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, July 25. 2007
World poverty plummets. There's nothing like commerce and trade to do that.
And some details on American poverty. Attack Machine. Bear in mind that poverty stats for the US do not include the funds or money value of benefits such as welfare, food stamps, subsidized housing, Medicaid, etc.
How the Left provides "force multiplication" to Islamic extremists. Dr. Sanity. Same as they did for the North Vietnamese.
Pythons in the Everglades. More unwanted and uninvited aliens. The government wants to put chips in every non-native snake that is bought or sold. Wish they could be as determined when it comes to illegal humans.
A graphic demonstration (graph on the right) that the primary role of the US government has become redistribution of money, from a piece at Villainous Company:
Even the Guardian admits progress in Iraq. Jim Miller
Who is rich, according to the Dem candidates? Meaning whose taxes can they get away with raising?
That bottom-smacking story from Oregon sounded like a joke, at first. Now it just sounds utterly insane.
"Are there any white kids in your school?" Another teacher for school choice.
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Bear eats mountain biker. I have a client who is being bothered by bears and cougars. He is going to get a donkey. He says a donkey is very aggressive. I think I might rather deal with the bears. At least they sleep all winter.
Woman's family devastated by B.C. mauling
Why no bear alert, victim's brother asks
Kerry Williamson and Joel Kom, CanWest News Service
Published: Tuesday, July 24, 2007
The family of a Calgary woman likely killed by a black bear at Panorama Mountain Village is questioning why the hill was allowed to remain open despite reports of an aggressive bear in the area.
Robin Kochorek's body was found early Sunday, guarded by a small brown-nosed black bear on a logging road about 400 metres away from a mountain biking trail.
She had been reported missing Saturday afternoon, after she decided against riding down an intermediate run with two friends, instead erring on the side of caution and taking an easier route.
Ya gotta wonder about how the whole thing transpired. I suppose he saw her as prey and chased her down.
RE: Villainous.. Free Speech from those who make it possible...Only in America.
I saw A. Whitney Brown on stage once. He was the opening act for a Little Feat concert at the New York State Fair. About halfway through his really bad act the crowd started to chant, "Shut the f**k up! Shut the f**k up! Shut the f**k up!" until he was forced off the stage. I felt bad for him. Until just now.
This is the detritus left by the "Bummer Generation" who did all they could to undo what the "Greatest Generation" sacrificed to give us.
It is amazing the article was produced by someone who grew up in Marin County, Ca., ground zero for Nancy Pelosi.
Rethinking the Summer of Love
This summer marks the 40th anniversary of the so-called Summer of Love, that mythical three months in 1967 in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood when visions of peace, love and harmony -- aided by bountiful quantities of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll -- reigned supreme.
The Summer of Love has since become legend-- an expression of countercultural revolution, particularly in the minds of those recollecting the glory days of their youth. However inaccurately, this three-month period encompassing a tiny fraction of the population and an eight-block stretch has become a symbol for the entire decade.
Among '60s disciples, it's an article of faith that everything that came out of that summer was a boon to American society. This has certainly been the impression conveyed through popular culture. Rarely are the more pernicious offshoots of the social and political experiment known as the Summer of Love referenced in the glowing and groovy portrayals seen on PBS and the History Channel.
But in its haste to dispense with all tradition that came before, the Summer of Love generation threw out much of the good along with the bad. The attempt to live in a manner that is essentially unsustainable led to a proliferation of divorce, drug-use, promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, and all the perils and problems associated therewith. Too many people left their families, became addicts, and in some cases, lost their lives.
When all social boundaries are tossed aside and self-fulfillment becomes one's raison d'etre, society breaks down and, with it, all sense of morality. Seen in this light, the Summer of Love starts to seem more like the Summer of Folly
Innocents in the park
Yet the temptation to look back at that period through rose-colored lenses remains strong. I grew up romanticizing the era myself, believing that the largely playful picture put forth in films such as the adaptation of the play "Hair," which was an early favorite of mine, was the reality. The childlike innocence of the film's hippie characters roaming free in Central Park appealed to my own youthful naivete.
I had more than a passing familiarity with the type of people portrayed in the film because, as can be discerned as soon as I introduce myself, I am inexorably linked to the Summer of Love generation. I was born in 1970, but it is the '60s to which I owe my first name. And I'm not alone. Indeed, one would be hard pressed to pass through states such as California, Oregon and Colorado without running into those of a certain age, all bearing the unmistakable mark of the hippie baby.
Growing up in Marin County, back when artists and hippies were just as likely to inhabit its enviable environs as the rich and famous, the remnants of the Summer of Love were all around me. I knew many true believers who didn't just talk the talk, but also walked the walk. Aiming for a simpler life, they moved to rural parts of Northern California and coastal areas such as Stinson Beach, Bolinas and Point Reyes. I grew up alongside their kids and we became the children of the counterculture.
While there was many a happy childhood among the bunch, including my own, also evident around us was the fall-out of the '60s. There was nary a classmate of mine growing up whose parents had not been divorced, and more than a few had been through rehab by the time they got to high school. Casual sex and, inevitably, abortion were de rigeur.
As the children of the counterculture grew older, we sought to emulate what we viewed as our parents' participation in a mythical time of peace and pleasure, but instead ended up inheriting patterns of self-destructive behavior. While most of us made it out unscathed, there were definitely bumps along the road. This is a darker side of what the Summer of Love ushered in and it's one we don't often read about in the history books.
My mother's reflections from that period bear out this picture. She didn't experience the Summer of Love itself, but was caught up in the cultural wave still cresting in the late '60s. Having grown up in Australia and spent two years entertaining the troops in Vietnam, she arrived in San Francisco in April of 1969. She had met my father, a U.S. Marine, in Vietnam and they spent some time together in San Francisco before eventually going their separate ways. Thus was I, like so many of my peers, the result of a fleeting pairing.
When I was a toddler, we lived briefly in two communal settings, one in Santa Cruz and the other a gay household in San Francisco. It was in such environments that my mother witnessed the type of anonymous sex, rampant drug use, narcissism and opportunism (she maintains that many of the men in the countercultural movement were there to get laid) that soon propelled her off in her own direction. Unlike the acid casualties and other sacrificial lambs to the excesses of the '60s, she made it out with mind and body intact. The same cannot be said for our nation, which has never been quite the same since.
A lost war
Along with the social upheaval, the political fallout of the period also took its toll. The political climate of the late '60s eventually forced America to lose a war in Vietnam that, many argue, it was winning militarily. Two years after with withdrawing U.S. personnel in 1973, cutting off funds to our South Vietnamese allies was the final blow.
While it's often thought that the 1960s antiwar movement encompassed the entire nation, in reality a relatively small portion of the population was involved. This explains why, despite the military draft, two-thirds of those who served in Vietnam were volunteers. By comparison, in World War II, two-thirds were draftees.
But the antiwar movement had a great influence in helping to shape the outcome of the war in Vietnam, for better or for worse. The millions killed, imprisoned or made refugees under the banner of communism in both Vietnam and Cambodia following U.S. withdrawal would seem to indicate the latter. The Summer of Love may have been pleasant in theory, but when applied to the world stage, the facade quickly crumbled.
None of this is to say that all that came out of that period was negative. As in all experimental movements, there was joy to be found and knowledge to be gained. I have many pleasant memories of the gentle spirits that brought to the post-Summer of Love period their kindhearted, if naive, hopes for an unattainable world.
But in looking back, it can only be concluded that their attempts to change the world didn't exactly turn out as planned. Human nature will always rear its sometimes ugly head. Only through confronting that reality can progress be achieved.
Eventually, the true story of the Summer of Love will be told. And along with the good times and good intentions will be seen the darkness that lurked just below the idealism.
Cinnamon Stillwell is a San Francisco writer.
It is easy to see from two score down the road that there was a huge social revolution in this country in the mid 60's to the mid 70's.
If you study revolution, especially the ones incorporating violence (SDS,Weathermen,Black Panthers), you most likely will find that they are the product of upper middle class children. This holds true for the Bummer Boomers. For the most part we turned out to be a very sorry lot who continue to do great damage to this countries foundations.
What a moment of glory Bill Clinton COULD have had in establishing a proper demeanor for the nation if when he was asked by the young lady whether he wore boxers of briefs if he had reponded thusly.
" Young lady, that is an entirely inappropriate question for someone to ask another person, much less a candidate for the Presidency of this great nation. You should be ashamed of youself. I will not dignify either your question or recognise your existence. And I would like to speak privately to your parents"
That could have been a world shaking event. As we discovered it was impossible for a sociopathic personality to answer in that way.
Another moment in time that could have , I believe changed the entire course of the nation was the Vice President debate where Lloyd Benson dressed down Dan Quayle by say, "I knew John Kennedy, and you're no John Kennedy"
Had Quayle responded, "Yes Senator, you are correct, I only sleep with my own wife and I have no mafia ties" the tenor of that entire campaign would have shifted from one of Dan Quayle VP joke to Dan Quayle, "Don't fuck with me, I'll burn you down".
Alas we get no do overs...we must win in 2008, we must.
I just read the diatribe regarding our troops, their families, etc.
People who feel this way are of course free to have their feelings and express them, secured by the famous quote by George Orwell and the 2nd Amendment.
*"We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."*- George Orwell
They must remember however that there are rough men in our society who feel just as strongly the othe way, and when the day comes when the thin veneer of civilized behavior breaks down because we've had an AQ Tet right here in America, with suitcase nukes hitting DC, NYC, LA, SF, Chicago and the looting and general breakdown of society occurs they could become victims of that breakdown. I can practically guarantee it. Some rough man somewhere near them will remember what they said, the vitriol and hate they have and the hunt will begin. They will be easy prey for they are usually the type that wouldn't go near a gun if, well, their life depended on it.
Thought the Cold War was over? Just another of the many reset buttons being pushed around an ever increasingly dangerous world.
Russian youth: Stalin good, migrants must go: poll
Wed Jul 25, 2007 12:16PM EDT
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's youths admire Soviet dictator Josef Stalin -- who presided over the deaths of millions of people -- and want to kick immigrants out of Russia, according to a poll released on Wednesday.
The poll, carried out by the Yuri Levada Centre, was presented by two U.S. academics who called it "The Putin Generation: the political views of Russia's youth".
When asked if Stalin was a wise leader, half of the 1,802 respondents, aged from 16 to 19, agreed he was.
"Fifty-four percent agreed that Stalin did more good than bad," said Theodore Gerber, a sociologist from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Forty-six percent disagreed with the statement that Stalin was a cruel tyrant."
Stalin, who took over from Vladimir Lenin, built a system of terror and repression in which tens millions of people died or were killed. He died in 1953.
"What we find troubling is that there is a substantial proportion of young people in Russia today who hold positive or ambivalent views on Stalin and his legacy," Gerber said.
"We think it would probably be more appropriate if there was more condemnation of the Stalin era."
The poll showed 17 percent of the young people disagreed that Stalin was responsible for the imprisonment, torture and execution of millions of innocent people, while 40 percent thought his role in the repression had been exaggerated.
The majority of respondents thought the collapse of the Soviet Union was a tragedy and two thirds thought that America was a rival and enemy. Only a fifth viewed Iran as a potential rival or enemy.
Most young people also wanted immigrants kicked out of Russia: 62 percent said they agreed with the statement that the Russian government should evict most immigrants.
But 64 percent agreed with the idea that immigrants should be allowed to have Russian citizenship if they abided with Russian laws and customs.
The poll showed the biggest concern for the youth was the problem of drugs, followed by unemployment, poverty, corruption, education, crime, HIV/AIDS and ecology. end
Putin is at the head of the same apparatchiki that ran the Soviets. Facade is what the West is "buying into", but they know, they just play the game, try to manage the play instead of being managed. But no mistake. The US is now under "attack" by the Chinese (daily they are attacking our defense comouter sytems and have shown they can destroy our satellites), the Reds are establishing proxy clients to keep the pot boiling , and the Muslims want their worldwide Caliphate.
And we are at the mall.