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, February 14. 2007
Weenies. Yes, we have snow and sleet in Yankeeland. What's the big deal? What do you expect in February? Go outside and enjoy it before Bush makes it melt and kills all of the Polar Bears.
Bent Skovmand died. You don't know who he was, but he did a great thing. He created the Weed Bank. The future will be grateful to him - seriously.
Could be a QQQ. Giuliani:
"In the business world, if two weeks were spent on a nonbinding resolution, it would be considered nonproductive," Giuliani told the lunch crowd, setting off a burst of laughter.
Quote from a Norwegian, in a piece at No Pasaran - about Americans:
Roosevelt Admin nixed visas for Anne Frank. NYSun
As we predicted, it's the Incredible Disappearing Rape Case at Duke. In this case, an alleged rape by a person of no ethnicity upon another person of no ethnicity. Victim female, though, apparently. Duke profs silent.
A war on Toyota-ists? Don Surber. Too damn bad, Michigan. If you build it, they will come.
When a cigar is not just a cigar: Ellison calls the cops. What a schmuck. But, I ask you, how come congressmen can smoke in their offices, and I cannot? Do any laws apply to them?
More on Mr. Sun and cosmic rays. Gates of V.
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No laws apply to Congressmen and wooomen. They have special healthcare, access to NASA diapers during filibusters and THE BIGGEST RIP OFF OF ALL is they get to go back intot the Congressional Record, the official notes of what they have said, and CHANGE what they said to whatever they want it to read. Now I know the difference between a congressman and a bucket of dung..it's the bucket.
Many of us are wondering in light of the recent agreement with North Korea, very similar to the one Bill Clinton negotitate that the North Koreans blew right through what the hell is going on with President Bush..is burned out?
Is it in the Bush DNA to say one thing, make it a cornerstone of you entire being as President and then abandon it? Bush, Sr. "Read my lips ,no new taxes" We got new taxes..now in fairness he had negotiated with the Democrats on spending cuts to offset the tax increase ..of course the Democrats reneged immediately and didn't honor their word (not a new thing for them in any respect)..but the fact of the matter is, is that Sr. had been around the block a few times and knew the charlatans he was dealing with.
Now we have "W" who can't find his 5x7 notecard listing the Axis of Evil countries, who we would never negotiate with. The new agreement, brokered by those trustworthy Chinese doesn't specify even HOW LONG the North Koreans will suspend their nuclear program.
Washington, DC was carved out of a fetid swamp and it appears that from the halls of congress to the WH the sump pumps are in need of repair. Where's Monica when we need more suction?
"Too damn bad, Michigan. If you build it, they will come."
Ford lost $12.7 bbl in 06--$2k per unit sold. Almost exactly the cost of the union pension programs.
Toyota, open shop, can put that $2k into quality, or against price, or any combo it wishes.
The UAW companies have to either cut quality, sell at a loss, or price for profit and lose their market--or some combo of the three.
No damn wonder their politicians want out of global trade/the mideast/everything not isloationist.
They need to shut down this interference in their old market.
They need help--bad. They're finally painted into the corner we could all see coming twenty years ago. But, they never couldn act--they're sewed up into a system that the world, in an (successful) effort to lower the cost of living for everyone, has bypassed.
The lowered costs of living of course most help the little guy, who used to be the focus of the Democratic party.
Can you say "internal contradiction"?
Can't even really give kudos to UAW for protecting its own, since the shrinkage of the companies guarantees ever fewer beneficiaries of such protection. Fine for whoever is in already, union managers and rank & file, but not so great for the next generation, or the current local unemployed.
The big three are baked, I'm afraid--way behind the power curve.
I've been a Ford man all my life, but not anymore. The Ford Foundation's left-wing politics is part of it, but the quality & cost/price issues are simply driving people to Toyota (and others). In a way, Toyota is more traditional American than the big three. And the Tundra is baaad, man.
In 1977, as a young businesswoman who had just built her own company, I rewarded myself with a new car--custom ordered from the factory. Six weeks later my dealer called and told me my car was ready. I went on my lunch hour to pick it up. As I drove the car out of the dealer's driveway, I rolled down the driver's window--the handle came off in my hand. But, I was on a lunch break, so I stuck it back on and drove back to my office. I took it in for repair the following week. I took ownership of my sleek beauty at the beginning of a hot summer. Three times in the next three months the air conditioning fluid leaked out onto my feet and down onto the carpet and center console. On the third time--the dealer told me not to use the air conditioner until it got a little cooler outside, after all I had a new thing called a sun roof. He refused to repair the air conditioner again. When winter rains came, the sun roof leaked so badly that I would be wet to the waist after about half an hour of driving. Dealer would not guarantee he could fix it--he didn't. In the following spring--less than a year after first taking posession I was driving on the freeway with three little girls in the back seat. All of the rubber belts slipped off the engine--the dealer said they got to wet in the big rainstorm--yeah, well so did the passengers. I finally got an attorney. We contacted a new "service" that the manufacturer was providing--an ombudsman for the customer! A very nice man came out from Detroit and examined the car, and the records and recommended that the dealer help to replace the automobile--the dealer told him and my attorney to stuff it. Come to find out the ombudsman could do no more for us. That car was a Pontiac Sunbird. I have never purchased another American car in the thirty years since then. However, mom died and left me her Buick-it is slightly better, but not a lot. If it wasn't free I would not have bought it. I have however put 240,000 miles on a Toyota truck only needed two clutch replacements (taught 2 daughters how to shift)Hope that helps Detroit to understand why they are going out of business. By the way neither daughter has ever bought American either.
I bought a new Toyota a few years back. But I did drive a 1985 Ford LTD wagon with a v6 before that. It was a good car and damn near a collectible by the time I sold it for $300. lol. We go through pickups on a regular basis and have had Dodge Rams and Ford 150s. There is not that much difference between NA pickup brands. Tundras look really nice. Almost too nice for the way the crew runs them.
My uncle was an auto exec in Detroit. I had dinner with him a few years back and he was crowing about how he had been collecting his pension for more years than he had worked.
Patina, tell Unc thanks for the nice shiny new Tundra plant down here in San Antonio, employing thousands at high wages! Nahh, don't tell him. Tell your kids, tho.
About the only American vehicles that I would consider buying today are those sufficiently old that you can tear them down to the last bolt if need be and rebuild them yourself. Since this involves a lot of work, that may not be enough to sway most people (myself included) and of course the old ones don't have the safety features of the new ones, but it is something to consider.
So my next vehicle will be a 1950's Chevy pickup or a new Toyota Tacoma.
o/t, no need to comment, but you have got to see this email:
See folks, I told ya just yesterday that Mr. Larsen is a man to listen to ,be it a short or long remark.
His remark #2 is so dead center that we didn't even get the normal parasympathetic nervous system twitch.
And he's double right,(that's like when some folks back things 1000%) when he says you could see this com'in twenty years ago, although I'd say more like thirty-five.
Now we have global competition and the George Globals of the world are scoring all the time.
Great contribution Mr. Larsen.
Apple Pie...I'd have made a trip to Daufuskie Island SC where the practice of voodoo is still an item in the lives of the Gullah speaking natives. Today Daufuskie is loosing out to the developers but back when I was in high school in Beaufort, SC with the great author Pat Conroy we all knew where to go to get bad juju on someone. I sure would have put some on that dealer. I think today if you go out to Lady's Island to a place called Frogmore you can hook up with some voodoo.
I've got some stories about the Beaufort area in the early sixties that folks wouldn't believe, like the time me and three classmates and a teacher who was "in" with the blacks, although he was white, Named "Cooter" Norris (passed away about three years ago took us to an old Negro Church in Frogmore where we, honest truth here, heard Dr. Martin Luther King conduct the service. We were the only white folks in the place since it was by invitation extended to Mr. Norris. Dr. King was on his way to a meeting of the SCLC in Charleston and stopped by the Frogmore community. True story.
My uncle is about 89 and IIRC retired when he was 62, so that was about 1970 or 71. sheesh. That is a lot of monthly checks.
I actually had two uncles who were auto execs in Detroit. I remember the other one bringing his family (wife and six kids) to upstate NY in one of the first motor homes. It looked like this.
We used to go to Detroit a lot in the 50's and 60's. Here is a very good website with a section called ' the fabulous ruins of Detroit' that tours the long forgotten buildings from one of the most important cities of the 20th century.
Excuse me: In a hurry to write my little story today; forgot to mention that within minutes after getting the handle back on--about 3 miles away from the dealer on my first drive off the lot--the tailpipe and muffler fell in the street. I had to go back for that--but they fixed the window handle the following week.
Whoops. A wee error in my last post. Unc must have retired around 1980. I have been doin cipherin all afternoon. Must be getting time to pack it in. blush
And I somehow missed posting my screen name too. Scuse.
yeah Buddy..went from State College Pa to Beaufort,SC..if you get the Robert Duval movie "The Great Santini" you'll get a flavor of Beaufort in 1963. He plays a Marine Corps Aviator stationed at MCAS Beaufort.
Now to get an idea of my dad watch the part where he reports in to the CO who goes over his record and is a no BS Bird Colonel....that is close to my dad.
My father's philosophy in the Corps with screwup was this.
He's say, "you really want out of this outfir don't you/'
The screw-up normally would say "yes sir"
My father would then proceed to tell them that they were the last person he would ever let out of the squadron until they shaped up...and if they didn't shape up they usually resigned from the Corps cause my dad would make their life a living hell ... he didn't tolerate non hackers in the Corps. But those squared away Marines would follow him into the weeds on a close air support mission.
"Santini" was an excellent movie. Lucky for you re your dad Habu. Make em' or break em' , course for enlisted it was make em' or they will be making little ones out of the big ones, no resignation clause there. I think Toyota is being prudent. The lefty's always go for the big ones, bigger splash, been that way for years. I must admit too cognitive dissonance re unions though. There was a need for'em back then, and may be now, but they let it go to their head. If any institution needs term limits, it is union leadership.
I agree Luther: First they helped to destroy America's passenger trains, then they took over America's schools with devastating effect, and presently we can watch our automotive sector close down.
Airline industry--always in or out of bankruptcy, always the costs of doing business so high that fuel price changes knock 'em over. Steel industry, being bought up by foreign interests, made vulnerable by cost structure.
Chrysler announced today, 13,000 layoffs, and let loose a trial balloon about maybe outsourcing some production work to China.
An analyst on CNBC today was saying that it is certain that in time the three great brands, and their huge distribution and support systems, will make the leap to realizing that the production itself is only a part of the business, and will simply find a way to move it to wherever they can get labor costs back to 'competitive'.
The morality of it is another question--but the numbers will force it.
Meanwhile, there is a union-generated bill in congress to eliminate the secret ballot, in union voting. Think about that one, for a minute.
Leadership needs a new generation--there's a big pie, could be even bigger--pay 100 auto workers Toyota wages and let 'em grow with the company, or pay them UAW wages and have 50 working, 50 unemployed, and all 100 wasting their careers on a dying company. imho.
Robert Duval--absolutely top rank of the thespian trade. Performance in "Lonesome Dove" took off and soared far above ...above, hmm above ah crud, i can't find a finish
Well apple pie it's so obvious only you and I can see it, just joking. I mean there were some good things out of the 1789 revolution, or, maybe not, obscure here, but we fight the difference today, between 76 and 89 I mean. But the most "devastating effect", the education of our youth. That is truly the heart of our country. It is a lost cause for now, hopefully to be reversed in future. Though it looks bleak.
Habu, for some odd reason I happened to remember "Ribbon Creek." You were in before I, plus O over E, but this was an event that changed the Corps, for the worse in my opinion. I discovered some interesting comments at Amazon... alas no blue linky but...http://www.amazon.com/Court-Martial-Parris-Island-Ribbon-Incident/dp/1557508143 will hopefully suffice.
I will say that my "Platoon 217" was the last to do 12 weeks at PI before the mid-65 'surge.' After that, 8 weeks was deemed sufficient. An error in my opinion. Having too deal with the 8 week'ers later.
Short story. Early enlistment at 17, thanks dear departed Mom, on the Greyhound 08Mar65 at 0500 in Jacksonville. All was well in the world. Off the bus at MCRD, PI...0100? In the intervening hours 3/9, http://www.mike3-9.com/, had made an amphibious landing at China Beach. The DI's were rabid when I got off that bus, and I thank them to this day. Execution consists of nine parts training and one part guts. I thank SSgt Bradley, SSgt Thomas, Sgt Cox and one bastard who's name I can not remember without getting off my ass and pulling out my platoon book.
I love this country, I tear up at being too fucking old to help.
BL, I was aware of this "Meanwhile, there is a union-generated bill in congress to eliminate the secret ballot, in union voting. Think about that one, for a minute."
This deserves a lot more exposure. Which it will not receive, of course. Truly a stake in the heart of all we hold dear, a private vote being the center of all.
Luther, you already did far more than your share, and still are, just showing the flag in the blogosphere. If you were the last one standing, the assh*les would still have to wonder "Yeah, but what about Luther?"
I've watched "Lonesome Dove" so many times I know the dialogue.
I believe it ranks with the John Ford classics, Fort Apache with John Wayne and Henry Fonda, Stagecoach, and the movie JohnWayne felt was his best "The Searchers"
But Duval and Tommy Lee Jones (ALgores college roomate) I believe put Lonesome Dove in that august company. Of course "Tender Mercies" was his winner.
Yeah Luther. The old saying that youth is wasted on the young. I know in the hearts of those who served in that time or probably any time would go back to stand and defend...hell we would today if it comes to that..we can always be riflemen potato peelers, anything to win for the USA.
Buddy has heard this before but I have no kids but I do have a brain full of the history of this country and the sacrifices made by the men and women who have gone before us. There is no way I would ever retreat from the danger that they faced down...freedom has to be won every day.
Gregory Peck did a good job in delivering Doug MacArthur's farewell speech to the cadet corps at the USMA at the beginning of the movie MacArthur. The script appreviated parts of it but managed to make it a very moving piece.
I know we are Semper Fi, but Duty ,Honor ,Country is just as proud a guide.
Don't blow my head up BL. I just did what I said I would do. Just a very small cog in the wheel. Many faults in my life, but if duty is on my shoulders, such as an oath to this country, I will try until my dying breath too fulfill it. And, yea, too hell with that to/too guy and his fricking to/too-isms.
Yes Habu, Duty ,Honor ,Country. Semper Fi.
Top lines, on the pistol, "better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it". Then the best of all, Duval's soliloquy, laying on his deathbed needing, but forbidding, a leg amputation to have a chance at living, "There's some things a man's vanity will just not allow".
Don't have the words right, but the sentiment is memorable.
maybe that "...will just not allow" was "...just cannot endure".
Duval, and Lonesome Dove: the best reflection of a piece of our western frontier history!!!!
However, the best part of the event is that it was published, and made into a very successful tv ent at a time when there were still people who would guide it through the system of liberal publishers, liberal tv producers, etc.etc. It became a public experience because only a few short years ago there were still enough patriots out there, who saw to it that the story was told.
I have my doubts if that could happen today--unless of course it was a story about gay guys.
The best scene ever: I was the first in our family to read the book (before TV) damn near fell out of bed with the crossing of the river/snakes thing. Never told hubby about the experience, but waited until it happened to him about two weeks later: "geez you could have told me what was coming--I've got to get some sleep!"
NJ..thanks for placing the Norwegians comment from the No Pasaran in this thread. I wish I'd read it before 00:53 on the 15th...none the less it was good.
As you might be aware I've been peeking every so often at "the Scotsman" a leftest Scotttish publication. I've tried to educate them to the fact that without US help most of the world would be in servitutde but they resist like crazy. The standard socialist crap cpmes up along with huge gops of totally off the point remarks.
As relected in the comments of the No Pasaran I think we Americans have about had our fill of Europe, and I think it is reciprocated from all I read in European newspapers.
Now the Indians,Russians , and Chinese are chumming up .
We're gonna have our hands full of T_R_O_U_B_L_E soon. We need the base closeures to end, the Rumfeld docrtine of fast and mobile to be tabled or depressed in favor of a 600 ship Navy and another 500,00 men under arms.
As I stated in another post somewhere on this site NATO is a joke, The UN a joke, and we have no allies with any power projection capabilities. Meanwhile I see no breathing space from the south,Europe or Asia. We are basically now alone. The world has basically turned against the only force for good on the planet..it is astonishing to me.
As a student I worked 3 summers in a GM UAW plant in Framingham, MA. What a disfunction nuthouse! My High School educated mind could see one thing after another going wrong yet nobody had the will or authority to fix them.
Since then I've only bought Japanese cars and have never been dissappointed. I did inherit a Mercury that we quickly traded in rather than pay for all the repairs needed to keep a 60K car on the road.
I too loved watching Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones in "Lonesome Dove'. The climax for me was when he finally buried Tommy Lees' body in Texas with the words 'That will teach me to be careful of what I promise", (or words to that effect).
I have a famous family member by marriage, John "Cariboo" Cameron, who really lived that story. He promised his beloved wife he would bury her body at home in Ontario after she died in the gold fields of B.C. in the 1860's. I always wondered if McMurty had heard Cariboos' story. It is quite well known. There is a book now called "The Promise". It is ironic that Sophia is buried at home in the church yard in Glengarry and Cariboo ended up being buried thousands of miles away in Barkerville, B.C.
Cariboo and Sophias' story is a good one for Valentines Day.
Suggest to those Scots that they read Maggie's. They can find out that we aren't so bad...or are we?