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
Thursday, January 11. 2007
Still sick. Thought you'd like to know.
Sippican loves the Elvis on Ed Sullivan DVDs
Rick Moran is disappointed in Bush (pre-speech). Me too. The guy has no capacity to inspire.
Black Sheep movie trailer. YouTube. The violence of the lambs.
Crittenden has ideas about how to talk with Iran and Syria.
Is there any doubt that Al Sharpton is a con-man? Calif Yank
4.5 billion to die from global warming by 2012. Can you top that for a scare headline? SDA found the piece. Hey - what's the problem? It would solve the population crisis, right? I am going to buy a cemetery plot for myself today, so I'm prepared.
Any thoughts about Bush's speech?
Image? That's the coffee mug our local super-secret Christian Fascist Militia uses. Shhhh - don't tell Chris Hedges. What mug does your militia use? Do you have a Lady's Auxiliary? And do you have cool uniforms?
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Get well soon. It passes. I found that looking at great art in those image banks online helped when I was so sick this weekend...a fever loosens one's associations and one sees new things in old favorite pictures and sculptures!
Bush's speech: Hubby asking my opinion while I packed everybody's lunches. Me snappishly intoning: we have to stop a bloodbath. The resrt of the world is uncivilized and will butcher each other and as the greatest power on earth we have to keep them from it. Like the Brits' thankless role in Northern Ireland, trying to stop the warring factions from killing each other. If we don't put ourselves in harms's way trying to keep the peace, more civilians will die. Husband snarling: Bah, it''s all about the oil. The Shites have the oil, the Sunnis want it, why should we defend Saddam's Sunnis...
I beat a hasty retreat with the kids, unable to answer that.
Gosh Retriever I hate to disagree with both you and your husband but neither logic holds.
No one anointed the USA world policeman. If warring factions want to kill each other it's not our place to send our blood and treasure to stop them from fighting over who stole the cow.
Your husbands "it's all for oil" mantra is a bit threadbear and cynical. Sounds like he doesn't really keep up with the news. The Islams have been blowing up our Embassies, airplanes (lockerbie), taking over our Emabbasy in Tehran(1979) and flying planes into our landmark buildings(WTC 9-11 mean anything to him?), not to mention the kidnapping and beheading of numerous US citizens. Yeah he's cynical and out of the loop.
Now it is in our interest to have a more stabile world where you don't have tribal countires gaining access to nuclear weapons or any WMD's so we do act..
As a nation we have given more aid and cheap(often forgiven loans) to the world than all other countires combined. We rebuilt a devistated Europe after WWII, and pulled the Japanese out of a culture (after THEY ATTACKED US) where their people could not even look at or hear the voice of there Emperor because he was a GOD.
Islam on the other hand has been , since it's very beginning, attacking all , that's ALL other religions in the world. Their Koran dictates this. They been in ascendancy at times and retrograde others. They now want the nuclear arsenal to blackmail or actually destroy an entire democratic country, Israel......so why did you beat a hasty retreat?
Not being a coffee drinker, nor a man of hard spirits,'cept on special occasions, like a whooping good speech from W, I had to come up with another method of displaying my solidarity with freedom loving people worldwide. Wud I do?
I recently painted on our privacy fence (on the Florida, not Montana property) a large 13 foot Gator eating an Ohio State Buckeye. Our as we say down here a delicious Ohio Steak Ribeye. mmmm...good eat'in. Was that their JV squad?
And the the biggest travesty is that they retained the #2 standing...that's a stretch....no a farce.
One more thought....Senator Robert Byrd Bird, has a very similar mug. In place of the Shiny metal helmet he has a nice clothe dunce cap type chapeau emblamatic of his Grand Kleagle staus in the KKK.
I could be wrong but I think it's in his basement pool room at home right next to the poster of Adolf Hitler and John Wayne Gacy.
Retreated to get the munchkin to school on time, and me to the office on time, Habu. Hubby is cynical, and my off the cuff remarks were too simplistic. I don't disagree with you, entirely. I was better able to contemplate the prospect of people in other countries killing each other in their tribal/religious disputes before I became a mom. Guess all those hormones and years of adjudicating sibling disputes addled the old brain. It's satisfying as well as right to get fighting people to get along instead of killing each other. Not sure what we should do in Iraq, but don't think Americans are at their best as isolationists any more than as extreme policemen. If the UN had ever been any good, it would have been ideal to have a kind of Jedi Knights of the Universe who could have gone around and intimidated warring tribal factions around the globe and helped resolve their disputes.
Yes, and beggars would ride....
"It's satisfying as well as right to get fighting people to get along instead of killing each other."
One of my observations on life is that certain people need to be fought tooth and nail, killed and have the scavengers feed on their carcasses. A few spring to mind, Pol Pot and the Kymer Rouge, al Queda,about 1/3rd of all Islam, Hitler and his band of Merry Men.
Uncle Joe Stalin who in 1931-32 had the NKVD starve about 8-15 million people in the Ukraine to death so he could export the grain THEY raised for hard currency.
The Middle Kingdom's killer poster boy Chairman Mao who historians figure killed scores of millions of his own people to secure the marxist cause.
Now we can continue to flip the pages of history backwards as far as you want and we'll find them FULL of people who needed killing.
What's right is the moral imperative free men have to fight and remain free. What is right is the moral imperative for those not free to fight for the rights freedom allows.
The idea that we should all get along and just have a big group hug goes against the nature of mankind. We've got ten thousand years of history to prove it.
You are, I am sure, a wonderful Mom trying to raise kids in a harsh world. I am sure you do a great job. But make sure they're not blind sided one day by learning that there are hordes of people and mutiplicities of cultures that would love to kill them, and you.
War is a regrettable but natural state of man. We should never lose sight of the good war (not perfect war) to defend principle and way of life and of the good warrior.
Our kids are taught too much that patience, pacifism and passivity are the highest moral responses to evil, which are especially resonant and feel-good when it is only others who suffer the consequences of one's principled weakness.
Give yourself a big ole hug from Habu. (depending on your age range just close your eyes and pick out a hunk you'd love to hug)
Your words are golden.
Now maybe this is a stretch ( I was a Political Science major at THE NATIONAL CHAMPION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA) but all this sharing I hear from parents. "Oh share that with Johnny etc) Well that ends up translating to socialism when they become adults because they were taught to share and that not to share was stingy. Say anybody been over to you house lately to pay a hunk of your mortgage by "sharing" their paycheck? Any strangers fill up your gas tank so they could share.
I'm not saying let the truly indigent die in the gutter but our government sure does like too take your money and "share " it with, well I'lll take the UN for about a zillion dollars....and you get what from the UN? Heartburn.
Habu and Mom2,
I am not a pacifist and I was not urging a group hug. I'm too cranky a person to ever pretend to do that...I was merely saying that there are times when the greatest power on this earth has a duty to intervene when the murderers on the planet are on the rampage ...My relatives fought Hitler and the Japs, and in Korea, etc. as I'm sure yours did also. We are probably all equally proud of them. Or do you think we should have stayed home and let the Axis and later the Communists butcher whomever they pleased and take over the world?
In my youth, I worked in the inner city with a mix of kids some of whom were junior hoodlums, others who were their victims, and I frequently had to intervene to restore peace, punish malefactors, and generally law down the law. If adults don't set the ground rules you get Lord of the Flies. There were times when, in exhaustion, I would exclaim "What's wrong with these people...they are completely uncivilized.." But one stayed and tried to show a better way.
Also, to the mom who said that war is a regrettable but natural state of man, I wonder if you have always lived safely in the good old US of A that is only invaded by illegals, never by anybody with guns, bombs and storm troopers? I grew up in countries with bombed out buildings, trigger happy young soldiers on corners with automatic weapons, thuggish police hauling off people to torture and death without trial, and constant terrorist bomb attacks. We mourned our dead and swiftly punished the perps without the pathetic whining that went on in this country after 9/11. Everybody I grew up with had relatives who had fled invasion or lived uneasily with an occupation or tried to lay low under tyranny or survived concentration camps and for whom war meant terror, loss of family, livelihood, hope and all that people had worked for over generations. They did not think there was anything natural about war.
However, nor did they think that if you just ignore bad guys they will go away. Comes a time when you have to play policeman to avert future bloodshed. Our President knows this, even if all of us do not agree with him all of the time.
Playground fights, of the type we all resolved disputes with in youth, pre PC nonsense, are one thing. As others in the blog have observed, they often taught bullies a lesson, settled things. Even now, I never intervene in children's fights unless weapons are being used, a group is ganging up on one, or someone is being dangerously hurt. But to idly do nothing while whole groups of people are threatened by others with weapons is immoral.
I think the UN is a frigging disaster, but I would rather that every nation in the world contributed a few people to some kind of global peacekeeping force than that the full burden fell on us Americans. You cannot simply avert your gaze or perhaps hope that all those savages will kill each other off and not threaten you. To the extent that people in the developing world are allowed to wage war within or between their countries, they will eventually threaten us. Even if you didn't want to stop the wars on humanitarian grounds, you might consider that people who get used to using weapons on each other may turn them on you next.
But the UN has failed, and I am no fan of how it has panned out. We tried it, it didn't work. That does not mean we can just bunker in and wait to negotiate with the victors of the world's increasingly bloody internecine struggles.
John Donne reminded us that no man is an island...
I apologize if I gave you the wrong impression, but from your response I don't think I did. If the tribes in Africa or the ME want to kill each other I'm fine with that. I do not think there is a moral imperative for us to intervene in internicene warfare no matter how high the bodies get stacked. Unless it detrimentally affects us. An example would be an attempt by a country to close the Panama Canal or the Straits of Hormuz. etc
"Developing nations" were first civilized via colonization by the civilized world. Old Europe. Then came the great "liberations", de-colonialization in the 1950's. They've been trying to "develop" ever since then. But the first thing they did was start killing each other. Blood fueds.
Aid? We've given trillions over the last sixty years.
Peace Corps ... just didn't pan out.
I do agree if they come here we'll kill them and I'm no isolationist either, but we can't sacrifice our blood and treasure on every ancient blood fued on the planet.
I've been on every continent on the globe,including Antarctica. I've been shot at and done my share of shooting back. I've seen the deprivation. Most of the people aren't worth the trouble to save.
How long does it take "developing nations" to develop? Probably as long as it takes some people to realize they never will.
Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Please please..will pay in gold if you find out how to achieve this.
"Also, to the mom who said that war is a regrettable but natural state of man, I wonder if you have always lived safely in the good old US of A that is only invaded by illegals, never by anybody with guns, bombs and storm troopers?"
x/x retriever, I don't understand your point. Are you saying that war and violence are not a (regrettable but natural) part of the human experience? Sure would like to believe war a rude imposition upon mankind's existence, but in our violent ways, I cannot with clear conscience blame anyone other than our all too human selves.
It's just that to me, the solution or moral alternative to violent aggression does not lie in renouncing strong and violent counter measures with those who know no bounds of law or civilized behavior.
BTW, my ealier observations weren't directed at you, if that's what you thought.
Mom 2 - I was saying that just because war and violence are part of human experience does not mean that we should callously stand by and do nothing while thugs and murderers attack people. I don't think Jesus called us to show compassion only to our own tribe.
I most certainly do not renounce strong and violent counter measures when necessary. My beef is with people who think that non-Westerners or non-Christians do not deserve our compassion and our aid when necessary. He died for all of us, not just gun-toting North Americans.
Habu relax, this crank and nag will not bother you any more. Go happily back to your beer and your porn and polishing your rifle. It takes all sorts. Where I come from, we enjoy differences of opinion and learn from them.
"does not mean that we should callously stand by and do nothing while thugs and murderers attack people. I don't think Jesus called us to show compassion only to our own tribe."
What kind of "compassion" are you calling for, in the face of thugs and murderers attacking people? If you're calling for prayerful vigil only, I would disagree. If you believe they need to be countered with force, then there's no disagreement. The US these days quells and rebuilds; our policy debate tends to center on the extent of quelling and rebuilding needed and their ultimately utility wrt our national good and regional mission, given the costs of blood and treasure.
Habu engages in debate and opinion, just as you do, and he's been civil. If you two disagree, then bring it on in terms of passionate justification! You're more than capable at wielding word.
No trashcans for those who don't read previews as well as final comments is a cruel thing, indeed, when some of us wield words most recklessly.
I truly think there was a sequencing problem in this thread. When I placed the #10 immediately following # 9.1 a reasonable person could have said, "why that old curmudgeon, call me a nag, crank etc".....
on my honor that was not ever the intent..it was not pointed at you in any way. I tried to rectify it immediately but the system wouldn't allow another comment immediately from me....please please do not believe for a minute it was aimed at you. You've been very engaging and thought provoking.