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, December 21. 2016
Tomorrow, the days begin to lengthen but I have to say that I don't really mind the short days. Getting out early in the cold and dark at 330 or 4 is pleasant to me. I take the dog out if he's willing, I listen for owls, I identify constellations and O'Ryan watches me with a cautious eye, I hear little critters scampering in the leaf litter.I have a hot coffee and a cold Coke to get ready for the gym which is open at 4:45. Carpe diem.
How many MORE atrocities before our leaders stop lying to us and admit that, thanks to their immigration policies, being mowed down while doing your Christmas shopping is simply the new normal?
"Would be"? You know she is praying that Lutherans did it.
The Wages of Merkelism, and the Death of Europe
How's that for cultural appropriation?
We needed Science to tell us that?
Government's MO: Manufactured crisis, government solutions of more power, control, and money.
Michelle Obama Considers that Americans Are Kids in Need of a Father Figure for President
She seems to really believe that
Scott Walker wants to lead a revolution against Washington DC
The Animal Cunning and Instinct of Donald Trump
" Dumb stuff we right-wingers can and should finally stop saying."
Lena Dunham: ‘I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had’
Donald Trump’s Post-Cold War Vision of U.S. Foreign Policy - “The day of the chess player is over,” the businessman once wrote.
Are Europe's 'Extreme Right' Parties Really So Extreme?
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That pic looks like something from
a comic I highly endorse.
"Michelle Obama Considers that Americans Are Kids in Need of a Father Figure for President"
Interesting, given what a mess her kids are.
Merkel should be executed. That would be the consequence in any civilized country.
We can disagree about policy issues, but we should agree on the basic meaning of our Constitution.
I have a bad feeling that what attracted Trump to the office is precisely because he saw the opportunity for a take-charge sort of guy to run things his own way and he's just about the last person you would expect that argument to appeal to. Right next to Hillary!.
Where do you get that idea from? What has he done so far that makes you think he has no interest in the Constitution. I think his cabinet pick for DOJ shows that he is VERY interested in sticking to the Constitution and Separation of Powers. I think his statement that he will get rid of a lot of Executive Orders shows that he understands the process of government and why you should make changes to laws in order to effect real and more permanent change. He has talked only about law and order for his whole campaign. I have not once heard him say: we must go against the laws of this country in order to get what we want.
That was Obama with his crude "I have a phone and a pen" comment. Never heard Trump say anything even remotely similar.
His choice of Supreme Court Justices shows he is serious about strict Constituionalism.
Is There Any News In The New York Times That Is Not Fake?
Heh! The writer is trying to say this chart doesn't show a trend. Or this chart (note the mean for 1981-2000).
But why should we let a few facts get in the way of a good narrative?
Zack...give it up already. !980 -2010?? Really?
This is supposed to indicate what,exactly?
Dale: This is supposed to indicate what,exactly?
The writer is looking at the chart and saying there is no long term trend, when even a cursory look shows that every single line from 2012-2015 is below the mean. Now, one might argue as to the meaning of the trend — correlation does not equal causation —, but that there is a trend showing in the very chart he used for discussion is indisputable.
All this in an article about fake news!
Here's another look at the data. Here's Arctic sea ice extent for September. If you look closely, you should be able to see the trend.
Donald Trump’s Post-Cold War Vision of U.S. Foreign Policy - “The day of the chess player is over,” the businessman once wrote.
It's an interesting question whether all national encounters are transactional in nature, rather than based on long-standing relationships. However, it's clear from history that nations do have relationships that the can persist even in difficult times. Furthermore, it takes generations to build a strong relationship, and it can be undermined by disregarding a long history of trust for a short term gain.
Like giving insulting presents to their queen, for example.
The Queen gave Obama a silver framed photograph of herself.
I continue to dislike your deception by omission. The silvered portrait is the standard item Queen Elizabeth gives to all visiting dignitaries on their first visit. Americans might find that practice a bit too monarchial for their taste, but no one in the US considered it the least insulting. Obama's original gift, including an Ipod, was interpreted as clumsy and tasteless by all but his most ardent supporters, and was widely viewed internationally as an intentional insult and statement that the UK no longer enjoyed a special status.
Only one of the pair has had a problem to overcome, and Obama has indeed learned to do better in subsequent years. Painting it as something mutual is simply inaccurate.
Assistant Village Idiot: The silvered portrait is the standard item Queen Elizabeth gives to all visiting dignitaries on their first visit.
Gee whiz. No one takes serious offense at a silver-framed portrait, and no one takes serious offense at getting an iPod. This actually makes the point. Even if the gifts were seen as slights, they don't effect the overall relationship, which is built on trust developed over generations.
Selective omission, again. An iPod, kinda meh. An iPod featuring the sound of your own voice? kinda insulting.
Christopher B: An iPod featuring the sound of your own voice?
A picture of yourself in a silver frame?
Christopher B: Selective omission, again.
And again, this actually makes the point. Even if the gifts were slights, they don't effect the overall relationship, which is built on trust developed over generations. A transactional approach can undermine long-term relationships built on trust.
Somehow, the U.K. and the U.S. have overcome the problem of poor gift choices — something to keep in mind in this holiday season.
"Dumb stuff we right-wingers can and should finally stop saying."
The progressive left is psychotic and the popular right is happily codependent upon it and therefore all but utterly feckless and ineffective. And it's highly statist. Plus it's busy lifestyle signalling in order to deceive itself that it's pushing back against the left's virtue signalling. Yup: Codependent. The right can't even define original classical liberalism, much less re-enact it.
Normal is out. It has been for a century.
Re: Barone: How the political rules changed in 2016
The Trump campaign seems to have had a pretty good idea of what its Republican opponents and the Clinton campaign were up to, but the reverse was clearly not true. In post-election interviews Clinton campaign operatives were blaming their defeat on racism, the FBI director, the Russians.
Mature adults would be seeking to understand how they had missed out on how the rules were changing.
And that's why the Hildebeast lost.
With regard to global climate, there happens to be a particularly strong North Atlantic Current right now that's bringing warmer water up as far north as Finland. Go to a global weather map, zoom out, toggle between temperature and wind, and you can see it perfectly clearly.
It's warmer around Iceland than in the Great Lakes. It's far colder in Chicago and northern India than it is near Svalbard halfway up the Arctic Circle. This has nothing to do with the long term global mean whatsoever.
Re. getting out at 3:30 or 4. I did that for many many years. Combo of aviation career, avoiding commuter traffic, waking up with something (almost always) business related on my mind. Now at 85, in my 2ᶮᵈ or 3ʳᵈ retirement depending on how you count, I sleep in to 6:30 or so, sometimes sevenish.
"Are Europe's right-wing parties really right-wing?"
In talking to some Europeans, they consider our Democratic party right-wing - or centrist at best.
Bill O'reilly is in trouble with the left wing MSM:
Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly infuriated thousands of Americans when he went on national television Tuesday night and said that liberals want to abolish the Electoral College because they want “power taken away from the white establishment.”
I am not really sure if the left is upset that he actually "outed" them on national TV OR if this was all really a well (race)baited trap to catch anyone daring to confront the left wing racism. Either way Bill stepped in it. Bill can be pretty confrontational when he wants to be but I'm gonna bet he backs down in the face of the powerful left wing race baiting game. It is a firing offense to life the covers and show what the race baiting left is doing don'tcha know. That brings me to my second prediction; I expect a organized effort on the left to fire Bill O'reilly. He was a thorn in the side of Hillary and the left's agenda during the election and of course FOX news is a prime target of the left.
Saul Alinsky's rules for radicals in action.
RE The Maternal Instinct Is Real
watch a mother cat protect her kittens or zachriels protect zhe's weather fetish and you get a sense of the maternal instinct.
the maternal instinct is ancient, and dates some 400 million years back to the first ovoviviparous (live bearing) sharks, when a genetic mutation temporarily suppressed the normal instinct of a shark to murder all small fish around it.
I was in Rhodesia in the early 1970s and it was a prosperous country. After Robert Mugabe ran off all the colonial exploiters, everybody in Zimbabwe became a millionaire. If you would like to be a millionaire, you can buy a Zimbabwe 100 trillion dollar note for about 50 US dollars.
one of my entries into the "Phrases which will never appear in the newspapers" is "Radical Lutheran terrorist cell". If you're bad, we may be provoked enough to glare at you. If your truly evil, we may even make snarky comments about you over coffee and schnecks in the fellowship hall between services.
That is not to underestimate the power of the Lutheran glare. My personal theory as to how the Baltic sea formed is that the Germans and the Swedes started glaring at each other hard enough that it split the Northern European landmass.
Another guy named Dan: one of my entries into the "Phrases which will never appear in the newspapers" is "Radical Lutheran terrorist cell".
Not lately anyway. However, terrorism by Lutherans and other Christian groups has been common in history.
Historically people from every culture/race have acted badly. It is illogical to blame someone today for something another person did 150 years ago or 2000 years ago, etc. The radical Islamist are killing people today in the name of their religion. They need to be dealt with for what they are. To make excuses for them because someone long ago did something bad is ridiculous and naive.
I'm just not sure you understand what is going on in the world.
Z-Bot(s) greatest failing is not having a lick of sense about human philosophy. There is no underlying framework to work from, just programmed rote responses aimed to deflect, obscure, and muddy.
This we call progressivism.
GoneWithTheWind: It is illogical to blame someone today for something another person did 150 years ago or 2000 years ago, etc.
We didn't blame people today for what Lutherans did in Luther's day, nor did we make excuses. We did clarify the point about "Radical Lutheran terrorist cells".
No, you didn't clarify anything. You replied to what should have been obviously seen as a joke (leaving its quality aside for now) given in response to a bit of rhetorical absurdity with an attempt to besmirch Christianity in general with literally 500 year-old charges.
The fact that Martin Luther was a complicated, imperfect, and deeply troubled man is widely known to history, and has been widely written about since his own era, including by Martin Luther himself. The words you quote do not appear in scripture or the Book of Concord, the collection of the founding documents of Lutheranism. They represent the sinful error of a man, not any continued belief. "For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God"
Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura - Grace alone, Faith Alone, Scripture Alone.
Another guy named Dan: an attempt to besmirch Christianity in general with literally 500 year-old charges.
It's not an attempt to besmirch Christianity, but to point out that the term "Radical Lutheran terrorist" has a historical basis.
Another guy named Dan: The fact that Martin Luther was a complicated, imperfect, and deeply troubled man is widely known to history
It's not as if Luther had no influence. Luther's published views on Jews set off anti-Semitic terrorist attacks across Germany and beyond.
Another guy named Dan: They represent the sinful error of a man, not any continued belief.
While anti-Semitism certainly predates Luther, he made a substantial contribution, one that had a "continuing" effect long into the future.
The robot you're debating has no evident perspective. The internet is it's perfect medium: Strip context, isolate targets, deny the obvious, move goalposts, and generally hew to a narrow repetition with no lasting value - that's the long term takeaway: No authentic, durable merit. No linear progression from a valid philosophy through to such a perspective. Empty. Endlessly argumentative, signifying nothing. Predictable. Mechanical.
In other words, not purposeful in human terms.
Another guy named Dan: You replied to what should have been obviously seen as a joke
Yet, your joked puffed a tacit comparison to other religions.
You could have ignored the point, or simply said, "Yeah, not our best moment."
To elaborate, if Luther, like Calvin, was a substantial dick, then that naturally throws the whole shebang into question, the whole shebang being Protestantism. Meanwhile, having determined - as many have - that Catholicism is technically un-biblical - that it's a cultural, social affectation of a kind of Christian heritage that has mostly ritual and hierarchy and social order to recommend it - then Christianity is itself extremely hard to suss out. What was Christ actually on about?
I doubt many can answer that; all whom I've asked eventually defer to "faith", which raises another set of questions as to the merit of, as it goes, a belief in things not seen. Why is that a thing, anyway? Nobody seems to know that either.
What does this have to do with secular religions like Progressivism? Well, first that Progressivism is indeed a religion. It has all the hallmarks and procedures and relative virtues of religion, but in its own case, has no valid philosophical bedrock. How can it when it's most known for emotion, envy, coveting, psychological projection, judgementalism in the extreme, systems of force and theft, cultural intolerance, completely variable and trendy morals, and so on and so on?
So we're struck - if we're human, that is - with a conundrum: What is a valid ethic? My answer would be that searching for the accountable, transparent heart constitutes the smallest step, one of intent. From there it's not inconsistent to venture immediately into personal accountability among others, and right there we've formed a philosophy of complete non-involvement and utter tolerance of the negative right. Zero force, zero projection, zero real judging in the sense that we cannot hold others to a standard we can't observe ourselves.
That, then, roughly hews to at least some of what Christ was on about. And that, then, indicts the vile secular religion of Progressivism. Because it is those bad things and because being unaccountable about them, it is a mechanical and robotic pseudo-virtue. It doesn't care about results, it cares about inflicting polarities onto cultures and it does that with political power. It's the collective, the hive. It is force and oppression.
Something along those lines is the problem with all organized mindsets; with the collectivization not of the independent and accountable spirit and heart, but of the outward collective appearance as if it were a membership (which it is), and any competent clinician in the mental health field I think can say that all that dishonesty and that fealty to appearance is an defect. A dysfunction.
So this is never really about Luther or the Church and it's really never about irrational, parasitic Progressivism, and when you see it narrowed down to a weaponized rhetoric - that idiotic, eternal goalpost-racing fisking that accounts for nothing that really matters anyway - you know it has no intent to elucidate. It aims to dominate, for force is its currency.
Obstruction is, as the left well admits, a proper form of resistance, and no better place then in the Nihilistic "conversation".
I find you a bit tedious at times, Ten. And not that I agree with the entirety, but that was well said, reasoned, and topical. Both for the Z and current cultural conditions. Which I'm guessing are somewhat the same.
Ten: To elaborate, if Luther, like Calvin, was a substantial dick, then that naturally throws the whole shebang into question, the whole shebang being Protestantism.
Would not agree whatsoever. Being wrong on one issue doesn't necessarily mean being wrong on another. Luther made substantial contributions to freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, and while his revolution only applied within a narrow range of Christian thought, it didn't take long before his ideas were applied more generally.
Ten: Progressivism is indeed a religion.
Redefining progressivism to suit your preconceptions does not an argument make.
Well, to an extent you are accurate. But the Lutheran Pietists were pretty much done in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Now the Yankee Pietists of the mid-19th Century America were rather terroristic in their abolition efforts. But, after 700,000 dead in the Civil War, they settled down.
Nowadays, it seems the Pietists have abandoned Christianity in favor of Marxism.
But you could see the Islamists as Muslim Pietists, although they dominate the religion rather than being a movement as pietists were in Christianity.
"terrorism by Lutherans and other Christian groups has been common in history"--I wonder if it would make more sense to adjust our policies to reflect what Islamofascists are doing this year or what Christians did 500 years ago? Both take innate human failings into account, but one seems a bit more realistic and practical.
Texan99: I wonder if it would make more sense to adjust our policies to reflect what Islamofascists are doing this year or what Christians did 500 years ago?
Clearly, policy should reflect current realities. However, history can and should inform the present.
Martin Luther, The Jews and Their Lies:
First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them.
Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed.
Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them.
Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb.
Fifth, I advise that safe conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. For they have no business in the countryside, since they are not lords, officials, tradesmen, or the like. Let they stay at home.
So, let them stay at home, but burn their homes. Oh, and no safe conduct on the highways.
Things were escalated from the glare when people started refusing to bring hotdish to the church potlucks. Clear indication of a coming schism.
Ah yes, the great cream of mushroom vs. cream of celery controversy. The less said of this in front of outsiders the better.
Yes, we need Lori control. I've known a couple Loris and they needed to be controlled, let me tell you.
And then there was Lori Partridge. Sure I was young, but either she or I needed to be gotten under control. Since blaming others is the norm today, I'm going to say Lori.
Are Europe's 'Extreme Right' Parties Really So Extreme? For them, yes. For us, they're Rotarians and Chamber of Commerce folks.
Blaming others is not just the norm today, it's been the norm forever. In the Garden of Eden when God asked who was eating the fruit, Adam blamed Eve. Of course, anybody that takes dietary advice from a serpent can't be any more intelligent than people who take dietary advice from some salesman on TV.