is happening because and not in spite of Washington's policies.
One of the reasons why Trump has been so destructive to the Republican party is that he divided it not only along the Left-Right political axis, whose shear forces it was prepared to withstand, but also between up and down, creating an earthquake along precisely the fault line that Taleb describes.
Such misunderstandings were on display in president Obama's $4 billion dollar self-driving car initiative. The Manhattan Institute points out that the president's program could have unanticipated, job-killing results.
About 4 million Americans work as truck drivers. If some large percentage of those jobs went away, this would mean another middle-class occupation had been undermined by technology. Truck drivers do much more than drive. The UPS driver rings your buzzer and hands the package to you, for example. Drivers of soda delivery trucks may also stock the product on the shelves. ...
The locus of power in the automobile industry might also shift from Detroit to Silicon Valley. In the case of music, newspapers and other industries where digitization has already shifted power in that direction, we’ve seen vast industrial disruption...
Keep in mind that one reason President Obama bailed out GM and Chrysler is because more than 1 million jobs in the United States are linked to the auto industry. Yet the tech industry does most of its manufacturing outside the country. Apple employs 700,000 people offshore (including subcontractors), compared with only 43,000 people in the United States. If Silicon Valley wins the driverless car industry, we may see this shift accelerate. Manufacturing jobs are only part of this change ...
The list of potential downstream effects is limitless. It is these second- and third-order upheavals – politics, policing, etc. – where the driverless car may create profound societal change far beyond the obvious.
But Obama fails to see the impact of driverless cars, any more than he could see why Putin entered Syria or why he left. The cars program not only emphasizes how the "party of the people" has become the party of Wall Street and Silicon Valley, more dangerously it showcases how feckless the elite is. A nation can withstand a loss of income more than it can endure a loss of faith. And there is precious little in the political system to believe in.
I don't have enough info to know where this comes from and who made it, but the Showtime logo does not give me confidence in it.
All candidates have short-comings. They are all human. What Trump has going for him is a history of accomplishing big things. And that is what the American public wants...accomplish big things.
Cruz, as conservative as he may be, has not accomplished great things in the Senate with the exception of obstructionism. So it is hard to see how he would run the country without any history of actually doing more that opposing people.
Trump has shown that he can make deals. I think his deals will be good for the American people, not deals to help out the left, as some have decided to speculate. Deals need to be made in D.C. You just need to know what you are doing and know how to put up a fight when a fight is warranted. And Trump is doing that now with the press and the disruptors. He is showing exactly how he will stand strong to move his agenda forward.
Anyway, Trump gets things done. It is probably the biggest attraction about him.
I was listening to Howie Carr, a Boston talk show host, on the way home today. He read, on air, a WAPO editorial demanding that the RNC stop Trump. Wow, I'm thinking, this is strange. Why aren't they gleeful at the RNCs debacles, certainly they aren't going to support a Republican, even if he/she walks on water. So, shouldn't they be gleeful that the Republican party is imploding? Doesn't this help Hillary or, do they really fear that Trump has a shot at the WH? OTOH, maybe, it's damage control and they don't want any more mockery of the servant class (media/politicians) or the Beautiful People.
Bird Dog: You can thank Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton for North Korea’s nukes
How do you justify blaming Jimmy Carter for a nuclear test in 2006?
Perhaps you don't remember Carter going to NK 1994 and basically negotiating w/o authority to do so. These "negotiations" were on CNN and painted the US into a corner. Carter, by his own admission said, "In the past, I had always refrained from going to a troubled area of the world without approval...I finally wrote President Clinton a letter and told him that I had decided to go to [NK]...Gore...interceded (sic) my letter and called me on the phone and told me if I would change the wording from, 'I've decided to go' to 'I'm strongly inclined to go' that he would try to get permission directly from Clinton without going to the State Department...[after being questioned about CNN televising the meetings] well, I made it plain then, which may not have come across to the public...that I was not speaking with...any authority from the U.S. government..."
BornSouthern: Perhaps you don't remember Carter going to NK 1994 and basically negotiating w/o authority to do so.
The Clinton Administration approved Carter's trip to North Korea in the hopes of opening up a dialogue. Not sure what alternative to diplomatic talks you would suggest.
Would you object just as much if the blame had been laid at the feet of Reagan or either of the Bush's? I suspect you wouldn't and would even enjoy the blame being laid at the feet of a Republican. You epitomize "knee jerk".
GoneWithTheWind: Would you object just as much if the blame had been laid at the feet of Reagan or either of the Bush's?
Doubt if there's a case to be made against Reagan, however, the first North Korean Nuclear Test occurred during George W Bush's second term, and their actions tended to provoke the paranoid reactions of the North Korean regime.
You didn't answer the question.
As for when the NK tested a nuke it occurred after many years of preparations and arguably those preparations were allowed by the Clinton administration. But I don't think any American was to "blame". Korea wanted to build nukes and short of some serious preventive steps they were going to do that. I don't blame Clinton's wishy washy failure to stop NK because I don't think he could have done it. Once the genie was out of the bottle it was only a matter of time before nations like NK and Iran got nukes. Now the question is where will NK and Iran use them. I'm betting one of them will use them in the next 5 years. I think NK would hit SK and maybe a remote part of Japan. However from my point of view Iran is more dangerous and I think their number one target is Israel and number two any big Western city with Paris, London & NY City at the top of that list.
GoneWithTheWind: As for when the NK tested a nuke it occurred after many years of preparations and arguably those preparations were allowed by the Clinton administration.
Allowed? What do you think they should have done? Invaded North Korea?
GoneWithTheWind: Korea wanted to build nukes and short of some serious preventive steps they were going to do that.
That's right. So they weren't "allowed" to build nukes. The only plausible solution was diplomatic, but the Bush Administration bungled the situation.
"allowed" as in insufficient efforts to prevent it. I do think that we should have put strong sanctions in place. Strong enough perhaps that NK would make a stupid mistake and invade SK and give us a chance to destroy their military and weapons programs from 20,000 feet. I don't blame Clinton for being so ineffective I blame the Democrat party for putting up such a slimy crook and the the voters for electing such an ineffective president.
GoneWithTheWind: "allowed" as in insufficient efforts to prevent it
In 2001, the new Bush Administration put missile talks on hold while trying to develop a new policy. When North Korea was then found to be experimenting with uranium, the U.S. cut off fuel oil supplies. North Korea then retaliated by taking plutonium previously under IAEA inspections. They attempted to restart negotiations, but failed.
Thank you. You have confirmed my point. In your mind it was "Bush's fault".
As I said NK was playing this game all along. You can try to pinpoint it to the day after Bush took office if that fits your agenda but they were most certainly running there experiments during Clinton's term but he was too busy chasing skirts to pay attention.
But I gave you an out. That is I do not honestly believe that we could stop NK no matter what we did short of war. We could have and should have enforced crippling sanctions with no end. But our State Department always comes in last in any negotiations so we caved not once but every time. Sooner or later NK will incinerate a half million people and once again you and others on the left will search for a scapegoat, anyone just as long as they don't have a big 'D' by their name. That's your game and that's all you got.
GoneWithTheWind: You can try to pinpoint it to the day after Bush took office if that fits your agenda
It was well into Bush's 2nd term.
GoneWithTheWind: but they were most certainly running there experiments during Clinton's term
Yes, but the chances of successfully refining uranium was very slim.
GoneWithTheWind: We could have and should have enforced crippling sanctions with no end.
Then they would have had the bomb anyway, as they already had produced sufficient plutonium, which was under the eye of the IAEA. The only solution was diplomatic, and the Bush Administration effectively ended that option.
Charter Schools: Of course teachers' unions hate them. Non-union. Better results, No contributions to Dems and gummints.
GOP "elites", having ignored the base (most noticeable since Palin was nominated), should only be surprised that it took this long.
Zman: Suppression of debate leads to anger and physical retribution.
Re: Foolish to vacation in North Korea
I feel bad for him but I have to wonder if there is more to the story than that he was a "tourist."
On the other hand, he is a college student so maybe he didn't know that North Korea isn't a tourist destination.
Actually, he went on an established tour. One presumes the tour is the "ultimate" in adventure tourism. Look, with all the commercialism, where can one travel to see people abused and tortured on a national scale? Gulag tourism.
It certainly wasn't cultural tourism, unless the purpose was to sneer at the culture. In any case, he traveled to a foreign land, committed a crime against local laws, was tried and sentenced in a manner consistent with the local culture. To now condemn his conviction or sentence is cultural imperialism. And he attends an elite, "enlightened" university, we'd never want to betray the cultural equality that he and his fellow students promote so vehemently.
People make their living providing tours to places like North Korea!? Thank goodness there are college students or these people would probably be on welfare.
The amount of money that, to date, has been thrown at defeating Mr. Trump is horrifying -- $200 million and counting -- and the PTB have only just begun. The amount of unpaid effort equals or exceeds that. How's that workin' fer them?
Trump is a survivor, a problem solver and a mouthpiece for all the small business entrepreneurs, middle class and underclasses who have been ignored, stepped on, manipulated and smothered with regulations. They no longer have their small banker who worked FOR them, but a international conglomerate who lies to them and throws the world into bankruptcy for the benefit of its elite -- and not a damn one of those felons paid a dime in fines or spent one night in jail including Mr. "Lehman Bros" Kasich.
It's a strange world when three of the Republican candidates who were/are running are not eligible as their parents (plural) weren't citizens at the time of their birth, but Cuban and Indian, two countries whose citizens can't leave for the U.S. fast enough. We're going to be run by the Ted Cruz's Globalist's TPP with our powers given to the UN, IMF and World Bank. Swell. Strip us of rights hard fought for and make us just like the terrorized countries run by dictators and mob rule.
And people ask why Trump? Ya gotta be kiddin' me.
I am very confused by the 'magical government action' article you linked to. It is like this person has no concept of how jobs are created.
Start with Trump's tax plan: reducing the business tax to 15% and allowing sole proprietors to also fall under that 15% tax rate.
That will jump start this economy so fast, it will make your head spin. Small businesses that file as sole proprietorships are hammered at tax time, as your income from that business is treated as 'personal income' that gets taxed at the highest rate your family falls under. It's HORRIBLE.
This would be a boon to business and a boon to jobs.
We have made tax code changes before. This is not impossible to do.
There are more things I could list, but this one was the biggest and most obvious to me.
You know what they show but don't mention? Lots of square footage per employee. These are not urban corpse offices. They're cheap land office park offices, or in some cases, out in the woods.
So take that urban nazis.
Plus, I wouldn't expect to stay there much past 40, so skip the pension and give me my money upfront. 55 has been historical point where companies get rid of employees, now its 35 or 40 at the outside.
Re: Teachers' union and charters
Those that control the teachers in a land with compulsory public education have a very valuable political prize from which to manipulate the children of the nation. In a time, such power was used to negate minority views and values, but with the American "melting pot" the tactic reversed in which to indoctrinate the students against the individual liberties of the English-speaking peoples and promote ignorance and the servile ideology via diversity emphasis and promotion of education in languages to maintain the outsider status of immigrants.
In all areas of mixed nationality, the school is a political prize of the highest importance. It cannot be deprived of its political character as long as it remains a public and compulsory institution. There is, in fact, only one solution: the state, the government, the laws must not in any way concern themselves with schooling or education. Public funds must not be used for such purposes. The rearing and instruction of youth must be left entirely to parents and to private associations and institutions.
But even if we eliminate the spiritual coercion exercised by compulsory education, we should still be far from having done everything that is necessary in order to remove all the sources of friction between the nationalities living in polyglot territories. The school is one means of oppressing nationalities— perhaps the most dangerous, in our opinion— but it certainly is not the only means. Every interference on the part of the government in economic life can become a means of persecuting the members of nationalities speaking a language different from that of the ruling group. For this reason, in the interest of preserving peace, the activity of the government must be limited to the sphere in which it is, in the strictest sense of the word, indispensable.
Mises, Ludwig von (2010-12-10). Liberalism (pp. 115-116). Ludwig von Mises Institute. Kindle Edition.
On Electric Cars:
Tesla superchargers generate electricity from solar panels. And my home also has solar panels.
So this article is misrepresentative: my Tesla neither emits carbon, nor does it use carbon to charge.
It is the finest, safest car I've ever owned. And I can charge it at the tesla supercharger for the life of the car for FREE!
It seems that way doesn't it? How much energy/carbon was used in creating those solar panels? I can tell you it takes more energy to mine the raw materials, fabricate the various components, transports it all, build it, install it including all of the electronics required to make it work than it will ever generate. And that doesn't even include the cost to recycle it all and clean up the massive pollution the process creates. But if you can remove yourself sufficiently from it all and only see the shiny new solar panels it sure seems clean...