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, September 6. 2021
I repost this about every four years. I think, a good reminder. Below is a repost of a column I wrote at another venue for Labor Day 2006 and posted again here in 2011 and 2014 and 2018:
What remains of Labor Day? Some speeches about the hard work of our parents or grandparents, and some newspaper articles about current difficulties getting established or obtaining benefits for today’s workers.
Conservatives are distinguished by particular respect for the hallowed history from which current and future advantages spring, without which we would be rootless and at the whim of passing fancies or incitements.
Supposedly, the virtues and rewards of hard work are among these cherished principles.
The Left trumpets redistributive schemes from the affluent or hard working to the poor or lazy, most of which have relatively little benefit to the poor but create newly enriched bureaucrats and union leaders.
Conservatives’ answer is usually more along the lines of how to preserve and protect the fruits of the labor by those in the middle and upper rungs of the economic ladder.
Sebastian Mallaby steps on the Left and Right’s toes today in the Washington Post.
Mallaby points out the futility of most of the Left’s prescriptions, to the “point the left begins to seethe.” He then focuses on reducing tax incentives that mostly accrue to the middle and upper classes, to free up a quarter of them for $180-billion that could be used for increased earned income credits and reduced regressive payroll taxes.
The problem with Mallaby’s arguments is that they are another, albeit better, form of redistribution, and government has repeatedly proven its penchant for wasting such billions on other than targeted needs. More necessary is the unbridling of energies and rewards for labor. That requires investment which creates demand for labor, and skills-oriented education that creates competitive wage earners to fill those new openings.
As Mallaby correctly argues, many of the poorest workers are in service trades not impacted by international competition. Such positions that were once beginning rungs on the ladder now face a gap of steps up due to lack of skills.
Instead of redistributing tax incentives, more needed is redistributing our already huge tax outlays on education from schemes that create administrative and union positions, and posh campuses, toward greater vocational and skills education.
That honors labor, by providing the tools for all to benefit from labor.
The evening of September 6, 2021 will launch the 5782th Jewish New Year.
The Hebrew word Rosh (ראש) means first/head/beginning and Hashanah (השנה) means the year. The root of the Hebrew word Shanah is both “repeat” and “change.” Rosh Hashanah constitutes an annual reminder of the need to enhance one’s behavior through a systematic study of moral values, learning from experience and avoiding past errors. Rosh Hashanah ushers-in the Ten Days of Repentance, which are concluded on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement).
Humility. Rosh Hashanah is celebrated on the 6th day of Creation, when the first human-being, Adam, was created. Adam is the Hebrew word for a human-being (אדמ). Adam was created with humility before G-d. Adam strayed, the original sin, that we work to overcome with our learning the strength and humility to do what's right, regardless the temptation .
I think it’s very important that we think about what humility means and how we embody it as we walk into the High Holidays.
We are encouraged to enter humbly into the holidays as we stand before God and ourselves. But what does that mean?
It’s about dropping everything and anything that has to do with ego - pride, embarrassment, shame, jealousy, comparing myself to others and so much more. Humility is about standing in truth and that truth includes your strengths as well. It includes all of you. None of it is bad or good. But that truth reveals the parts of ourselves that may be getting in our own way. And we’re only able to see those things once we can humbly walk through them. And once we see them, well, that’s when the growth begins.
No one is watching your journey through the holidays. It is yours to have and experience. And it is between you, God (if God is a part of the equation for you), and yourself. Make the most of it.
Let’s walk humbly together into these coming days, vulnerable, open, and honest.
(I humbly borrowed most of the above from several wise ones.)
Friday, September 3. 2021
Even the Feds Reportedly Want to Know Why McDonald's Ice Cream Machines Are Always Broken (They've always worked for me, and for $1 a good deal)
Jonathan Turley: Is Roe vs. Wade finished? The mainstream media just can't hold back: It is not the first time that actual orders or decisions seemed immaterial to the mainstream media's coverage (Whatever the ultimate outcome, it pays to know the facts.....unless facts interfere with bias.)
Thursday, September 2. 2021
This corporate hustle is the subject of a new, bestselling book called Woke Inc: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam by biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. Ramaswamy makes the compelling case that “stakeholder capitalism” sounds like a good thing, but is in fact deeply damaging our democracy.
China may be the most prominent example of stakeholder capitalism gone awry, but it is hardly alone.
Any number of American corporations now lavishing untold sums of capital on diversity, inclusion and equity initiatives in the United States are eager to do business in countries with reprehensible human-rights records
..So persists an inescapable contradiction of stakeholder capitalism: All of these corporations have successfully rebranded themselves as good citizens, global stewards and combatants in the war against systemic racism, which has obviously proven good for business, but very bad for America, blurring the moral distinction between democracies and closed societies, between the free West and fear-based societies like China.
And because this business strategy is dressed in the garments of justice, it only compounds our innumerable confusions about what makes us us.
Jewish Institute for Liberal Values: CRT and Antisemitism white paper (An important resource)
Wednesday, September 1. 2021
Sunday, August 29. 2021
When schools teach 'equity,' kids learn fear and anger: Social science research documents harm from well-intentioned "coddling." Time to rethink Biden's anti-American energy policies
Friday, August 27. 2021
Taliban Takeover Is a Boon for Cash-Strapped Iran: Tehran gets dollars from new oil sales to Afghanistan, while the Taliban get fuel for the ailing Afghan economy
Wednesday, August 25. 2021
Monday, August 23. 2021
Keeping Fear Alive: Reluctant to set the public free, policymakers and the public-health bureaucracy set unachievable and unnecessary goals.
Iran has doubled forces on Israeli border since 2018, report claims: Istanbul-based Jusoor research institute, which has close ties to Syrian opposition forces, says the number of bases used by pro-Iranian militias and Iranian satellite Hezbollah has increased from 40 to 88 since 2018.
Sunday, August 22. 2021
Friday, August 20. 2021
NYC exhibit of Nazi-looted art tells a tale of Jewish loss and recovery: Opening Friday, the Jewish Museum’s ‘Afterlives: Recovering the Lost Stories of Looted Art’ is a testament to survival, despite attempts to eradicate an identity and culture
Pentagon contradicts Biden MINUTES after his fumbling speech by saying Americans HAVE been attacked by the Taliban on the way to Kabul airport and al-Qaeda IS still present in Afghanistan
Wednesday, August 18. 2021
Efforts and pipe dreams by US policy makers under Trump in the last days of his presidency. Worthwhile background to know, and likely more to come, which stands in sharp contrast to Biden just throwing in the towel and the allied Afghanis under the Taliban bus.
This week's disaster set in motion by US military leadership, following Biden's direction in abandoning Bagram.
Excellent insights (promoted from the Comments, with thanks): What a Retired General Who Served 10 Tours in Afghanistan Has to Say
Tuesday, August 17. 2021
Monday, August 16. 2021
Read it all. An excerpt:
The West’s post-9/11 bluster was continually undermined by the West’s broader descent into moral relativism. How can you assert the civilisational authority of Western values when your entire educational and university system is devoted to questioning and demeaning Western civilisation? You cannot partake in a clash of civilisations if you loathe your own civilisation.
H.R. McMaster, Nikki Haley, Justin Amash, Elliot Ackerman, Thomas Joscelyn, Eli Lake and Jacob Siegel weigh in.
Avoids the excuses spins by Biden and minions, or of defenders of earlier presidents. For me, who proudly served in USMC in Vietnam, the incompetence and timidity of our supposed leaders is despicable.
Sunday, August 15. 2021
We Once Waltzed in Kabul: The U.S. abandoned my friends. Now they are trapped in Afghanistan and hiding from the Taliban.
Please Don’t Feed the Businesses: Ending crony capitalism requires understanding the difference between a pragmatic, pro-market dispensation and a dogmatically pro-business one.
'Easy money': How international scam artists pulled off an epic theft of Covid benefits: Russian mobsters, Chinese hackers and Nigerian scammers have used stolen identities to plunder tens of billions of dollars in pandemic aid, officials say.
It only needed several thousand air and logistic support personnel from the US and other countries for the Afghan army to keep the Taliban at bay. Without that, the US-NATO molded Afghan army, which relied on that, crumbled, its troops knowing they couldn't survive without it. Trump and Biden, despite military advice to the contrary, wanted to pander to politics of war-wearied voters by saying a complete withdrawal. The result is a sanctuary for terrorists, energized Al Quada and ISIS, encouraged Russia and China (look out Taiwan), Israel's strategic reliance on its alliance with the US undermined, and other countries reluctant to depend on the US. Not to mention the slaughter of allied or innocent Afghanis, subjugation and rape of Afghani women, and children raised to hate and fight the West. All that for the political pandering removal of several thousand US and NATO troops!
Saturday, August 14. 2021
Union Busted: The villains of the pandemic are the leaders of America’s teachers’ unionsHow CUNY’s Faculty Union Bet on Israel Hatred, and Lost
Biden's hasty bugout echoes the US Congress' Democrats after Watergate knocked out Nixon ending US air and logistics support of the South Vietnamese
Wednesday, August 11. 2021
Manchin voted with Reps to prohibit funding of CRT in schools in an amendment to the Senate Dems $3.5Trillion bill:Senate Republicans Notch Victory In Fight Against Radical Critical Race Theory:The Senate Adopted A Republican Amendment To Prohibit Federal Funding From Going Towards Promoting Radical Critical Race Theory Ideologies In Schools
Tuesday, August 10. 2021
Monday, August 9. 2021
Alveda King: Critical race theory – why it's absolutely critical to know these facts: Race is a social construct that I refuse to afford any more power
New Op-Ed by AMCHA Director Warns of Serious Threat to Jewish Community from AB 101 as 'Liberated' Ethnic Studies Curriculum Unveils Overtly Antisemitic Intentions
(Of course, you need not be Jewish or a California resident to comment to the members of the California legislative caucus to scuttle this CRT loophole in the currently considered legislation. https://jewishcaucus.legislature.ca.gov/contact-us-0 Please be polite but firm. Antisemitism is just part of the CRT agenda. CRT is coming after your schools everywhere!)
Sunday, August 8. 2021
Friday, August 6. 2021
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