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, January 16. 2016
US Episcopalians Get Yellow Card from World Anglican Body
People are crazy
The Left’s Endgame Hits the Wall:
Gaming of Obamacare Poses a Fatal Threat
Xenophobia is now a disease
How the State Department Caved to Hillary Clinton’s Lawyer on Classified Emails
The cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran that's tearing apart the Middle East, explained
Migrants arriving in Greece find Europe's welcome has worn thin
What do the Euros want: multicult or assimilation?
Europe’s Reality Problem
Tracked: Jan 17, 09:57
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"The cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran that's tearing apart the Middle East, explained"
Excuse me, but when did Vox.com become a site that was trustworthy enough to link to? I made the mistake of clicking and reading that link, and was appalled at the oversimplified and heavily slanted picture it presented.
Germany: Town bans male refugees from pools amid complaints
I'm surprised they didn't ban German men and women from pools. Wouldn't that be easier to enforce?
The very word 'xenophobia' is intended to label the individual as bad, racist, stupid, etc. The intent is to force you, the xenophobic, to accept what they want you to do. Their theory is that if they can cow enough Americans into saying and doing nothing that they can in a few short years flood the U.S. with illegal, legal and economic refugees which will finally destroy this country and allow world dominance by a Marxist/leftist/communist cabal. Do not fear 'the other' they say even while showing that 'the other' is killing us because to THEM WE are 'the other'. The open border, amnesty, don't fear 'the other' crowd intend to destroy this country. Some are doing it for short term profit while others never liked America and will gleefully flee America when it collapses. What will the rest of us do when this happens? It cannot be reversed once a majority of new legal citizens consider themselves something other than American. The flood gates will open wide and until this country becomes worse than the country they are coming from they will come. What then?
Taxes chased GE from CT to Taxachussets?
Not the baseline tax rates, more like bribes, some of which are tax-related, made by public officials (using public money or potential tax revenue) who want to claim credit for "bringing jobs to..."
Boston has pledged the equivalent of $25 million in not collecting taxes due, the state has pledged $120 million for the "infrastructure costs" of building a new headquarters building. GE knows from their recent moves of headquarters to MA for various of their subsidiaries (Current in Boston, Life Sciences in Marlborough) and expansion of manufacturing (Aviation in Lynn, healthcare research and diagnostics tools in Westborough) that the state and localities are good for their word.
The Left’s Endgame Hits the Wall
Poe? The article reads great as satire.
For many years now, I have wondered not just what remaining Americans will do after the collapse; but, what the rest of the world will do. There will be no protection for any country. Maybe I will be dead before that.
Around here, it's too little, too late. At least half the parishes in my city lack rectors, or the parishes are only sometimes open for services, usually Christmas and Easter when the old congregation shows up. Old being literal, in that it is usually octogenarians and their care-givers.
Most folks have moved on to other churches. A few years ago we started a new group Bible study at our church (conservative presbyterian) and found out that more than half of the people who showed up were raised in the Episcopal Church or had gone to Episcopalian schools but had left. So their retention level is horrible, other than those who generally for snobbery reasons like to point to their family belonging for the past 200 years.
Local food. Portlandia sketch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErRHJlE4PGI
Yes, it's a narrative the left thinks of as just silly and impossible, because they don't see themselves that way, and none of us likes to think bad thoughts about ourselves.
Except I know lots of people who fit this description, including useless therapists and advocates on grants, unemployed academics who need places to crash, and wishful thinkers who blame the local culture for not being enlightened enough to support their niche, sustainable startups.
Are there useless, mooching conservatives? Absolutely. The difference is we don't tend to lionise them. (Okay, if you want to count Republican politicians, I'll concede that point.)
The Portlandia thing is funny.
From growing my family's organic vegetables and apples in a boring suburban lot for 28 years (a swampy, shady lot w snarky neighbors) I agree that one can't supply all the calories and nutrients people need locally without a lot more farmland than is available to most cities. BUT: we eat better, fresher producer for six months of the year. Also we eat home canned tomatoes, apple butter, pickles, sauerkraut, relishes, chutneys, jams from our blueberries up north, and have squash all year plus cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, leeks, arugula, turnips thru January. We grow enough potatoes (that taste truly scrumptious to last from July thru Christmas. And onions ditto. All our own herbs. And pesto to last til spring in the freezer.
It's not crazy but a hobby that gets the family outdoors, provides light exercise, and immeasurably improves our quality of life and diet. Apple blossoms in spring. Bushels of fruit in fall. As many jars of apple butter to give as gifts as I can stand to make. You don't get E. coli from lettuce you grow yourself. Children are likelier to try vegetables they planted. Food is more nutritious and tastier when picked minutes before dinner. Also, you have something to give friends at harvest. If that's crazy, I'm glad to call myself bonkers.
My maternal grandmother lived to be 95 smoking Camels and drinking a double whisky sour every night. Partly good genes, partly being a pillar of the church and devoted to her family. But also her fanatic devotion to growing good things to eat and (when she got too old) buying her produce from a market gardener a half mile away. She only bought what was local and in season. Her whole life. It's more interesting to vary what one eats.
I hate flaky greenies, too, but mainly because most are too lazy to grow their own veggies. If I can, w my arthritis, I don't get why a bunch of bike riding twerps can't grow some peppers and tomatoes and squash.,.but most of them just like CONSUMING locally as opposed to PRODUCING.
They like dictating how others should grow food too much. Because they know what's best.
My understanding, from reading a Portland blogger, is that Portlandia requires only a minor amount of exaggeration.
The irony about the crowd that would support the claim that "xenophobia is a disease" also contains people who call some of their political opponents a term that originally meant "testicle licker." I refer to "Teabagger." That is a rather phobic description of one's political opponents, is it not?
Ask the progs who live in true-blue places if they would like to live in a place where conservatives and/or fundamentalist Christians or Tea Party supporters predominate. For most of those progs, I suspect the answer would be "Hell, No."
Progs don't fear the other if the other is a Muslim or an illegal alien- or at least many could claim that. But when the other is a political opponent who is a US citizen, many or most progs definitely show fear of the other.
Some of our fear of the other is socially conditioned. Some of our fear of the other is embedded in our genes. Progs may have less fear of the other than wingnuts- or maybe more- but any prog who claims he has little or no fear of the other is fooling himself.
Just as Democrat policies have killed off dozens of "blue" cities, they are now doing the same thing nationally. And in just a few years, measured from when the Democrats took over Congress, shut down the Bush administration, and cratered the economy.
Progs have less fear of "the other" since "the other" won't be living anywhere near them, won't go to their private schools, won't belong to the same social institutions, etc.
German Health Care
It's unfortunate your corporations didn't follow the German example of health care going back over 100-years ago.
Every German citizen has affordable health care...and no, it's not free...since well before the first world war. It was implemented by corporations like Krupps who realized that when highly skilled workers got sick and left the workforce, it impacted the bottom line. So while Americans (for whatever reason) seem to think our healthcare system is "social" and "free" it was based on the foundation of pure capitalism but we pay for it like everything else.
The insurance rates here in Germany are tied by percentage to your salary. The lowest would be around €150/month with a ceiling of about €700 per income per family.
We have both public and private insurance options and unlike Switzerland (where it is required by law to have health insurance), it is not mandatory to have it. The big difference here is we can't sue for malpractice (unless it's purely negligence) the government strictly enforces the profit margin health insurance companies can make and also what medical providers can charge.
Europe’s Reality Problem
It's pretty clear that all of Europe received a huge wake-up call over the Köln incidents a few weeks ago. European newspapers and various new programs are reporting that the willingness of even left-green parties are starting to wear thin.
The main stream media is also realizing they can't keep trying to tell us one thing when social media is reporting events "as they happen". The truth may be delayed, but it can't be stopped.
I think most of us here in Europe recognized there is a really terrible problem in Syria and other countries, and we were willing to help. But no one thought for a minute Merkle would open the borders to over 1-million refugees without any plans on how to accomplish this. And we certainly didn't expect so many single young men to show up without their families. It was a knee-jerk emotional issue that's going to affect the CDU in future elections.
Keep in mind, Greece, Italy and Spain are already hurting from the Euro-crisis and their own domestic social programs. So while we Europeans remain generous in trying to help people who are in real need, even we know there are limits.
Köln was a wake-up call, and I suspect 2016 will be a turning point for this whole refugee debacle, and more and more people across Europe will stay "enough is enough".
I need some help to understand the Mid East economics.
Their economy is based on oil. I don't understand the dollars aspect of that or the logistics of so many barrels of oil per day, every day.
Most of us only see what's going on by looking at the price per gallon at the pumps. Wow, gas is a buck seventy-five a gallon down around my place. That's good, right? But I don't think it is. If there is too much oil the price per barrel gets lower as one refinery competes with another. The smaller refineries get to a point where they can't process oil at the low price and they shut down.
I'm sure more oil can be got from the wells than our current usage requires, so there will be a large back stocking of all that oil. Where to put it? Or, cap the wells.
Why don't the oil countries use these dynamics to upset the world's oil consumption, thereby upsetting the economies of other countries? I've heard someone say if the United States refused Middle East oil the producing countries would have too much oil to handle. Be ankle deep in the stuff.
That's all that I can say about the oil. I know I'm not getting the picture.
Gringo: I refer to "Teabagger."
The term originated in the Tea Party Movement.
"Tea Bag the Liberal Dems before they Tea Bag You!!"
"Tea bag the fools in DC"
Finally, it became too much to restrain the laughter.
"Even Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina is getting in on the hot tea-bagging action"
"While the parties are officially toothless, the tea-baggers are full-throated about their goals"
Z-Team, I am quite aware of the history of the use of the term, and your comments are, not surprisingly, irrelevant. They in no way contradict my original point.
1) While some conservatives may have used terms with derivatives of "tea..bag", it was not done with awareness of the "testicle licker" meaning of the word "teabagger."
2)Shuster, Maddow, Anderson Cooper & Co. made explicit the unintentional humor in using derivatives of "tea..bag." "It's hard to talk when you're teabagging," to quote Anderson Cooper. I don't know how to quote Gergin's laughter in response. I concede the unintentional humor.
3) Those who used the term "Teabagger" after Shuster,Maddow, Anderson Cooper & Co made the "testicle licker" definition a part of common discourse were using the word with the full awareness that to call conservatives "Teabaggers" was to call them "testicle lickers." Perhaps that is your idea of humor.
I would also point out that I have never heard a Tea Tea Party supporter or sympathizer use the term"teabagger" to describe him or herself, whereas I have heard Democrats use the term in a context which showed that they had unmitigated contempt for the people they termed "Teabaggers" and thus approved of referring to their political opponents as "testicle lickers."
Therefore, my original comment stands.
...people who call some of their political opponents a term that originally meant "testicle licker." I refer to "Teabagger." That is a rather phobic description of one's political opponents, is it not?You are going to tell me that it is NOT a phobic description of one's political opponents?
Gringo: 1) While some conservatives may have used terms with derivatives of "tea..bag", it was not done with awareness of the "testicle licker" meaning of the word "teabagger."
That's what made it cringe-worthy. The snickers went on for weeks before the snickers turned to jokes.
Gringo: 2)Shuster, Maddow, Anderson Cooper & Co. made explicit the unintentional humor in using derivatives of "tea..bag." "It's hard to talk when you're teabagging," to quote Anderson Cooper.
Juvenile humour. True though.
Gringo: 3) Those who used the term "Teabagger" after Shuster,Maddow, Anderson Cooper & Co made the "testicle licker" definition a part of common discourse were using the word with the full awareness that to call conservatives "Teabaggers" was to call them "testicle lickers."
The joke was that that is what they were calling themselves.
In any case, the Tea Party had a choice of either keeping the term and hope to establish a new meaning, or abandoning the term to snickers. Apple had the same problem with iPad. Of course, Apple has a sense of humour.
Gringo: You are going to tell me that it is NOT a phobic description of one's political opponents?
It's hardly phobic. The proper response is to blush, smile at the joke, and say "Oh, gee whiz."
Should the cost of insurance be tied to income? Insurance is a pooling of risk and statistically a person with a high income should not be more likely to incur high medical bills than a poorer person. So what you are calling 'insurance' is not insurance at all. It is a socialist hybrid. Don't get me wrong, that's fine but it's not insurance. The good news is that it isn't forced on everyone like Obamacare is or other single payer insurance is. I simply don't understand the logic of charging someone more for something because their income is higher. I do understand the desire for free stuff but any thinking person knows that ultimately fails. So why build a faulty social program?
Gringo: You are going to tell me that it ["teabagger] is NOT a phobic description of one's political opponents?
Z-Team in reply: It's hardly phobic. The proper response is to blush, smile at the joke, and say "Oh, gee whiz."
My face-to-face experience with those who use the term "Teabagger" has been that the word has been used in a wholly serious tone, with no hint whatsoever of joking. None.
Not long ago, an acquaintance referred to Joseph Stack as a "Teabagger." Surely you remember Joseph Stack, who did the suicide bomber thing by flying his plane into a building housing the IRS. The anger in my acquaintance's voice while he enunciated "Teabagger" was readily apparent. There was NO joke intended. In his mind, as Joseph Stack had proved himself to be a dangerous lunatic, so were Tea Party adherents dangerous lunatics - people beyond the pale who therefore merited the ad hominem label "testicle licker." He was dead serious when he called Joseph Stack a "Teabagger." No joke at all.
Here is the end of Joseph Stack's manifesto.
The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.Only a liar or an ignoramus would claim that statement came from an Tea Party adherent. The person who called Joseph Stack a "Teabagger" is a LIV who believed what he spouted about Joseph Stack, but who had never read Stack's manifesto.
The only times in face-to-face conversation I have heard references to "Teabaggers" have been concurrent with attempts to label Tea Party supporters as dangerous lunatics or the like, such as the above. Joke? Not at all. Is is phobic to attempt to label one's political opponents as dangerous lunatics? Yes, indeed.
I suspect that part of the problem is that you assume that those of us on the right have little or no contact with those on the opposite side of the political aisle. Au contraire. Having left the left, and having leftists among those in my social circle, I know the left all too well.
Get it through your progressive little heads, Z-Team: when someone on your side of the aisle refer to someone on our side of the aisle by a term that means "testicle licker," we consider it a hateful, insulting label. The joke aspect of "Teabagger" expired long ago.
It is exceedingly presumptuous on your part to tell me, "No, you shouldn't be insulted, no you shouldn't consider "Teabagger" [a.k.a. testicle licker] hateful, not an insult." Would you counsel a black, who having heard a white refer to him using the "N-word," by informing him that it was a joke, it wasn't an insult, it wasn't hateful for the white to call him the "N-word?" I think not. Would you tell a homosexual- Anderson Cooper, for example- that someone who called him a cocksucker was just joking? I think not.
The left views itself as the loving, tolerant side. The left's self-image doesn't always correspond to reality.