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26 November 2011


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I highly recommend "1491" by Charles Mann. It's a fascinating read. Here's an article he published that eventually became the book:

Exceptionalism is wrong anywhere and everywhere. Humility is best.

Retired (once-Serving)Patriot


Humility is best.

Indeed. If there is a singular character flaw in this Republic, I would say it is the lack of humility. And in the spirit of true "thanks giving," the lack of true gratitude for what we do have and what we could do with such bounty.

As for the lack of rationality and thoughtfulness among the citizenry, I tend to blame the elites for their abandonment of their duties to the rest of us (another lack of humility and gratitude!). Perhaps there is even a strain of absolute ambition and ruthless reaction - a 100 years war by our putative aristocracy against the 40 year trend of boat lifting started by the class-traitor FDR? In any case, when I think long on the problem of ignorance, I keep returning to the sentiment expressed by another blogger. Our nation cannot live half-Fox [News] and half-free.


William P. Fitzgerald III


You may be the fellow! My wife's Chamberlain ancestor was in a clash with the Indians, called "The Pond Fight", which seems to have been a well-known little battle in central Massachusetts around the middle of the seventeenth century. Does it ring a bell?


Charles I

Wasn't it more like he was booted outta New Jerusalem for errant speech rather than he joined reality?

Charles I

Government is business now, no? All I ever hear, from from staunch supporters of further corporate tax cuts - whose stock portfolios are well down - why can't this be run like Walmart?

A friend of mine is a financial advisor. He is impervious to well cited fact and reasonable question. When begged for factual and emotional foundation of certain economic/political positions on domestic governance in Canada, the answer is a what-about-Johnny(China)-he-does-it-too-why-don't-you-go-ask-him-your-stupid-questions-about-our-government question.

And when I tell him I find it questionable that he can't answer a question I don't have the heart to add that its downright disturbing to see no accountability, let alone any explication, for support of hare-brained political spending. From a salesman who wants you to give him capital.

Because most of my friends don't even care, don't even vote so its kinda churlish to work over this one nice guy who does care.

Which has gotta be a retreat from my pretend civic virtue - or moral high horseyness.

Discredit both process and legislative bodies, and the executive just does what it intends, supporters blithely or fervently ignorant as the case may be, the apathetic diverted, the opposition impotent.


Charles I

Government is nothing like business. Businessmen are the worst possible heads of state or government because they instinctively want to reduce costs and services. In any business you can construct a balance sheet that reflects a "bottom line" for the owners. How would you do that for the US Government? Businesses seek efficiencies to decrease costs and increase profits. what are the profits of government and for whom? The 1%? In fact governments (unless they are utterly corrupt like that run by the Egyptian military)are cost centers, not profit centers. Governments have no marketable products unles it is something like electricity from a hydro dam. Government exist to spend money in order to render services. They produce effectiveness in that rendering of services. If they are run for a profit by an oligarchy they are destined to be dealt with by the exploited. Jefferson would agree. pl



Having been reared in Naumkeag Territory by descendants of 19th century Potato Famine refugees and schooled under the strict New England hand of Sisters of Notre Dame it was brow beaten into me the lore of the Puritans and their settlement of Plymoth. To my surprise after many cruel winters of shoveling white, brown and black snow (yes it has a way of turning colors over time-slush) I gave up and moved South to the land of once a year flurries that tend to send everyone paranoid. On a local trip the wife dragged me into St Augustine to the Mission of Nombre Dios for some education and spiritual renourishment. Well after walking the property we come to this large cross and a plaque commenerating the founding of St Augustine in the mid 1500's. Wow was I duped by the good old Sisters as the Mayflower didn't arrive until sixty years later on what then must of been first class passage. The learning point was we New Englanders must open our eyes as there is much more out there than what we were taught.


Being a Southerner myself, from the Jamestown colony whose ancestors moved a tad further south to NC. I long ago discovered that what most Southern critics don't like about Southerners is that they don't really care about anyone's opinion but their own. It's not a hostile attitude,it's just immaterial to them what others think. That's one reason we have some reputation for southern hospitility and manners...we just don't think opinions about us are worth disputing or getting upset about. LOL
Of course this is frustrating to some people.

Medicine Man

Heh, I must second Charles' observation. Frum's parting of ways with movement conservatism came only as a result of his fellows casting him out, not out of a principled retreat to allegedly higher, "centrist" ground.

Frum becoming a Rhino in the eyes of the far right also isn't a recent phenomenon. He spoke out, going a step too far for the party to tolerate, shortly after Obama passed the ACA.

Now, Ramesh Ponnuru's apostasy is a more recent thing. Frum and Pronnuru are two peas in a pod.



Frum once defended Ledeen to me asking if I did not think Ledeen "an honorable man." i said that I did not. i wonder of he still loves Ledeen. pl

Medicine Man

"Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business." -- Michael Ledeen.


"I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong,
Who, you all know, are honourable men:
I will not do them wrong; I rather choose
To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you,
Than I will wrong such honourable men."

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