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
Friday, September 29. 2017
Toon via Theo
Dear NFL: I’m not “boycotting” you. I just don’t care anymore, about you.
Civil Rights Group Launches Effort To Stop Colin Kaepernick From Being “Silenced”
Oldest Evidence of Life Found in 3.95-Billion-Year-Old Rocks
A fourth gravitational wave has been detected — and we've pinpointed its location better than ever before
The brief video is good
Tom Cruise's 'American Made' just latest case of film recasting history
Skeptical of Burns’ ‘Vietnam,’ Part 2
Alarm as study reveals world’s tropical forests are huge carbon emission source
Progressive Students ‘Freaked Out’ By Beach Ball At Southern Illinois University
Valerie Plame update: Ex-CIA officer quits job after posting anti-Semitic tweet
Why Tax American Companies Twice? The GOP plan would end the 35% ‘repatriation tax’ that makes it harder to compete—and create jobs.
Trump Offers Plan To Lower Taxes For All, Obviously Leads To Screeching About Tax Cuts For Rich
Coyote: The conservatism of progressives
Border Apprehensions Surge as Crossers Rush to Beat Trump's Wall
Lawmakers Turn Up the Heat on Obama Unmasking Scandal – Allege Larger Obama Spy Op on Trump
Trump Waives Jones Act for Puerto Rico for 10 Days. That’s Good, but It’s Not Enough. Congress needs to vote to stop protecting shipping cartel from market competition.
"I was alarmed at first but you come to expect things like that, it's become common place in east London."
The Nationalist Aspirations in Kurdistan and Catalonia
The Incredible Work of UN Watch
Palestinian Leaders Stunned as Hamas Founder’s Son Defends Israel
'We don't want that!' German MEP attacks Jean-Claude Juncker plans for EU SUPERSTATE
Tracked: Sep 30, 07:29
Tracked: Oct 01, 09:37
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I've been trying to watch the Burns documentary. He's being more fair than I expected him to be, but seems unable even to entertain the idea that anyone seriously feared Communist expansion or connected Communism to a threat to individual human liberty. Every time he describes the supposed motives of a loyal soldier, he drips with scorn and doubt in reporting the soldier's stated views of personal honor. At best, he assumes the soldiers were deluded.
Burns also seems strangely uninformed about the experience of young soldiers in any other war in history, as if this were the first time an idealistic young fellow had been shocked to encounter the ugly personal realities of a battlefield, and as if this shock said something particularly cogent about the rights and wrongs of the war in Viet Nam as opposed to those of any other war.
The war movie Hollywood won't make: young American volunteers to fight in Spanish Civil war, bravely marching to fight against Fascism, only to discover that the people he are fighting for aren't any better, and could be worse.
Thank you for the reviewing. I am not watching because I hate yelling at the TV.
There has long been the myth that the North Vietnamese were a nationalist group who had no interests beyond their own nation, and that Russia and China only helped them a bit in fighting the proxy war. Both opinions are ludicrous, swallowing camels while straining our gnats.
Re Ho Chi Minh's being a nationalist: he was in Moscow when Lenin died in 1924, and attended Lenin's funeral. From Duiker's biography of Ho Chi Minh:
As an Italian acquaintance, Giovanni Germanetto, recounted the story:Nguyen Ai Quoc= Ho Chi Minh. Someone who would endure such cold weather for Lenin's funeral and also describe Lenin as "our father, teacher, comrade, and adviser. Now he is our guiding star that leads to social revolution" was much more a Commie true believer than a nationalist.
Moscow, January 1924. The Russian winter is at its height. The temperature sinks at times to 40 degrees below zero. A few days ago Lenin died. That morning, a quiet knocking on our door in Lux Hotel aroused me. The door opened and a frail young man entered.
He said he was Vietnamese and his name was Nguyen Ai Quoc. He also said he intended to go to Trade Union House and see off Lenin....
I told him he was too lightly dressed for the freezing cold outside. I said he should wait, we’d get him some warm clothing.
Ai Quoc sighed, and sat down to have tea with us, and finally went to his room. We thought he had taken our advice and had stayed indoors.
Somewhere around ten at night I heard a soft knocking on the door again. It was Comrade Ai Quoc. His face was blue, and the ears, nose, and fingers on the hands were blue, too, from the fierce cold.
Ai Quoc said he had just seen Comrade Lenin. He was trembling from the cold as he explained that he could not wait until tomorrow to pay homage to the best friend of the colonial peoples.... He finished by asking if we didn’t happen to have some hot tea.
According to Ho’s Soviet biographer, Yevgeny Kobelev, after returning from Lenin’s funeral Nguyen Ai Quoc locked himself in his room and wrote an essay expressing his grief at the death of the generous Bolshevik leader who had spared his time and effort to concern himself with the liberation of the colonial peoples. “In his life,” he concluded, “he was our father, teacher, comrade, and adviser. Now he is our guiding star that leads to social revolution. Lenin lives on in our deeds. He is immortal.”17
When someone informs me that had the US made nice with Ho in 1945, everything would have turned out all right, I refer to the above.
Idiot spamware blocked "Gringo."
There has long been the myth that the North Vietnamese were a nationalist group who had no interests beyond their own nation
The myth of Third World Commies being nationalists, not internationalists, was easily refuted in Latin America- even without resort to Fidel. Carlos Fonseca, one of the three founders of the Sandinistas, wrote Un Nicaraguense en Moscu [A Nicaraguan in Moscow], a pamphlet that came out in 1957. In it he endorsed the Soviet crushing of the Hungarian Revolution. Fascists were behind it, doncha' know.
It was thus no surprise when the Sandinista Comandantes traveled to Moscow less than three months after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, they signed a Joint Proclamation with the Soviet Union that included this gem:
"The Soviet Union and Nicaragua resolutely condemn the campaign that the imperialist and reactionary forces have launched of building up international tension in connection with the events of Afghanistan, a campaign aimed at subverting the inalienable right of the people of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and other peoples of the world to follow the path of progressive transformation."The Sandinistas proceeded in their attempts to "progressively transform" Nicaragua.
I once had a conversation in a Bogota coffee house with a Colombian Communist who defended the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. It was done "gently," he informed me. He, not I, brought up the issue of Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia- perhaps in his eagerness to show what good guys the Soviets were.
Want to know about war? Skip this malarkey and read a couple of Bill Mauldin books or Ernie Pyle compilations. Everything since then has been socio-political engineering with violence.
AMBUSHED: U.N. Heads Turn in Stunned Disbelief as PLO Lies Exposed by Palestinian Hero
“Alarm as study reveals world’s tropical forests are huge carbon emission source”
This Guardian (UK) article by Jonathan Watts is another* excellent item about the importance of trees (and, I would add, soil) for the health of our planet. (*There was an item on this theme in the Thursday morning links on September 7, 2017.)
We should be worrying more about trees and soil, and less about burning hydrocarbons. Other sources on the importance of trees and soil:
Man and Nature – book by George Perkins Marsh (1864)
Heretical Thoughts About Science and Society – essay by Freeman Dyson (2007)
Trees are the Answer – book by Patrick Moore (2010, 10th anniversary edition)
How to fight desertification and reverse climate change – TED talk by Allan Savory (2013)
Tropical Forests Are Huge Carbon Emission Sources: Reagan Was Right!
Scared By A Beach Ball: Poor widdle kids!!
Where is the Gang Of Z to refute or misstate these posts??
Civil Rights Group Launches Effort To Stop Colin Kaepernick From Being “Silenced.”
I assume that the "Civil Rights Group" wants to make sure that ALL that Colin Kaepernick says should be given as much publicity as possible. For example: Colin Kaepernick Says Hillary Clinton Should Be in Jail.
“I mean, you have Hillary who’s called black teens or black kids super-predators.That statement needs to be given as much publicity as possible, to insure that Colin not be "silenced."
You have Donald Trump who’s openly racist.
I mean, we have a presidential candidate (Hillary) who’s deleted emails and done things illegally and is a presidential candidate. That doesn’t make sense to me, because if that was any other person, you’d be in prison.
So what is this country really standing for?”
Once again, idiot spam software stopped "Gringo" comment.
If the left in their high tax, blue states cannot tolerate losing their state/local tax deduction on their federal returns, I propose the following:
Instead of getting rid of the deduction, which unfairly rewards those in high tax states, let's add a new CREDIT for all of us in low tax states who subsidize the wealthier blue states like CA, NJ, NY and CT. This would make the tax code fairer for all.
Do high faluting left-wing richies realize they are being subsidized by the middle class in states like MS, TN, KY? States that are much poorer by comparison? Is that what the blue states want to protect? Their tax benefits over the poor and middle class? What about states with ZERO state income taxes like TX and FL? Why should they subsidize fancy rich people on the left coast and NE?
Give me a TAX CREDIT for living in a low tax state, which would sell much better than removing a tax deduction. They could base it off the highest tax state. The rest of us get a credit that is the difference between their rate and ours.
But the lefties always love to rewrite history. They are angry at history as it is. They made a movie titled "The Trials of Alger Hiss" that claimed Hiss was framed. It was the evil right wing conspiracy ganging up on poor Hiss. Of course, after the release of the Venona transcripts we know for sure Hiss was working for the soviets.