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
Friday, February 29. 2008
The USS New York will be christened tomorrow (photo on right).
Is the era of Big Government back?
More on the Columbia noose story. I think it's fishy. Also, from Columbia: How to set up a politicized ethnic studies center. Shouldn't those things be part of anthropology?
Bobby Jindal is cleaning up the swamp. God bless him.
A two-faced Obama. He is a politician.
My first question about this Alphecca piece: Why is driving a car not a right?
How to get a free meal at MacDonalds
Have Americans become voluntary slaves?
The press tries Plan B against McCain. Speaking of McCain, apparently he hates childlren and kicks puppies. The premise, of course, is that your children are the government's responsibility, ie my responsibility.
Hot on the trail of dark matter.
India's eternal affirmative action programs. AKA vote-buying.
More on the Dem's proposed mortgage bailout. So why have I been paying mine?
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"Why is driving a car not a right?"
An interesting question. If we assume that wherever you can go in a car, you could get there by walking, then a car is merely a matter of saving time, right?
So, how do you legislate "the right to save time"?
And if you actually had the Constitutionally-guaranteed "right to drive a car", then would you still need a driver's license? Why should you, since you have the right to drive?
But passing a driver's license test is one of the things that keeps the roads safe, so, even if the "right to drive a car" was smack-dab in the middle of the Constitution, we'd still need to pass a driver's license test, and we're back to square one. As long as you have to pass a test and be certified, then it really doesn't matter whether driving is a "right" or a "privilege". It seems the point is moot.
"Is the era of Big Government back?"
I think it would come as something of a shock to find out it had ever left. :)
Rights of individuals are not Constitutionally defined.
The limits of govt are Constitutionally defined.
It's a state issue, not a constitutional issue. The interstate transportation infrastructure is paid for through indirect, excise taxes implying a priviledged status for the operation of motor vehicles on public roads. Local infrastructure is funded through direct as well as indirect taxes and licenses allow the needed information to be gathered for direct, state tax purposes. Required property damage and personal liability insurance is probably a good idea for vehicle registration and insurance companies rightly require licenses for insured operators. No one forces another to operate a motor vehicle on public roads but if one chooses to they should be willing to defray the costs as well as assume the responsiblity for any personal or property damage they cause. Licenses serve to accomodate all of the above.
Take a look at the first Ten Amendments, commonly known as the Bill of Rights. They are all there for one purpose. To define what specific unalterable rights the citizen has versus the state. They are part of the Constitution.
This was the biggest controversy between the Federalist and Anti Federalist regarding the adoption of the constitution. The Anti Federalists , including the likes of Patrick Henry were not willing to back the constitution without these right spelled out. They demanded a new convention but were persuaded that it would open a new can of worms, might be impossible to convene and all would be lost. So they settled for the Bill of Rights being the first order of business.....those dudes, all of them Feds and Anti's distrusted governments of all stripes and for good reason.
If only we had held it right there, at ten amendments.
oh, okay, just kidding. Universal suffrage is okay -- it has for one thing given a boost to the good grooming & personal hygiene industries.
I know, but I disagree to some extent. # 9 says it all, and it could have been left right there. It's not possible to itemize each of the rights of a free people. It's easier to say what few powers the govt has (or is meant to have).
Ten Ammendments don't come close to delineating the certain rights which belong to the people and all of them might be endangered by a aliciuos government.
Thank God the we don't have such, and citizens manage to flourish in seeking happiness despite the 19 Ammendment.
More of the same dysfunction
We know from the adventures of William Jefferson Clinton’s administration that having a president from a dysfunctional family can have all of the later repercussions that psychologists and psychiatrists write long treatises about. Most of them are bad.
Now we are faced with another uber unctuous presidential wannabe, Barack Hussein Obama who comes from a background even more dysfunctional than Bill Clinton.
Is this what we want? Bill learned early on to preach the gospel to the masses of voters he wanted to woo. He, above all else, wanted to be liked, to be accepted. BO’s travels disclose the same want, to be liked, accepted by even those who purposefully rejected him, his father. He also learned the hymnal and the smoove talk of Bill Clinton, who was hailed at the time as the “best politician” since “best politician” haircuts went over $200 a clip. BO won’t have that challenge.
But one challenge he does have is making decisions. Yes, he is a masterful orator, but oratory does not produce legislation. During his tenure as an Illinois politician he voted over 150 + times “present”, as opposed to taking a stand and possibly being disliked.
His campaign, the MSM has suddenly discovered, has been void of protein. Clara Peller would be screaming at this point, “Where’s the beef?” I suspect the press will never really look for any because their raison d’ętre is to position themselves for that career making interview in the Oval Office. They have to say nice things now to even begin to have a shot…..access is their ticket to success and fame. To hell with the truth.
In BO’s drive by, three year Senate career, he has continued the same please, please like me behavior. His most staunch supporters can not name one, not one meaningful piece of legislation he has produced, sponsored and sheppared through the tangled, threatening maze that is the “process” Psychologist know that our personalities are formed for the greater part within the first three to four years of our lives. If you are in a stable family situation you can get a break, but if your mother is an atheist, your father a home deserter, then you’re from a dysfunctional environment.
The nation cannot indulge itself with another “make me feel good and take full care of me President”. Freedom doesn’t exist in that environment. BO’s positions are now becoming outlined and it doesn’t appear as though he ever learned to color within the lines. Fresh thinking is good but more of Bill Clinton in the form of a smoover BO is not the way to achieve it. Dysfunction and pusillanimous action is not what we need in the White House.
The challenge is getting a nation that wants cradle to grave care, who eschews the strenuous life, to take a look beyond next weeks episode of American Idol and see the developing dangers threatening our existence. That is a challenge that BO will never undertake to define or tell the truth about. He’s incapable of that type of candor; he’s slippery, evasive and devious. He’s another dysfunctional title contender waiting to take America further down the road to serfdom.
Dear powers that be. As we approach the presidential campaign one could easily deduce that a greater portion of the blog input will be about the candidates.
If you think herding cats is difficult try to contain your contributors to one thread. Therefore I suggest you daily post a Presidential thread where the topic can be contained and not spill over into other areas. I'm confident it will play well with the audience while at the same time allowing other areas to remain uncontaminated and pristine.
Thx for reading this.
input: imho, thread asides are the more rewarding and the less distracting the better they avoid supererogatorianism. IOW, the current honor system is as good as good does, and generally that has proven good enough.
Well there's nothing like having a thread on marigold's and one on tractors, only to have a Habu begin his short stories with.......yes Obama once looked at a marigold, but now he wants to outlaw gun ownership....blah blah.......or yep, old Ike had a tractor in Gettysburg but John McCain had an A-4 over Hanoi ...... blah blah...
LOL -- no man who can laugh at hisself can go far wrong --
Well a man just can't afford to take hisself too seriously ... first thing ya know he develops a big hump near his shoulders ...his ass.
I agree wholeheartedly; God bless Bobby Jindal. A true mensch.
Drivng is a right, as is riding a horse, which is closely proximate with right to assemble.
General government does have authority to to restrict the right to travel as it does all rights.
But don't tell the puppies.
Rights....let me review the Branch Dividians ..hummm. Naw we only have the rights the flame throwing tank driver says we have......
when the govment torched that place I was watching it on TV and immediate called my US Rep and demanded they impound that tank as evidence in any upcoming lawsuits...the guvment hustled that tank back on a truck and skedaddle away with it.
For those who can remember this song For What It's Worth
So, y'all take up with David who'd, if he had allowed his groupies their right to bear arms, awakened to common sense by the distress he orchestrated would have blown his faggot face against the wall and not allowed him to murder their children.
Oh, now me remembers, y'all don't have any.
Y'all do keep some strange, desperado.
First off: I have been saying since day one that the nooses are ALL fake, or likely to be mostly so, what ever. Just another victim scam.
Second: Dark Matter is BS for researchers to funnel money into their own pockets. Here is a brief critique of the dark matter article, as you read it, you will feel your wallet fill up with dark matter, a lame search for emptyness, and rather easy to find in my wallet.
"Scientists of the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search experiment today announced that they have regained the lead in the worldwide race to find the particles that make up dark matter. The CDMS experiment, conducted a half-mile underground in a mine in Soudan, Minn., again sets the world’s best constraints on the properties of dark matter candidates.
“With our new result we are leapfrogging the competition,” said Blas Cabrera of Stanford University, co-spokesperson of the CDMS experiment, for which the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory hosts the project management. “We have achieved the world’s most stringent limits on how often dark matter particles interact with ordinary matter and how heavy they are, in particular in the theoretically favored mass range of more than 40 times the proton mass. Our experiment is now sensitive enough to hear WIMPs even if they ring the ‘bells’ of our crystal germanium detector only twice a year. So far, we have heard nothing.”
Let's see if I've got this right. They're leading the world, leapfrogging over the competition, with the most sensitive experiment yet, AND SO FAR, HAVE HEARD NOTHING!
This is, when you boil it all down, our hard-earned taxes being spent here, millions if not billions of our dollars, being poured into a worldwide race to find SOMETHING WHICH DOES NOT EXIST. How stupid are we to let them continually get away with this?
“We were disappointed about not seeing WIMPs this time. But the absence of background in our sample shows the power of our detectors as we enter into very interesting territory,” said CDMS co-spokesperson Bernard Sadoulet, of the University of California, Berkeley.
They've never seen any WIMPS any other time, why be disappointed now? Surely that's a good excuse to ask for even more money, even though they're looking for something which by their own admission, might not even exist!! And the "absence of background" in their sample, means they found another nothing, yet somehow this is a measure of the power of their detectors? Please, how stupid do they think we are? Oh, but I'm just a layperson - I couldn't possibly understand...
"If they exist, WIMPs might interact with ordinary matter at rates similar to those of low-energy neutrinos, elusive subatomic particles discovered in 1956. But to account for all the dark matter in the universe and the gravitational pull it produces, WIMPs must have masses about a billion times larger than those of neutrinos. The CDMS collaboration found that if WIMPs have 100 times the mass of protons (about 100 GeV/c2) they collide with one kilogram of germanium less than a few times per year; otherwise, the CDMS experiment would have detected them."
Here is a statement which begs for ridicule. "IF they exist, WIMPS MIGHT interact ... otherwise the CDMS experiment would have detected them." Now, I'm not taking these statements out of context, am I? Surely the "If" and the "might" allow the possibility that if they didn't detect any, THERE AREN'T ANY THERE!!!
“The nature of dark matter is one of the mysteries in particle physics and cosmology,” said Dr. Dennis Kovar, Acting Associate Director for High Energy Physics in the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. “Congratulations to the CDMS collaboration for improved sensitivity and a new limit in the search for dark matter.”
Congratulations, you've successfully found NOTHING!! Now we'll just have to ask for more funds to make our equipment even more sensitive. If one kilogram of geraniums costs heaps, then 25 kilos will cost lots of heaps. We had better get that funding, or we may not win the race to find this nothing... well, we've found nothing, but we must look for even more nothing...
"The CDMS experiment is located in the Soudan Underground Laboratory, shielded from cosmic rays and other particles that could mimic the signals expected from dark matter particles. Scientists operate the ultrasensitive CDMS detectors under clean-room conditions at a temperature of about 40 millikelvin, close to absolute zero. Physicists expect that WIMPs, if they exist, travel right through ordinary matter, rarely leaving a trace. If WIMPs crossed the CDMS detector, occasionally one of the WIMPs would hit a germanium nucleus. Like a hammer hitting a bell, the collision would create vibrations of the detector’s crystal grid, which scientists could detect. Not having observed such signals, the CDMS experiment set limits on the properties of WIMPs."
How about "not having observed anything, perhaps there's nothing there..." Again we've got the IF they exist, followed by the FACT that they've not observed any, so that sets limits on their properties!! I would have thought that if there's an IF involved, perhaps non-observance or non-detection is an indication they may not exist.
“Observations made with telescopes have repeatedly shown that dark matter exists. It is the stuff that holds together all cosmic structures, including our own Milky Way. The observation of WIMPs would finally reveal the underlying nature of this dark matter, which plays such a crucial role in the formation of galaxies and the evolution of our universe,” said Joseph Dehmer, director of the Division of Physics for the National Science Foundation.
The first statement in this paragraph is an in-your-face, out-and-out first rate LIE. The observations they're referring to show there's a force at work which the cosmological community fails to understand. So they postulate this magic stuff, which cannot be seen, and in their mathematical models they shove enough of it into the universe to make their sums add up.
And all without giving any thought to a force which IS known, which we use every day, which has now been shown to exist throughout the universe, and which is 39 orders of magnitude stronger than gravity. For the lay folk out there, that's one thousand billion, billion, billion, billion, times, stronger than gravity. Yet they're out there searching for WIMPS, and might just as well be searching for unicorns and faeries, and we're footing the bill for this rot.
"The discovery of WIMPs would require extensions to the theoretical framework known as the Standard Model of particles and their forces. On Feb. 22, the CDMS collaboration presented its result to the scientific community at the Eighth UCLA Dark Matter and Dark Energy symposium."
They presented their result, NOTHING - to the scientific community, at get this - a SYMPOSIUM on Dark Matter and Dark Energy! I wonder who paid for that big bowl of JUNKET! And then they've gone slapping each other on the back:
“This is a fantastic result,” said UCLA professor David Cline, organizer of the conference.
A fantastic result if you stake your livelihood on it, I suppose, but not if you're paying for all this and getting ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IN RETURN!!
"getting nothing in return" is a fine result if it pertains to Bubbles McClanahan
Git up ,git up and lets celebrate the Leap Year Black History Month with the great KoKo Taylor....
....and now on ar reaeely big stage....Mississippi Freddy McDowell
Mississippi Freddy McDowell
we keep trying to get a scandinavian history month going, but the committee members keep committing suicide before they get anywhere with it
i second that -- he just did for the Royal family the same thing that the Stars & Stripes did for the Marine Corp atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima -- insured it "for the next 500 years".
Yes indeed. Now he must learn to live the life of a lean and hungry man, eyes constantly searching out the assassin of which there will be many.
He is still young and would do well to remain "combat ready" for the time AQ or the Taliban decide to reach for him. What he did, being a Royal was incredibly brave. Not just "in country" but for the remainder of his life.
Buddy your analogy is spot on the mark. I wish him well.
I shall never forget after all Lord Mountbatten did for England how the IRA blew him up when he was an old man.
Harry now has his own IRA to deal with.
Lord Mountbatten, with the force of his personality and the confidence he imparted to the XIV Army's air logistics team, saved eastern India from a major EOJ invasion, in the so-called Imphal campaign.
actually "broke" the large, fresh, well-equipped but logistics-light OEJ army, three (or six?) divisions of which simply ceased to exist, and the commander of which got fired & yanked back to Tokyo mid-campaign.
Major mountain jungle campaign, strung out over 350 miles from the Burmese plain to Imphal in India -- 350 miles as the crow flies, twice that slogging up and down the ridges, which usually ran at right angle to the line of march. Supplied by Goony Birds, C-47s dropping paracute supplies. The year 1944.
(thank you, history show i watched on tv just last nite)
Imphal campaign: Brit & Indian casualties in the several months of constant moving contact; 40,000. EOJ; 60,000.
Lord Mountbatten and troops were far from the playing fields of Eton (to which the Iron Duke, Wellington, had given credit for the victory over Napoleon at Waterloo a mere 124 years earlier).
jeez, i just realized, I'm almost half as old as the span of time between Wellington & Mountbatten. Two different eras. Damn. No wonder i don't want an iPod.