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, January 15. 2020
Roger Scruton: A Defender of Life on a Human Scale
Spain's abandoned tiny villages for sale
Some Rich Parents Are Giving Their Kids HGH to Make Them Taller
The College Wealth Premium Has Collapsed
Did you know that Star Wars is racist?
Virginia Passes Four Gun Bills in One Day
Can't believe this Pelosi tweet
How Trump Derangement Syndrome Makes You Stupid
Joe Biden's streak of being wrong on foreign policy continues, uninterrupted
The Score: US 10, Iran 0
That's the wrong way to view it. This could be good for Iran too.
We Can’t Trust the Media to Report Honestly on Iran
Iran State TV Sees At Least 2 News Anchors Quit: ‘Forgive Me For The 13 Years I Told You lies’
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
I agree on looking at the Iran situation less as completely adversarial and more like an opportunity to work with Iranians we like better than the current leaders. I wish the protestors well, and I hope there are lots more who sympathise with them than with the Ayatollah.
At minimum, with his powerful hardliners out of the picture, the aged Ayatollah might prefer to live in peace, both at home and abroad, and moderate the country's stance. Scott Adams has suggested the possibility, and his guesses are often pretty shrewd.
It might be wishful thinking but I have a sense that the Iranian regime is on its way out. Totalitarian regimes don't apologize for anything, they don't allow anyone from the state-run news agency to quit and then apologize for lying in his broadcasts, and they don't moderate themselves without collapsing. At least the Soviet Union was an example of the last point and I'm not aware of any counter examples.
I think your counterexample is post-Mao China. There a oligarchical government was able to start making reforms and then stop while remaining in power.
One thought is that China's liberalization has been more economical than political allowing that there is a lot of overlap between the two.
"It might be wishful thinking but I have a sense that the Iranian regime is on its way out."
I'd like to think that too.
Iranians are generally pretty smart folks and could do so much better for themselves.
Westerners can't want anything more for the natives than the natives themselves.
It was obvious to us Israelis that peace would be "better" for the Palestinians. But the terror regime still has very high support among the populace. At least in the case of the Palis, the numbers are real and consistent.
The music of Star Wars is a ripoff of Wagner's ring cycle, except The Imperial March, which is Mussorgsky.
And the Saga was influenced by a Japanese film, Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress, which was itself influenced by the Arthurian Legend of the Green Knight. So it's kind of unclear as to which culture was appropriating the other, as though it's ever been possible to draw clear lines around these things.
The arrogance of the Virginia lawmakers is stunning. If it were simply some of the voters/citizens didn't like the policies that would be normal. But 90 counties and cities have taken the extraordinary step of declaring themselves to be constitutional zones in opposition to the anti-constitution politicians. The fact that the politicians are pushing ahead anyway tells you that they are not listening to the citizens but rather to outside influences. I truly believe that the politicians intend to and hope to push the voters into committing violence. I think the article is right and these politicians are dangerous anti-American puppets of special interests and foreign influence. This will not end well.
The governor and legislature seem to be spoiling for a fight.
AP: Northam To Ban Guns From Capitol Grounds
The Associated Press is reporting that Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is set to declare a temporary emergency and ban all firearms from the grounds of the state capitol, just days before tens of thousands of gun owners and Second Amendment supporters are set to rally and lobby lawmakers.
They are hoping for a conflagration or at least, a flare-up as an opportunity to crack down. What opponents ought to be doing is spending all of their air time pointing out where the financing for the recent political season originated from, and then that this kind of publicity by the Governor is the equivalent of taunting; and that the legislation that is being crammed through is not aligned with the wishes of the populace and has not been sufficiently aired. Both of these would de-legitimize the efforts. I wonder what facility Virginia has for recalls. It would be interesting to know.
Did you know that Star Wars is racist? Isn't EVERYTHING racist these days?
We Can’t Trust the Media to Report Honestly on Iran: Just stop after "Honestly". Anything following that word is a lie or propaganda (but I repeat myself).
"Isn't EVERYTHING racist these days?"
Why, yes it is.
But it's racist to admit it of course.
I don't really follow sports. I've played most sports and when I was a kid I followed baseball, but that was a long time ago. So I saw this news link about the Red Sox stealing signs and went to see what it was about. As often happens the news was weak. By that I mean if you don't follow the issue you don't understand what they are talking about and the reporter seems to be uninterested in telling you what they are talking about. All I got from it is a couple of Red Sox managers stole some signs from opposing teams and when asked about it they said it was all a joke. So I'm thinking they stole "signs" like a college fraternity steal panties or the opposing team steals the mascot. But then again this morning it was in the news on TV and still no explanation and it began to dawn on me that they meant "signs" as in the catcher telling the pitcher what to throw. Still don't know for sure because everyone who talks about it is an insider and none of them think that anyone out here in fly over country aren't hanging on their every word.
SO I guess what happened is by watching the signs they figured out what the opposing team was doing and used (wait for it) a sign to tell their team what to do and that is a crime or cheating or something. Wait a minute! Is that cheating? I am playing ball against you and after watching your style and tells I figure out what you are doing and use that to try to win and that is "cheating"??? Tell me what would it be if I could tell from your actions what the play was going to be and didn't use that information??? Let's say I see you hit a long fly to the outfield but for the sake of good sportsmanship I play the infield does that make any sense??? Shouldn't it be the responsibility of the team using "signs" to change them up so the other side can't figure out your plan??? Just saying...
Stealing signs is one of the great arguments in baseball gamesmanship. Some say it "cheapens" the game, while others maintain it's been in the fabric since the end of the age when batters could call their pitch.
There's no rule against stealing signs per se. Teams that put a runner on second base often have him looking in at the catcher.
What is illegal is to use any mechanical or electronic means to create an advantage that is not available to the opposing team. So in theory you could watch the live television broadcast of the game and try to pick up signs that way. What happened here is that they used a telescopic camera from centerfield stands to pick up the signs, and an audio cuing system to alert the batter. Since this video feed was not made available to visiting teams, indeed being kept secret from other teams and the league, it was deemed a gross and intentional violation of the rules.
The punishments meted out are outrageous.
1) Teams have been stealing each other's signs since the game began.
2) How do you punish people like this when no rules have been violated? If you are going to fire and suspend people for this behavior, have the decency to enact and make public the rule first.
3) The players were involved and everyone on the team knew what was going on. If the manager gets canned, the players should be released as well. After all, we are forever hearing that 'just following orders' is no defense.
The double standards and convoluted thinking is bullshit. Sadly, that's the way baseball ownership seems to think.
Spain's abandoned tiny villages for sale.
These abandoned villages are in Galicia, in the northwest corner of Spain. Galicians- Gallegos in Spanish- have been emigrating for over a century. Argentina, Cuba, and Venezuela received many Galician immigrants. There were so many Galician immigrants to Argentina that anyone in Argentina with postcolonial Spanish ancestry is called a Gallego- Galician. Fidel Castro's father was from Galicia, as was Francisco Franco.That may help explain why, even though Fidel and Franco were on opposing political sides, they got along rather well.
Galicia is Celtic.As evidence, consider this bagpipe music. Susana Seivane. Celtic Galicia shares with Celtic Scotland and Ireland massive emigration of many of its inhabitants to the Americas.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is the next Islamic Republic to lose its's Islamic bit