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
Thursday, April 3. 2014
A friend took that pic of a gamer at a gamer convention in Boston last week.
Father Hires Escort Who Turns Out to Be Someone He Knows Far Too Well
Vogue Gives Up - Kim Kardashian on the cover of the April issue is the latest sign of the magazine’s decline
Backlash Grows As US Universities Cancel or Postpone 'Honor Diaries' Film
Air Force removes Bible from POW-MIA display
Official Policy: Male Federal Workers Can Use Women's Restrooms, Locker Rooms
That is sick and uncivilized
Koch: I'm Fighting to Restore a Free Society - Instead of welcoming free debate, collectivists engage in character assassination.
The Kochs are needed to counterbalance Soros. If you want to do character assassination, Soros is a Jewish Nazi collaborator, a market manipulator, and a convicted felon. How's that for starters?
Policy: Male Federal Workers Can Use Women's Restrooms, Locker Rooms -
See more at:
http://cnsnews.com/commentary/terence-p-jeffrey/official-policy-male-federal-workers-can-use-womens-restrooms-locker#sthash.FjcOgjgH.dpufKoch: I'm Fighting to Restore a Free Society - Instead of welcoming free debate, collectivists engage in character assassination.The Kochs are needed to counterbalance Soros
The Gray Lady Falls For the Malthus Trap
It's the wrong narrative
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Re: Introducing The Jesus-Free Speech Zone
"Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having."
Re: Air Force removes Bible from POW-MIA display
It's OK. Captors didn't let POWs have Bibles either.
An interesting dilemma for the 70 year old Italian man. Yet the article says he told his son. Which, to me, seems odd.
If the man is so upset with what his son's fiancee is doing, why would he personally order up an escort?
Upon seeing said escort is his future daughter-in-law, canceling the arrangement seemed to solve their immediate personal dilemma. But if I were him, I'd have said "Good luck with your future ventures. Since I consider this a legitimate business, I'll keep our meeting to myself."
Clearly, he thinks of escorting as a valid business proposition, since he entered into a potential arrangement. Just because the service he requested was no delivered shouldn't mean he should run off and tell his son.
The moral implications of this, on a personal level, have to be put in perspective. If he disapproved of escorts, then he shouldn't have ordered one. Since he clearly does not disapprove of them, he shouldn't worry about his son marrying one.
If you move to Colorado and your son is marrying a girl who works in a store selling pot, you and your son may not approve of the sale of pot. In order to overcome this, the girl may (legitimately) say she works in a bakery which sells brownies.
One day, deciding you've overcome your disapproval of pot, and you choose to try it, you venture into her store. You are shocked.
Do you tell your son? If it was me, I'd say no. While she is misleading my son, that is an issue of trust they must both work out. I certainly can't say I should tell my son because I disapprove of pot sales, and there is no reason for me to think less of her because she's selling it. There is only the single issue of honesty between the two of them. That is no place for me to insert myself.
Haha: "That is no place for me to insert myself."
My question would be:
Does my son know he's about to marry a woman who is likely a prostitute (allowing for the possibility that she is actually only an escort - though the story implies she is more)?
Whether I approve or not is a lot less important than if my son does. Beyond any moral approbation, there are health concerns to consider.
I think if I were the father, I would try to tactfully inquire about his fiance's employment. If he knows, then at his age he should be responsible for any risks. If he doesn't... I'm not sure what I'd do except try to figure out a way that he finds out on his own.
"Koch: I'm Fighting to Restore a Free Society"
I would like to explore his claims in more depth before I make a ruling on Koch's claims of educational altruism. An interesting topic though. Just how much influence do billionaires have on society nowadays and just how much 'speech' should they wield with their wealth/power?
I'm not yet decided if the political contributions debate and recent SCOTUS rulings have examined the issue from the proper perspective. Is money about free speech or is it more closely related to power? Politics is always and forever about power. Money is very closely related to power. We do know this to be true. So, would it not be more accurate to frame the debate in terms of power rather than in terms of free speech? Or, does it not make a difference?
Where were you 1959-60 ?
For those of us who were born during the second world war, there has always been a clear difference between our generation and those that followed. I have long been interested in exactly when, why, and how, that division occurred. For it is clear that those of us who graduated from high school in 1961 or earlier are not the same quality of citizen as those who graduated in 1963 or after. What happened in those few brief years that made one generation so different than the next? In my mind when I go back over my high school education I recall two distinct groups of teachers: the older white men who had served in the military and the younger women. There was only a few years of difference between these two, but now I can see clearly how very different they truly were. For example in 9th grade we had two semesters of civics/government. My first instructor was a man about 46 he wore that famous military crew cut and had the manner of a US Marine, which he had been. For those of you who do not remember 1959 that is when Castro began and successfully completed the take over of Cuba. This professor was adamantly against letting Cuba go. But, the next semester we had a woman about 40 years old who was our teacher. She had been investigated for anti communist leanings. Her story was that during her recent move from one house to another one of the moving men found a copy of "the little red book" down between the cushions of her couch. They had reported it to the local jr. high school principal. This woman was angry and though she never voiced her contempt or her hatred for the US---still there was something critical that came through her reading of the approved text. It was nothing like what students hear in class today--it was like a whisper on the wind. And, when we pulled of Cuba in the following months she believed it was the "right thing to do for Americans." I understand now that from that moment forward she was free to pound her contempt of our country into the kids coming up behind us. Only one event in the history of humanity, but man what a perturbation that was !! The students graduating just two years later than our class were vastly different in their view of America and democracy and their rights. For an easy read of chronology of Cuba 1959-1960 see here:
Last night we watched that very popular film of 2013--The Wolf of Wall Street. I have just one question:
please, please, please tell me why these people should be held above the law? Even though the main character finally got caught what about the thousands and thousands of other "Wall Street Brokers" who, working with the same absence of ethics, control the economy of this country and thus the world? Tell me again why these people are soooo wonderful ! Exactly what is it they do today that makes America a better place for the common citizen?
Yes. I was giving the benefit of the (microscopic) doubt. Since I never avail myself of their services (I'm not saying anybody here does), I wasn't sure if there were any escorts who merely escort. :-)
On side note, escorts openly advertise in the yellow pages in states where prostitution is illegal. Since it is so well known that they are not just escorting, I wonder why they are allowed to operate so openly. Budget cuts?
1959-60 I was a boy pilot flying Super Constellations back and forth across the N. Atlantic into Europe, Africa and the M.E. We constantly encountered what northeasterners call a nor'easter, fought engine problems, and coped with hydraulic leaks and other things the Connie was famous for. I was more concerned with ditching conditions than with politics in those days. You asked.
"Captors don't let prisoners have bibles" was sufficient. Only Korans apparently.
The military has been captured by the Progs.
Your mention of Colorado and pot brought to mind an evening stroll down the main street in Breckenridge when we spotted this quaint ol' establishment:
Chose not to enter... "No, no, no, no, I don't..." and all.
Imagine it is 1780 and you feel strongly about an issue or candidate. Would you feel your free speech rights were being abridged if you were allowed to print only 100 pamphlets? 1000 pamphlets? What about 100 pamphlets per candidate you espouse?
You are correct that money equals power. Looking at it from the point of view of a business, the more regulations and laws that impinge on the ability of a business to make a profit, the more sense it makes to spend money on political campaigns.
Speaking more broadly, I think side or secondary effect of the libertarian construction of our system of government is to reduce the sphere of politics not only in business but in personal life. The more power the government uses the greater the impetus to use power to direct or counter that power.
Obviously, this is somewhat overly simplified. Reducing governmental intervention will not eliminate the need or use of power in political campaigns but it more broadly reduces the need for it.
Back to my original point: As a practical consideration, reducing freedom a little bit allows freedom to be reduced a lot.
Having graduated from high school in 1961 I could identify with that story. I think that the issue is really quite easy to explain and it may well explain all or most of our social problems as well. The "greatest generation" struggled trhough a long economic depression and a brutal world war. These kinds of events build character, change mindsets, change philosophies. Most of the people from that generation didn't plan on being the greatest generation they simply rose to the challenge and were stronger for it. What has been the challenge for the last 2-3 generations? Or perhaps more telling what was the challenge for the parents of the last 2-3 genertations? What events built their character and made them stronger such that they would instill those traits in their children? Today acceptance of diversity and all manner of perversity is encouraged, even demanded, while unwillingness to accept whatever bizarre diverse choices others make is punished and fear is instilled in society lest you speak up. Of course our teachers have socialist and even communist leaning. Hell! Our politicians have those same leanings and the media's only dilemma is should they support it or cover it up. About half of the Democrats in congress openly cavort with communist and crimnals of all stripes. At least the communist of the 40's and 50's had the good sense to hide and deny their anti-American associations and actions. In 1972 John Kerry testified before congress and told horrible stories about what American GI's did in Vietnam and affirmed that he actually witnessed these things. But he lied and in fact was repeating propaganda created by the KGB and disseminated by Americans who knowingly embraced communism and eagery retold these lies to all who would listen. But you had to seek out these communist associations and many did, like Kerry, Jane Fonda and others. They willingly associated with and agreed with anti-American goups funded by the USSR and other communist countries. If your state's senator or representative is a democrat there is a 50/50 chance that he/she has spoken before a communist group, received funding from a commnist group, accepted gifts and travel from a communist group and even traveled to a pro-communist country. There is a 1 in 10 chance that they have given up top secret information to a communist country and of those who did this about half of them are known to the media but the media choose not to make it known to the American people. Why? Because many in the media are themselves leanng far left and they too have communist ties and friends. Anti-Americanism is alive and well in higher education and just as common but more hidden in K-12. To those of you who remember Khrushchev pounding the desk with his shoe and his comments that communism would win in the end and our teachers and our children would be communist you will also remember we didn't believe it. What do you believe now?
Yes, I agree that the tremendous level of governmental interference in every aspect of life provides much of the impetus for the moneyed class to fund political candidates and control policy outcomes. But, I'm not sure there was ever a time when that wasn't the case and I don't think it can ever be eliminated. However, in light of the recent rulings that money equals speech and that no limits may be placed on political contributions because it is speech, I question whether the court and the legislature for that matter should not be examining the issue differently. Namely, from the viewpoint that money more closely equates with power. And, if examined in that light, would the court so readily agree that wealthy people should be granted more political power because they are wealthy? It seems to me that such a position endorses and nearly guarantees an oligarchic form of government. The free speech interpretation providing a fig leaf to cover up the reality that money is power. And, that power in the hands of the few is contrary to the American ideal of one man, one vote. We have no assurance that the wealthy will cancel each other out on the political playing field. After all, they share many important values. Namely, wealth and power. I guess I answered my own question. But, there are lots of angles to this that can be explored. Such as, how to equalize the inherent power of wealth to avoid them taking it all? Or, just go free for all on it and let the chips fall where they may? Fun stuff.
Prostitution in my view, has never been so abundant. It takes many forms and is plentiful at every level of society. Young girls advertise their wares on social media via sexting. Most of that winds up on porn sites. Porn sites advertise the nearly endless number of live nude girls performing on webcams. Massage parlors and many other businesses front for real, person to person sex. The ubiquitous hookers abound in every town on the streets and in the yellow pages. Escorts of every sort are everywhere. Anecdotally, I have heard that some of them really do just escort a client to a social function. But, most of it is for real sex.
The only thing cheaper and more readily available might be heroin. It's not about budget cuts. It's a matter of social priorities, it's a function of limited options for employment, the perception of easy money, female empowerment? I don't know, the girls crowd the field because they can? I could relate a story involving a distant relation of mine by marriage and his former wife, but I won't. Suffice to say she was gorgeous and travelled a great deal 'on business' the nature of which was always very vague. Upon their divorce her financial records turned out to be extremely sketchy. I don't think such circumstances are rare. I think it happens a lot. All I do know is, I have tens of thousands of pretty girls on the internet just dying to meet me. They must come from someplace.
If the Honor Diaries is telling the truth then it is all the more essential that we all (especially students) get to hear the truth about Islam. The people fighting to stop the movie sound like the same progs that wanted me and my kids to be subjected to AlGore's Inconvient MoneyGrab a few years ago. If that movie was a painful truth, then shouldn't this painful truth be exposed for the same reasons. The sad thing is that this movie sounds like it is based on a far more reasonable truth than the lie that Gore based his hit piece on.
My life is pretty boring in that I don't use escorts or whatever you want to call prostitutes. So I wouldn't have been in the situation that dad was. But if I somehow found out that my future daughter in law was a liar, I would definitely tell my son. It would hurt us both, but he needs to know the truth now before it will take a divorce (or years of counseling) to rectify the mistake.
To answer your question directly, if I was the dad in that scenario, I would STILL tell my son. Yes, I get that it was hypocritcal of him to not approve of hookers yet pay them. But I would be willing to risk that scorn and damage to make sure he was informed what he was getting himself into.
In this case, though, it seems like the son was a jerk. Hey kid, dad just saved you a LOT of grief. Why sue him? Of course just because the son was a jerk it doesn't mean that the dad wasn't one too. I guess the apple didn't fall far from the tree (of forbidden fruit yet!) in this case.
Official Policy: Male Federal Workers Can Use Women's Restrooms, Locker Rooms
Yes, our foundering economy, insecure borders, national debt, and waning global influence must not distract us from what's really important.
"70 year old man ...son's fiance"..
What is this? Sweeps week?
OK, I read the story and all the comments here as well. The one point that didn't rear it's head was the issue of ...well, issue. As the supposed patriarch of the family, shouldn't he be concerned that the son might present him with a grandchild whose provenance might be suspect?
I believe (but I could be wrong) that Italy still has legal impediments to bastardy in inheritance and titles. But a child born in wedlock is legitimate. If the son marries the "businesswoman" and a child is born that isn't the son's, that child can inherit. If the father bequests property or titles to the son, then in time, he is also bequeathing them to the child.
I suggest this as a motivation because I wondered about the inclusion of a judge in a family argument.
I'm sure that the town or village they live in are enjoying this show immensely!
I was only 4 and 5 back then but I remember the TWA Constellations flying into Lindbergh field in the early 60s. The three tails were very cool to a young boy.
They aren't wonderful, they do nothing to enhance the common man's quality of life, and, yes, they should be in jail. All of them. Next question…
Yes, that is something I agree with strongly. And it's not limited to education.
The cops that walked a beat and carried .38 revolvers were pretty much all WWII vets when I was growing up. One male teacher was missing an arm (bit like Heinlein's story). And the streets were safe to walk, day or night.
In 1959 I lived in Arlington, MA. I went to an Elementary School and we had a rotary phone at home with a phone number that started with a word. The movie house on the towns main street was ten cents for a kid and had serials on Saturdays. My grandfather lived five blocks away and let me help him sell the tomatos and eggs our NH farm cousins produced, door to door. I didn't get an allowance, but got paid for helping grandpa.
My grandmother was the worst cook in the family, but I was allowed to watch the BW TV while I ate in the living room on a TV table.
Thanks for the memories
Thanks for commenting about Cuba. Because I have anti-commie in my blood and engraved on my brain, the fact that Cuba still serves as a major worldwide hub for revolution is a big pet peeve of mine. I understand that the Kennedy boy made a deal with the Russians to get rid of the nukes way back in 61. However, that Russian government is dead. Why is Castro still running things in Cuba? He and his entire government should also be dead.
Instead, our political leaders sit back while weapons are shipped to North Korea, Central and South American commies take over governments and African nations play host to Cuban troops. Cuba is the nexus for all of it. Must we wait for the new Russian government to put more nukes on Cuba to wake up? And don't think they won't, Putin says he is coming back. People, Cuba needs to be liberated right freakin now.
"Budget cuts" was pretty much a throw away line, but I was trying to think of a real rationale.
I agree with what you say, CW. I would say that there are obviously priorities that a drive decisions, but assuming there are still vice departments, "escorts" would be a target rich environments and I would assume that after an escort company had sufficient judgements against it, it would eventually fold and discourage others from coming in. My point was that it appears that prostitution is no longer illegal or put more accurately - it is in a gray area where it is really illegal but there aren't enough people who care enough to do something about it. If there are still vice departments, that begs the question of what they do now...
I thought I was the only one who had beautiful women from all over propositioning me over the internet! :-)
It is not necessarily hypocritical to use an Escort and also tell your son in this situation. You are not necessarily making any moral judgement only letting your son know the discovery you made in case he wasn't aware. If he doesn't care then fine, if he cares deeply then you've saved him from a big mistake and future suffering. This simple courtesy has nothing to do with the Dad's moral inclinations. The only thing in this story that would have been beyond argument is if the dad would have had sex with the fiance anyways.
The question is power over who or what.
If the government is truly restrained as intended, the rich have very little real power over other people. They can fund campaigns and in that way assert influence but there is no method for them to wield government's power over others. So the way I see it, it isn't a matter of how you look at the nexus of power and money but what our government has become and that is far from what it was intended.
Taking your point that the focus should be on money as power, how would you restrain it and still have a free society? Would you limit the power of an individual? What about the power of the incumbent? What about the power of a collection of people?
Keep in mind the SCOTUS took off the limits to the number of campaigns a person could contribute to not the amount to each campaign. It wasn't until the late '60s or early '70s that campaign finance laws really came to being. Up till then it was "let the chips fall where they may".
Nate Silver gonna be beat about the head and shoulders for that posting.
NYT will fall for anything leftie.
Benefits of global warming? The Horror! The horror...
LOL...my thoughts exactly. And she cant do that very often with a figure like that.
Well, we agree that money is a form of power or a power enabling device and that politics is of course all about power. But, I was sort of going for an examination of the freedom of speech rationale employed by the court. Why not just say that money is property and an individual can use his property as he sees fit? It is then a property rights rationale. Arguably the most fundamental of the fundamental rights. For that matter, since money can be used for anything, why not frame the argument in terms of happiness? If it makes the rich happy to spend money on politics, they certainly have that right also. Instead, they say money is speech, protected by the 1st amendment. I wonder why?
Sorry for the slight backtrack, but I did not wish to rush into the many side issues so quickly. I would rather begin somewhere closer to the beginning. What is money really? Is it a medium of exchange? Is it property? Is it whatever we say it is? Moving ahead slightly.
Whatever the reason to decide that political use of money is a Constitutionally protected action and assuming that it's a valid reason; why keep the remaining restrictions? Why not eliminate the limits an individual can donate to a candidate? If it is a protected activity, what is the rationale to limit it so strictly? What's the limit, like 2 grand or so? This also seems mysterious to me.
On the other hand, if some restrictions are appropriate, what is the theory behind the limits? What is the Constitutional rationale for limits? And, how can we predict when those parameters are reached? Etc., etc....
I'm stupid and I have lots of questions. : )
My oldest is 13. He tells me that the lady in the white is representing a character from a videogame named Portal, a puzzle game. There is a significant story line in the game wherein you discover that "the cake is a lie". So that cake is likely more of a prop to her than something she would eat.
I graduated from high school in '62, my brother in '66. We both went to the same university. The difference between my teachers and TA's and his was a world apart. We still don't discuss politics.
We both know you're not stupid! And hopefully we both know I'm giving my own semi-informed opinions and though I have lawyers in my family, I'm not one and I don't play anything on TV! :-)
Well you may not have wanted to rush into side issues but you got there just the same: "What is money?"! Maybe the mother of all side issues!
As you brought up, the imposition of limits is a limitation on our freedom on many levels. I don't think they make sense from a logical standpoint but for now, we're stuck with them legally (nobody listens to me with regard to what actually is Constitutionally). Why choose one argument over another? I would posit a guess that part of the reason is that the campaign finance issue has traditionally been couched in a free speech argument and that might be because it is perceived as a more fundamental argument. Money is also property but with the income tax, the things government spends our tax money on, and all the limitations on what you can do with your own property (especially since the War On Drugs), it makes a weaker argument but if I understand what you're saying, I would prefer that both principles be used because private property surely needs shoring up!
In general, pure positions are often difficult/impractical/impossible to implement but when the pure position is surrendered, often the arguments for the adjustments tend to strain logic. I choose to think that campaign finance laws fall into that category. I understand the fears that campaign finance reforms are meant to quell, but it just makes a system that doesn't make sense and is ridiculously cumbersome.
Sorry I don't have any authoritative facts but on the other hand, I'm well stocked with opinions! :-)
I appreciate your positive perspective and you are probably right that the issues are couched in those terms because of habit. I just can't shake the feeling that they are nibbling around the edges in a way that compromises the meaning and value of our rights and institutions. Like, maybe there are things the courts should not tinker with? Maybe the attorney general also has a job to do in the greater scheme of things? Like busting corrupt politicians? Maybe the courts should resist the urge to answer all questions for every circumstance? Maybe they can ease up on proactively micromanaging the innumerable "what if" propositions? Give the police their due, they still know how to enforce anti-corruption laws. Just saying. Cheers.
Well, with one exception, threads today are TL/DR, compared to seven or eight years ago.
Some spunk lost
Yep, there has been a rash of crooked politicians who have been busted recently. Corruption is something that is bipartisan but I can't help but notice that they have all been Demoncrats! It will probably be Pubbie's turn later but for now, I'll gloat quietly! :-)
My last illusion shattered.....i will have to join a monastery.