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, September 27. 2021
Did a meteor destroy Sodom?
Amid Worker Shortage, Women Take to Trucking
More than ever, COVID-19 is a pandemic of the unvaccinated, the elderly, and those with pre-existing conditions. Yet there’s a disturbing tendency by the administration and the media to generalize and magnify the crisis rather than contextualize it based on well-known data.
1776 or 1619: Why it Really, Really, Matters
Even CNN Calls Out "Patently False" Border Patrol "Whipping"
Ending Homelessness? No—just more of the same federal policy.
The "Safety Net": The Goal Should Be To Minimize The Number Of People Depending On It
Yes, the border crisis is by design
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The safety net: A good example of the governments inability to solve this problem and preference to simply throw huge amounts of money at it is "affordable housing". Average cost to build an apartment for a family on welfare is about $250,000. Average cost of a trailer in a trailer park is about $20,000. My mother in law lived quite happily in a trailer for 30 years and it was valued at $15K. THAT is "affordable housing". The quarter of a million dollar apartments are "subsidized housing" and NOT affordable. It's a word game that the federal government indulges in to confuse the issue and hide the facts.
It's not just an example of government's inability to solve problems, it's an example of perverse incentives. Consider, the government hires a lot of well-paid bureaucrats to address a given problem yet if they solve the problem they've just put themselves out of a job. Since they would prefer to get a bigger budget and a bigger bureaucracy, it's in their own interest to make the problem worse rather than better.
I remember some years back the Dept. of Agriculture had announced a new initiative to get people signed up for Food Stamps and later issued a press release crowing about the success of the initiative in that they had gotten lots more people signed up for Food Stamps. Shouldn't the goal be to have nobody receiving Food Stamps? And yet, according to the Dept. of Agriculture, a complete success would be if everybody were receiving Food Stamps!
"Affordable housing" is simply government handouts of your money to the politically connected for building overly expensive structures.
"More than ever, COVID-19 is a pandemic of the unvaccinated, the elderly, and those with pre-existing conditions. Yet there’s a disturbing tendency by the administration and the media to generalize and magnify the crisis rather than contextualize it based on well-known data." That's what Dems do... and the Dems and the media are in cahoots.
Even CNN Calls Out "Patently False" Border Patrol "Whipping" (Dems beat up on CNN! Who woulda thunk it?)
Yes, the border crisis is by design: And the design is SOOOOOOOOOOOOO UGGGGGLY!!
It's good to see Risk Assessment establishing its place in the COVID conversation. Let's hope the public's interest in using these principles continues to build and that leaders are compelled to make them part of sensible public policy-making.
Individuals that are 20 years or less in age make up just over 25% of our total US population - about 86 million people. Deaths from COVID so far for this age grouping? Less than 800, since the start in January, 2020. The oldest 25%, ages 56 and higher? Over 570,000 deaths; 87% of all COVID deaths. (Taken from the CDC's and US Census numbers). It would be very helpful to understand the role of the associated comorbidities in both these numbers.
The risk from covid is very real. You can look at the snapshot today or 12 months ago or any point in time and use that to support your biases. But this is a weaponized virus and it isn't going away. Every year it will kill millions worldwide and likely in some of those years the variants will be so deadly that it will kill tens of millions. Also, for what it's worth, it is likely that eventually one of those variants will kill children and babies.
The masks, distancing, shutdowns, etc, don't work. We know they don't work, the evidence is there for all to see, but the fear is so great that we want our "leaders" to double down on the masking and shutdowns and punish/beat anyone who doesn't fear the virus as much as we do. Australia and New Zealand have gone full fascism with police beatings becoming the norm. Canada is jealous and may be next to go full beat down. The U.S. won't be far behind.
Most vaccines are not 100% effective and this depends on two things that we cannot control: That is the variation in individual human immune systems AND the makeup and defenses of the various viruses. The problem is made much worse if the virus is very prone to mutation, as this virus is. So it is likely that the vaccine will not be a perfect defense to Covid.
There is also an anomaly with this virus that is not yet fully understood and that is that it is possible for a fully vaccinated person, or someone who has had the disease and fully recovered to still spread the virus AND perhaps even more likely to spread the virus than an unvaccinated person is.
The CDC and our government have been totally inadequate in dealing with this pandemic and in fact may have made everything worse and likely dramatically increased the death rate due to their inaction, politicizing and bad advice. The media has been "less than helpful" in their glee to report the worst about the virus, the politicians, the treatments and the innocent civilians caught up in this maelstrom. My fear is that the CDC and government(s) will continue to be ineffective and perhaps worse become harmful in their efforts to politicize this and future diseases.
The anomaly isn’t with the virus, it is with the definition of "vaccine". That term has been recently softened such that where chicken soup can fairly be described as a vaccine for the common cold.
A useful piece on the covid virus can be found at Western rifle shooters blog or at Strait line logic site. It is worth your time to read although it is long.
A nuclear-weapon level meteor airburst over a major population center certainly fits my definition of the Angry Hand of God. I shall endeavor to stay on his Good Side.
Is Authoritarianism a purely Conservative Phenomenon?
Somehow researchers at Emory University has discovered that it might possibly be something that Progressives do too!
The Experts Somehow Overlooked Authoritarians on the Left
You might have to hit 'F9' to get past the paywall.
...." Intriguingly, the researchers found some common traits between left-wing and right-wing authoritarians, including a “preference for social uniformity, prejudice towards different others, willingness to wield group authority to coerce behavior, cognitive rigidity, aggression and punitiveness towards perceived enemies, outsized concern for hierarchy, and moral absolutism.”
You don't say!
The author and everyone she quotes is making a common mistake. What's called the 'American right wing' isn't the same as what Europe calls the right wing. They are not comparable. This mistake makes the entire argument meaningless.
The author implies that reliance on the constitution is right wing and that opposition to internationalism is the same as German national socialism. Sophomoric nonsense.
American conservatism, the so-called right wing, believes in federalism. Federalism takes great pains to diffuse authoritarian tendencies of any political or economic ideology. It recognizes these tendencies and accepts them as part of human nature. Rather than deny the nature of man, federalism provides a structure that limits the abilities of men with a tyrannical nature. I don't know any conservatives who want to revert to a king or caesar.
As you probably know, The Atlantic magazine is a money sink that is kept alive with cash infusions from the widow of the late Steve Jobs.
I agree with what you are saying about conservatism and federalism - I was just amazed that a vanity press outfit like The Atlantic could bring itself to admit that its leftist views are prone to authoritarian leadership.
More than ever, COVID-19 is a pandemic of the unvaccinated, the elderly, and those with pre-existing conditions. Yet there’s a disturbing tendency by the administration and the media to generalize and magnify the crisis rather than contextualize it based on well-known data. FEARMONGERS gotta fearmonger...
It Gets Worse: Look Who Worked Together to Frame Donald Trump With Fake Russia Hoax: The "usual suspects"...
DOES CHINA RULE THE WORLD?...Welllll, they're working towards it...