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
Wednesday, August 14. 2013
With this ring, I thee … lease?
Who rents who?
Not understanding the poetry your girlfriend loves
MacDonald: Ignoring the realities of NYC crime
NBC: Obamacare Is Forcing Companies to Cut Employee Hours
Salon Warns Public Workers: Your Pensions Are Not Safe
Brain Activity Shows Basis of Near-Death Experiences
Daniel Henninger: Obama's Creeping Authoritarianism - Imposed law replaces checks and balances
Barone: Not everyone wants to be CEO
That's for women and men. CEOs are hired to worry and to be available 24 hrs/day, 7 days/week. It's not for everybody.
Sultan on nice wars:
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I have no desire to be a CEO. Literally no life beyond work.
If somebody offered it to me, I would probably accept, do my best for a year or so. Then resign, buy that farm in NH and never be seen again.
"And "meaning it" means being committed to crushing the enemy."
We'd do better these days if we could just muster a commitment to hurt the enemies feelings.
"Imposed law replaces checks and balances".
So someone explain to me how within an hour of the North Carolina passing a law requiring voter ID that two liberal groups have challenged it in court but when Liberals pass laws that are unconstitutional (or decree laws) that there is no conservative group to challenge it in court. I do understand that the IRS effectively prevented tea party groups and other conservative groups from forming and thus stymied effective conservative political activism, but even given that where are effective conservative activist groups? Where is the conservative counter-balance to the ACLU fighting for our constitution?
I agree with everything you said except for the characterization, "Liberal". There is nothing liberal about them. They are leftist totalitarian groups.
Which is why they complain Repubs made Liberal a dirty word and are going by Progressive these days.
RE: Article above Northern Arizona U. offers new competency-based degrees....
Don't assume 'competency-based' means what you think it means. Just sayin'.
Wedleases: More work for lawyers! What could go wrong...?
OFA: Doncha just LOVE it?
Ignoring Realities of NYC Crime: It's what the lefties doooooooooo.
NBC and Salon: They may be telling some people "Your time is up. Teh Gravy Train is gonna be cancelled." Reality is suuuuuuuuch a bummer.
Knish: Admiral Dan Gallery (he was the captain of the carrier that captured the U-505) said in one of his post-war books that we didn't have to use The Bomb on Japan. We could have blockaded Japan, and starved them into submission. (It is left to the student to argue that this would have been a better resolution to the war. Given the fanatical devotion unto death of the Japanese army and navy, and the local populations on the islands, please address expected resistance and casualties of invasion of the home islands.)
It is the newspeak. You can't go by those old written, generally-accepted definitions anymore. "Liberal" means as mudbug said and "Progressive" means opposing progress. Although the latter does lend itself to using the shorthand "Progs"
How apropos. I decided to see if "prog" had a definition separate from being an abbreviation for "progressive"
Prog \Prog\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Progged. p. pr. & vb. n.
Progging.] [Cf. D. prachen, G. prachern, Dan. prakke, Sw.
pracka, to beg, L. procare, procari, to ask, demand, and E.
1. To wander about and beg; to seek food or other supplies by
low arts; to seek for advantage by mean shift or tricks.
A perfect artist in progging for money. --Fuller.
I have been endeavoring to prog for you. --Burke.
2. To steal; to rob; to filch. [Low] --Johnson.
Re: Sultan on nice wars:
In the summer of '45, the United States concluded a war that had come to be seen by some as unwinnable after the carnage at Iwo Jima, with a bang.
On August 6th, the bomb fell on Hiroshima. And then on the 9th, it was Nagasaki's turn. Six days later, Japan, which had been preparing to fight to the last man, surrendered.
...Our greatest weakness is that we want our enemies to love us. And so we pretend that our enemies are really our friends. We turn wars into humanitarian exercises that inflict a much worse toll on both sides than an actual war would have and then we wonder what went wrong.
And so the nation that dropped two atomic bombs in August 1945 wilts before the hatred of a Nidal Hasan in August 2013.
Knish is either intentionally deceptive or genuinely ignorant about the effects of the atomic bombings in particular and morality of war in general.
Post war analysis of the US Strategic Bombing Survey, which included interviews and interrogations of Japanese military and civilian leaders shows the atomic bombings hastened the end of the war by a couple of months, and that the Empire would have surrendered before Operation Downfall would have been necessary. (this, and not the blockade, is what worked) So while the bombings saved lives, the number is nowhere on the scale that Knish hints at.
But is this "pragmatic ruthlessness"? Knish makes his point only by taking the atomic bombings out of context and wholly ignoring the 2,000 year old rule of "just war", where the response is commensurate with the threat and violence, especially to noncombatants, is limited as much as it can be.
Japan surrendered because of the air war that saw 200 plane raids against its cities, the atomic bombs were at the upper end of destructiveness scale, but there were conventional raids that were more destructive. Over 50 cities were burned out, H and N were the last on the list. Had the air war gone on conventionally, H and N would have been firebombed, as well as a half dozen others and the war still would have ended before Downfall.
Was the air war itself justifiable under just war principles? Most likely, but Knish ignores the issue, choosing to mislabel the atomic bombings as "pragmatic ruthlessness". This is not "pragmatic ruthlessness". Pragmatic ruthlessness is the Romans leveling Carthage, selling off the survivors into slaver, and (it is said) sowing salt into the earth. Or what happened at Lidice.
The US has declared war five times in its history. It has also sent military and naval forces into action over 200 times since the 1790s in defense of national interests while staying mostly within the measured response that just war principles demand.
Obviously the war against islamic terror has seemingly intractable problems. But if we wage this with "pragmatic ruthlessness" instead of finding a justifiable response, we surely will lose in the long run.
But if the relationship is bad, the couple could go their separate ways at the end of the term. The messiness of divorce is avoided and the end can be as simple as vacating a rental unit.
I've seen some appalling stupid ideas before, this is near the top of that list.
Unless attorney Paul Rampell lives in a fantasy world where marriages or other unions between individuals don't also involve some rights and claims that affect the rest of the world, his moronic idea won't fly.
Sure, Paul, a "wedlease" could be ended by the couple moving out of an apartment, many no-asset divorces end this way too. However, I guarantee you that a "wedlease" that lasts 10 years is going to accumulate assets and debt (although how a "lease" could only the gods know) is going to be unwound or dissolved exactly the way a divorce would do it.
Even the term "Progressive" is a lie:
"I suggest that most talk about the problems of inequality actually invokes this ancient hypocritical ability to covertly discuss where to find lots of nice easy-to-grab stuff….
But if those few very rich folks had real physical super-powers, we would be a lot more afraid of their simple physical retaliation. They might be very effective at physically resisting our attempts to take their stuff. So somehow, conveniently, we just wouldn’t find that their unequal wealth evoked as much deeply felt important-social-issue-in-need-of-discussing moral concern in us. Because, I hypothesize, in reality those feelings only arise as a cover to excuse our grabbing, when such grabs seem worth the bother."~Robin Hanson
"Politicians never accuse you of greed for wanting other people's money - only for wanting to keep your own."~Joseph Sobran
There's nothing Progressive about their schemes - in fact, it's quite REGRESSIVE.
Where exactly is the contract in the "wedlease"? What is being performed or abstained from in exchanged for consideration?
If something like the "wedlease" is recognized, would their still be a rational reason to outlaw the short-term rental commonly called prostitution? Or would "wedleases" not be valid if they specify sexual access rights and restrictions?
I suppose there are time limited partnership agreements that would work. But why should the state be involved in that and give special privileges to such partnerships? Just do it as private individuals. But what if you get hit by a truck on the last day of the lease, which then expires leaving you without anyone who can act in your stead even if you have a new partner ready to enter into an agreement which has not legally been validated by signature and consideration?
Marriage gained its privilege status because for a good deal of time, it was a "state" just as being someone's sibling is a state in which a person exists and cannot leave. Then it migrated at least secularly into a contract which could be invalidated for various breaches, unilaterally, bilaterally and now for no good reason other than desire on the part of one party.
What we should be asking is whether marriage should be privileged any longer? And given the frivolous nature of some marriages, should some threshold requirement to gain those privileges be imposed such as vesting after a length of time, etc?
Good, maybe now we can restore 'liberal' to its proper meaning.
I don't. 20/20 hindsight and "Post war analysis..." are fine and wonderful things. But in my opinion, what was known at the time the decision was made, should be the basis of any discussion of the matter. I also don't believe 'ruthlessness' was a factor in the decision making process, though of pragmatism there was aplenty.
Outside the estimation of lives saved, I'm not sure I understand what your beef with Knish is.
Is it that your and his definition of "pragmatic ruthlessness" differs?*
In light of what you wrote, I'm not sure you and he disagree that much. Knish certainly can come across as grimly militant (doesn't have to be a weakness to want them to love us), but I don't see that he's suggesting we use disproportionate force. It seemed to me that his primary complaint is that our political establishment isn't capable of putting a proper name on the threat at all, and can't even rise to the level of a proportionate response.
Maybe I'm underestimating Knish's appetite for mayhem and his response would be way over the top - I don't read him often enough to gauge that. But I do think our politicos are disinclined to discuss Islam, violence motivated by Islam, and What To Do in clear and unambiguous language. If they can't talk amongst themselves sensibly about the nature and extent of the threat, how are they going to measure what a proportionate response might be?
*If the U.S.'s goal was a Carthage-treatment, then yes the pragmatic thing to do would be to keep bombing even after Japan cried "uncle": agreed. But if the goal was simply to punish Japan until it gave in, and make that happen Asap, why weren't the conventional and A-bombings pragmatic, insofar as the Allies could reasonably guess what Japan was actually going to do and when? The bombings were certainly ruthless - short of invading to do the same via ground war, wasn't it the worst the Allies could do? It's not like they held back.
You can find the NYC crime statistics here. Blacks commit crimes way out of proportion to their percentage of the population.
A non-black person is 40 times more likely to be the victim of a crime of violence by a black person then by another non-black person. Rape of black women by non-blacks is so rare it is almost non-existent, rape of non-black women by black men is so common it is epidemic. What these statistics have in common is they are not being reported by the MSM. If you get your news from the MSM you would believe the only racist crimes are the occasional crimes on blacks committed by non-blacks. These are the only crimes worth reporting the rest is unimportant to the MSM.