Letting my brain lie fallow

Normally, I open one of these posts by apologizing for not blogging because, honestly, I really meant to blog.  Not this time, though.  I’ve been letting my brain go fallow this weekend.  Aside from it being the dog days of summer, meaning that the politic scene is running stupid, but shallow, I simply need to give my brain a rest.

My misunderstanding of Don Quixote’s very clear statement about the ramifications of SSI is a sign that I just need to slow down, at least mentally, for a few days.  If I’m not listening well to DQ, who is one of the smartest and most interesting people I know, that tells me loud and clear that I’m going to make a hash out of understanding and analyzing dry political articles and news.

I’ll probably be back and in fine fettle tomorrow, but for right now, I’m going to continue to let my brain cells air out on this lovely summer day.

For those who would like an Open Thread, this is it.  I’ve been absolutely delighted by the discussions you all have been having at my other posts, and by the links you’ve been including — especially the old Harper’s magazine article about “Who Goes Nazi.”  Thanks for that one, g6loq.

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    If I you hear another voice cry about how slavery kept the black man out of the house, while the black woman lived with her master and the result was the  destruction of the family, shove this in front of them. The plantation has a new address … 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
    Here is the approximate cost in the Health Control Law for an unmarried couple who each earn $25,000 a year (total: $50,000). When they both buy health insurance (which will be mandatory), the combined premiums they pay will be capped at $3,076 a year. But if the couple gets married and has the same combined income of $50,000, they will pay annual premiums up to a cap of $5,160 a year. That means they have to fork over a marriage penalty of $2,084.
    The marriage penalty is the result of the fact that government subsidies for buying health insurance are pegged to the federal poverty guidelines. Couples that remain unmarried are rewarded with a separate health care subsidy for each income.
    When the Wall Street Journal reporter quizzed the Democratic authors of the health care bill, they made it clear that this differential was deliberate. The staffer justified the discriminatory treatment because “you have to decide what your goals are.” Indeed, the Democrats have decided what their goals are. They know that 70% of unmarried women voted for Obama in 2008, and the Democrats plan to reward this group with health insurance subsidies.

  • Mike Devx

    I found this article interesting, concerning how youth enthusiasm for Obama has waned.
    I don’t think the news is quite as dire for Obama as the author is stating.  The numbers don’t indicate a switch, so much as they indicate sudden doubt, uncertainty, and a decline in enthusiasm. Key poll results from the article:
    > Obama is losing in a match-up against a generic Republican challenger by 37 percent to 34 percent among voters in the 18-34 age group, according to a stunning Quinnipiac University poll released yesterday.

    > In March, voters in this group approved of Obama by 54 percent to 37 percent.

    In both polls, what is the opposition to Obama?  It’s stuck at 37%, completely unchanged.
    What has changed is that his declared support has dropped from 54% to 34%.  The “Undecided” or “Don’t Know” faction, therefore, is up from a mere 9% to 29%.
    These young voters are essentially unclaimed, right now.  The GOP, in its usual imitation of The Keystone Kops, or The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight, is totally ignoring them.  But so what – they are currently ignoring EVERYBODY, hunkering down, making no noise, being completely silent.  They could at least mount some kind of a campaign for these young voters: “Obama Lied, And Your Hope Died”.  “We will never deceive you, we will never lie to you.  You will always know where WE stand.”
    The GOP could do omething.  ANYTHING!  But no.  They could even stress conservative fiscal economics.  They could identify how Obama and the Democrats plan to roll these youth voters big time, making THEM pay for everything.  You’d better believe those aged 50-over won’t be paying.  Some might fall on the 35-50 crowd.  But it’s the 18-35 crowd that is really going to get rolled by the Democrats. “Every penny the Democrats feed into the national debt, they plan on YOU paying for.  You, and eventually your own kids, too.  Meanwhile, all the Democrats want to do today is Party On.  Knowing that YOU will pay the bill for their Party.”   Fertile ground for a conservative resurgence among the young, if the GOP cared to even try.

  • Mike Devx

    Does anyone know why fundraising for the GOP is so deficient this year?  Mismanagement at the RNC under Steele certainly must figure in.  Are there other reasons?
    Here’s an odd thought:  What of the possibility – a good one – that the conservative side is being strongly identified with limited government, and prudent fiscal discipline?  What if fundraising is all about porkies bellying up to the pork trough and engaging in the Big Government feeding frenzy?  And they’re not contributing to the GOP because there’s no unrestrained Big Government spending associated with it any longer?


    Mike Devx
    Obama will  have 70% of the unmarried woman.  The new plantation owner just insured it with health care reform.
    The GOP has been fence sitting, gathering splinters and hoping that Obama keeps tripping on his own shoe laces. They have yet to take a stand with the Tea Party -Heaven forbid, it may diminish their strangle hold on all things considered conservative.

  • Mike Devx

    Sadie (and all!)
    I finished my perusal of web sites today, and ran across this somewhat lengthy piece that follows up the amazing Codevilla article from about a week ago that generated so much discussion.  I found this one quite interesting, too – especially concerning the *critical* choice facing the GOP, right now.  Will the GOP continue trying to join into the Democrat/Big Government political elite – constantly toadying to it and denying its conservative roots; or will the GOP take the side of the Tea Party and the productive class/country class?
    My God, these are interesting times, aren’t they?  It may be that historians of the future will look back on 2000-2020 as one of the critical periods in American history.  If so, isn’t it amazing that we are living through it, struggling with it, in the midst of it, right now?  We may in fact be involved in one of the truly great historical struggles that define our great country of America.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    2020 will be like 1920. The end of the war, but no great boom. Just the crash.

  • pst314

    “I’ve been letting my brain go fallow this weekend”
    Have you considered adopting the medieval three-field tillage system? On the first week let your right brain go fallow while your left brain blogs about matters of art and aesthetics. On the second week let your left brain go fallow while your right brain blogs about history and politics with closely reasoned arguments. On the third week let your cerebellum go fallow, while your right and left brains happily work together with no fear that those animal instincts will rise up and compel you to post hot photos of your favorite actors. 😀

  • Tonestaple

    I commend to everyone “Applied Economics” by Thomas Sowell.  In this book Sowell emphasises the same message as “Economics in One Lesson” but updates it with current examples.  I know having this book around has reminded me to look past the Stage 1 effects of the latest damned foolishness coming out of Washington, and we all need to hammer on this without end.  Liberals and leftists and, sad to say, an awful lot of Republicans never ever ever look past Stage 1, which is why our beloved country is in the fix it’s in today.  Here’s the amazon page (since the comment software has the “make a link” button grayed out):  http://tinyurl.com/3ynk7q2


    Thanks for the Sowell suggestion.
    Would it be accurate to say – Politicians don’t legislate, they pillage ;

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    pst314:  An excellent idea.  Sadly, I am not sufficiently evolved to engaged in such an organized system.  I’m pretty binary, in fact.  Brain is either on or off — and this weekend (and, apparently, a large part of last week), it was off.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Legislated pillagers, Sadie? heh
    I have a question. Would people be as interested in Who Goes Fascist if the year was 2007 and we were under the Bush Administration?

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    Mike Devx…”Does anyone know why fundraising for the GOP is so deficient this year?”
    I get about 10 pounds of political direct mail per week, most of it from Republican-oriented organizations. Strictly from a marketing standpoint, 90% of it is garbage, with the look and feel of sleazy mortgaging refinancing come-ons, and guaranteed to offend anyone with an IQ of over 95.
    The direct-mail industry is mostly populated by people who think this is some fantasy version of the 1950s, but we can’t afford to have such people controlling marketing where the stakes really matter.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    From the “productive class and the aristocracy” article:
    “Accountability and personal responsibility — the sine qua non of liberty and of the American experiment — are kryptonite to the ruling class. In fact, Limbaugh notes, the aristocracy of today looks down upon real accomplishments, just as their predecessors in hereditary aristocracies often did”
    There seems to be a growing preference, especially among young people, for jobs which are “staff” rather than “line” in nature; ie, those that involve doing analysis but do not carry decision-making authority. In business, the typical recent graduate would rather study acquisition possibilities than run a sales region with a quota. In government, the typical graduate would rather be on a career track involving writing studies of “the national transportation infrastructure in 2030” than one that leads to the position of Atlanta Tower manager for the FAA.

  • suek

    I’m not sure it’s possible to be off topic on an open thread, but I’m going to try:)
    We had a discussion over the weekend about the meaning of “conspiracy”…what constitutes a conspiracy.  It seems simple on it’s face, but when you consider the Journolist, was that a conspiracy?  Can you consider the entire Progressive movement a conspiracy?  Are we – on this list – conspirators?  I’m not sure.  There’s an element of planning an action, but if we have had discussions that indicate a common goal, might not each person act within their area of influence to further that goal?  If each person does that, can it be called a conspriacy – or just working towards a common goal?  Is secrecy the factor?  In that case, the J-list is a conspiracy – but no one was leading the group, or actually telling another what they should say/do.  My husband suggest “evil intent”…but while King George would certainly judge George Washington as having an evil intent, the Colonists – those who cared – didn’t.  Obviously, if you have two opposing views, one will view the conspiracy as having a good intent, the other will judge it as bad.
    Anyway…considering the frequent accusations of “you’re just a conspiracy nut” (meaning seeing conspiracies everywhere)…I got thinking about just what a conspiracy – as opposed to having a common goal – actually is.
    If anyone has any thoughts about the issiue…!

  • http://home.earthlink.net/~nooriginalthought/ Charles

    Who Goes Nazi? – wow, what an interesting article; especially given the year that it was published. It reminds me of a movie that I saw several years ago and would recommend that everyone try to rent:


    It is by an Indian Director, Deepa Mehta, and is set in India during the partition of India and Pakistan.  This movie is a fascinating look at the motives behind the actions of a group of friends who ended up taking different paths as their world changed around them. I suspect that a lot of the motives explored in Earth were the same motives involved in why some joined the Nazis or aided them.

    I’ve always felt that we do a disservice to future generations by “simplifying” history in explaining that what the Nazis (and others have done and continue to do) as simply motivated by hate.  While hate is a large part of the mix I feel that there is often more involved than something that simple. I think “Earth” and “Who Goes Nazi?” do a fantastic job of explaining that things are not simple.  People’s motives, for doing the same thing, vary from individual to individual.

    Sadie & Y; – you guys crack me up: “Politicians don’t legislate, they pillage.” & “Legislated pillagers.” LOL!


    I believe that, from a legal standpoint (Bookworm can confirm), a conspiracy involves two (or more) people talking about doing something illegal – that’s it.  They don’t even have to act on it.  The talk of doing something illegal is all that is needed for it to be a crime.  Of course, proving it in court is another matter. 

    From a non-legal perspective I think that the definition and its connotation would simply be to talk about doing something “wrong.”  Secretive would certainly be a part of it; otherwise it might be considered “civil disobedience.” So, simply working towards a common goal, even if secret, is not a conspiracy.  I would also add that I don’t think a “ringleader” is necessary for something to be consider a conspiracy.  In the case of Journolist, Yes, I would consider it to be, in the non-leagl definition anyway, to be a conspiracy since they were all agreeing to NOT report something that would otherwise be “news.” This is a coverup and, therefore, a conspiracy. That’s my two-cents worth on conspiracy, for whatever its worth.

    P.S.  Can anyone clue me in on what I might be doing wrong.  Sometimes the HTML formatting and paragraph break don’t work on my comments and other times it does.  It seems to most often mess up if I click on preview.  The preview will look fine; but all the formatting goes away once I click Post.  Any suggesstions?


    I have the same problem. To avoid the problem, I hit the space bar 3 or 4 times to insure a break in paragraphs. I also see the font in 8 [reading the fine print is one thing, but writing in it is quite another].
    Conspiring to be deceptive and dishonest by means of a selective group, in this case Journolist.
    Now, reread the sentence and insert in place of Journolist: your politician of choice, any one of dozens of congressional committees, i.e. Ways and Means. Call it what you may, but the word ‘liars’ seems to enjoin them.
    Like the fine print on a contract – caveat emptor voters!

  • expat

    I don’t see the people here as conspirators in any sense. I see people honestly trying to figure out what is going on in this crazy world who have found others they judge to be honorable and intelligent on the same mission.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    WordPress uses a visual basic editor that doesn’t parse html and a html parser that only displays the bold and space code.
    There should be a toggle on the comments thing that lets you switch between, but I have yet to find it. So sometimes it is in visual and sometimes it is in html mode.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    I don’t see the word conspirator as a negative one. It just means secrecy and banding together. It could be good. Could be bad.
    A Leftist conspiracy, though, is bad for human beings.
    It’s all about ethics, is it not. Good and evil? isn’t that what built America and what kept her powerful? If America was evil, wouldn’t we still be redistributing wealth from slaves to rich plantation owners cum politicians?