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, March 21. 2007
Winds of change at the EU. EU Referendum. If the idea was to create a Soviet Union Lite, then apparently people do not want that.
Did you already read about the Iraq insurgents using kids in car bombs?
The Fear Industrial Complex. Blue Crab
Is credit only for the rich? Marginal Rev.
Designer vaginas? The latest fad.
Obama rebuffs Soros. I like this Obama. Wouldn't vote for him, but kinda like him.
Does hanging out with Irish kids count as multicultural? Ankle Biter wonders.
The hidden costs of illegal workers. CSM
Al Gore declared a Planetary Emergency in Congress today. Personally, I think the hysteria is the planetary emergency. Losing the election shook a screw loose in this guy, same as it did to Jimmy Carter.
"There I was inside a bat infested sea cave." Ron Rosenbaum. A Jewish Christian on the Dead Sea scrolls and pre-Paul Christianity and the phony Jesus tomb.
Another view on illegals, from Jacoby at the Globe
Does Al Gore make money on his carbon offset company?
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What is so brave about what Obama did? OMG, he angered a potential source of funds...That's like a hooker turning away from a dangerous looking john, no heroism, just sensible...But don't call it principled.
Nobody should legitimize terrorists. But then our nation has a pretty shakey record on supporting "legitimate" regimes that brutalize their subjects...
Who wouldn't thrill to the story of brave Israelis carving out a homeland? Other than those unfortunates displaced by their activities, as their ancestors were displaced by the Biblical people of God. History is unkind to losers....
But U.S. interests (as opposed to valued personal relationships) should never be driven by the interests of any foreign nation, no matter how beloved. Doesn't matter if it's Britain, Israel, China, Timbuktu... I fear for our democratic process when any lobbying organization for a foreign nation can go on witchhunts against US political figures.
It's not anything against Israel. My friends who have served in the Israeli Army could wup Soros but good...And let it be known that I have no admiration for Soros. It's the principle of keep foreign lobbyists' paws out of our political processes...
The Middle East is a cesspool. We shouldn't be on anyone's side. God help us, for example, if our American troops ever adopted the effective but vicioius methods of the Israelis in combatting insurgents...THem and the white South African police guardians of apartheid... We should view the strife ridden Middle East the way a good shrink views a viciously battling but unable to separate married couple. Both want the house and the loyalty of the kids and the support of outside observers. All the virtuous outsider can do and still maintain his equanimity is to try to referee disputes to minimize damage, offer what guidance will be listened to, and remember that his kids' college tuition needs to be paid so just collect the fee. The resources are what matter. The local people are beyond help.
Depending on the method of measuring, courtroom junk science & tort abuse is said to directly cost our economy around 2% of GDP per year (not counting the opportunity cost of economic activity which doesn't happen due to the need to hunker down against it). More than the war on terror, more than the budget deficit. Who profits?
Yup. Agree. But more upsetting is the disgust conscientous children develop for the misuse of the law, growing up around greedy liability suits and criminals getting off on technicalities, The kid came back livid from AP govt and a discussion of how a carful of stoned teenagers got off when the arresting officer explained that what had made him pull them over was smelling dope from their car. They definitely had the stuff in the car but it was deemed an illegal search when the young officer could not later distinguish smell of dope from other burning substances. Whatever happened to following a hunch? My kid felt that
virtuous people have little to fear from allowing police searches on reasonable suspicions, and that evidence obtained unlawfully should still be allowed. Our legal system chiefly benefits lawyers and criminal, she felt.
Have a laff--Algore owes it to ya:
Loved the Al Gore thing, a welcome distraction from endlessly loading and checking out some new Bible Study software (bought to beef up the anemic Sunday school curriculum my church spends so much money on)...
I wondered about this quote, tho "But Al Gore, in being the very principle of emptiness itself, cannot be evil, for he is also what annihilates even nothingness, what annihilates good but also the absence of good."
Seems to me, emptiness is evil. (No, I am not justifying a cluttered house, that's from a mental disorder) To return to Gore, that which annihilates the good, is evil. But I would probably have flunked Philosophy, and always loathed Systematic Theology. Think it's a girl thing (Ouch! just wacked by my non-sexist daughter!)
Am still so staggered by the arrant hypocrisy of Gore and Edwards, telling everyone to live frugally and with a light environmental footprint, while they pork out....
When a skinny vegetarian Buddhist monk speaks about peace, loving your enemy, overcoming one's angry impulses and resisting materialism, I listen. They walk the walk, even if I feel spiritually inadequate to follow their path.
Yo, Bird Dog, Venerable Editor and General Dogsbody:
the link for the minority journalism story takes one to Google email...Nobody but a moron would use Gmail, anyway. They admit to word searching every email and targetting you with spam based on your interests. What more do they do with your info that they do not admit to? A story on the AOL scandal last year and other egs of our mail and internet searches being recorded and mined would be interesting...
Tho pointless warning people to be discreet...the people I email the most would never get to letters I sent them snail mail. 98% of our paper mail is junk, and it takes ages to find the bills, and the rare letter from an aged relative amongst the trash...
Perhaps one answer might be for friends to exchange coded USB keys and then be able to send truly private messages? My boring rants would be of no use to anyone, of course, but I would still be embarassed if someone besides the intended recipients read them...yet the desire to communicate with loved ones wins out over caution...
Email is not the US Mail. Mail is private, email is not. Confidential things should never be placed in email. Most people don't care one way or the other - and who would take the time to go through anyone's email anyway? Howevever, fact is, anyone's email history can be easily hacked if anyone wants to bother.
Jacoby's article didn't. Sure, I feel sorry for the nursing infants deprived of their mothers. But to say that because the illegal immigration problem is so huge that we should throw our hands up in despair and accept it, is contemptible. You don't have to be Joseph Stalin to move millions, and it is a cheap shot for Jacoby to say that only his methods could solve the problem.
The lawbreaking that regular citizens indulge in, speeding on highways) because speed limits are too low (or because it's just too darn much fun to go fast, is not comparable to the lawbreaking of people who sneak in across a border, hide out, forge papers, work undercover, avoid paying tax, demanding and usually receiving benefits from taxes paid by law-abiding US citizens, sending kids to schools that they do not support, getting free medical care, Social Security, etc. while native born Americans who have to pay taxes and buy their medical care can't afford to work for as little an hour as illegal workers who live in the cash economy.
BD, the link to Iraqi insurgents leads me to a discussion on ‘designer vagina's’. I tried but failed to come up with a link between the two, other than the vulgar of analogy.
Fine fettle you are in today R. Good stuff. But I would, for the sake of conversation, disagree with you on one thing, and that is your point re not taking sides in the ME. Aside from the moral aspects, of which I think there are significant justifications, there are some practical effects as well.
Let me see if I can say it in a way that might be understood, in contrast to my usual convoluted crap. Simply, in a strategic sense, we need Israel. Think of it as an aircraft carrier. A relative safe haven in an area of much danger to our country. The benefits to us are enormous, I think, and worth whatever complexity's the 'side taking' might cause.
Will close with an apology if my comment of a while back caused embarrassment or discomfort. It was from one human to another, nothing more. I just didn't, at the time, know how else to say I admire the 'starch in your collar.'
Thanks, LM. Don't remember you upsetting me in any way...Good analogy on Israel. I tend to blather in person or on the computer, without much editing or restraint...
I just think that the advocates for Israel are so much more persuasive and congenial to most of us, that it sometimes distracts us from the fact that our policies in the region require a certain detachment (at least occasionally) from either side.
retriever re Buddhists and 'walking the talk' --amen--"hypocrite" is a 'light' charge, bandied about freely because we ARE all hypocrites to some greater/lesser degree. To get thru the day, we rationalize, dissemble, equivocate, all that, and are ashamed of ourselves when we overdo it, and we try not to do it (or try to try not to do it).
BUT, Edwards and Gore are NOT ashamed of themselves--they glory in it. That's why they're so repulsive.
They've figured out how to corrupt the higher natures of their constituency, and the rest of us can go jump in the lake.
And that's fine, that's politics, but, barf, in keeping tabs on the opfor, we gotta look & listen to 'em.
I'm with LM on Israel--I think the fact that the Israelis have been fighting for their lives--in the real sense--nonstop ever since about 1935, and the fact that the ability to make peace is not in their hands short of suicide, makes their history viz the Palestinians more than merciful and forbearing. But jeez louise, I'm not trying to start that argument. Just registering my vote on the issue.
Point taken, BL. Did you read those loathsome Gandhi quotes on the Jews from WW2 ? Now must try to sleep despite literally fevered brain. Making me more verbose and illogical than usual. Wonder what the economic burden of the common cold is?
No burden at all, if you is in the patent medicine biz--har--but, try a shot of bourb and a swaller of honey--
Economic effect of the common cold...many billions. May you sleep peacefully and wake feeling better.
But, I can't agree with "persuasive and congenial "...that sets, in my mind, the spiel of he snake oil salesman, or the local used car salesman, or hell, politicians for that matter.
The stakes involved are much larger than that, and to me, should be viewed as such. It is not just political ends we are speaking of, it is human lives and a country that is, in the main, walking the talk of a republican democracy.
I think we should never have detachment of support for honest attempts at original 'liberal' attempts at freedom. It is a rare thing nowadays.
Yes, a heaping two tablespoon's of honey, a shot of bourbon, a tad of water, warmed slowly over the stove. Cures many an ailment.
Run for office BL, I'd work my a** off for you. Course I'd have too move to the Big Star State. But hell, you got rattlesnakes don't ya? I'd be at home.
LOL, LM--"Lone" Star--but who'd quibble a compliment? Yassir, rattlers are common--but what I don't like are the friggin scorpions. Little brown night crawlers that you feel underfoot--or if sleeping, across chest, face, shoulder--just an instant before the red-hot knitting needle goes into your skin.
And if you're looking down for a scorpion, them two inch long red hornets'll peel off and zoom in and nail ya just for fun. Another knitting needle, only higher up.
And if you go running off, you're in the bull nettle or the barrel cactus before you know it--more knitting needles, various calibers.
Everything in the damn state is trying to stick a hole in ya.
But, y'all come, y'hear?
OK Buddy, technically incorrect, but it is a 'big star' there, in that flag, isn't it?
Well we seem too share the same creatures and botanical examples. Hell the whole world wants to poke holes in us. What's new?
OT, but this is, too me, sorta depressing;
Though no link to the original (I will have too google Mr. Sydner Smith), it could be the Dem's ideal.
That designer vagina link was an error! It was meant to be another post, obviously.
Thanks. You are the only person who lets me know when we have link goofs.