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
Tuesday, March 3. 2015
Bigger than ISIS? Maybe or maybe not, but not as hair-raising. Bigger than Hillary using her personal email? Absolutely, but not as top-of-mind or intriguing. Bigger than Immigration Reform? Probably not, but interestingly the topics which are involved would play a role in hopefully reducing the influx of illegals by opening up markets more.
We are smarter than you, and we know what's best for you. Don't worry that you never voted for us, or that we are completely unaccountable. It's in your best interest.
Ultimately, it's a kind of boring topic. Which is why I like it, because it involves politics, law and economics. Economics being 'the dismal science', Net Neutrality has often been misconstrued and misunderstood in the media because it doesn't attract much thought beyond a populist angle. After all, most reporters and bloviators who comment on the topic work for companies that will benefit from Net Neutrality. Of course, they were never harmed without it, but hey, these populists are busy looking out for your best interests. Because, of course, nobody else will and you're simply not smart enough to know better. I'll be clear, I work for a company that supports Net Neutrality and conceivably benefits from it. Which is one reason the small level of anonymity which blogging provides is beneficial when writing pieces like this.
The passage, last week, by the FCC of a policy which treats broadband providers as "common carriers" under Title II of the Telecommunications Act basically means they are now utilities. Not completely, but close enough to make that claim without much disagreement. But what sparked this vote, why is it needed (or why do populists feel it is needed), and what does it potentially do?
Continue reading "Net Neutrality"
Thursday, February 26. 2015
Napolitano: What if the government fears freedom? What if Bush and Obama have been wrong about the priority of their constitutional duties as president?
Don't all governments fear freedom? Power, unlike money or sex, is a zero-sum game.
Friday, February 20. 2015
In our nation, we have taxation with representation. However, given the size of our current debt, and the length of financing being pushed out to 20 and 30 year bonds, much of the repayment will be provided by another generation.
This generation, of course, has no say in the introduction of debt, and this is a fairly common theme when the size of our debt is discussed. However, I've seen relatively few people discuss the political implications of forcing taxation without representation on these future generations.
Is there a moral issue related to deficit spending, over 20 to 30 years, since it is essentially taxation without representation? I think there can be a strong case made, though I've never seen it discussed. Has anyone else?
Wednesday, February 18. 2015
From my perspective, a college degree is good for a few things. These are not limited to: expanding one's view of the world, improving one's own process of inquiry and learning (my father's old line is you go to college to get an education, not to get a job), and to become technically proficient in a variety of specialized fields where proficiency is otherwise difficult to achieve. I'd toss in that it's also a means of networking and learning social skills to improve future prospects in both life and work.
College is not the only place to learn these things, though it's probably one of the better places to learn them. You could say the same for the military, in some respects. Be that as it may, limiting one's view of a person's potential and capabilities to very specialized qualifications, such as college or military backgrounds, is a bit odd.
Mike Rowe explains why:
Continue reading "Mike Rowe on Qualifications Versus Competency"
Sunday, February 15. 2015
From Z Blog's The Elite Monoculture:
... the better way of looking at the great divide is between those who think there is a perfect social arrangement and those who do not. The former imagine there is a perfect way to order human affairs to achieve maximum happiness. That perfect way is both discoverable and achievable. Morality dictates that anything and everything be done in order to reach this state of social perfection. The Rousseau-ists are entirely focused on the end and are willing to use any means necessary to achieve those ends. It’s why the body count for the various Rousseau-ist cults is staggeringly high.
Thursday, February 12. 2015
During the Obama administration, the last two goals of the American Left have been set on paths to completion: government control of medical care, and open borders.
So do they announce that their domestic mission is accomplished and that all they need to do now is to be good stewards of what they have done? Nope. They have been busy forging a fresh agenda for the future, just as all organizations tend to do after their goals have been met.
Democrat-Media Complex Issues New Talking Points - Why should only poor people get free stuff?
The Left will begin offering middle-class freebies, and the Repubs will offer the promise of growth and opportunity. Who wins that argument?
Tuesday, February 10. 2015
Sunday, February 8. 2015
Do we really need more roads, highways, and bridges? And if we do, what does the federal government have to do with it? In my humble view, most government infrastructure is a disguised subsidy for somebody or something.
One good guy vs the government. Guy loses.
Wednesday, February 4. 2015
Tuesday, February 3. 2015
As anybody graduating from Middle School knows, the US is a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy. It was cleverly designed to limit government power and to prevent mob rule by majorities.
Government has been trying to change that ever since.
Friday, January 30. 2015
Are we witnessing an epidemic of PC bullying? Of course, and the contagion has spread out of academia to the real world. People have become fearful of what and how they talk, as if we were in the old East Germany. Fact is, you can pass yourself off as a victim, you can bully and intimidate all you want.
The argument is that only certain (usually academic) elites can be rational, so it is the job of our moral and intellectual superiors to protect us from bad ideas, bad words, and unhindered speech. Good, concise piece: Yes, Political Correctness Really Exists - Social media gives new muscle to German Marxist Herbert Marcuse's arguments against free discourse.
There is truth in that notion that the biggest megaphones are loudest, but this concern misunderestimates people - even the benighted hoi polloi like us who believe everything on NPR. As you might expect, here at Maggie's we take some amusement from a world full of loony-tunes and liberal fascists -regardless of the size of their megaphones - because we have faith that good old American common sense and resourcefulness will endure and see through the insanity.
Indeed, I believe the Left would be happy to hinder my free speech. I have no desire to hinder theirs, even though I sometimes feel it is fundamentally malevolent. As we often claim here, the desire to control others is a form of mental illness.
CS Lewis: Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.
For an amusing take on the topic, Another Progressive Self-Excommunicates Over Political Correctness Thugsquads
Sunday, January 25. 2015
Doesn't dying suck enough, unless you are in terrible shape?
Tomasky is in favor of death tax. He'd like the government to take most or all of your estate when you croak, and makes a moral case for it.
Leviathan will eat all he can, and it is never enough for him and never will be. There should be no death tax. Family, and free choice in saving and spending, trumps government. I can make moral cases in opposition to Tomasky. For starters:
- That money has already been taxed once. Why a double jeopardy?
- One reason people work and save is to provide for family and future. Isn't less dependency on government a good thing? In my view, more wealthy families are a good thing. The more, the better. They invest, and if they are not financially successful on their own, at least they do not become dependent on everybody else.
- Who is the government to tell me how much is "enough"?
- Despite Tomasky's dismissal of the loss of family farms and family businesses to pay taxes, I have seen it happen, and sadly. A damn shame.
- Very wealthy families (eg Kennedys, Rockefellers, Kerry-Heinzes, Clintons, etc) find ways around it. Middle class people with small businesses, farms, or small collections of real estate or gas stations, cannot.
Add your own arguments, for or against, in the comments.
Saturday, January 24. 2015
From a thoughtful essay by Harvey Mansfield, Our Parties, Part One - The Democrats: how progress became drift:
Thursday, January 22. 2015
So when I think about what the President had to say, and specifically who he was speaking to (because he did not speak to me or people like me), I think of another movie, one involving an entrepreneur who built a business and was seeking to keep it running by giving jobs to disadvantaged folk who were willing to work for him because he recognized the value they provided and sought to protect them from harm while giving them a living 'wage'. Progressives believe this man is the government, which is why we were exhorted to "move forward together" even as the President sought to polarize us further.
We know the truth. We know this man doesn't exist. We know the best thing the government can say to Progressives is this:
On the other hand, these are the Progressives Obama spoke to:
Saturday, January 17. 2015
Friday, January 16. 2015
From VDH's Multicultural Suicide
Tuesday, January 13. 2015
We linked about the failing Scandinavian welfare states this morning. We all know that everybody from China to NYC considers them contented blond cattle, weak wards of the State. Until the recent Muslim invasion, they were homogenous, all cousins.
Clearly, the Viking spirit is long gone, and the testosterone levels have dropped to the point that their males are now considered the least masculine and most risk-averse in the world - and that includes the Italians.
America is not Europe. America has no history of respect or trust in government, a history of defiance of the State, no history of serfdom, no homogeneity at all. And except for the (fortunate, in retrospect) Africans sold by their brethren and the Muslim slavers into slavery to Americans, America's traditions are based on its eager settlers, pioneers, and immigrants and are all about "leave me alone."
JFK spoke for all immigrants with his "Ask not..." speech, which stood in bold contrast to the Euroland of his time and, perhaps, in contrast to some of America today. As we say, America was not made for sissies, but for the few and the brave. Not for farm animals.
In the past week I have seen that spirit alive and well in three Hispanic immigrants and one Haitian, These four are here to try to mold their dreams and want nothing from anybody - just freedom to do their thing. In these people, I see my Polish grandfather's immigrant spirit.
He worked in an aircraft engine factory, saved every penny for 20 years, raised three sturdy athletic kids on beans, learned to speak, read and write English at night school, bought a farm, and the tough old SOB farmed it until the day he died at 82. Dairy. Also, chickens and eggs. Dug a big farm pond (pre-EPA) with a neighbor's bulldozer and filled it with catfish and white ducks and geese for special-occasion dining. Grandma would grab them, chop their heads off, gut them and feather them, and throw their feet and heads to the barn dogs to fight over.
Plenty of people, including our European forefathers, wonder if we are nuts not to want the soft life. They just don't know what they are missing. They are the benighted ones whose lack of vigor and pride are repeatedly proven. They won't even stand up for their culture anymore.
Thursday, January 1. 2015
Tuesday, December 23. 2014
Insty: We don't need more laws
America has more laws, rules, and regulations than anybody could learn in a lifetime - or could obey without a large team of lawyers on hand at all times. I'm in favor of a ten-year moratorium on new laws, giving time to roll back old laws.
Wednesday, December 17. 2014
Today I had to discuss business with him at a designated time and arrived as the last biscuit was handed out.
A group of people entered just after me, and were told the last one had be served. One fellow responded "Well, good, because I was conflicted."
"Conflicted about what?" I asked.
"I hate that company and everything it stands for. So I wasn't sure I wanted a biscuit. I'm glad they are gone so I don't have any moral qualms."
I started laughing and said "They make a damn good chicken sandwich, and that's all I care about. I can't stand many Hollywood actors and their politics, but I'll still see their movies because I want to be entertained."
He replied, "Well, that's not an issue for me. I like most Hollywood actors."
I could hear my point whistling past his ears.
There aren't many purchases I make while considering the politics of those things. If I did, I probably wouldn't spend much money. I'd have a hard time buying clothes, food, and putting gas in my tank. I'm a fan of Pink Floyd, went to see Roger Waters perform in concert, with all his political nonsense, and simply told my boys "Enjoy the show and the music, pay no attention to the political diatribes and imagery. We didn't ask for that, he's just decided to force it on his fans, many of whom don't think for themselves, anyway. We are here for the art and the entertainment."
I loves me my Chick-fil-A. I don't agree with their stance on homosexuality. But I'm not convinced my not enjoying chicken will alter their stance. To be honest, I'm not sure what one has to do with the other.
Tuesday, December 16. 2014
We'll leave out the billionaires, because they are too few to move the dial. Let's just look at the very high-income people who make America look unequal in the statistics.
Who are the piggish people with multi-million annual incomes?
Pop music stars
I don't begrudge any of these people their incomes, but I sometimes envy it while aware that I would not be capable of doing what they do. Still, if we taxed them all 100% over 1 million, we'd eliminate the statistical "crisis" and people would have to bitch about something else.
Who am I missing on my list?
Monday, December 8. 2014
Sunday, December 7. 2014
Perhaps politics has always been about irrationality, propaganda, pandering, deception, etc. Socrates himself fell victim to a democratic witch hunt. There are always plenty of people out there who desire power, money, easy jobs, public recognition, etc. and who will do lots of things and compromise whatever integrity they have to get them. I understand that, but I do not respect it. I do not respect calculating, manipulative, dishonorable people, and I desire to insulate myself from them.
In recent years, it seems that the contagion of truthiness (useful fictions) goes hand-in-hand with the generation of underlying long-term politically-driven narratives. The seemingly-sociopathic Al Sharpton proved, in the 1987 Tawana Brawley episode, that a lie which fits the right political narrative can be profitable in many ways. In fact, his reckless, destructive ballsiness made his career as a public figure - while destroying many others involved in that famous non-story.
Truthy stories cannot get a foothold without media support or incurious acceptance. The media made Al Sharpton by refusing to treat him like the charlatan he is. The media made the Duke rape story, the "Hands up" story, and so many similar stories now culminating in the UVA gang rape story. None of these things were stories - they were ginned-up fictions to provide data points on a narrative line. That is what novelists and poets do.
These are modern versions of yellow journalism. We need more people willing to call "Foul" against tendentious PC baloney.
I don't really think this is all about gullibility and wish to believe. For the most naive, perhaps, but generally I think it's more cynical and calculating than that. There are agendas which seem, to some, to be more important than the truth. There are hardly enough Walter Duranty awards left to go around these days.
Advocacy journalism doesn't just run with fairy tales. Just as importantly, the MSM refuses to cover stories which would be fueled to near-fatal or fatal levels (eg, the IRS story) were a conservative in power. May I note the dearth of aggressive "investigative journalism" since the Left has held power in Washington? Has the Obama administration done anything worse, thus far, than the Nixon administration did? He has known, all along, that the MSM will cover for him because he is a lefty and has brown skin. Good insulation.
Pretty much everybody knows all of this now. The news is mostly spinfotainment and the only thing the public can do about it is to switch to FOX where "fair and balanced" means something - to the chagrin of the lefty narrative-spinners. Or Morning Joe too.
A few related links:
The author of the article, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, now says that it
Sabrina Erdley, Rolling Stone, and the Media Put the Cause Before the Truth
Rolling Stone’s disastrous U-Va. story: A case of real media bias
Jonah Goldberg being called a rape-supporter
"We have a member of the administration feeding a bogus story to a social
"What is truth?" asked the very clever Pontius Pilate
We'll see what happens with that UVA story eventually. To my mind, a "rape culture" is a feminist invention to keep their movement alive. Rape is a serious felony in the US, and is becoming more rare as time goes by. The criminality of rape is not controversial in the US although it is acceptable in many parts of the world and in many cultures. Dubious rape stories, like dubious racism stories, only harm a cause and create backlash. The same thing has happened to the "climate" hyperbole. For rape or attempted assault, call the cops, same as with a burglary or mugging. It's that simple. For climate, enjoy the day whatever the weather. Not to worry, in New England it will change tomorrow.
In no place in history on this planet has there ever been less sexism or racism, or more opportunity, or more generosity to the unfortunate, the feckless, the disabled, the homosexuals, and the transgenders, than there is in the Anglosphere today, and especially in the US. So why are the voices so shrill? Could it be because they see their relevance disappearing?
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