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
Friday, February 5. 2016
A non-profit to consider: Wild Tomorrow Fund
On the 'Tikkun Olam' Fetish - Are Jews commanded to "repair the world" or to repair the Jews?
I never asked Jews to "repair" my world for me.
What about Evangeliphobia?
Gays Indulge in Heterophobia as San Francisco Diversifies
Sheesh. The guy is upset he bought a drink for a straight guy. Waste of money.
Gays Indulge in Heterophobia as San Francisco Diversifies - See more at: http://moonbattery.com/?p=68421#sthash.i3ZBgSiR.dpuf
Twenty-Four Hours at a Truck Stop - The ever-shifting landscape of truck stops, from sunrise to sunrise.
"Previously I have proved that life cannot have evolved. Today I will prove that life cannot exist."
Brown faculty vote to institute ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day’
Cutting Costs Is Possible. These Schools Did It.
The Secretive Hedge Fund That's Generating Huge Profits for Yale
This is What’s Wrong with the Humanities
New York Times Hypocrisy On Corporate Taxes Reaches Record High
New York Times Says Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio Are Not Latino
Chicago Is Falling Apart
Obamacare’s Premium Hikes Are Much Bigger Than You’ve Been Told
Who thinks the government would regulate political speech against its own interest? Show of hands??
GOP Chairman: Terrorists Are Taking Note of Lack of Border Enforcement
Muslim Women Protest Obama's Baltimore Mosque Visit
New Hampshire prepares to cull the herd
Let’s not treat Christian faith as a requirement for being a good president.
Of course it's not. It's an affinity thing, and "politics is downstream of culture"
As Oil Puts Russia Over A Barrel, A Gutsy Move To Privatize
ISIS Ringleader Claims He Entered France with 90 Fighters Before Paris Attacks
Sweden: Death by Immigration
White House Ignores Mounting Failures in Afghanistan
Crouching Tiger: China Acts, America Dithers
China is not an enemy
Tracked: Feb 07, 10:20
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It is interesting that Plaut's summation of the modern interpretation of tikkun olam is just about exactly the two moral foundations of liberals as measured by Jonathan Haidt. This would suggest that on an emotional level, the accordance between non-Orthodox Judaism and liberalism is so great that intellectual arguments will have very little effect.
I will now contemplate which is the cart and which the horse, and if there is some genetic aspect I have not heretofore even suspected.
Sweden is bringing immigrants in at about three times the rate the US currently does (though we have had much higher percentages at various stages in our past). Further, they aren't used to it, neither emotionally nor institutionally, as Americans and Canadians are.
European culture has been founded on blood-relation far more than they have been willing to admit these last 70 years. Their elites continue to sneer at racist America, but my son in Norway is encountering more and more people who confess to him how much they hate all these immigrants.
@ Assistant Village Idiot - As your son may have figured out, one of the reasons Europeans are having trouble coping with the numbers of refugees is we've really never had to deal with foreigners on this level before.
Prior to WW2, less than .01% of the German population had ever met a black person face to face. While this may seem unbelieveable to an American, remember that Germany, unlike the British or French, was never a colonial power so we never really left our own borders.
Germans, for the most part, had only experienced blacks and non-whites as they existed in publications or movies, but few actually met one in their personal lives. As such, Germany, and most of Europe, didn't really have to deal with blacks in the same way Japanese didn't really deal with whites prior to the war.
So as collective thinking goes in any isolated situation, everyone else probably thinks and acts just like us, because "we" are all we know.
Towards the end of WW2, when Germans first encountered black American soldiers, it was a positive thing as the soldiers gave civilians food, chocolates, chewing gum and protection. Germans quickly learned Americans were here to help us. Unlike the Russian soldiers who brutalized and raped the civilian populations they encountered, Germans had a very good experience with Americans and with black American soldiers. Again, they're like us, just a different color.
There is no German collective experience to what America has gone through with regards to our experience with blacks; no history of slavery, no civil race demonstrations, no race riots, no segregation, no affirmative action. So the experience for most of us is that they can't be that bad and why all the fuss?
Even when the Turks came in, they came in relatively small numbers. No big problems came up, and everyone just dealt with it. Now the experience is completely different. Now Germans are understanding what all the racial problems are about in the US from first hand experience such as we saw in Cologne.
The liberals said multiculturalism was a good thing for everyone. And when only a few multicultural people came here and worked, went to schools and become part of the community, everyone was happy and thought it was a great idea. Having a Persian kid or Nigerian kid in class was "cool" in the same way anything unique and non-threatening is cool.
However, that idea has changed so rapidly, it's the shock to our belief system that makes this all the more difficult to deal with. That and the fear of being called a Nazi if we say anything against multiculturalism. It's a really bad combination.
We have come to understand our ignorance of what large, non-Christian, foreign populations of non-whites who don't think or act like us can do. Some lessons must be experienced to be learned. And that's exactly what's happening now.
Re: New York Times Hypocrisy On Corporate Taxes Reaches Record High
The article got me thinking more about arguments against tax inversions. I don't read the NYT so I don't know the answer to these questions.
Does the NYT argue that it isn't fair that some states to offer tax breaks to companies who move to their state? If so, then they should be upset about the current program the state of NY is using to try to entice businesses to move there (unsuccessfully, from what I understand, because of the explosion of taxes that will happen when the tax breaks expire and also because of the generally poor business climate in NY).
Similarly, do they argue that once a company is formed, that it has to stay domiciled in the same jurisdiction forever?
If it is dodging your duty to pay taxes to move to a low tax jurisdiction, is it also dodging your tax duty to form a company in a low tax jurisdiction rather than a higher tax one? If so, in what jurisdiction should a company be formed? Does this sort of thinking apply to consumers? For example, is it a consumer's duty to pay a higher price for a product when a lower priced product of similar quality is available to keep that company in business?
Does the NYT think that it is generally good to have competition among companies and that competition has a positive effect on costs and quality of products and services? If so, would there be a similar effect with respect to governments?
Like I said, I don't know how the NYT would answer those questions but I suspect they would show the same understanding as they had about rockets back when they ridiculed Goddard in 1920 for saying that rockets could be used for space travel. It only took them 49 years to admit they were wrong and that was only after Apollo 11 took off!
Repair the world is a commandment for everybody. Everybody is a Jew. It's the human condition, which is how it winds up as a poeticization of ethics and hence a religion.
Figure out side-effects would be the part of it that the left seems to miss.
Re: White House Ignores Mounting Failures in Afghanistan
None of this should be a surprise to anyone. The White House ignores all facts that contradict their world view. That there are failures in Afghanistan should also surprise no one. The Afghan forces seem to be infiltrated by Taliban and made up of too many who are unmotivated. In addition, there has been a 90% reduction of US forces - some of which was implemented by giving pink slips to soldiers in the field. Finally, there is no coherent strategy. While we are trying to train the Afghan troops, our forces are being pulled into combat to support existing Afghan troops so there are not enough of our troops to do both jobs well. What could go wrong?
A better question is what has gone right with respect to foreign policy in the last seven years?
Second that AVI.
Karl has been a welcome addition to Maggie's farm. I hope he continues to comment here.
Every few months I buy a Saturday edition for the crossword puzzle and birdcage liner.
I don't know whether it angers me more that the WH propagandizes on every issue it addresses OR that the media never fact checks or questions any bragging point. We've lost the Fourth Estate completely with this administration.
The military leadership who have survived getting the hatchet just want to stay out of the way of controversy; those who have served in both Afghanistan and Iraq and are now retired admit both countries have turned into disasters for lack of a plan, follow-up and uneducated, PC interference by State and the administration.
Very much agree. Karl adds a new dimension to the discussion and makes much effort to include the innuendoes not easily found in media coverage. Thank you, Karl.
re Crouching Tiger: China Acts, America Dithers
That is the read of the day IMO. If you are interested in geopolitics you should look at it.
Yes, it is true that, "China is not an enemy.", but then neither were the Japanese on December 6, 1941.
The projection of China's power is not so much a function of Chinese expansionism as it is a collapse of the United States, economically and militarily. China is moving into that vacuum, both in Asia and globally. When you have a fundamentally corrupt American government that just today put out another set of economic lies as the truth, this is bound to happen. Actually it is worse, because the American people are being lied to that the economy is getting better, when in fact it is in a total shambles.
The fact is the U.S. is now a consumer nation, not a producer nation, with an ever-growing percentage of the population that is living off government largesse and those corporations that can afford to, fleeing to other countries. But a heck of a lot more are simply pulling the plug and shutting down.
I happened to stumble across this site.
It looks like it has potential.
I recall there was a German East Africa, which I recall I ran across as part of a movie or two, one of which was maybe "The African Queen". There's this:
Admittedly, the Africans were not in Germany.
China may not be an enemy, but they are unfriendly, unlikely to become an ally, and are a growing power.
Where is the John Edwards complaining that "there is no plan" like there used to be?
You may be right about power vacuums and whatnot.
It is also possible that military adventurism is a not-completely-unexpected development for societies that find themselves with a large cohort of surplus males.
These are not mutually exclusive possibilities, of course.
I like the truck stop article
Our world as we know with its comforts and consumables would cease to exist if not for truckers. The unappreciated, unseen trucker unless he's /she's in your way.
The Iowa truck stop 80 largest in the country is on our itinerary of places to visit this summer for the young fjordling wants to be a trucker.
The annual fee for internet access to the crossword is quite low, but you have to do without the birdcage lining.
Thank you for allowing me to join in the forum. I hope the German point of view can help explain why we think and act the way we do. I know it often doesn't make any sense when you apply American logic to European problems.
Back on the immigration numbers, you might want to read up on the immigration of Germans to Texas, Wisconsin and the mid-west. I believe during the late 1800, about 1,000 German immigrants were arriving every week. And the populations of some towns settled by Germans never actually learned English for several generations.
The assimilation of culture and language of foreigners is an old issue for America, but it's relatively new to us.
@ Fjord - Many German truck drivers envy the American truck driver and their lifestyle on the highway. We have only the "cab over" trucks here. No Kenworths or Macs with their long noses.