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
Monday, December 11. 2017
Do humans harm the environment?
Humans certainly improve the human environment. Having a house, food, a car, a Christmas tree, and a road make life pretty good
Eating Out is Probably Devouring Much More of Your Budget Than You Realize - A new study reveals a big gap in what people think they spend on eating out and what they actually spend.
It partly depends on how you value your time and how you choose to spend it
Hampshire College cancels gun-rights speech because sponsor didn’t say it might provoke ‘intense debate’
God forbid they have debate at a college
Powerline: HOW TO HAVE THE BEST FIRST DATE EVER!
WILL MISCONDUCT SCANDALS MAKE MEN WARY OF WOMEN AT WORK?
Many people are semi-boycotting the NFL, but this was cool: Snow is dumping so hard on the Colts-Bills game you can't even see the field
Those Obama Era Methane Regulations? Nevermind
MUSLIMS IN NEW YORK CITY Protest for Slaughter of Jews After Trump Moves US Embassy to Jerusalem
"Look, feminists aren’t happy with human nature, the one that actually exists and is the product of long-term evolutionary pressures. Too bad for them. "
Extreme Corruption Of The Political Process: Wisconsin
That went far beyond hardball politics
Douthat: The Baker and the Empire
Democrats are corrupting English to create mass hysteria
The blundering news media gets worse
It's not blundering. It's Get Trump!
“CAN’T MAKE IT UP”: Sarah Huckabee Sanders Serves Obama The Stone Cold Truth About The TRUMP ECONOMY
McCarthy: On Strzok, Let's wait for the evidence
Steyn quotes, re pants-dropping pols:
Flabbergasted: Frank Luntz Shocked As Alabamians Back Roy Moore in Vice News Focus Group
My Alabama friends say they'll vote for Moore regardless, given the alternative. He was not their choice in the primaries, but the primaries were screwed up. They also hated Trump personally, but voted for him anyway. Lots of voting is voting against, not voting for.
Byron York: Firing Mueller would be disastrous; discrediting him is impeachment politics
Congressman: DREAM Act Allowing ‘Chain Migration’ Would be ‘Nightmare Scenario’
Intel Chairman Devin Nunes Outlines Abuse in FISA Warrants and Government Surveillance…
After Trump scraps Obama’s military ‘rules’, troops decimate ISIS at a pace that even surprises commanders
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I daresay feminists aren't happy with human nature. Neither is anyone else. Where do we imagine nearly all religions come from, not to mention psychiatry, art, philosophy, politics, police forces, armies, or schools?
Religion seeks first to change men's souls. Those others seek to use the tools of the tyrant to use the state to impose their will.
Christianity, as a late writer has pointed out in words well chosen, is the only system of socialism which commends it self as having a rational basis, and its founder the most practical teacher of it that the world has ever seen. " The aim of all socialism is the securing of equality in the social condition of mankind, and if equality is to be secured at all it will be secured only by changing the hearts of men, and never by setting to work, in the first instance, upon the conditions." But the present impulse of socialism is not Christian, but rather one willing to put an end to Christianity. And it is a system of machinery, like the kingdom of a tyrant, not of souls, like that of Christ. Now the Christian system did not rest on force at all. It was communistic, but not socialistic, as the word is properly used; for its very essence was the freedom of the individual will.
Socialism and Legislation, Westminster Review, January, 1886.
--The Ethics of Democracy by F.J. Stimson. Scribner's Magazine (1887)
WILL MISCONDUCT SCANDALS MAKE MEN WARY OF WOMEN AT WORK?
Have generations of harassment made women wary of men at work?
Bird Dog: Yes. Duh.
You are absolutely right zach. It pains me to say that but you are right. Or more accurately half right. You do indeed hilight the effect this has on half the population while making light of the effect it has on the other half. Most of us who have worked for medium to large companies or worked for governments know first hand of examples where women have lied and exaggerated about these things for financial or workplace gain. There needs to be a balanced approach to this problem. No one should be harassed at work and no one should be unjustly accused of harassment at work either. The penalty should be the same for both crimes AND the system should not reward either crime. Usually when a false claim is made no effort is made to punish the accuser or to compensate the falsely accused.
OneGuy: Most of us who have worked for medium to large companies or worked for governments know first hand of examples where women have lied and exaggerated about these things for financial or workplace gain.
There is no doubt that happens. One can understand why French peasants during the Revolution didn't take seriously the complaints by aristocrats of harsh treatment, after having been oppressed for so long. But then the heads started rolling, and didn't stop until France had exhausted itself in war.
OneGuy: There needs to be a balanced approach to this problem. No one should be harassed at work and no one should be unjustly accused of harassment at work either.
We agree. That's the conservative position. Unfortunately, society had neglected to make determined efforts to end harassment, so the situation has reached the boiling point. However, American institutions remain as a bulwark, and will bend towards justice.
A pity that harassment was ignored during the previous administration that it has indeed brought us to. uh, this "boiling point" since the elections.
Thanks for the enlightenment, kiddiez.
Since you are not a woman, I'd ask that you refrain from deciding YOU know what goes on in the workplace w/regard to women and harassment. I'll tell you what my experience has been:
Very little. In fact, I can think of only two inappropriate things in my over 20 years of working where I saw it as 'harassment.'
Most of the time there are relationship rumors at work...where BOTH are into it - married men and women at work in sexual relationships. I remember THAT being a thing. This was not men creeping on women, it was women 100% into it and happy with cheating or sexual liaisons going on with a co-worker.
I never had any female co-worker tell me a nightmare story either. Mostly it was seeing what was going on between consenting adults in the office and reflecting on that.
The worst incident was a superior in the military telling rude sex jokes, hanging out around one married, attractive co-workers desk all day long, and even calling her at HOME. That was the worst of it. He never tried anything physical. It was all verbal harassment. We went as a group to our chief, who dismissed what we were telling him...and asked if we really wanted to 'ruin his career.' That was the ONLY time I felt unheard. There was nothing physical going on. This was in my 20s.
So please stop telling me you know anything about harassment in the work place or how rampant it is. I think it is exaggerated. I think it is true that some women USE a sex harassment charge to punish someone. I think it is very easy nowadays to go to your HR department and complaint about this. It's not 1985. HR listens to this stuff as they are looking out for the best interest of the company & the employee. They don't want a lawsuit.
To me, this is just the newest 'thing' to complain about.
MissT: I'll tell you what my experience has been
Your personal experiences are always valuable.
MissT: So please stop telling me you know anything about harassment in the work place or how rampant it is.
Almost half of American women say they've been subject to being touched in an inappropriate, sexual manner without consent. More than a third of American women say it happened at work. (See Quinnipiac University poll, December 6, 2017.)
Very misleading poll.
Check their definition of sexual "assault".
Couldn't find their definition of sexual "harassment" but they seemed to combine the two terms in their conclusions.
Survey is BS. Period. I'm telling you. Over 20 years. 2 instances. 1 was personal and I easily reined it in with a few words.
Men are not lechers waiting to creep on women. A handful do. The rest are just MEN who sometimes don't read signals well...but I'm not going to say they purposefully harassed me. Men are not good communicators. Men do not read faces or small gestures well. Men are interested in women...which is totally normal.
So, no, I don't believe your BS survey.
MissT: Men are not lechers waiting to creep on women. A handful do.
The problem isn't that the majority of people harass, but that predatory people have had no checks on their behavior. This the same problem when predatory police or priests are never brought to account. A single individual can result in inordinate abuse.
MissT: So, no, I don't believe your BS survey.
Unless you can point to methodological problems with the survey, then it stands as evidence.
Nah, it stands as another misleading poll.
Zach, baby - sorry but you are wrong: unless you give me the specifics of how "sexual harassment" was defined, it's just another misleading poll to me. And I AM WOMAN.
Back in the day, did have various advances by co-workers (one of whose I entertained and ended up marrying, but that's another story, and we're rising 50 years married); that was how it was. Nothing beyond flirting; even overt come-ons (and husband reminded me of one recently) took rejections politely.
Not so these days; remember spouse coming home many years ago concerned about a female co-worker. Listened, took note, figured that this particular babe was looking for a way out via a "harassment" settlement. Advised spouse to avoid all contact with said co-worker unless with another colleague and - for heaven's sake - NEVER to joke with her. She disappeared, much to my relief, as I didn't want our family sacrificed to her notions of "harassment".
BTW, my spouse was much sought after by summer students of both sexes to be their supervisor as he was known to really push them through the summer experience. Do remember at one summer-end social, listening to a young woman lamenting she had not had spouse as supervisor. He could be, and was, brutal, but he always cared deeply for the students and pushed them to get where they should be.
Frances: unless you give me the specifics of how "sexual harassment" was defined
We already did, when we cited the poll: "being touched in an inappropriate, sexual manner without consent".
The U.S. Media Yesterday Suffered its Most Humiliating Debacle in Ages
Most humiliating media debacle? Sorry. Not even close.
I would suspect that false accusations of rape are rare ( though misidentification is known to occur).
However, harassment or discrimination have the complicating issue of potential large financial gain, even if the accusations cannot be proven. Settlement is cheaper than bad publicity.
Women don't have much to gain by false rape accusations, but there is a big payout for these other cases.
There are a few women at work I can be friends with - middle aged senior attorney types that I have to work closely with on the regular, whom I've known for a very long time. But I don't act as a mentor at all and anybody junior than me only gets to meet with me in my office with the door open, or in one of the two glass walled conference rooms adjacent to my office, and I'd prefer to have one or two other witnesses present. I used to be a lot more open and tried always to help the junior folks along, but the rules of how we interact have changed. While those sorts of relationships aren't prohibited, they are dangerous for an established professional. And no, we can't be friends so don't try to professionally / personally socialize with me outside of work. The game doesn't work that way any more.
Chilling effect? Sure. As usual - Dalrymple points this out - the elite do all manner of terrible underclass things to each other, and the rest of us pay the price.
"Let's wait for the evidence"
Sounds good but it appears to me that when it serves their purpose the Justice department, the FBI and special prosecutors hide behind this secrecy to delay and defer justice and also to carry on nefarious acts in secrecy. While it seems obvious that certain things discovered in an investigation should be held secret until the investigation is finished it is also obvious that 90% of what is discovered could easily be made public with no harm to the investigation. We all remember Clinton's AG, Janet Reno stonewalling us day after day month after month and we never found out what was going on. I don't trust Mueller and the FBI any more. I think they are in CYA mode and they are simply waiting until Democrats can take back congress and bury past crimes. Meanwhile the Republicans in congress continue to be ineffective. I don't know why. They say they will get to the bottom of these things but little to nothing ever comes from Republicans in congress.
"I believe Juanita" doesn't just mean that you're generally in favor of believing women when they report sex crimes.
Juanita Broaddrick (sworn affidavit): During the 1992 Presidential campaign there were unfounded rumors and stories circulated that Mr. Clinton had made unwelcome sexual advances toward me in the late seventies. Newspaper and tabloid reporters hounded me and my family, seeking corroboration of these tales. I repeatedly denied the allegations and requested that my family's privacy be respected. These allegations are untrue and I had hoped that they would no longer haunt me, or cause further disruption to my family.
That does not mean that Broaddrick isn't telling the truth today, however, it certainly undermines her credibility.
Is that kind of like waiting forty years, near the end of a political campaign, to say anything?
mudbug: Is that kind of like waiting forty years, near the end of a political campaign, to say anything?
Signing a sworn affidavit is not the same as saying nothing.
I never said it was. I only mean there are lots of ways that credibility can be impugned in people's eyes. Waiting for the most damaging time to "tell one's story" after waiting for an extended period of time is one.
As for Broaddrick' sworn testimony, it makes sense to me that she would want not to relive a rape AND experience the meat grinder that was as the Clinton response to "bimbos" who came out to tell their story too.
But the point of the article is that some on the left who have "woke" to the evils of sexual misconduct, harassment, and abuse and now "believe Juanita" some how probably think she is just another woman accusing a man of sexual impropriety. Do you think any in the throngs of "feminists" in pussy hats on the mall in DC who thought Trump was disqualified from being president because of what he said on the Access Hollywood tape would denounce a candidate or president Clinton today? I submit that there would be no talk about how today is different from twenty five years ago with regards to the sensitivity of sexual abuse.
mudbug: As for Broaddrick' sworn testimony, it makes sense to me that she would want not to relive a rape AND experience the meat grinder that was as the Clinton response to "bimbos" who came out to tell their story too.
Sure, but the affidavit makes any strong conclusion questionable.
One is welcome to treat the evidence any way they want.
mudbug: One is welcome to treat the evidence any way they want.
Sure. You're free to believe the world is flat, too. That doesn't make an argument for your position.
What you neglect to say, however, is the fact that after the 1997 affidavit which she signed when her name came up during the Paula Jones investigation, ( admitting that she was trying to shun all the publicity she was getting), she was interviewed by Kenneth Star. At the urging of her son not to lie to a federal prosecutor, she recounted the rape story. She has also stated several times the story of Hillary's veiled threat to her while thanking her for all she had done for her husband, all the time while holding her hand and smiling the first time then repeating it while squeezing her hand the smile fading and becoming more menacing.
Cherry picking the facts and not telling the entire story is tantamount to "Fake News".
Pocono pam: What you neglect to say, however, is the fact that after the 1997 affidavit which she signed when her name came up during the Paula Jones investigation, ( admitting that she was trying to shun all the publicity she was getting), she was interviewed by Kenneth Star. At the urging of her son not to lie to a federal prosecutor, she recounted the rape story.
We didn't neglect anything. Her public story today is contradicted by her sworn affidavit. Furthermore, she denies she was pressured to lie. That doesn't mean her story isn't true, just that any strong conclusion is questionable.
Re: Muslims in New York City
I'm so glad our Muslims are not like those violent Muslims we hear so much about in other parts of the world.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders Serves Obama The Stone Cold Truth About The TRUMP ECONOMY ... Donald Trump’s relentless focus on tax cuts, deregulation and draining the swamp is great for job growth
You can really see the sudden improvement in job growth just when the new administration took office (in 2009).
This will give President Trump an annual GDP rate of 2.9 in 2017 or possibly higher.
You can really see the improvement in Real GDP just when the new administration took office (in 2009).
According to the article, Obama's first year saw 2.8% growth in GDP, which included the tail-end of the economic collapse. Trump may see 2.9% growth, having inherited a growing economy.
... And still there was never an Obama year where GDP was at least 3%.
I remember the Recovery Summer. It was great!
mudbug: And still there was never an Obama year where GDP was at least 3%.
The long-term is what matters, of course, not uneven spurts of growth. Somewhat faster growth at the end of the Great Recession would have been helpful, and would have reduced to damage to the economy, but the U.S. stimulus was too small for the size of the drop in demand. Political dysfunction was also an issue.
In any case, consistent growth since then has removed the remaining slack in the U.S. economy, which is running near capacity. This is the time to bring the U.S. federal budget closer to balance.
"This is the time to bring the U.S. federal budget closer to balance."
Good luck with that.
"We can't be overdrawn - we can still write checks!"
JLawson: Good luck with that.
Heh. Don't hold your breath. The U.S. Congress is set to cut taxes while already running large deficits.
However, it can be done. The last time the U.S. ran [url=http://origin.factcheck.org/Images/image/FederalDeficit(1).jpg]a cash surplus[/url] was at the end of the Clinton Administration.
Not exactly a cash surplus... we still had a massive debt at that point, so any 'surplus' would have gone towards paying that down. And one could also argue that the Dot Com bubble and the revenues therefrom contributed significantly to the 'surplus'.
Of course, once that bubble popped so did the surplus. Which was probably a good thing, since Congress would have immediately figured out some way to spend it. (And they probably did bake it into the next budget. After all, that money coming in was never going to decrease - right?)
JLawson: we still had a massive debt at that point, so any 'surplus' would have gone towards paying that down.
Sure. That's rather the point. A reduction in debt would have attenuated the ensuing bubble economy, and left the U.S. better positioned to respond to any financial crisis.
JLawson: Of course, once that bubble popped so did the surplus. Which was probably a good thing, since Congress would have immediately figured out some way to spend it.
The money went for tax cuts in the Bush Administration, and that was the last time the U.S. saw a fiscal cash surplus.
Y'all keep forgetting 9-11-2001, kiddiez.
No more business as usual after that...
The long term is what matters. Eight years of subpar growth was damaging. The slack in the economy was caused by the policies of the last eight years. Now that many of the economic policies of Obama have been reversed, the economy can grow at a decent pace.
mudbug: Eight years of subpar growth was damaging.
U.S. growth was higher than most of its competitors, and it's not clear that mature economies can sustain much greater real growth. But employment took too long to recover, causing substantial damage in the labor markets.
mudbug: The slack in the economy was caused by the policies of the last eight years.
As already pointed out, the stimulus was too small compared to the depths of the recession, and dysfunction in the government nearly caused a default on U.S. debt, among other problems.
Z: [/b\U.S. growth was higher than most of its competitors, and it's not clear that mature economies can sustain much greater real growth. But employment took too long to recover, causing substantial damage in the labor markets.
I agree, sub-par growth is probably the best we can hope for given Obama's regulations and policies.
[b]Z: ...the stimulus was too small compared to the depths of the recession...
Yeah, maybe they needed a WWII size stimulus on actual productive activities rather than handing money to political friends and pets.
mudbug: maybe they needed a WWII size stimulus on actual productive activities rather than handing money to political friends and pets.
Even in WWII, half the money was wasted. In any case, the Great Recession resulted in a $10 trillion financial dislocation, so a $1 trillion stimulus was insufficient to make up the difference in aggregate demand.
Yep. That Cash for Clunkers thing really spurred the economy just like that stimulus money for all those "shovel ready" jobs that really has never been accounted for.
"Flabbergasted: Frank Luntz Shocked As Alabamians Back Roy Moore in Vice News Focus Group"
All this voting on principle is a good way to end up getting a bad deal. Milton Friedman laid out the reality.
“I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or it they try, they will shortly be out of office.”
― Milton Friedman
"After Trump scraps Obama’s military ‘rules’, troops decimate ISIS at a pace that even surprises commanders"
That's what happened in Iraq. The troops defeated Saddam so fast the neo-cons who pushed us into the war got scared and bailed. They didn't have a plan for us winning so the Islamists were given time to coalesce.
The academics, like Max Boot, failed in Iraq because they never considered that the troops would win, or at least win so quickly. So they had no plan for the aftermath. Eventually, the troops had to pick up the failure of the foreign policy "experts" and make a peace, only to have the "experts" sabotage them at every turn in hopes of saving face.
I think it is an interesting contrast between the Gulf Wars and WW I. In WW I, the nation of Germany was defeated due to lack of resource availability without their military being defeated decisively in the field. In the Gulf Wars, I think the opposite took place: Iraq's military was defeated without creating the sense that the country itself had been decisively defeated. Baghdad was never leveled the way Berlin and Tokyo were in WW II, for instance. In Germany, this led to the rise of Nazism, under the guise that the military was betrayed by the people, and the rise of ISIS, under the guise that the people were betrayed by the military.
Trump isn't asking for Mueller to step down. Never has. Has said repeatedly he just wants the Russia sham investigation to be over with as quickly as possible, so the country can move on. Only in the press's heads do they believe Trump wants Mueller gone. The PRESS has been pointing out Mueller's flaws, his team's flaws and Congress has been questioning that as well. NOWHERE have I heard of Trump asking Mueller to stop what he is doing.
"Wreaths across America" - interesting that no comment so far. In Canada, there has been - though don't know how extensive it is - a campaign to have school children place poppies on the graves of veterans prior to November 11 (Remembrance Day). Many graveyards here have special veterans' sections, so a fair few veterans - those who survived to come home - would be remembered there.
However, this does not address the remembrance of those vets who were not buried in segregated areas, or of those Canadians who died overseas. I know the Calgary has addressed the latter part of this by having a field of crosses just off Memorial Drive each November; each cross commemorates a Calgarian who died overseas.
The VFW in the US places flags on the graves of veterans each Memorial Day in all sorts of cemeteries. My wartime disabled husband is buried in a Quaker meetinghouse cemetery, and the veteran graves there are included. Often community members and scout troops pitch in with this effort. As for Wreaths Across America, it is not without controversy as a "for profit" company selling its wares back to its non profit arm or some such thing. It does not bother me. I also have a loved one in section 46 at Arlington (aviator, DFC, 17 OLC, KIA in Vietnam) and I am happy to donate to Wreaths Across America. Donations per wreath are $15 and the website has a link.