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
Saturday, July 4. 2015
Happy Independence Day! If you're like me, you're with your family and being independent together (h/t to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer).
If you're like me, you're probably having hot dogs and hamburgers, potato or macaroni salad, soda or beer, or other kinds of foods which were purchased at a store after being shipped from some other part of the U.S. or even another nation.
If you're like me, you probably don't spend time worrying about the details of how your food reached your table. But you may know people, as I do, who think the whole "eat local' idea will save our health and economy. We have a restaurant here which is excellent, but very expensive, and always booked. We need to make reservations several months in advance to get a table. They only serve locally grown foods (I believe it's a 50 mile radius), and it's BYOB (so I guess they're OK with bringing French wine to go with the Jersey Tomatoes).
Normally I don't go in for faddish trends, and I really don't buy the whole "local food" movement. But this is a good restaurant and just because I don't agree with it doesn't mean I'll avoid a good meal. Good food is good food. There are reasons why I don't necessarily think the local food movement is ever going to change how we live, and it certainly is not going to make our lives better.
As this video (45 minutes long - so be prepared) points out, most nations with small farms have economic problems. This doesn't intrinsically mean small farms are impoverishing those nations, but there's no doubt being a food exporter (and the U.S. is by far the largest) is an indication of economic strength through size. This video also points out the hypocrisy of our nation's politics and its 'solutions' to perceived problems. We have deemed some banks "Too Big To Fail" and willingly subsidize their moral hazard, while at the same time pointing to large agricultural firms and saying they are "Too Big To Succeed" and impose excessive regulations on them while subsidizing failing small farms. So the policy of the U.S. that we subsidize failure, and engage double standards wherever we see fit.
The Jungle is often touted as a reason to support regulation. Unfortunately, this novel was a work of fiction designed to draw attention to the plight of the working man. It was the lies of the Chicago Packing District that sticks in people's memory, however.
Thursday, June 25. 2015
Thursday, June 11. 2015
A friend of mine who absolutely loves Obama enjoys sharing little things with friends via Facebook and email. I've put a few below the fold, though I'm still searching for the one which claims that Obama lowered unemployment, increased the stock market to record highs, and lowered gas prices to recent lows. That one was a hoot.
They are factoids which support the concept that Obama is a good, gracious, and successful president despite claims to the otherwise.
By the same token, this same person (and many others like him) continually complain about the 'state of the economy' and how 'corporations are ruining the US' and how we're still plagued with high unemployment and poverty.
I suppose they can make the claims they make because they believe if Obama had the full support of the nation and Congress, these things would finally be 'taken care of' and we'd all live in Candyland.
But it doesn't square. These folk are deluded enough to say the things they say, and make no mistake - none of the facts used are untrue, they are merely out of context and misunderstood by the dopes who use them (to be fair, I've seen plenty of similar stuff by Republicans, and the information used just as poorly). Yet if things are just so dandy, what else does Obama need to really 'fix'? That's what I don't understand. These people are incapable of leaving well enough alone. Once you've got something working, you don't keep fiddling with it. That is, if you actually assume the economy is working. I don't. It's functioning. Sort've. You can't really shut down an economy, it just shifts its activities to more profitable and easier methods. So yes, the economy continues to function despite the damage Obama has done. Measurements are just data. They don't tell you about the health of the economy. These fools have misconstrued momentary data for meaningful analysis, and completely missed out on the fact that correlation is not causation.
Continue reading "Ridiculous Claims"
Sunday, June 7. 2015
Tuesday, May 19. 2015
I am completely opposed to any death taxes. The income has already been taxed.
Why tax the dead? Well, it was because the turn of the century (last century) Progressives hated the wealthy families. Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt, etc. appeared to hate the wealthy because their influence, like that of churches and large businesses, competed with government - as they should wish to compete. Government is not God. Over the years, many families have fallen victims to that tax other than those who are slick enough to dodge it.
My view is that I want all families to be free to be as wealthy and independent as they chose to be, and to be free to accumulate whatever they want to for their futures. Farm, flower shops, whatever. It means a lot to people. In America, wealth is never the most important thing in life but everybody cares about their family and their families' futures. You can call it love, not greed.
Greg Mankiw said this in 2003, and it is still right.
Monday, May 4. 2015
And it is sad that it turned out to be. From Charles Cooke's Why the American Bill of Rights Would Never Pass Today:
"The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau."
Ludwig van Mises, as Eratosthenes noted, 70 years ago
Wednesday, April 22. 2015
This is not nearly as funny as the Yale vs. North Carolina soccer shoot-out. But since News Junkie stumbled on Studio C, the group of young comedians who made Scott Sterling famous across the globe, I thought my fellow farmer would enjoy this skit. The ending is in his sweet spot.
Friday, April 17. 2015
Sultan offers The Deconstruction of Marriage and deconstruction in general. A quote:
Other topics there, but I can say that, without my marriage of many years, my life would be terrible. To each his or her own, though. Invent your own life if you want, and go for it! Just do not ask me to pay your bills because I have organized my life to pay my own.
Tuesday, April 14. 2015
Wednesday, April 8. 2015
His speech on the topic: Let’s Render Some Federal Codes Unenforceable
I am on board. I'm the guy who had to litigate being required to rebuild the fence around my pool by the town after a flood knocked it down, but was forbidden to replace the fence around the pool by the state EPA because the area was technically wetlands. It cost me $12,000 in legal costs to finally get a waiver from the EPA. The new fence was installed in one day for $1500.
Next time, I will just quietly hire some Mexicans to put the fence back.
Mind you, just 60' from the end of my pool there is a highly-dangerous - and unfenced - small river with steep banks. A true attractive nuisance and a nice trout stream too.
Thursday, April 2. 2015
These people are insane. They do not know any normal people.
Wednesday, April 1. 2015
As a result, I have a very unnatural feeling about the RFRA. I oppose its existence, but accept that it's needed in today's world of crazies who will sue for any reason that crosses their mind. I pointed out to a friend of mine that, as a Phillies fan, I may not want to sell a hot dog to a Mets fan. I don't like Mets fans, I'd prefer not to associate with them (at least on game day). Based on the concept of freedom of association, I have that right, since an economic transaction is an associative act. It is protected by my right to decide who I wish to interact with. All great societies require freedom of association. The downside, of course, is that sometimes discrimination takes place. Generally that discrimination is price based. An unwillingness to pay the price I set will not yield a purchase. On the other hand, sometimes it could be simply that you're not the person I want to sell my house to - for any reason. Those reasons don't have to be 'good' and they can't necessarily be labeled 'bad', they just are. You don't have to agree with my reasons. They are mine.
Would it be better to not have the RFRA and the debate surrounding it? Absolutely. But we have it because of some basic stupidity in life today. Really? You want that cake so badly it must come from a guy who doesn't want to serve you? There's no other baker in town? Your goal is what? Oh, I get it, you just want to make a big point by shaming him. Well, that's OK. Shaming is perfectly acceptable. But forcing him to make your cake is aggression.
The best way to fight this law, the Progressives think, is to boycott Indiana and its businesses. Several have started to do this, including Angie's List (which, tangentially, actually saved the state millions of tax dollars). However, boycotting is the worst way to 'fight' the law. It will create backlash and will entrench the supporters. The best way to change the law is through business. That is start businesses which do not discriminate and will hire anyone. Engagement and activity undermines discrimination, because it will generate profits. Once a discriminatory business sees its profits leaving, they will change soon enough or go out of business.
Perhaps the best example of freedom of association occurred on The Ed Show on MSNBC, however. As Ed Schultz was losing his debate with his guest, Ed chose to shut the guest's microphone off. Coward that he is, Ed was incapable of making a valid point and decided to muzzle his lucid guest. Which is not censorship, but is Ed exercising his right to associate with people he wants to do business with. Which, interestingly, supports the nature and spirit of the RFRA. While the RFRA references religion, the reality is religion has very little to do with it. It is simply the right to choose who you want to associate with, whenever you please. There is nothing wrong with that. It's a shame Ed Schultz and others of his ilk have yet to recognize this salient point.
Do I agree with the RFRA? Only insofar as it makes sense to let people do business with whomever they'd like without the government forcing them to do its bidding. Do I agree with its existence? No, technically it's covered by the First Amendment. But practically speaking, in today's absurd upside-down Progressive "do as I tell you" world, it's needed.
Addendum by Editor-Dog:
"Everybody's Lost Their Goddamn Mind Over Religious Freedom" - Both conservatives and liberals aren’t being straight about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
It’s legal to kill babies, but let’s worry about a gay person’s right to cake
Why We Need RFRAs
Has the fight over Indiana’s RFRA set the GOP up for failure?
Indiana’s Law Is Not the Return of Jim Crow
My view? This has nothing to do with reason other than political tactics. Pence stepped into a political trap. Bad timing. Facts, such as the support of Dems for these laws, and their presence in many blue states and a total of 19 states, is ignored. Pence had a target painted on him.
Saturday, March 21. 2015
Friday, March 20. 2015
She's not too deep, but fun to listen to. Highly recommended for a jolt of ideas.
Tuesday, March 17. 2015
Who is "we," pardner? While attacking straw men, bringing race into a non-racial discussion, and demonizing "individualism", he seems to be arguing for a top-down, one-size-fits-all, centrally-organized system of primary and secondary education in the USA. He suggests that it be oriented ideologically, and claims it would be "for the common good." He is a Bismarckian with that Prussian control attitude towards the masses.
Thus it's a little dissonant to read his views, coming as they are from the president of hippy-dippy, free-spirit, granola-ridden and hugely expensive, and private, Bard College. But maybe it's not odd.
I'd bet home schooling drives him nuts. As usual with Liberals, "I know how to deliver your pursuit of happiness and I would like to shove it up your butt." I hate hearing the elites and the experts pontificate about what "we" should do. I'd rather hear myself pontificate about freedom and free choices in life. Even the freedom to apply to the somewhat offbeat Bard College if you want to.
Monday, March 16. 2015
Sunday, March 15. 2015
Friday, March 13. 2015
Since renowned philosopher Roger Scruton has a place in the Maggie's Farm pantheon of thinkers, I suspect that it will be good: How to Think Seriously About the Planet: The Case for an Environmental Conservatism (Oxford University Press).
Hayward discusses here.
Readers know that we Farmers are not Gaia worshippers or fanatics. We are old-fashioned Conservationists, mostly outdoor people, with respect for God's creation and its critters. We don't just talk the talk, we walk the walk when it comes to protection of land.
We burn carbon, too, in all forms. Good stuff to burn. Wood stoves, fireplaces, tractors, boats, furnace, etc.
Thursday, March 12. 2015
Wednesday, March 11. 2015
At first I considered joining, if only to share a slightly different viewpoint than the ones I'd seen posted (click and take a look). I saw comments like "Serving people & Loyalty to government" (loyalty to government? Why is this always absolutely necessary? What would Jefferson and Washington have said?). Or "Respect for Authority" (this is so wrong, I can't even think of where to begin. I'm not sure 'authority' is generated from winning a popularity contest). Then there are some really bizarre ones like "Identity, Belonging, Altruism" (not sure when being a citizen provided me an identity, helped me feel like I belonged and don't get me started on the concept of altruism).
So I figured, I'd start my own here and find out what Maggie's visitors consider citizenship to be. Here was my stab at it, the one I never posted:
To me, Citizenship is loving my country and the rights of the individual which are protected by the Constitution while questioning the nature of human authority. Acknowledge and respect individual rights while exercising individual responsibility which strengthens those rights.
What would your thoughts be?
Wednesday, March 4. 2015
Kevin Williamson has the ability to take on any topic and go straight to the heart of the matter. A guote from his piece about government roads:
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.
Monday, February 23. 2015
Government regs always disadvantage the little guys. That's why the bigs guys don't mind too much.
A case: The Big Banks
A better example: Sheri's Ranch Versus Sugar Babies
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