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
Sunday, April 26. 2009
100th Daygasm: Michelle
What's going on with Mr. Sun?
What happened to the H-word?
Good brief summary of Frederic Bastiat and the negative railroad
From the UK: Obama is confused about who the enemies are. I know other people who think that way.
From the 1984 Is Not A Handbook Department: In the UK Every Phone Call, Email, and Website Visit will be Monitored. Who are these people?
The political and economic consequences of dangerous CO2
What is truth? A quote from Dr. Bob:
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``If it is ridiculous to attack first principles, it is more ridiculous to defend them against these same attacks.'' - Lautreamont
Thanks for the Bastiat link - I was in need of a new topic of study!
Just about the time we finally get some traction on the quiet sun story, the 10.7 cm flux starts to come up. Reverse Gore effect or something. But we certainly don't welcome a mini ice age just to prove we're right, do we?
By the way ... This morning's American Thinker site has a video of a debate on "torture" between a liberal television interviewer and Lynne Cheney. Cheney emerges a clear victor in spite of the "when did you stop beating your wife" tone set by the interviewer. Cheney emphasizes the points we made here below on the "torture vs. coercion" issue, and is very impressive. I think there are enough folks out here in reality-land [thousands] who have undergone "waterboarding" as part of their SERE military training that, if they would talk about it, would put the 'torture' meme under serious question. At least by serious thinkers.
I was much impressed with the way Lynne Cheney handled herself in the interview. Girl has a future in public life, if she wants it.
Another OOpsie, darn it. Too many blintzes this morning. I meant Liz Cheney in the post above, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife Lynne Cheney, and a credit to the brains and training of her parents.
MM, i agree --Lynn Cheney is in many ways the star of that crew. Anyone who listens to her must know that of all the "Bushies" she would've been the proper objective choice for president.
Re Dr. Bob's warning on living unmoored, just now Richard Fernandez in a post remembering Anzac Day, found occasion to write in the comments "...Dostoevsky described the thing beautifully at the end of Brothers Karamazov in the chapter where they buried Ilusha"
And whatever happens to us later in life, if we donít meet for twenty years afterwards, let us always remember how we buried the poor boy at whom we once threw stones, do you remember, by the bridge? and afterwards we all grew so fond of him. He was a fine boy, a kindhearted, brave boy, he felt for his fatherís honour and resented the cruel insult to him and stood up for him. And so in the first place, we will remember him, boys, all our lives. And even if we are occupied with most important things, if we attain to honour or fall into great misfortune ó still let us remember how good it was once here, when we were all together, united by a good and kind feeling which made us, for the time we were loving that poor boy, better perhaps than we are. My little doves let me call you so, for you are very like them, those pretty blue birds, at this minute as I look at your good dear faces. My dear children, perhaps you wonít understand what I am saying to you, because I often speak very unintelligibly, but youíll remember all the same and will agree with my words some time. You must know that there is nothing higher and stronger and more wholesome and good for life in the future than some good memory, especially a memory of childhood, of home. People talk to you a great deal about your education, but some good, sacred memory, preserved from childhood, is perhaps the best education. If a man carries many such memories with him into life, he is safe to the end of his days, and if one has only one good memory left in oneís heart, even that may sometime be the means of saving us. Perhaps we may even grow wicked later on, may be unable to refrain from a bad action, may laugh at menís tears and at those people who say as Kolya did just now, ĎI want to suffer for all men,í and may even jeer spitefully at such people. But however bad we may become ó which God forbid ó yet, when we recall how we buried Ilusha, how we loved him in his last days, and how we have been talking like friends all together, at this stone, the cruellest and most mocking of us ó if we do become so will not dare to laugh inwardly at having been kind and good at this moment! Whatís more, perhaps, that one memory may keep him from great evil and he will reflect and say, ĎYes, I was good and brave and honest then!í Let him laugh to himself, thatís no matter, a man often laughs at whatís good and kind. Thatís only from thoughtlessness. But I assure you, boys, that as he laughs he will say at once in his heart, ĎNo, I do wrong to laugh, for thatís not a thing to laugh at.í
buddy ... That's a lovely quote from The Brothers Karamazov. We've all had people in our lives whom we saw being unjustly criticized and hurt... people we may have watched being the victim of cruelty and have been too young and too frightened ourselves to protect. It may have been only later that we got the personal confidence to 'man up' and fight back for these abused people, whoever they were. "...let us remember how good it once was here, when we were all together..."
...so true, MM --and it IS lovely isn't it --i think you found the sentence at the heart of it, too, BTW.
Marianne and Buddy,
I saw too much of that criticism and cruelty as a teacher. While I think teenagers are truly the greatest of all ages, one of their stepping stones forward into growth is often made at the expense of another. I was able to make a difference so often that when I left teaching, I realized what I missed most was making 'heros' out of victims. This quotation by Greg Iles does not fit exactly, but it's so smoothly close as to make a silky sound of truth:
"Einstein said the arrow of time flies in only one direction. Faulkner, being from Mississippi, understood the matter differently. He said the past is never dead; itís not even past. All of us labor in webs spun long ago before we were born, webs of heredity and environment, of desire and consequence, of history and eternity. Haunted by wrong turns and roads not taken, we pursue images perceived as new but whose provenance dates to the dim dramas of childhood, which are themselves but ripples of consequences echoing down the generations. The quotidian demands of life distract from this resonance of images and events, but some of us feel it always.
And who among us, offered the chance, would not relive the day or hour in which we first knew love, or ecstasy, or made a choice that forever altered our future, negating a life we might have had? Such chances are rarely granted. Memory and grief prove Faulkner right enough, but Einstein knew the finality of action. If I cannot change what I had for lunch yesterday, I certainly cannot unmake a marriage, erase the betrayal of a friend, or board a ship that left port twenty years ago."
That's a wonderful quote, Meta, a lovely piece of writing. And so is your own comment that "it's so smoothly close as to make a silky sound of truth."
Write your novel, dear heart. I'll buy lots of copies.
Liz Cheney has been dedicated to public life for a long while, already.
She knows how to hold the truth in the face of the opposition for sure.
"No force on Earth -- especially not an army of terrorists and insurgents -- can defeat our soldiers militarily. American troops will win if we show even one-tenth the courage here at home that they show every day on the battlefield."