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, April 8. 2019
Image via A Week in Pictures
A pal highly recommends the NEST security systems
Mosquitoes Don't Like Skrillex, But Listening To His Music Isn't Enough To Keep Them Away
Medieval Diseases Making a Comeback Due to Feces on Streets
Teachers Unions Want Legal Teacher-Student Sex
Michigan State Students Filed Bias Incident Reports Over Some Really Petty Things. "A student complains twice in three days that someone posted a cartoon making fun of liberals in a residence hall and it offended her."
GOOGLE SWINGS LEFT AGAIN
APPLAUSE AT GOOGLE’S ALL-HANDS MEETING AS COMPANY DROPS HERITAGE FOUNDATION PRESIDENT
If There Is "White Privilege," What Does It Consist Of?
Walter Williams: Police Aren't Enough
Elizabeth Warren: If a Democrat loses, the election is illegitimate
Elizabeth Warren’s increasingly dramatic proposals reflect a campaign struggling to stay relevant
Bernie Sanders Comes Out With Surprising Postion: Against Open Borders
The Reluctance Of Bernie Sanders To Release His Tax Returns Is Part Of A Bigger Issue
Mueller Express Fails to Deliver, Democrats Head for the Abyss
Congress to make criminal referrals re FBI conduct
Adelle Nazarian: How Qatar infiltrated The New York Times
Report from Rojava: What the West Owes its Best Ally Against ISIS
The Golan Heights and the Depths of Hypocrisy
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White privilege, or really privilege, isn't determined by race, gender, age, or any demographic. It is open to all and is based on attitude and character, as seen in the "De Toqueville Americans".
"My Tribe consists of people who know that sometimes bad things happen, and that these are an opportunity to show ourselves what we are made of. My people go into burning buildings. My Tribe consists of organizers and self-starters, proud and self-reliant people who do not need to be told what to do in a crisis. My Tribe is not fearless; they are something better. They are courageous. My Tribe is honorable, and decent, and kind, and inventive. My Tribe knows how to give orders, and how to follow them. My Tribe knows enough about how the world works to figure out ways to boil water, ration food, repair structures, build and maintain makeshift latrines, and care for the wounded and the dead with respect and compassion.
There are some things my Tribe is not good at at all. My Tribe doesn’t make excuses. My Tribe will analyze failure and assign blame, but that is to make sure that we do better next time, and we never, ever waste valuable energy and time doing so while people are still in danger. My Tribe says, and in their heart completely believes that it’s the other guy that’s the hero. My Tribe does not believe that a single Man can cause, prevent or steer Hurricanes, and my Tribe does not and has never made someone else responsible for their own safety, and that of their loved ones.
My Tribe doesn’t fire on people risking their lives, coming to help us. My Tribe doesn’t curse such people because they arrived on Day Four, when we felt they should have been here before breakfast on Day One. We are grateful, not to say indebted, that they have come at all. My Tribe can’t eat Nike’s and we don’t know how to feed seven by boiling a wide-screen TV. My Tribe doesn’t give a sweet God Damn about what color the looters are, or what color the rescuers are, because we can plainly see before our very eyes that both those Tribes have colors enough to cover everyone in glory or in shame. My Tribe doesn’t see black and white skins. My Tribe only sees black and white hats, and the hat we choose to wear is the most personal decision we can make.
That’s the other thing, too – the most important thing. My Tribe thinks that while you are born into a Tribe, you do not have to stay there. Good people can join bad Tribes, and bad people can choose good ones. My Tribe thinks you choose your Tribe. That, more than anything, is what makes my Tribe unique."
I'm not sure who wrote this, maybe Bill Whittle, anyone?
Doers and makers versus skimmers and takers. I used to live in tornado country. At the time, it was kinda amazing that there are still so many de Toqueville Americans; today we have the Cajun Navy.
Yes, that was Whittle. I remember reading that many years ago.
Recently I watched a series on Netflix called "Containment", very politically correct. It was about an effort by federal and Atlanta authorities to control a deadly infectious virus and about the associated fear. I kept expecting the population(4000) contained within the cordon to self regulate but I guess if they did there would have been no story.
White privilege is doing your homework in school. Working your way through college. Working your entire life and not taking welfare or unemployment. Saving for a home and a retirement instead of spending every cent you get on the same day you get it. Doing with less rather than living off of others. Being honest and law abiding rather than scamming and committing crimes. Being judged on your abilities instead of given something due to a quota.
It is literally impossible for Israel to survive without the Golan heights.
We have two Nest cameras covering the front and rear of our house and like them very much. Easy to install and simple to monitor when we are away. Greatly add to our peace of mind when traveling. You can reduce the inconvenience of false positives (e.g. car driving down the street past your house) with some tweaking of the zones.
That said, we definitely don't want interior cameras spying on us or machines controlling our lights and thermostats. We've disabled the microphone on one of the cameras so that conversations on our back deck aren't recorded. We don't, however, have kids or pets that we need to check on.
If you love the surveillance state you'll love Nest products. They are always watching and listening. It just amazes me that people not only are will to put listening and looking devices in their homes but will pay for them!
While I was in college, I worked on the university TV channel for academic credit. One day, in the news, there was a guest speaker. He was bashing Republicans, and Reagan, pretty explicitly. When we were preparing the set for his arrival, we were asked to hang some leaflets that implied Republicans wanted to nuke the world.
I drew the line. I turned to the professor leading the group and said "I can't take part in this. I'm all for free speech, but this is really going beyond the pale. Ask me to do other things, but I'm not hanging leaflets perpetuating a lie."
He replied "That's fine. You'll get a D for today's work, I'll have you work in the control room. But be aware that in life you're going to be asked to do things you don't like or agree with in your job, and you'll probably wind up having to do them. You're going to be asked to work with people who are disagreeable, as well, and do it anyway."
He was, and is, correct. I've had to do many things I don't like, and work with people I don't like. And work with people I politically (and morally) disagree with. But none of them impinged on what I believe (except once - when I was asked to more or less lie to a CFO and I refused to and it cost me my job).
My point being that there's nothing wrong with standing up for what you believe in. But I learned, when I refused to hang what I felt were offensive leaflets, that sometimes it's OK to just do your job even if you find it distasteful.
In the end, the Republicans (as I suspected) didn't nuke the world. The person bad mouthing Republicans and Reagan turned out to be more or less wrong about everything - but never took back his words or beliefs (well, I don't know if he did, but I doubt he did). I learned a really valuable lesson, too. It's OK to be offended. In fact, being offended is more common than I realized...probably happens multiple times a day. But most of the time I ignore it.
That's a lesson my parents tried to teach me before I went to college. I learned it pretty well at college. I've learned to manage being offended pretty well since then. Most of the time I ignore it.
I'm glad I went to college at a time when you could have a free mind.
Thanks for the reminder that every Republican Presidential candidate since Dewey has been accused of increasing the chances of a nuclear war, including Trump.
And while Ike might have actually threatened to nuke North Korea to get the Chinese to agree to end the fighting, none of the others came that close (and full disclosure: Ike refused to give any of our nukes to France when the Frogs wanted to nuke Vietnam after Dien Bien Phu in 1954).
On the other hand, Democrat patron saint John F. Kennedy took the world right up to the brink of nuclear war in 1962 and yet was praised for pulling us back from that desolation.
I wish Reagan got the credit for making the world SO MUCH safer be lessening the threat of nuclear annihilation. I just read Reagan at Reykjavik and heartily recommend it: https://www.amazon.com/Reagan-Reykjavik-Forty-Eight-Hours-Ended/dp/0062310194
One of my pet peeves is how JFK screwed up the entire Cuba crisis and then the press gave him credit for standing up against khrushchev. I even remember picture of JFK and Bobby in the Oval Office as though they just saved the world.
Whether any of us liked it or not Kennedy was handed the solution to the Cuba crisis and he dropped the ball. In doing so he caused the death of a few thousand Cubans almost immediately and death and suffering for the rest of them for another 50 years and still ongoing. He should have given aid to the Cubans who wanted to fight for their country. What a waste...
re Report from Rojava: What the West Owes its Best Ally Against ISIS
First we have to know what the Kurds gained by joining the coalition.
I suspect they gained enough that we don't "owe" them anything.
The Kurds were going to have to fight ISIS anyway. How many more dead Kurds would there have been without our help?
I would say that we owe the Kurds a chance. We should agree to give them small arms. We should use our influence to try to prevent Turkey from committing genocide against them. We should provide them limited humanitarian aid; food and medicines. And we should keep a liaison there so that we can know first hand what is going on.
I recently read a book about the French Revolution. I understand wanting to overthrow a corrupt monarchy and replace it with a republic. I would likely have been like Thomas Paine and cheered it in that first phase. But then the Revolution spawned the Committee of Public Safety and the Terror followed. Anyone who was accused of being disloyal to the Revolution was thrown in prison (like Paine was) or killed without a fair trail.
This smacks of CPS group-think to me. If James isn't one of us (in lock step with the left on transgender issues) then she is an enemy and must be vilified. It would be understandable if James had called for transgenders to be killed or something in that vein.
Hopefully, this crowd will never get the chance to do to us what the CPS did to the French.
I've just watched Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others). It shows the purity of socialism, implemented to perfection. The film involves an East German writer - apparently loyal to the State - and the Stasi functionaries who are assigned, at the orders of a government minister, to surveil him. The story tells the horror of a socialist police state in which one never knows which among his neighbors, his friends, his lovers may be the agent of the state that betrays him. ….The perfection of the ubiquitous snitching and eavesdropping are the highest achievement of the socialist state. The sheer numbers of people dedicated to ratting on their fellow citizens is astonishing, but also allows one to understand the lack of economic productivity in a society in which human resourcefulness is so wasted...….. This is socialism, in its highest form. In the end, two people finally turn against what they have been taught is their highest duty. The main character never gains understanding of the totality of the socialist state until he is free, after the fall of the Berlin wall, when he comes to realize his own naivete. He thought that his loyalty - or the appearance of it - had spared him from scrutiny, but he finally understands. He speaks to the former minister and says "To think people like you once ruled a country." Those people are socialists, the purest embodiment of socialism: thugs, brutes, informers, characterless and soulless bureaucrats. It is socialism, beautifully and horrifyingly portrayed. It is a horror show. It is one of the greatest films I have ever watched.
I saw it years ago and have recommended it here before. I completely agree that it should be required viewing for anyone who wants socialism.
The reluctance of Bernie Sanders to release his tax returns is part of a bigger issue: And ends with the4 writer saying Trump doesn't have his act together. Oh, what a fool this mortal be!
Mueller Express: "The Democrats haven’t got the message, but those who aren’t punch-drunk out of their senses will decode the political message the night of the election in November 2020. Then, when they have dug out from under the rubble of their fantasies, they can start to rebuild." Yes, they "can", but I'm betting they "won't"
> A pal highly recommends the NEST security systems
It's not a security system, it's a surveillance system.
Medicare for all.
Regarding the 737 crash:
Notice that it was an easy "fix". And note the statement: "The so-called dead-head pilot on the earlier flight from Bali to Jakarta told the crew to cut power to the motor driving the nose down, according to the people familiar, part of a checklist that all pilots are required to memorize."
Google spying on everything you say in your home? No.
I bought them, loved them, Google bought them, and I pulled the plug.
Haven’t found anything as nice and easy but I am willing to sacrifice to keep Google out of my home.
If you are even remotely conservative you trust Facebook, Twitter, Google with your most intimate conversations at home?
Just say no.