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 24. 2015
From a thoughtful essay by Harvey Mansfield, Our Parties, Part One - The Democrats: how progress became drift:
Friday, January 23. 2015
I may have misinterpreted what Mr. Ma said, but his comment was something to the tune of "If you have a billion dollars, it's not just yours. It became yours because the people who gave it to you felt you would do better things with it than anyone else, like the government. This places a responsibility on the person with a billion dollars, and is why I will seek to do good with this money."
As I said, I may have not heard it precisely or interpreted it correctly. If I did, it is a view I agree with(although people didn't give him anything, they exchanged money for a product or service he provided which made everyone better off).
All told, I'd prefer to not have a billion dollars in wealth. Too much responsibility, too many headaches. People who amass fortunes like this, however, have made the world better and this is why I don't oppose or envy their wealth. As Ma intimated, they can do better with the money. This is one reason I enjoy watching shows like Shark Tank. Not only do I learn insights on how to manage a business, but I see wealth at work producing things people want or need.
People who believe the wealthy sit around pools drinking margaritas all day (I've had people say this to me) have no idea where wealth comes from or how it is made. Those people may exist, I'm certain they do. Their wealth, however, does not last as long as you'd think. Their money must be working at improving lives through exchange or production, somehow, for them to spend the rest of their lives poolside. Real wealth creators, however, are always doing good with their money, even if it's just managing their companies (which provide jobs, goods and services) or coming up with new ideas that people want or need.
By and large, I believe if you're smart enough to earn the money through productive or creative capacity, as Jack Ma did, you're likely to know what to do with it. If you lucked into it, you're unlikely to have a good idea of what to do without some professional help.
Then there is a third group I forgot to mention. Politicians. I believe they are more like lottery winners, though they believe they are producers. I see them as popularity contest winners who are handed a blank check and haven't a clue what to do.
Thursday, January 22. 2015
So when I think about what the President had to say, and specifically who he was speaking to (because he did not speak to me or people like me), I think of another movie, one involving an entrepreneur who built a business and was seeking to keep it running by giving jobs to disadvantaged folk who were willing to work for him because he recognized the value they provided and sought to protect them from harm while giving them a living 'wage'. Progressives believe this man is the government, which is why we were exhorted to "move forward together" even as the President sought to polarize us further.
We know the truth. We know this man doesn't exist. We know the best thing the government can say to Progressives is this:
On the other hand, these are the Progressives Obama spoke to:
Saturday, January 17. 2015
Friday, January 16. 2015
From VDH's Multicultural Suicide
Tuesday, January 13. 2015
We linked about the failing Scandinavian welfare states this morning. We all know that everybody from China to NYC considers them contented blond cattle, weak wards of the State. Until the recent Muslim invasion, they were homogenous, all cousins.
Clearly, the Viking spirit is long gone, and the testosterone levels have dropped to the point that their males are now considered the least masculine and most risk-averse in the world - and that includes the Italians.
America is not Europe. America has no history of respect or trust in government, a history of defiance of the State, no history of serfdom, no homogeneity at all. And except for the (fortunate, in retrospect) Africans sold by their brethren and the Muslim slavers into slavery to Americans, America's traditions are based on its eager settlers, pioneers, and immigrants and are all about "leave me alone."
JFK spoke for all immigrants with his "Ask not..." speech, which stood in bold contrast to the Euroland of his time and, perhaps, in contrast to some of America today. As we say, America was not made for sissies, but for the few and the brave. Not for farm animals.
In the past week I have seen that spirit alive and well in three Hispanic immigrants and one Haitian, These four are here to try to mold their dreams and want nothing from anybody - just freedom to do their thing. In these people, I see my Polish grandfather's immigrant spirit.
He worked in an aircraft engine factory, saved every penny for 20 years, raised three sturdy athletic kids on beans, learned to speak, read and write English at night school, bought a farm, and the tough old SOB farmed it until the day he died at 82. Dairy. Also, chickens and eggs. Dug a big farm pond (pre-EPA) with a neighbor's bulldozer and filled it with catfish and white ducks and geese for special-occasion dining. Grandma would grab them, chop their heads off, gut them and feather them, and throw their feet and heads to the barn dogs to fight over.
Plenty of people, including our European forefathers, wonder if we are nuts not to want the soft life. They just don't know what they are missing. They are the benighted ones whose lack of vigor and pride are repeatedly proven. They won't even stand up for their culture anymore.
Thursday, January 1. 2015
Tuesday, December 23. 2014
Insty: We don't need more laws
America has more laws, rules, and regulations than anybody could learn in a lifetime - or could obey without a large team of lawyers on hand at all times. I'm in favor of a ten-year moratorium on new laws, giving time to roll back old laws.
Wednesday, December 17. 2014
Today I had to discuss business with him at a designated time and arrived as the last biscuit was handed out.
A group of people entered just after me, and were told the last one had be served. One fellow responded "Well, good, because I was conflicted."
"Conflicted about what?" I asked.
"I hate that company and everything it stands for. So I wasn't sure I wanted a biscuit. I'm glad they are gone so I don't have any moral qualms."
I started laughing and said "They make a damn good chicken sandwich, and that's all I care about. I can't stand many Hollywood actors and their politics, but I'll still see their movies because I want to be entertained."
He replied, "Well, that's not an issue for me. I like most Hollywood actors."
I could hear my point whistling past his ears.
There aren't many purchases I make while considering the politics of those things. If I did, I probably wouldn't spend much money. I'd have a hard time buying clothes, food, and putting gas in my tank. I'm a fan of Pink Floyd, went to see Roger Waters perform in concert, with all his political nonsense, and simply told my boys "Enjoy the show and the music, pay no attention to the political diatribes and imagery. We didn't ask for that, he's just decided to force it on his fans, many of whom don't think for themselves, anyway. We are here for the art and the entertainment."
I loves me my Chick-fil-A. I don't agree with their stance on homosexuality. But I'm not convinced my not enjoying chicken will alter their stance. To be honest, I'm not sure what one has to do with the other.
Tuesday, December 16. 2014
We'll leave out the billionaires, because they are too few to move the dial. Let's just look at the very high-income people who make America look unequal in the statistics.
Who are the piggish people with multi-million annual incomes?
Pop music stars
I don't begrudge any of these people their incomes, but I sometimes envy it while aware that I would not be capable of doing what they do. Still, if we taxed them all 100% over 1 million, we'd eliminate the statistical "crisis" and people would have to bitch about something else.
Who am I missing on my list?
Monday, December 8. 2014
Sunday, December 7. 2014
Perhaps politics has always been about irrationality, propaganda, pandering, deception, etc. Socrates himself fell victim to a democratic witch hunt. There are always plenty of people out there who desire power, money, easy jobs, public recognition, etc. and who will do lots of things and compromise whatever integrity they have to get them. I understand that, but I do not respect it. I do not respect calculating, manipulative, dishonorable people, and I desire to insulate myself from them.
In recent years, it seems that the contagion of truthiness (useful fictions) goes hand-in-hand with the generation of underlying long-term politically-driven narratives. The seemingly-sociopathic Al Sharpton proved, in the 1987 Tawana Brawley episode, that a lie which fits the right political narrative can be profitable in many ways. In fact, his reckless, destructive ballsiness made his career as a public figure - while destroying many others involved in that famous non-story.
Truthy stories cannot get a foothold without media support or incurious acceptance. The media made Al Sharpton by refusing to treat him like the charlatan he is. The media made the Duke rape story, the "Hands up" story, and so many similar stories now culminating in the UVA gang rape story. None of these things were stories - they were ginned-up fictions to provide data points on a narrative line. That is what novelists and poets do.
These are modern versions of yellow journalism. We need more people willing to call "Foul" against tendentious PC baloney.
I don't really think this is all about gullibility and wish to believe. For the most naive, perhaps, but generally I think it's more cynical and calculating than that. There are agendas which seem, to some, to be more important than the truth. There are hardly enough Walter Duranty awards left to go around these days.
Advocacy journalism doesn't just run with fairy tales. Just as importantly, the MSM refuses to cover stories which would be fueled to near-fatal or fatal levels (eg, the IRS story) were a conservative in power. May I note the dearth of aggressive "investigative journalism" since the Left has held power in Washington? Has the Obama administration done anything worse, thus far, than the Nixon administration did? He has known, all along, that the MSM will cover for him because he is a lefty and has brown skin. Good insulation.
Pretty much everybody knows all of this now. The news is mostly spinfotainment and the only thing the public can do about it is to switch to FOX where "fair and balanced" means something - to the chagrin of the lefty narrative-spinners. Or Morning Joe too.
A few related links:
The author of the article, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, now says that it
Sabrina Erdley, Rolling Stone, and the Media Put the Cause Before the Truth
Rolling Stone’s disastrous U-Va. story: A case of real media bias
Jonah Goldberg being called a rape-supporter
"We have a member of the administration feeding a bogus story to a social
"What is truth?" asked the very clever Pontius Pilate
We'll see what happens with that UVA story eventually. To my mind, a "rape culture" is a feminist invention to keep their movement alive. Rape is a serious felony in the US, and is becoming more rare as time goes by. The criminality of rape is not controversial in the US although it is acceptable in many parts of the world and in many cultures. Dubious rape stories, like dubious racism stories, only harm a cause and create backlash. The same thing has happened to the "climate" hyperbole. For rape or attempted assault, call the cops, same as with a burglary or mugging. It's that simple. For climate, enjoy the day whatever the weather. Not to worry, in New England it will change tomorrow.
In no place in history on this planet has there ever been less sexism or racism, or more opportunity, or more generosity to the unfortunate, the feckless, the disabled, the homosexuals, and the transgenders, than there is in the Anglosphere today, and especially in the US. So why are the voices so shrill? Could it be because they see their relevance disappearing?
Monday, November 24. 2014
Sunday, November 23. 2014
You all know this already, but I just wanted to jot it down -
In the US, government has grown in importance as it has grown in power, in firepower, and in money. There was a time when nobody really cared about the federal government because it had no impact on daily life.
The Civil War, the Progressive Era of Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt, etc. changed all that. Government changed the culture. Over 100 years, government trained the masses to think "government should do something" whenever life presents them with obstacles, challenges, heartaches, bad luck, and expenses.
To win votes and to enjoy power, government decided to turn citizens into neo-serfs and to cement the impulse to turn to government instead of to God, to their own ingenuity, to family, to neighbor, etc. This infantilises people, weakens them, takes away their dignity.
Nowadays, everybody has his laundry list what government should do for them in their own interest. It is like a list for Santa. I want governments to do less and less.
Santa, keep your toys.
Tuesday, November 4. 2014
It's not uncommon to hear Fed officials and politicians deny that we are monetizing debt. Technically, we are not. We issue debt, the debt gets purchased, and the Fed (which is essentially a private institution, though it's really a quasi-governmental institution) buys it back. Normally government debt is held by the public, which is why economic analysis of the old "crowding out" problem was so prevalent.
By keeping interest rates low, and repurchasing debt, the appearance of private ownership is maintained, but it is a roundabout method of monetizing debt. Allowing rates to rise to any meaningful degree will have severe negative impacts, in the short term. Since we are in a politically driven economy, this cannot be allowed to occur, so interest rates must remain artificially low.
Of course, the long term ramifications of monetizing debt are inflation (followed by deflation) and severe misallocation of economic resources. In other words, bankruptcies, unemployment and a financial morass. Not to mention the end of an expectation of comfortable retirement (how can you retire on a fixed income if interest rates are below 1%?).
Don't expect interest rates to move up any time soon, and don't expect any reporting of realistic inflation. Just vote for the guy/gal who will shovel the most tax money toward you.
Sunday, November 2. 2014
Saturday, October 25. 2014
Thursday, October 23. 2014
Does Everybody Want Freedom? Most do, even those who appear to enjoy slavery.
My experience in life has taught me that many or most people would accept some form of feudalism in exchange for safety and security for themselves and their families. Serfdom, if you will.
Caught as most of us are between a job and the government, it's all still basically feudal is it not? Not what the American founders had in mind.
Tuesday, October 21. 2014
America's founders never promised us a rose garden. Quite the opposite. They offered, to the world, a novel and very difficult life breathing the air of freedom and independence from government and any other powers.
Adventurous people from all over the world have been attracted to the ideas of dangerous freedom, opportunity, risk, insecurity, and self-reliance.
Those things bring out the best in people.
You all know all of this. In my view, if you want anything from the federal government other than legal justice and protection from invading powers, you lack the vibrant American spirit and perhaps might prefer to live elsewhere, where a more feudal state plays a more parental, controlling role. It's a big world out there and the American idea is not/was not for everybody.
American people do not have delimited rights. American governments have delimited powers. That was the idea and the ideal, anyway.
Freedom or rights for stuff rather than from stuff? It sickens my soul. Quit helping us, please. Our ancestors did not come here for help other than help from God and maybe from our neighbor if we had one. They struggled and endured freedom, and so should we all. "Gimme" is not American: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Gimmedat:
Wednesday, October 15. 2014
Sunday, October 12. 2014
Statistically probably close, but a lot of unmarried people are likely either not interested, or are not desirable "marriage material." And sex material and marriage material are not the same things. Duh. Ref: Human History 101.
Here's some poverty data.
Poverty stats in the US do not take into account governmental or charitable benefits, both of which are huge and widely available to those who want them. The semi-voluntary poor, of course (eg grad students, recent grads, Maine Guides, new immigrants, beginning entrepreneurs, people who chose their own lifestyles to pursue happiness, hippies, starving artists, ski bums, people who choose the dole as a life style, etc) are not isolated from the stats so the stats seem meaningless to me. (Not to mention the pitiful people who work the system, game the system, etc. for a few extra bucks from the workingman's pocket.)
Few would refuse a gift of wealth obtained honorably, but I do not think pursuit of wealth is a major driver in American life, or in human life in general. Fortunately, and to the benefit of the rest of us, wealth is a driver for some highly talented people with commercial abilities (eg Derek Jeter, John D. Rockefeller, Jeff Bezos, Henry Ford, Steven Spielberg, Bob Dylan, JP Morgan, George Washington, Warren Buffet, etc etc etc).
29 Uncomfortable Myths About Soaring Poverty In America:
"Poverty" is a political concept. Many people want free goodies if they are available, but sacrifice a bit of their precious human dignity in the process. As SDA always asks, "Why is there always a wide-screen TV?"
A real working man has every reason for pride in his work, regardless of wealth. Not sure what Bob was thinking with this weary but hopeful lullabye. Probably some part of himself. Try to ignore the images.
Friday, October 10. 2014
Wednesday, October 1. 2014
The author, Eduardo Porto, makes the claim "Elected governments are certainly imperfect. But to address our most intractable ills, they are the better tool." I wonder if this is something he'd have written if Bush were in the White House? Doubtful. More importantly, it's worth noting 'government as a tool to fix ills' is a common Progressive claim. It's also one which is completely misguided since it relies on having 'the right people' in office. If the wrong person or people are in charge, Progressives (and Conservatives) who believe government is a 'good' claim "government is broken" or "the wrong people are in charge." The first claim is most likely true regardless of who is in office. But if these claims are true, does government suddenly get fixed when the 'right' people are in charge? Certainly not!
If your system of righting perceived ills requires having 'the right people in charge', you have devised an awful system of governance. It's unlikely the right people can ever be in charge.
What really galls is his belief that an imperfect elected government is the best resource for fixing any perceived ills. Porto seems to have no problem with the 'right' politicians getting wealthy as long as they strike a stance which he support - opposition to businessmen getting wealthy because they provide consumers with beneficial products. It's easy to ignore that, for the last 6 years, with people I'm sure he considers 'right' being in place, Porto's perceived societal ills caused by business have gotten worse. After 6 years of His Wonderfulness being in charge, this journalist is still writing diatribes about how awful things are, or how awful they are becoming. Why has he not stopped to consider the complete and utter uselessness of our Empty-Suit-In-Chief? The 'fix' he voted for has failed him miserably, and he is miserable because he knows it, so he's complaining that the 'fix' was improperly applied. In fact, it was applied properly and it's just plain unworkable. Government is an ineffective method of generating social change, regardless of the 'right people'.
Continue reading "Capitalists are Socially Aware"
Sunday, September 28. 2014
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