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, November 19. 2007
Why the free ad for Maker's Mark? We are providing "equal time" due to the sympathetic post on Jack yesterday. Maker's is the best mass-market Kentucky bourbon.
More on the corrupt CNN debate. Who were the neutral "undecided voter" questioners?
A Democratic Party bigwig
Conservatives and climate change, by Rick. A good piece. Personally, the only politics I see in the climate bandwagon is that the Left sees in this a golden opportunity for more government, more taxes, more control, less freedom - and to put a ding in the mighty, uplifting power of free enterprise. One half a degree Centigrade in a century, even if accurate, matters not one bit to me. Count me in as one of the Not Afraid. I still cannot get a decent Beefsteak tomato crop up here, and, as I mentioned, it's snowing.
Teaching the Euros about Thanksgiving. Jules
Related, at Humbug: The fallacy of Appealing to Celebrity
Read the whole thing.
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Thanks NJ. Was at Blumenthals site and saw the following post, a Dem laundry list, some of which might find it's way into Senator Clintons campaign and onto CNN etc. Forewarned.
The Enemy Is Not In Iraq
Bush says the "terrorists will follow us home" if we fail to defeat them in
Judging by the Bush Administration's performance so far, terrorists would
have a hard time matching the harm done by Bush and his rotten
Could the Republicans really be supporting Bush? People know that gay
marriage doesn't effect heterosexual marriage. That stem-sell research can
actually lead to cures for a large range of diseases. That the justification
for war in Iraq was a sham. That Valerie Plame had been wrongfully outed.
That Abramoff and Ralph Reed were indeed bribing Republican politicians to
gain money from questionable gambling at native American reservation and
sweat-shop labor in the Northern Marianas. That the Patriot Act is an
unnecessary infringement on civil liberties. That warrant-less wiretaps are
illegal and a danger to everyones privacy. That Osama Bin-Ladin is still at
large. That Global Warming is very real. That HMOs are making Billions of
dollars denying claims. That prescription drug prices are being jacked up
unreasonably high. That No-Child-Left-Behind underfunded schools and
operated with a political agenda. That the conservative judges are working
hard to overturn Row vs Wade. That the intelligent design supporters have a
theologically driven agenda to undermine science education. That big oil is
in bed with Bush. That our military is stretched near the breaking point.
But most importantly, that the Republicans aren't going to do anything about
the real problems that average Americans faced.
"Row vs Wade" --LOL --what a "tell" by this left-wing intellectual!
"Row vs Wade":
Whether to take the skiff, or just walk, across the creek.
The only problem Americans face, as a nation, is terrorism. People's personal life challenges are not government's business.
Still must comply with about 50 federal agencies besides Homeland Security NJ, one of the most notable being The Department Of Commerce. Nobody knows them all and do not know if there has ever been one disolved. I'll wager though there has never been a federal agency disolved. From Wiki....
Agencies are unique governmental bodies, exercising powers characteristic of all three branches of the United States federal government: judicial, legislative and executive.
The agencies are under the executive branch, so the public's feedback loop is pretty diffuse and muffled.
A voter can get through to 'em only by his vote for president (or legislative appeal, even clunkier).
Tough call when the pres is also responsible for vastly more urgent activities in the major policy areas.
All of which makes your beef with an agency somewhat difficult to act upon, especially if you happen to agree with the pres on the more urgent matters--which means you don't vote against a guy whose foreign policy you like, on the basis of you don't like say an FDA regulation.
And then there's the agencies own little legal system, called ''administrative law''.
Run afoul of a regulation, and the prosecutor is the agency--a citizen can't break out into the actual legal system until the agency einsatzgruppen have already damaged him and his property.
In the case of small biz, damaged usually means destroyed--meaning, usually an entire family's lifework.
And the guy at the top--the pres--sets (informally, sub-rosa) the aggressiveness level for the agencies. The nitpicking small-business-killing tortuous harassment under Bill Clinton was enormous compared to under George Bush.
This situation makes a regulated entrepreneur much like a vassal of a king. The citizen had better make the person at the contact level of an agency "like" him, or he's screwed--the regulations are sufficiently interpretive that an agency agent who say, dislikes your face, can make you miserable to the point of quitting the business. so, you learn to like boots if not outright bribe. Great case study of the effects of moral hazard. Only solution is to make enough money to keep a powerful law firm on permanent retainer--which then plays hell with your PR efforts (AKA boot-licking) to keep the agency royalty happy.
And you better hope that your business competitors aren't doling out favors under the table. If they are, all you'll ever know is that the agency is digging mighty deep into the enormous gray areas of that regulations manual and finding copious means of taking your mind off running your business and keeping it focused on how to placate the gestapo.
Most of us at MF have sworn our allegiance to capitalism in one one of it's various forms.
I'm curious as to the response MF contributors have to headlines such as todays Drudge:
Wall Street Plans $38 Billion of Bonuses as Shareholders Lose
By Christine Harper
Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Shareholders in the securities industry are having their worst year since 2002, losing $74 billion of their equity . That won't prevent Wall Street from paying record bonuses, totaling almost $38 billion
Is it just the way it goes? Are they smarter than us ...duh , I guess....
Did they earn it? Were they honest? Did the analyst's get kickback for good ratings on bad stock?
Any thoughts fro all us good capitalists, as the the rich grossly underperform on their jobs of making money for investors and walk away with billions in bonus's?
No thoughts other than that no one has to play with people they don't trust. One can use one's local banker, or buy treasuries directly, and stay out of the brokerage-fee game altogether.
However if one's employer is wasting cash on smelly deals, that is for a fact a horse of a different color, it's not so easy to quit when one has time invested.
As far as ''disappearing equity'', let's not fall into the selective time-frame fallacy --perspective here:
There's always the strictly performance-based fee-structured funds, too--but, mind the moral hazard!
To call it an equity market is Orwellian. Where's the equity in what they do to investors?
Re socialism and the climate-change claims: I am not sure that most on the left are even advanced enough to support socialism per se. They think that capitalism rewards the Wrong People, and so much be wrong. When pressed, they can be quite primitive. A just society should reward the right sort of people (artists, professors, activists, helping professions, the whole crew), so they believe the US must (somehow) be unjust. Because the greed they are motivated by is tribal rather than individual, they don't see it as greed at all - why, it's even quite noble! They don't ask a thing for themselves, just that the wrong sort of people be punished, and the Chosen be rewarded. Is that too much to ask?
Sometime between 1996-99, the Dems under You Know WHo were able to get a law passed that changed the GAAP. So that the role through of executive costs did not show up until the following year. I am sorry, I am having a senior moment, so I can't remember more details, but an older accountant here will know what I am speaking of. Ironic isn't it? The dems made it possible!
We sure do appreciate the equal time. And just to make sure you have an outstanding egg nog, here's a link to our recipe. (There's more on our website, too. This one allows you to get to it without the age verification thingy.)
Thanks for thinking of us. Great picture!