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
Thursday, November 13. 2008
The EU: Unelected, redundant, condescending, unaccountable, largely unwanted - and now slowly building their own military. It's a Mandarinocracy.
The gradual return to economic normalcy: excellent little summary by Tiger. Yes, recessions are normal too.
Sundown for California. How did it happen?
Oh no! Is this a joke? Al Gore as Climate Czar? Thanks for reminding me why I voted for McCain/Palin.
I think this is what it's all about: Run candidates who can communicate.
The delusion that "progress" comes from Washington. Hasn't government stupidity been fairly well-established over the past 70 years? That piece pretty much captures the Maggie's view.
Is now the time to buy stocks? I would say "Definitely, if you have a 20-year time horizon." But I don't pretend to know much.
I got through about 7 seconds of this. How long can you listen?
An election the Repubs needed to lose. Dick Morris (I'd compare it to GM)
Jindal and others at Repub Governor's Assoc
We ask this question all the time, but when Insty poses it, it carries more weight:
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
I never thought much about Obama's cabinet heads on Nov,4, because I was to busy dry heaving. Now that NJ has listed a few rumored positions, I'm doing it all over again. I'm right back where I was. Oh the joy of it all!!
"How long can you listen?" - I got through about five seconds. I didn't know what to do first: quickly navigate away from the page, my fingers fumbling in the blind panic caused by the severe psychical trauma, or make a run for the bathroom and position my head over the bowl. Who are these people? Can I sue them for the probably permanent mental scar they have inflicted on me? Horrible, horrible, most horrible! It harrows up the soul and freezes the blood.
Apparently it isn't satirical.
My ears and mind were offended. If I were Candian, I'd register a complaint with the Human Rights Commission.
It is horrifying to witness, even for five seconds, what abyssal depths of stupidity human beings are capable of plumbing. It is therefore an offence against the dignity of the entire human race. Is there no clause in the Geneva Convention that expressly outlaws this kind of thing?
....... jeeez.. Epistemon, I bow to you for using all the words, expressions I wanted to use but couldn't come up with because my brain froze in shock. I lasted five seconds...long enough to think of fleeing the country before these morons spawn.
Actually, I endured only one second - the other four seconds elapsed in a frantic effort to make it stop. Of course, it all seemed much longer: as is typical in moments of intense horror or mortal danger, time endlessly dilated, and I felt as though my mind was about to become unhinged, that my consciousness itself was threatened with annihilation, was about to be engulfed by the outer darkness of stupidity. Afterwards I lay insensate for an indeterminable period, paralysed by the psychical shock, before recovering my wits sufficiently to be able to write the above comments.
Al Goracle and Government
First, the recent displays by Paulson and Obama just reinforce my libertarian views. In general, government cannot be trusted nor can it ever deliver anything efficiently. That is why our brilliant framers focused on the concept of limited government.
By definition, government is a coalition of people. Compromise should keep extremist ideas from making it through the process (although this is in jeopardy with increasing judicial fiat and the election of Obama and the leftists). It is a "lowest common denominator" process. That is why the decisions are almost always dumb!
Evidence? Al Gore! (Feel free to add to the list!)
Shrinking government as a percent of GDP is essential for the survival of the republic.
Be careful. Valuations are in play for many reasons, including the recession. Obamanomics and government policy are unknowns. Paulson is dangerous and should be fired for moving away from the TARP to free money for everyone except those of us who acted responsibly. My experience and instincts tell there is more risk to the downside. Secular bear market can last longer than you can imagine. Check out Crestmont Research on the web.
Should Everyone Pay Taxes?
Yes, with no exceptions. Steve Forbes is probably right that a flat tax without deductions is the way to go. Everyone needs to have skin in the game. It would also remove so much of the political shenanigans from the tax code. Is it 20,000 pages long now?
In Bernie Goldberg's book "Bias", he starts out with the story of Steve Forbes trying to get a flat tax passed/introduced. By the time I finished that section of the book, I was outraged. By the time I finished the book, I was completely disillusioned by everything about government. So naive was I at the time I read it years ago, but I will never forget the beating Steve Forbes received by his 'compatriots'.
When I was in high school, I took a summer job in the Parks and Recreation Department in my municipality. This was the daily drill.
Arrive at 7:00 am. Stand around for 30 minutes while work assignments are distributed. (Now mind you, 99% of the assignments were anything but heavy lifting - go replace a plank in the boardwalk.) Get in the truck with TWO other guys (3 total). Go throw tools and materials into the truck. Drive at very slow rate of speed to the job site. Take the stuff out of the truck. Oh no! Time for the morning coffee break. Out the stuff back in the truck. Drive to get a cup of coffee. Sit around drinking coffee. Drive back to the job site. I would usually do almost all of the work myself and finish before lunch. The full-time guys would be really mad because we would need to back to the yard to get another assignment.
This could have been outsourced to a local contractor at ridiculous rates and still been less expensive. What a waste!
This was when I knew that government does not work! Period!!!
The only things that that government should be allowed to do are the things that the private sector cannot perform - national defense, border security, law enforcement, etc.
If everyone had skin in the game on a proportional basis, then everyone would at least have some interest in not being ripped off.
A flat tax makes total sense. There would actually be more jobs and higher paying jobs because all of the capitaltied up in government could be used more efficiently and the pie would be BIGGER. (That is my slap at Tom Friedman who sees the world as a zero sum game.)
"If everyone had skin in the game on a proportional basis, then everyone would at least have some interest in not being ripped off."
I could tell a similar story of my son doing community service at the local National Cemetery, but it would take too long because I'd have to describe the full-time workers to make the story the stunner it is.
But your observation above gets me. I got into this with Luther the other night - though we wandered off course a bit, the sentiment is the same: WHY do democrats/liberals not understand the human nature aspect of anything? I can't comprehend how they can just dismiss that productivity and pride engenders the best from mankind. I just don't get it. What short-circuits their thinking so that knowledge never makes the leap to application?
"Why do democrats/liberals not understand the human nature aspect of anything?"
It is stunning, isn't it?!
All the more because of the claim that they are more sensitive of people's needs and feeling, more concerned about not offending anyone, abhor violence, bemoan poverty and clamor for peace.
Yet the policies they pursue actually result in the opposite of what they claim to value. The reason almost always involves the misunderstanding of human nature.
People have varying degrees of success or failure in part because people have varying degrees of talent. Competition is viewed as harsh - people get bruised feelings, have different results and can lose money or other things in a competitive world.
The libs think - Gee, imagine how much harmony we could have if there was no competition and equality of BOTH opportunity AND outcome! There are no winners or losers. Everyone is above average. And on it goes! Insert the words of John Lennon's awful song Imagine here! (Hint: guess where Marxism comes from?)
It doesn't work because it does not recognize the nature of mankind! Self-respect and self-worth are driven in part by accomplishment and its rewards. Take away the rewards and there is no reason to expend the effort to accomplish.
I spent three weeks in Russia about eight years ago when we adopted our youngest. I had read a fair amount of Russian literature in college and studied the history of Russia, including the Bolshevik Revolution, Sino-Soviet conflict and the history of capitalism and collectivism. I remember the Russian saying, "We pretend to work and the government pretends to pay us."
I look at the folly in Washington today with the reactionary Paulson and with the Marxist Obama in the wings and shake my head.
Look at the results of the government's "help" on those who were supposed to benefir from Johnson's Great Society. With help like that, who needs it?
Did you ever read Dr. Sanity's blog? She spent hours and hours talking about the difference between the conservative and the liberal mindset. But she still didn't get it down to the disconnect that takes place in the brain that allows for the dissociation from reality. (I had to quit reading her because her posts were too long, so I don't know if before she took her break from blogging she found the answer.) I still want to know, though, how it is a regular person actually believes leftist bullshit. Politicians don't believe it other than they can use it for their own gain.
The irony of my quest is that it can't be answered without massive generalization, and that invalidates most responses. Just like the do-gooders of the far-right, the mindless do-gooders of the left blow my mind in their pendulum efforts to make the world a happy place. ... As if they, themselves, aren't the most miserable skunks on the planet.
As a former straight down the ticket Dem, as excuse, brought up that way from birth... I would like to know the precise physiological change that took place once I had fed my brain the necessary facts to alter my world view. Is there a single process switch or a multitude of processes that occur in allowing that to take place. Now it started with 9/11... and then like the joke the other night about the farmer's son... I started reading around.
Now, could it be... as you said the other night, Meta, in thinking that there might need be an apocalyptic catastrophe to bring the country back to its senses, that the brain need be shocked in some way for the system to allow this to happen. Similar perhaps to some sort of electroshock therapy allowing a window of opportunity to open for a short while so new information can filter in if the subject is willing, and able, to accept such.
I've read quite a few stories of how this process occurred to others and the one most frequently cited beginning was 9/11. The shock.
That's your answer, Luther. In liberals it runs slowly. When a shock happens to the system, myelin electrifies itself and produces smoother jumps from one synapse to another.
Did that help? :] It's not far off, actually. It is what makes us human.
Why not flip your question around and ask why some people rejoiced at the sight of the two towers falling and some are traumatized to this day. Or ask why a believer suddenly stops believing or a non-believer starts to believe.
I think maybe it's much more of a cognizant awareness than it is physiological and I think it only works on people who have been to the extremes and seen them for what they are and then settled in the safe middle that a person can determine which makes sense to him. You have to have curiosity and then the willingness to piece together your life experiences into something that makes sense. All of that requires some meta-cognition, and for those who don't bother or can't synthesize knowledge, the settle for what feels good as opposed to what is good.
I lasted for 1:40 and laughed thru most of it, and then for some reason it no longer seemed funny. My wife refused to look. She thought it was like looking at a car crash. She didn't even rubberneck from around her computer.
Read a good article by T Sowell over at NRO called Intellectuals.
Apparently, Al Goreacle does not want the job. He probably needs to make more money so he can pay himself his carbon credit indulgences.
You know, it takes a lot of those carbon credit indulgences to assuage a guilty conscience for all the private jetting around and that huge house that uses more electricity in a month than mine does in a year! And think of how much more he has to pay in carbon indulgences when he opens that big old bloviating mouth of his. I have even gotten to his estimated methane producing impcat either - no, I don't think I'll go there.
NEW TOPIC: Campaign Finance and the FEC
The FEC will not audit Obama's $600 million haul and how much illicit money he received, but it will audit McCain because he took public funds. McCain has set aside $9.5 million for the priviledge.
The moral of the story is as a Democrat (and only for Democrats), you can disable credit card security and taken in as many donations from Mickey Mouse, other Disney characters and from international sources. If you take in enough, the FEC will look the other way under a theory of statisical significance.
Well, if you don't investigate it, how do you know it isn't statistically significant?
Add it to the Obama list. You can't make this up.
Barrett, my friend ... What makes you think that Al Gore has a guilty conscience? About anything? A man who will start up his own company to sell carbon offsets just so he can buy offsets from himself, thus setting up an endless Moebius strip of money [out of my pocket, back into my pocket] doesn't know the meaning of the word conscience. This is malignant narcissism at its most blatant.
I see and take your point. I am not sure if he has a guilty conscience or a conscience at all.
If you remove conscience from the equation, that would leave cold calculation that (i) justifies his behavior which is in direct conflict with his stated position and (ii) is designed to manipulate others to follow his message whatever his motives, perverse or otherwise, may be.
Either way, it is rather condemning.