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, May 3. 2016
Cruising the Davis Strait
Catching a Flight? Budget Hours, Not Minutes, for Security
Why Italian merry widows perk up after husbands die
Blood-red Trevi fountain a wake-up call on Christian persecution
No commencement speaker will mention this – the huge ‘gender college degree gap’ favoring women
Undergrad links to Obama’s comments about students being ‘coddled,’ gets ripped by peers
" The employee also referred to one of the students as a man, even though
SIU students to hold strike against austerity, racism
Who Speaks for the Working Class? Economic concerns increasingly unite moderate-income whites and blacks.
CNN's Jeff Zucker on the Network's Increasing Ratings: "We May Have Been A Little Too Liberal In the Past"
Mexico Is Sending Us Colonists, Not Immigrants
Off the reservatio
Sanders applauds supporter who tells billionaire class to 'f--- off’
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Students go on strike..
are they aware that someone (probably not them ) is paying for them to go there? Except for the one that dropped out already.
Is someone forcing them to live in such a horrible environment? Then why does every single teacher, school administrator and guidance counselor basically insist that EVERYONE HAS TO GO TO COLLEGE if it sucks so badly?
Since its much-vaunted "pivot to Asia" a few years back, Washington’s undeclared policy has been to counterbalance Beijing’s growing geopolitical ambitions in the region. However, if Beijing manages to take possession of the Spratlys, Paracels, and other disputed islands, banks, and reefs without a fight, it will have successfully called Washington’s bluff. America’s allies in the region will wonder if the U.S. will do anything to come to their defense. It will make the next item on China’s wish list that much easier to acquire.
That such a wish list exists, can be glanced from the new passports China introduced in 2012. They’re watermarked with a map of China that not only includes Taiwan (as could be expected), but also the disputed maritime areas in the South China Sea, and some territories also claimed (and currently administered) by India.
+ Russia’s Far East
+ The entire Korean peninsula
+ The Ryukyu Islands (a much wider range than the currently disputed Senkaku Islands)
+ Taiwan (aka the "Republic of China" – with its own irredentist claims, see #221)
+ The South China Sea
+ All the currently independent nations of Southeast Asia, i.e. Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Burma/Myanmar, Malaysia, and Singapore
+ Bhutan and Nepal
+ Northern parts of Pakistan and India
+ Large parts of the Central Asian republics
A good column from Glenn Reynolds today.
Tainter’s theory, to simplify things quite a bit, is that as societies grow they become more complex, slapping on layer after layer of institutions, regulations and customs to deal with challenges (and, I suspect, to facilitate the ruling classes’ extracting resources from the ruled).
Over time, these layers grow more and more rigid and take more and more of the society’s resources. It’s hard to change them because every layer of complexity represents some group’s livelihood or claim on power. Eventually, the society is devoting almost all its resources to maintaining these institutions and has very little reserve left to deal with the unexpected. The result is that challenges that it would have weathered easily in the past are now sufficient to bring it to an end.
"Tainter’s theory, to simplify things quite a bit, is that as societies grow they become more complex, slapping on layer after layer of institutions, regulations and customs to deal with challenges (and, I suspect, to facilitate the ruling classes’ extracting resources from the ruled)."
I very much doubt the increasing complexities have much to do at all with facilitating "the ruling classes’ extracting resources from the ruled". Autocratic rule - whether oligarchic or aristocratic - is actually a fairly straightforward business, particularly the more authoritarian it gets.
If anything, what creates complexity in society is a combination of demographic (sociopolitical), technological and economic advancements which necessitate ever more intricate regulatory processes.
Indeed, it strikes me that a modern, wealthy democracy is probably one of the most complex institutions that there is.
Regarding acts of cowardice.
"Courage is rightly considered the foremost of the virtues, for upon it, all others depend." Winston Churchill
Regarding acts of cowardice and acts of courage.
You know who has courage right now? Trump. He is the only one to take this political correctness garbage on. He doesn't care what he says and whether it's politically correct (in either direction). That's why he has the ratings he does.
Maybe if he succeeds others will come out as well.
Why Italian merry widows perk up after husbands die.
I am reminded of the trip to Italy a family friend made with her aunt/stepmother. The friend was almost 60; her aunt/stepmother was close to 80. Both were fluent in Italian, so the language wouldn't have been a problem. Before the trip, the friend was worrying that the trip wasn't a good idea. Her aunt/stepmother replied: "Of course we'll have a good time on the trip. We won't have any men along." [quoted as "We no-have-a men"}